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 Les Sibley

Councillor Sibley represents the Bicester West Division.

He lives and works in Bicester and 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.

Vice Chairman, Councillor John Howson

  • Chairman of the Attainment Working Group
  • Deputy Chairman of Oxfordshire County Council
  • Deputy Chairman of Education Scrutiny Committee

After university entered teaching in Tottenham.  Lived in Oxfordshire since 1979, worked at Brookes University for 12 years.  Following spells as a Civil Servant, established own company in 1997.  Written over 500 columns about education.  Also been a governor of four schools and a magistrate in Oxfordshire for 23 years.


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

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