THREE councillors from Brighton and Hove have been nominated for a top award.

Phelim Mac Cafferty, Amy Heley and Bridget Fishleigh have all been nominated in this year's councillors awards.

They have been shortlisted for the prize which “celebrates the vital work of individual councillors across England and Wales who make a difference in our communities”.

Cllr Mac Cafferty was nominated for leader of the year after the Green Party took over the running of the city from Labour in July last year.

While Cllr Heley, the chair of the environment, transport and sustainability committee, is in the running for the title of young councillor of the year.

And Cllr Fishleigh, the city’s only elected independent councillor, has been nominated for the community champion award.

The Rottingdean Coastal representative said: “It’s lovely to be nominated and it proves that you don’t need a political establishment behind you to be an effective councillor.”

Cllr Fishleigh added that she hopes others like her, “who will put the city’s needs above party dogma”, will consider running in the upcoming council election in 2023.

She is facing nine other councillors for the title of community champion, from as far afield as Caerphilly, Braford and Dudley.

Jon Ray, chair of the Saltdean Residents’ Association, said it was wonderful to see Cllr Fishleigh’s hard work recognised in this way.

He said: “In the two and a half years since she was elected, Bridget has instigated a whole raft of improvements to the infrastructure and facilities in our area.

“She also ran a food bank from her own home throughout the pandemic - no fuss or drama. She just got on with meeting the needs in our community.”

Cllr Heley is nominated against seven other councillors for the young councillor of the year award, representing wards across the country from Havant to Haringey.

On Twitter, Cllr Heley described the nomination as “exciting news”.

The Green councillor attracted controversy earlier this year, with the Labour group accusing her and other members of the Green administration of being “rude and dismissive to opposition councillors and members of the public” in a debate concerning the future of the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane.

In a letter to the Green group, Gary Wilkinson, Labour’s environment, transport and sustainability spokesman, said: “In all my years of working in and following local government, I’ve never known a committee chair to conduct themselves or a meeting in a manner you did that day.”

A petition on calling for her resignation has attracted over 800 signatures.

For the title of leader of the year, Cllr Mac Cafferty is in competition with five other council leaders from London, Berkshire, Shropshire and Norfolk.

Cllr Mac Cafferty was approached for comment.

Over 400 nominations were received across seven categories for this year’s awards, with the winners to be announced at a special awards ceremony in London on December 1.

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