Getting to know Chelmsford Garden Councillor Daniel Jeffreys

CommunityAd get to know Chelmsford Garden Community Council member Daniel Jeffreys.

 

CommunityAd Exclusive - Getting to know Chelmsford Garden Councillor Daniel JeffreysI became interested in local politics around 18 months ago, but I had never before considered becoming a local councillor. After a little research and a few conversations with local council representatives I agreed to stand to represent the South-East Ward of the newly formed Chelmsford Garden Community Council (CGCC). On 4th May 2023 I was duly elected.

I had little idea as to what to expect having never been involved in anything like this before. However, from the very start I witnessed a new team bonding over a shared commitment to improving our local area and embracing their new responsibilities with gusto. Since then (over the past year) I genuinely believe that the Council has started to make a positive difference to the local community and has laid strong foundations for many more successes to come.

We are a largely inexperienced group when it comes to council duties, but we have been brought together because we share a passion for helping and supporting our local community. We are all learning on the job and that has helped the team develop a strong camaraderie. Luckily we are supported by a wealth of knowledge and experience in the form of our Executive Officer, who is there to gently guide us in the right direction when required!

As a brand new council, one of our main objectives has been to get the message out that we are here and eager to help in any way we can. We have been and continue to be working on various ways in which to raise our profile. We hope that you will be hearing much more from us over the coming months as our communication strategy develops and bears fruit. We also have a number of exciting events planned over the next few months so please keep an eye out for those.

The Chelmsford Garden Community geographic area is getting bigger every day with new homes, facilities, green spaces and families joining our community. We have embedded ourselves into the planning and consultation processes with developers, their partners and the relevant local authorities (City Council, Police, etc.) within the Chelmsford Garden Community space, to ensure that the needs of the community are met as and when required.

Additionally, we have constituted industry standard processes and policies for the Council itself, which ensure the Council is complaint with the required rules and regulations. This will enable the Council to best meet the needs of the community for years to come and future Councillors will not have to re-invent the wheel further down the line.

“…we have been brought together because we share a passion for helping and supporting our local community,” Councillor Daniel Jeffreys

As Councillors we have a number of committees and working groups that we can become involved in that focus on different topics. Councillors are not forced to join any committees or working groups, but we are encouraged to join any that are of particular interest to us. I am personally involved in the Stewardship, Communications and Health and Wellbeing Committees, but there are others such as Planning, Finance and Personnel. Separate working groups are arranged if a particular issue or event requires more focussed attention.

We are also given the opportunity to attend and contribute to groups outside of the Council that affect our local area. For example, myself and a couple of other CGCC Councillors recently attended a Task Force meeting set up to review the progress of the Beaulieu Park Train Station along with the main stakeholders in the building of the station and other local politicians. There I was afforded the opportunity to ask questions of the project team and we all received a tour of the site. The station is on schedule to be completed and open to the public by November 2025, so that’s something to look forward to!

We have established a number of different ways in which the local community can engage with us, but my personal favourite is the Councillor ‘Drop-in’ sessions that we run every month. These provide a great opportunity for residents to discuss any issues with a Councillor and to understand any next steps that will/can be taken. Every issue is noted and reported back to the Executive Office for the appropriate action. I have personally attended a few of these sessions and have always found them engaging and enlightening.

If you have an idea for the betterment of the local community then please feel free to bring it to our attention. We are running events, building community assets, etc but we need your ideas and energy! As a young council our meetings are often vibrant, inclusive and jovial affairs and we value your input and contributions. All are welcome and we look forward to meeting many more of our residents in the near future.

To summarise; we are a new, exciting council that is covering a growing geographic area with bags of potential. Now that the council is established it is ideally placed to lead in ensuring our local community is a well-served, safe and fun place to live. Please don’t be a stranger; we are excited for the future and we are open for business…

 

Read more about CGCC here. Keep up to date with the council via their website www.chelmsfordgardencommunitycouncil.gov.uk or follow them on Facebook and Twitter @CGCCouncil.

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