Liberal Democrat district councillor Mandy McNeil has been shortlisted for a prestigious civic award for her work supporting businesses and the community in St Albans.
Mandy was nominated for the annual Cllr Awards run by the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) in the Finance and Economic Development category.
The Cllr Awards are the only awards showcasing the important work of councillors across England and Scotland. Anyone can nominate a serving councillor for an award, including members of the public, councillors and council officers.
Mandy received multiple nominations from St Albans residents.
Mandy is portfolio holder for business, tourism and culture on St Albans District Council and has been instrumental in supporting and encouraging businesses in the city through a difficult year.
Among Mandy’s many achievements, she has:
- Together with her then fellow BiD co-chair, established the ‘Shop St Albans’ initiative – a shop local campaign started to combat a fall in retail sales due to Brexit uncertainty and then used to promote businesses during Covid-19
- Co-ordinated £million+ financial help for local businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic
- Set up Community Hubs at pubs, a council-business partnership – keeping businesses afloat, helping keep local food chains going and helping combat isolation by having traders and small businesses supply food and essential supplies to residential areas during lockdown
- Helped establish and co-chair the St Albans Independent Hospitality and Retail Association – currently with 140 St Albans businesses supporting each other through Covid-19 and fast-tracking sharing data from the council business team
- Reshaped the annual St Albans Pilgrimage and the Alban Street Festival, the St Albans Food Festival and the upcoming St Albans Christmas programme to take place online and to tie in ways for residents to support and purchase from businesses
- Conceived ‘Inside Out St Albans’, including pop-up markets to help new businesses and existing businesses and restaurants who could not trade inside, operate outside in order to support them and to help drive footfall to areas seeing less retail trade. And also enabling hospitality businesses to put extra tables and chairs on pavements for alfresco dining
- Championed the Job Forum and encouraged St Albans BiD to become administrators for the Kickstart Scheme, which has led to the creation of 60 new job positions now available locally for young people on universal credit
- Instituted an annual summit for business leaders in St Albans
- Initiated the ‘City Centre Vision’ – a conference bringing together residents, businesses and other stakeholders, which has set in train the creation of a city centre neighbourhood forum and neighbourhood plan.
Mandy was elected a councillor for the first time in May 2019 in Sopwell ward and is a member of the executive cabinet on St Albans District Council.
As well as her council role, Mandy is active in the not-for-profit and charity sector and holds several board director positions, including vice-chair of St Albans Business Improvement District (BiD), chair of St Albans Action for Homeless, and vice-chair of Save St Albans Pubs.