Cllr Liz Leffman has been elected the new Chair of England’s Economic Heartland sub-national transport body.
The Oxfordshire County Council leader, who was appointed by EEH’s Strategic Transport Leadership Board on 29 September, had served as interim-chair following the local elections in May.
Cllr Leffman, a Liberal Democrat, has represented the rural Charlbury and the Wychwoods division in west Oxfordshire since 2017, becoming leader of Oxfordshire County Council in 2021.
She has made net zero and encouraging uptake of sustainable transport a key objective for her authority.
Cllr Leffman has run a business in Eastern Europe, managing clothing production for UK retailers, for more than 30 years. More recently, she has been a trustee of her local Citizens’ Advice, a director of a local community owned solar farm, and director of a charity that is building supported living accommodation for people with early onset dementia.
Cllr Leffman said: “Our region sits at the heart of world leading science and technology innovation and is of vital importance to the national economy. However, realising our potential will require improvements to our transport system which cut emissions and unlock opportunities for our residents and businesses to flourish.
“From improving bus services and rural mobility through to successfully making the case for the Ely rail junction upgrade, EEH is at the forefront of making this happen. Our Board’s strong collaborative spirit cuts across party politics and council boundaries, enabling us to speak with a powerful voice to government about our region’s requirements.
“I’m delighted to have been elected chair as we look to continue to secure investment in our region’s infrastructure priorities, maximise opportunities from East West Rail and mass rapid transit, and support our local authorities plan and deliver improved connectivity for their places.”