A Wolverhampton councillor has been shortlisted for this year's Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) Councillor Awards, recognising the outstanding contribution of councillors across England and Wales.

Councillor Chris Burden, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, has been shortlisted in the Young Councillor of the Year category.

He is the youngest person to hold a cabinet position in Wolverhampton, the first openly LGBTQ+ cabinet member in the city and has made outstanding contributions to the city’s children and young people and education sector.

Councillor Burden said: “I'm overwhelmed to be nominated. The LGIU have shown me some of the testimonies sent in by the public, and I'm humbled to have represented some of these young people, to the point where they feel as if things have really changed for the better in their lives.

"Most of them focussed on the work we've done for care leavers and children in care in the city. When I was elected, I promised to work with them to make Wolverhampton the very best place to be. After working closely with them, we've made real changes, but they did all the hard work, and deserve all the thanks.”

Councillor Stephen Simkins, Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “The LGIU Councillor Awards are the only national ceremony to celebrate and showcase the work of individual councillors.

"Being shortlisted is an exceptional achievement for Councillor Burden – he is passionate about education, LGBT issues and engaging young people in the political system and I’m pleased that his hard work in working towards providing a better future for our children and young people has been recognised in this way."

The judging panel is made up of senior councillors and leading stakeholders from across the sector and are made possible thanks to the support of founding partners CCLA. Competition was extremely tight with more than 300 nominations received across 5 categories that celebrate the wide ranging work of councillors. 

The winners will be announced at the Guildhall in London on 16 November, 2023. For more information, please visit LGiU

Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive of the LGIU, said: "In the face of unprecedented domestic and global challenges over the last year, councillors nationwide have once again exhibited unwavering dedication to serving their constituents.

"The shortlist for the 2023 Councillor Awards represents some of the most devoted elected representatives in England and Wales. As councils continue to deliver essential services like social care and housing amid a cost of living crisis, these awards are a hugely important way to champion what councillors do locally. Their work, all too often, goes unrecognised and we take great pride in featuring their stories in this year's shortlist.

"Congratulations to all the councillors nominated and shortlisted and I look forward to announcing the winners in November.”