New parish-tier councils for some Chelmsford neighbourhoods have been created, following a comprehensive review and consultation by the City Council. The new arrangements better reflect the development of housing in Beaulieu, Channels and Chelmer Village, and provide an opportunity for local residents to have more input into their neighbourhood.
The two new Chelmsford councils
The two new local councils are:
- Chelmsford Garden Community Council
- Chelmer Village Council
The Chelmsford Garden Community area includes Beaulieu and Channels. It’s an area where major housing development is taking place. At the moment, the Garden Community area is divided between Springfield, Broomfield, Little Waltham and Boreham parishes. This decision will create a single, very local voice for this new and fast-growing community.
Chelmer Village (including Chancellor Park) is currently part of Springfield Parish Council. The City Council’s review identified that the residents in Chelmer Village had separate views and needs to the rest of Springfield. It was recommended they would benefit from a new council to which they can elect councillors from the community to represent them.
What this means for residents in these areas
Residents in these areas will see the new council listed on their council tax bill for 2023/24, so don’t be alarmed if it says something different. The precept residents in these areas pay for the council at parish-tier level will now be given to their new local council. This means residents are more likely to benefit from their council tax being spent on facilities in their immediate community, rather than the neighbouring parishes.
Could you be a councillor?
The new councils need voices from the community to get involved in local democracy. Chelmsford Garden Community Council and Chelmer Village Council both have councillor positions that need filling. If you want to make a positive impact in your neighbourhood, it doesn’t need to take up lots of your time to join the local council. You can either stand as a representative of a political party (with the authorisation of the party) or as an independent candidate.
With local elections coming up on 4 May 2023, the City Council are holding briefing sessions on 1 March for anyone interested in standing as a councillor.
Find out more about local democracy and what services each tier of council is responsible for at https://www.chelmsford.gov.uk/your-council/councillors-committees-and-decision-making/understanding-what-local-councils-do/.
Chelmsford Community Garden Council have a website and a Facebook page for anyone interested in finding out more. Chelmer Village Council’s website will be ready soon. For now residents can visit the City Council’s ‘Standing for Election’ web page to get involved.
Councillor Rose Moore is a non-political parish councillor for Springfield Parish Council. In the video below she explains how she became involved in local government at parish level and what she finds most rewarding about the role.