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Climate emergency and Local Plan prioritised in Cabinet changes

Council Chamber set out for a committee meeting
Chelmsford City Council's Council Chamber

Chelmsford City Council’s Cabinet has been reshuffled to reinforce the authority’s efforts to tackle climate change and the biodiversity crisis, and to recognise the importance of the Local Plan in guiding Chelmsford’s future growth. The changes approved at May’s Annual Council aim to further embed principles laid out in the council’s existing Climate and Ecological Emergency Action Plan across all council services, including reducing carbon emissions and waste, improving biodiversity and air quality and encouraging sustainable travel.

Reinforcing existing green commitments across all council services

Councillor Rose Moore, as Cabinet Member for a Greener Chelmsford, retains the climate, green spaces and biodiversity aspects of her previous Cabinet role, but takes on planning and development too. The city council is currently reviewing its Local Plan, which shapes the district’s development to 2041. A key aim of this new brief is to ensure that future growth planned to cope with projected population increases in the coming decades continues to take place in a sustainable way. Councillor Stephen Robinson, Leader of Chelmsford City Council, says this restructure reflects the urgency of putting sustainability at the heart of local services.

“The Climate and Ecological Emergency is the biggest challenge the world faces to our current way of life. Over the last five years, we have made this a priority for the council and these changes re-affirm our commitment to tackling this challenge, with Cllr Moore given a roving brief to ensure that the priorities laid out in our action plan are woven throughout the council.

“Over the next 12 months, an important part of the council’s activity will be seeing the district’s revised Local Plan through to adoption, and this includes new sections on climate action, sustainability, infrastructure and affordable housing. It’s essential that all aspects of our current work and future development are viewed with these commitments in mind.”

Cllr Stephen Robinson, Leader, Chelmsford City Council

Some changes to Leader and Deputy Leader responsibilities

Councillor Stephen Robinson and Councillor Marie Goldman remain as Leader and Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for a Connected Chelmsford respectively, with some changes to their portfolios. Cllr Marie Goldman, as the Cabinet Member for a Connected Chelmsford, continues to oversee culture and museums, digital services, engagement and communications and legal and democratic services.

Cllr Robinson hands finance, accountancy and audit over to Councillor Chris Davidson, who rejoins Cabinet as Member for Finance. Cllr Davidson takes on the management of the council’s finances and will present the annual budget and financial strategies to Cabinet and Full Council. Cllr Davidson will also take revenues and benefits from a Connected Chelmsford as part of this role.

Two Cabinet Deputies will report to Cllr Robinson. Councillor Simon Goldman continues his brief as the Cabinet Deputy for Economic Development and Special Projects, and Councillor Terry Sherlock, the council’s Climate and Ecology Ambassador, also becomes the new Cabinet Deputy for Sustainable Transport in the district. The council’s parking services will be part of this new portfolio, along with a brief to look for ways to influence and encourage a joined-up approach to travel in Chelmsford and promote greener journeys.

Safer, Fairer and Active Chelmsford

A new post for a Cabinet Member for a Safer Chelmsford has also been created as part of these changes. Councillor Donna Eley, the former Cabinet Deputy for Community Safety, now becomes a full member of the council’s Cabinet. In addition to community safety, this new position will oversee most of the council’s public health and protection services, street care, and refuse and recycling.

Councillor Lynne Foster continues as Cabinet Member for a Fairer Chelmsford, with the housing crisis a key priority for this area. As well as strategic housing and council land and property, building services are also added to this brief.

The Cabinet Member for an Active Chelmsford continues to be Councillor Natacha Dudley, who retains the council’s leisure and heritage services and whose role includes an expanded remit for voluntary and community sector support, and health and wellbeing.

A new ambassador role created

Councillor Ann Davidson takes on the new role of Health and Wellbeing Ambassador, representing Chelmsford City Council on local NHS groups. Councillor Jude Deakin remains the Armed Forces Champion for the district and one of three Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Champions, alongside Councillor Charlene Adutwim and Cllr Ann Davidson.

Opposition spokespersons appointed

The council’s Conservative Group has also appointed spokespeople to reflect these changes to the Cabinet. The Leader’s responsibilities and Finance for this group continue to be undertaken by Councillor Roy Whitehead, with Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for a Connected Chelmsford shadowed by Councillor Andrew Thorpe-Apps. Councillor Jacob Armstrong becomes the Conservative Group spokesperson for a Greener Chelmsford, with Councillor Philip Wilson covering Cabinet Member for a Safer Chelmsford. Councillor Mike Steel remains spokesperson for a Fairer Chelmsford and Councillor Julia Jeapes continues to cover an Active Chelmsford. Cabinet Deputy for Economic Development and Special Projects is shadowed by Councillor James Raven and Councillor Sue Dobson is the group’s representative for Sustainable Transport.

Find out more about the council’s key priorities

You can find out more about Chelmsford City Council’s Cabinet on our website, including dates for forthcoming Cabinet meetings.

The council’s strategy for creating a fairer, greener and more connected district can be found in Our Chelmsford, Our Plan.

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Corporate Communications

Corporate Communications is our central account for writing about Chelmsford