Article: Oct 12, 2021
There is no reference to road repairs in Essex County Council's new strategic plan. The Lib Dem Group on Essex CC drew attention to this omission at the Full Council meeting today, 12th October.
The new Council Leader tabled a plan with 20 strategic objectives and a list of 74 performance measures. Lib Dem Cllr. Stephen Robinson (Chelmsford North) pointed out that not one of them refers to road repairs, despite 72% of the population saying it was their key concern for the Council in a survey earlier this year.
Article: Oct 8, 2021
By Samantha Dordoy in Chelmsford City Life
Accommodation to stop ex-offenders from living on the streets when they are released from prison has been secured for Chelmsford. The Lib Dem-led City Council and two other agencies working in Chelmsford have secured £100,000 for this work.
Prisoners who are released without homes to go to after serving their time can end up sleeping in public places, spiralling quickly into difficulties and - in some cases - falling back into offending.
Article: Sep 28, 2021
Climate change will have a huge impact on all our lives in the years ahead. If we are to stand any chance of limiting the impact, local Councils must have all powers necessary to act.
That's the call made by Liberal Democrat Council Leaders, including Chelmsford's Stephen Robinson, in a letter to the Prime Minister. The Lib Dems have called on the PM to allow local government to be mentioned in any declaration agreed at the international climate summit - COP 26 - in November.
Article: Aug 28, 2021
Many councils have told the Government that they are happy to welcome Afghans to the UK, but the Government must fully-fund the costs of relocating. Chelmsford Council Leader Stephen Robinson has written a letter, signed by other Lib Dem Council Leaders, to the Minister for Local Government
The letter reminds the Minister of the housing crisis in most parts of the country, and how benefit levels don't meet actual rent costs. So the Government must cover these additional costs plus the costs to councils of helping to support these new residents.
Article: Aug 26, 2021
Chelmsford is celebrating positive youth culture and taking a stand against knife crime. The national monument to knife violence comes to Chelmsford's Central Park on 6th September 2021 and a youth award scheme has been launched.
Commented Chelmsford Lib Dem Leader Stephen Robinson, "As part of our aim to deliver a safer Chelmsford, my Lib Dem colleagues have worked hard to secure support to bring the Knife Angel sculpture to Chelmsford.
Article: Aug 24, 2021
Chelmsford has welcomed five families who have escaped the chaos in Afghanistan. They are sponsored by the UK Government, as part of the project to relocate people who have worked to help keep British troops safe.
Said Lib Dem Leader of Chelmsford City Council, Stephen Robinson, "I am happy to welcome these new families and I've been overwhelmed by the kind offers of support from residents of Chelmsford. The staff at their temporary location have been fantastic in providing all food and other essentials. The Red Cross emergency response team have been on site supporting them.
Article: Jul 25, 2021
A plan has been announced that will deliver additional units of genuinely-affordable homes in Chelmsford, by the Lib Dem-led City Council. A draft Housing Strategy is now out for consultation, as part of the Liberal Democrat ambition to deliver a fairer Chelmsford.
The draft Housing Strategy 2021-2026 seeks to address the gaps, where the "Chelmsford Local Plan 2020-2036" will not deliver enough, genuinely-affordable homes, to address the housing crisis in Chelmsford. This Housing Strategy is about what the City Council will deliver working with partners. In particular,
Article: Jul 22, 2021
A call for real action in Essex (especially in schools) to combat violence against women and girls has been rejected. Essex Lib Dems tabled a motion at the County Council meeting on 13 July. The Conservatives pushed through an amendment that patted themselves on the back for (limited) actions to date, added vague generalities and removed all the action points that would affect education.
Article: Jul 1, 2021
Action on various highway items in north Chelmsford have been announced, following a recent meeting of the Essex Highways Panel for Chelmsford. Cllr. Stephen Robinson has been pressing for action for some time.
Thames Ave, Clyde Cres and Cherwell Drive - grasscrete" to create new parking bays; Essex Highways hope to carry out the work in the October-December period.
Article: Apr 29, 2021
Roads and pavement repairs need a radical overhaul. Too many people risk injury and discomfort because of the way Conservative-run Essex County Council manages our highways.
Lib Dems have long campaigned for action to repair roads and pavements. They voted to amend the budget to invest more in pavement repairs. However, the Conservatives instead voted to CUT the maintenance budget by £2.5 million for 2021-22.
Article: Apr 21, 2021
At Chelmsford City Council, the Lib Dem leadership have been keen to help local business recover from the pandemic. So they have worked with the "Click It Local" team to create a local alternative to those global shopping websites.
Said Council Leader Stephen Robinson, "Hopefully this can help independent businesses who have not set up their own online selling page; it's one of a number of initiatives from the City Council to help Chelmsford businesses."
Article: Mar 24, 2021
One year on from the first lockdown, Chelmsford Council Leader Stephen Robinson was asked by the Essex Chronicle to look back over the last 12 months.
Cllr Robinson thanked the fantastic volunteers who stepped up to support the vulnerable. Chelmsford City Council worked with Chelmsford CVS, who matched people in need with those offering help.
Article: Mar 19, 2021
Chelmsford's Lib Dem Leader Cllr. Stephen Robinson was asked to contribute to a film about the successes and importance of Lib Dem-led councils around the country. He highlighted action on climate change, including planting 17,000 a trees a year across Chelmsford.
The Lib Dems have run the London Borough of Sutton since 1986 and their Leader, Ruth Dombey, introduced the film:-
Article: Mar 7, 2021
Chelmsford residents are being urged to back plans for strong, local voices for all neighbourhoods across the Chelmsford district. Chelmsford City Council is running a consultation (called a Community Governance Review) until 18th March 2021 and everyone is urged to give their views - at www.chelmsford.gov.uk/cgr
Article: Mar 3, 2021
Five years ago, hundreds of Chelmsford residents marched (and many more signed a petition) - all concerned about a Public Space Protection Order with plans for £100 fines (from then-Conservative Chelmsford City Council).
Since the Liberal Democrats took on the leadership of the City Council, things have changed. The Council voted last week for funds to provide new support for rough sleepers and the other 250 or so homeless families in Chelmsford.
Article: Feb 18, 2021
Chelmsford City Council projected a shortfall of £7.55 million for 2021-22, having also lost £16.5m from normal income in 2020-21. The Government promised last April 'full support', but instead left the Council £5m short. All other councils are in a similar position.
So Chelmsford Council must cut costs and find income to legally balance the books. One of these tough choices to bring in new income is parking charges at Hylands Park. Which is a better choice than cutting key services (such as closing down the museum or the theatre, or not running holiday events for children) or charging for collecting brown bins or collecting extra bins or clinical waste (as some other councils have). All of these would have had a negative impact on residents.
Article: Feb 17, 2021
The Government is being asked to fully fix the scandal of possibly dangerous cladding on certain taller buildings. The leader of Chelmsford City Council, Liberal Democrat Stephen Robinson, has told the Minister that many flat-owners in Chelmsford are unable to move home because mortgage companies will not lend.
Article: Feb 11, 2021
The Government is being lobbied to make permanent the £20 increase in Universal Credit, introduced in March 2020.
Chelmsford Council Leader Stephen Robinson has joined over 30 other Liberal Democrat Council Leaders in writing to the Government.
The letter follows a vote in Parliament held on Monday 18th January 2021, in which the government abstained. All Liberal Democrat MPs attended and voted in favour. The motion to increase Universal Credit was carried by 278 votes to nil.
Article: Feb 1, 2021
Plans to transform the way people travel around Chelmsford have moved a step closer. A shortlist of improvement options for the Army and Navy junction has been agreed ahead of public consultation in the summer.
Essex County Council has been thoroughly evaluating four options for the junction - a 'hamburger' roundabout, enlarged roundabout, two-way flyover and separate T-junctions. Assessment has looked at the effects on congestion, journey times and use of sustainable modes of transport, as well as environmental and construction impacts.
Article: Jan 21, 2021
Chelmsford City Council's budget for 2021/22 will protect essential services, while dealing with a forecast £7.5 million shortfall. The budget will deliver a greener, fairer and better connected Chelmsford. It will support post-Covid recovery and address the financial costs of the pandemic.
Cash for day-to-day spending is severely restricted. However, the Council is able to borrow to invest for our future.
Article: Jan 12, 2021
A new, fast-testing centre has opened in Chelmsford for those who DO NOT have symptoms of Covid-19. The centre is at Central Baptist Church, Victoria Road South, Chelmsford, CM1 1LN - but you can only attend if you book.
Details on how to access the site and nearby parking is available on booking. This is the seventh such centre in Essex and offer the new and fast Lateral Flow Tests to the wider population. The tests are ONLY for people for who DO NOT have symptoms and give results in around 30 minutes.
Article: Jan 3, 2021
Tracing systems led by our local councils have proved to be a huge success. 86 per cent of cases are closed and 93 per cent of contacts traced. This contrasts with the Government-run, centralised tracing system with a contact trace rate of nearer 60 per cent.
Essex County Council launched a Covid-19 contact tracing service in June and works closely with partners in Chelmsford City and other borough / district councils in Essex.
Article: Dec 3, 2020
The Leader of Chelmsford City Council has signed The Charter Against Modern Day Slavery (CAMDS), after a motion was passed unanimously at a full council meeting. It is estimated that around 13,000 people a year living in the UK are victims of modern-day slavery.
2 December is the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. The focus of this day is on eradicating contemporary forms of slavery, such as trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, the worst forms of child labour, forced marriage, and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.
The Charter Against Modern Day Slavery commits all local authorities to continue ensuring its contractors and suppliers comply with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, including a commitment to buying all goods and services ethically. It also tackles any slavery, servitude, forced, or compulsory labour, human trafficking or exploitation in local communities.
The charter was signed by the Leader of Chelmsford City Council Leader, Councillor Stephen Robinson, who said, "I am proud to have signed this charter, which reinforces our united commitment to ending the horrific scourge of modern-day slavery. The City Council will uphold these principles internally and expects these standards for ethics and transparency to be followed by companies who sell supplies to the Council. The Council is sending out a powerful message that the perpetrators of these appalling crimes have nowhere to hide."
The 10 pledges that each council is committing to by signing the charter are as follows. Chelmsford City Council will:
1. Train its corporate procurement team to understand modern slavery through the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply's (CIPS) online course on Ethical Procurement and Supply.
2. Require its contractors to comply fully with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, wherever it applies, with contract termination as a potential sanction for non-compliance.
3. Challenge any abnormally low-cost tenders to ensure they do not rely upon the potential contractor practising modern slavery.
4. Highlight to its suppliers that contracted workers are free to join a trade union and are not to be treated unfairly for belonging to one.
5. Publicise its whistle-blowing system for staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery.
6. Require its tendered contractors to adopt a whistle-blowing policy which enables their staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery.
7. Review its contractual spending regularly to identify any potential issues with modern slavery.
8. Highlight for its suppliers any risks identified concerning modern slavery and refer them to the relevant agencies to be addressed.
9. Refer for investigation via the National Crime Agency's national referral mechanism any of its contractors identified as a cause for concern regarding modern slavery.
10. Report publicly on the implementation of this policy annually.
The Charter Against Modern Day Slavery has now been signed by more than 80 councils across the country. Find out more at https://party.coop/local/councillors/modern-slavery-charter/
Article: Dec 1, 2020
All those confirmed as currently sleeping rough in Chelmsford have been offered accommodation during the second lockdown period. Lib Dem-led Chelmsford City Council is working with other agencies in Essex to ensure that no-one has to sleep rough.
The City Council is ensuring that advice and support - not just accommodation - are provided to those who need it at any stage in this process. Staff are helping all confirmed rough sleepers to make a homelessness application to the Council. To ensure that priority is given to this group, districts identified all those known to be sleeping rough in their area on Friday 6 November. In Chelmsford, that was 16 people.
Article: Nov 14, 2020
Support grants for businesses legally required to close (as a result of the national lockdown) can now be accessed on the Chelmsford City Council website: www.chelmsford.gov.uk/businessgrants
The available grants are payable to cover 28-day periods of lockdown and vary according to a business's rateable value. As the latest national lockdown is going to last for at least 28 days, the City Council is making payments in advance to cover the period up to 2 December 2020.
Article: Oct 30, 2020
A climate summit will be run by young people in Essex next year. The summit will be held in Chelmsford and is backed by Chelmsford City Council. It's the next stage of 'A Manifesto For Essex', set up to give children and young people a platform to share ideas on protecting the environment and preventing the worst impacts of global heating.
Article: Oct 24, 2020
Chelmsford City Council will use emergency funds over this week's half term holiday, to address holiday hunger among vulnerable children. The Council is stepping in because of the Government's failure to act.
Many amazing businesses and voluntary groups in Chelmsford have already stepped up and promised to help. Liberal Democrat-led Chelmsford City Council will work with them to ensure our community supports vulnerable children.
Article: Oct 23, 2020
Chelmsford City Council has agreed a set of additional measures that will improve the sustainability of a new community. The masterplan for west Chelmsford, known locally as Warren Farm, will be amended to include an additional bridge for cycling and walking; a contribution to improving the local cycle network, and improvements to bus stops/signs.
Article: Oct 22, 2020
Many homeowners on new development sites in Chelmsford have been paying high management fees for maintenance of open spaces. They are used by the public but not owned by the public. Now the Lib Dem-led Council is set to overturn the policy.
Said Lib Dem Council Leader Stephen Robinson, "Many residents have said they resent paying high management fees to look after playgrounds and open spaces, because they think that's what their council tax is for. Unfortunately, the previous council didn't want to take responsibility for these and allowed developers to bring in management companies instead.
Article: Oct 19, 2020
"A month of ideas on growing a sustainable Chelmsford" is how October is being labelled by Chelmsford City Council.
The council has brought together organisations from across Chelmsford to create 'Future City: a month of ideas on growing a sustainable Chelmsford'. The mainly digital festival runs throughout October and tackles the themes of climate change, biodiversity and sustainability. The programme is intended to capture the moment as we think about life post-COVID-19, and it's hoped events and activities will encourage people in the city to make connections and provide fresh thinking about the future.