Three Conservative Councillors from South Gloucestershire have been shortlisted for prestigious national awards for their work serving their local communities.

Councillors Robert Griffin and Toby Savage and Matthew Riddle have all been included in the final awards shortlists, nominated for the Covid-19 Hero, Leader of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Awards respectively.

The LGiU and CCLA Awards, now in their 11th year are the only national platform celebrating the contributions made by local councillors across the country, with a major factor of this year’s awards focusing on the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Councillor Griffin’s actions to help an isolated and vulnerable elderly resident, after learning he had not eaten in two days and been cut off from support during the early stages of lockdown, earned him the Covid-19 Hero nomination.

Despite he and his wife needing to shield, Robert raided his own supplies to provide a food hamper and ensured South Gloucestershire Council were then able to provide further support.

Shortlisted for the Lifetime Achievement Award, Councillor Riddle’s nomination follows many years on South Gloucestershire Council, during which time he has improved services, first as Cabinet Member for Community Care and then as Leader of the Council, ushering in record-setting high recycling rates, the doubling of library opening hours, better outcomes for care leavers, multi-million pound investments into improving public green spaces across the district and his pivotal role in the negotiations with government to establish the West of England Combined Authority.

Having spearheaded the local response to the Covid-19 outbreak in South Gloucestershire as Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, Leader of the Year nominee Councillor Savage has been responsible for overseeing every aspect of the Council’s activities, from financial support for businesses and coordinating community volunteering efforts, to adapting vital services to meet residents needs whilst sticking to guidelines - even finding time to volunteer with the Council’s waste collection teams on their weekly rounds when many staff were requiring to self-isolate.

His work outside of that to promote South Gloucestershire and its interests, improving school standards combat climate change and deliver value for money services to residents further support his shortlisting.

Welcoming the announcement, Councillor Ben Stokes, Deputy Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, said: “I am proud that the efforts and achievements of Matthew, Robert and Toby have been recognised through being shortlisted for these prestigious awards. Councillors do not stand for election to win awards but the individual efforts of these three have had a tremendous impact on residents and communities across South Gloucestershire and that deserves celebration.

“There are many exemplary individuals who stand as role models to others, particularly in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and I am delighted that these three are considered among them. I am sure my fellow councillors will join me in wishing them the best of luck for when the winners are announced next month.”

Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive of LGIU, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has presented this country with a set of challenges that few could have predicted. However, councillors up and down the country have risen to these challenges and stepped up to plate for their communities. From delivering food parcels to vulnerable residents and sourcing PPE for frontline workers to finding temporary accommodation for the homeless, local government has kept the country safe and moving.

“It is for this reason that we are particularly proud to unveil the shortlist for this year’s Councillor Awards. Their achievements showcase the best of local government at a time when the country faces one of the greatest hardships of our lifetime.

“We would like to congratulate all of those councillors shortlisted and look forward to revealing the winners on the November, 26.”