Chairman of the council

The responsibilities of the chairman of the council.

About the chairman

The chairman is the ceremonial head of the council. The chairman must be a serving county councillor, but must remain politically impartial. A chairman must not be a member of the Cabinet.

Ceremonial duties include:

  • being the politically impartial civic leader of Oxfordshire
  • promoting the objectives and services of the county council and Oxfordshire itself
  • acting as an ambassador for the county council and Oxfordshire
  • fostering community identity and pride.

Key responsibilities include:

  • presiding over meetings of the full council
  • accepting invitations on behalf of the county council to attend events
  • inviting individuals and representatives of key organisations to events at County Hall and other venues.

Chairman, Councillor Gill Sanders

Councillor Gill Sanders was elected as Chairman of Oxfordshire County Council in May 2018. She will serve a one-year term of office as the ceremonial, non-political head of the council.

She represents the Rose Hill and Littlemore division. 

Gill has lived in Oxford for 40 years and has been an Oxford City Councillor for 25 years. Retired as an HR and Administration Manager from a city comprehensive school after 25 years working in Oxfordshire schools. Her special interests are working to ensure adequate and appropriate provision for young and older people.

Gill has been Labour’s shadow spokesperson for Children, Education & families.  She was Vice-Chair of the Education Committee and amongst her other committees have been:

  • Corporate Parenting Panel
  • Foster Parenting Panel
  • Joint Meeting of Oxfordshire County Council with the Teaching Unions.

Vice Chairman, Councillor Les Sibley

Councillor Les Sibley was elected to the role of Vice Chairman.

He represents the Bicester West Division.

Les lives and works in Bicester.  He is currently an elected member of Bicester Town and Cherwell District Councils since 1995 for the West Ward.

He was formerly Town Mayor of Bicester in 1997-98 and 2017-18 and was Vice-Chairman of Cherwell District Council from 1998-99. He was elected to Oxfordshire County Council in 2001, 2013 and 2017.


If you would like to invite the Chairman to an event please:

  • write to Cllr Gill Sanders, Chairman, Oxfordshire County Council, County Hall, New Road,  Oxford  OX1 1ND
  • send an email to
  • telephone the Chairman's assistant on 07917 092949