Plaid Torfaen Councillor scoops UK-wide Community champion award


Plaid leaders congratulates Fiona Cross on becoming community champion of the year

Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones AM has congratulated Plaid councillor Fiona Cross on being named Community Champion of the Year at last night’s Local Government Information Unit awards in London.

The Torfaen County councillor from Cwmbran was elected in May 2008 and has since built a reputation for going the extra mile on behalf of her community and constituents. Fiona was the only Welsh councillor to be nominated for any of the 2012 awards, and the first Welsh councillor to win the award.

Plaid Leader Ieuan Wyn Jones said;

“We’re all extremely proud of Fiona. She’s a fantastic community champion and we’re delighted that her hard work has been recognised through this award.

“Fiona and the team have put Plaid on the map in Torfaen. They have shown that when people elect a Plaid representative, they don’t just get an ordinary councillor, but rather a determined local champion who will always go the extra mile for their community.

“Her great work will be an inspiration to Plaid candidates across the nation as we prepare for the local elections. Our party is now determined to elect hundreds more community champions to deliver for our areas and build a better future for all in our nation.”

Stephen Baker, a local resident who nominated Fiona for the awards said;

“I have become more interested in local politics since meeting Fiona Cross. In my view she is the kind of politician that Councils need more than ever - politicians that engage with their community.

“She is passionate and committed to the residents she has pledged to serve, always seeking ways of improving the quality of life for people, whatever their position in society.

“She is very accessible to residents and is very effective in communicating with them.

“Fiona raises 2 young children on her own, but as far as I am aware still seems to give more time to her council work than many of her colleagues”



The awards are run by the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) - an award winning think tank and membership organisation.

Community champion of the year Award – from the LGiU website

Community involvement is essential to ensuring that the council takes the right decisions for the benefit of communities. Effective councils will have many mechanisms set up to inform, consult and involve local people in the business of the council.

Elected members have a vital role in this, as the locally elected representative that sits between councils and communities. The community champion of the year will have worked tirelessly to engage, involve and consult the community; someone who has got to the grass roots of communities, made strides to really understand their priorities and campaigned on issues that matter to them.

The councillor who wins this category will demonstrate:
• visible efforts to engage communities and individuals in decisions about their local area, leading to better decisions for local people
• understanding of the different views of communities within their area and that they effectively represent these views to the council
• strong relationships with community activists and community groups
• excellent communication and facilitation skills.