Chairman of the council | Oxfordshire County Council

Chairman of the council

The responsibilities of the chairman of the council.

Chairman's role

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.

Current chairman and vice-chairman

Councillor Zoe Patrick was elected Chairman of Oxfordshire County Council in May 2017. She will serve a one year term of office as the ceremonial, non-political head of the council.

She said: “Having served as Vice Chairman to Cllr Michael Waine during 2016/17 and as a county councillor for many years, I am aware of what this important job involves.

“I hope to visit many Oxfordshire localities to see those areas through the eyes of local county councillors.

“An ongoing part of my year will be to fully understand the work of outstanding county staff and assure them of our appreciation.

“It is an honour and privilege to be elected to this role and to follow in the footsteps of a host of highly respected county councillors to undertake this job since the council was formed in the 1970s.”

Chairman, Councillor Zoe Patrick

Chairman Zoe Patrick

Cllr Zoe Patrick represents the Grove and Wantage division of the County Council.

She has lived in Grove for more than year 30 years.  She is married to Glenn, a particle physicist, with two grown-up children and 2 grandchildren.

Councillor Patrick has been a councillor for 20 years, serving on both the Vale of White Horse District Council and Oxfordshire County Council.  She is a school governor at Charlton Primary School in Wantage.  Her interests include the theatre, walking, reading and wildlife.  She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. 

Vice Chairman, Councillor Gill Sanders

Vice Chairman Gill Sanders

Councillor Gill Sanders has been elected to the role of Vice Chairman. Councillor Sanders represents the Rose Hill and Littlemore division.

Gill has lived in Oxford for more than 35 years and has been an Oxford City Councillor for over 20 years. She has previously been the Lord Mayor of Oxford.  Retired as an HR and Administration Manager from a city comprehensive school after 25 years working in Oxfordshire schools.   Her special interests are working to ensure adequate and appropriate provision for young and older people.


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

  • write to Cllr Zoe Patrick, Chairman, Oxfordshire County Council, County Hall, New Road,  Oxford  OX1 1ND
  • send an email to
  • telephone the Chairman's Assistant on 07917 092949
Last reviewed
28 March 2018
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