A county councillor has been shortlisted for a national award for her efforts to push new environmental initiatives - for the second year running.

Sandra Squire, who leads the Independent group at Norfolk County Council and is deputy leader of the Independents at West Norfolk Council, is in the running to win the title of Environment and Sustainability Pioneer at the 2020 Cllr Awards.

Mrs Squire, who represents Marshland North at County Hall and Terrington at the borough council, has been nominated for her efforts to get the councils to embrace new environmental initiatives.

In November last year, Mrs Squire turned up at a West Norfolk council meeting with 54 tree saplings to hand out to each councillor, as she proposed a motion for more tree-planting in the borough.

She has also played a key role in Norfolk County Council’s pledge to plant one million trees over the next five years.

Mrs Squire said she was “honoured” to be nominated, but said credit was also due to her colleagues, both officers and councillors.

She said: “I just planted the idea and pushed it forward, the resulting One Million Trees Project grew and is a team effort we’re all quite proud of.”

In 2018, she took part in the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race as a member of Team Great Britain.The amount of plastic she saw during that voyage inspired her to campaign to stop the use of single use plastics at County Hall and to end mass balloon and lantern releases in Norfolk.

The winners will be decided by a panel of judges composed of senior councillors and officers, as well as leading stakeholders from across the sector.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s ceremony will take place virtually on Thursday, November 26, with special speakers and guests.

The awards are organised by the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) and specialist fund manager CCLA.

Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive of LGIU, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has presented this country with a set of challenges that few could have predicted.

“However, councillors up and down the country have risen to these challenges and stepped up to plate for their communities.

“From delivering food parcels to vulnerable residents and sourcing PPE for frontline workers to finding temporary accommodation for the homeless, local government has kept the country safe and moving.

“It is for this reason that we are particularly proud to unveil the shortlist for this year’s Cllr Awards.

“Their achievements showcase the best of local government at a time when the country faces one of the greatest hardships of our lifetime.”