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Liberal Democrats hold Chelmsford City Council for a second term

Elections 2023

The Liberal Democrats won an increased majority at last week’s election and will continue to form the City Council’s administration until May 2027. Cllr Stephen Robinson and Cllr Marie Goldman have been confirmed as the Lib Dem Group Leader and Deputy Leader. They, and the council’s other cabinet members, will be nominated to lead Chelmsford City Council for a second term on 24 May.

full City Council election took place on 4 May, with eligible residents in all 24 wards in the district able to vote for city councillors for their area. The average turnout across the district was 32.33% and the political balance of the council is now as follows:

  • Liberal Democrats: 33
  • The Conservative Party: 21
  • Independent: 2
  • Independent Network: 1

57 councillors elected

There are 57 councillors representing residents within Chelmsford City Council and a single party must win at least 29 seats for an outright majority. In addition to winning enough councillors to form a new administration, the Liberal Democrats also increased their total share of the vote from 39.98% in 2019 to 41.49% in 2023.

There are 20 new councillors elected, with the widest age range the city council has seen, with representatives aged from 22 to 83. Cllr Robinson, the council’s leader, says this new mix is good for the city.

"We’ve spent the last four years creating a greener, fairer, more connected Chelmsford and that’s what we’re going to carry on doing. We’ll carry on protecting our environment through projects such as tree planting, as well as building affordable housing (with the right infrastructure), supporting local businesses and investing in community and cultural facilities.

Four years ago the majority of Lib Dem councillors were new to the council, many of them not involved in politics before. We start our second term with a team that is a mix of councillors with experience, alongside people who have only recently become involved. That’s good for representation and I’m really proud of the fact that we’ve got a balance between old and new, youth and maturity, male and female and other diverse groups."

Cllr Stephen Robinson, Leader, Chelmsford City Council

Local election is a big undertaking

Chelmsford City Council elections are held every four years, alongside some parish tier elections. The election is one of the council’s biggest undertakings, involving more than 500 people.

The introduction of a photo ID requirement meant that a bigger team was needed than usual to ensure appropriate checks could be made. Information collated from polling stations across the district showed that there were 127 people who applied for, but were not issued with a ballot paper because they did not have appropriate ID. Of these, 88 later returned with ID and cast their vote.

Nick Eveleigh, the council’s chief executive and the district’s returning officer, says staff from across the council were involved in this year’s operation.

"A huge amount of preparation is needed for full elections, involving staff from almost every one of our services to make it a success, particularly with the introduction of new voter ID rules. It all starts off with the notice of election, then the distribution of polling cards and the nomination of the candidates, right through to polling day itself.

This year’s count went incredibly smoothly; we used something called kangaroo boards for the first time, which made counting much easier. it was probably the most straightforward election count we’ve ever had, and that comes down to the very detailed preparation that went into it."

Nick Eveleigh, Returning Officer, Chelmsford City Council

Some parish tier elections also held


Three parish tier elections were also held on Thursday 4 May, for Rettendon Parish Council, Chelmsford Garden Community Council (North ward), and South Hanningfield Parish Council (South Hanningfield ward). You can find all of the results on the Chelmsford City Council website.

About Chelmsford City Council

Chelmsford City Council is a district or second-tier council providing services for the Chelmsford area. The City Council provides a wide range of services, from kerbside collections and street cleaning, to running Chelmsford’s parks, the city museum and theatre.

Chelmsford City Council collects all of the council tax paid by residents in the district, but it only keeps 11% of this money. The rest goes to Essex County Council, Essex Police, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and parish tier councils.

Budget Infographics

The portion of council tax kept by Chelmsford City Council makes up around a fifth of its income. The majority of council funds come from fees and charges, with rental income and car parking other important sources of revenue.

You can find out more about the services we provide (like planning, housing and homelessness support) and ones we don’t (like maintaining roads and pavements) on our website.

You can also find out which councillor represents your area.

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Julie Weight
Julie Weight

Julie writes stories and creates videos for Chelmsford City Council. Contact her at julie.weight@chelmsford.gov.uk or on 01245 606984.