Plans to tackle the climate emergency and Covid-19 recovery have been strengthened today, Tuesday 1 September with two new roles announced in the borough council’s cabinet.
Council leader Steve Jordan has assigned two new posts, economy and development, and, climate and communities to two new cabinet members: Cllr Victoria Atherstone and Cllr Max Wilkinson.
Cllr Max Wilkinson’s climate and communities portfolio will help make sure local communities are at the forefront of the essential work on tackling climate change. Meanwhile, Cllr Victoria Atherstone’s economy and development portfolio will help drive forward plans for a strong economy and protect and promote Cheltenham as a great place to live and work.
This is in addition to Cllr Andrew McKinlay’s cabinet role in ensuring the town gets maximum benefit from the council’s major investment in West Cheltenham with the Golden Valley project that includes Cyber Central.
Plans to create extra capacity in the cabinet for the essential work on climate change and developing the economy were announced earlier this year but were delayed by the pandemic.
Cllr Steve Jordan, council leader commented: “Victoria and Max have vital roles to play and their varied skills are a great addition to an already strong team. While Covid-19 has made everything more complicated, it has only emphasised the importance of the work on tackling climate change and supporting the local economy.
"I am proud of everything the council has done to support the local community over the last few months and we are now even better placed to provide the leadership needed whatever comes next.”
Cllr Max Wilkinson, climate and communities member said: “I’m delighted to be given a role helping our town tackle the climate emergency.
"This is an issue that we can only overcome if we work together as a community, so I intend to ensure local people can get involved. It’s easy to be daunted by the scale of the challenge, but I know the Cheltenham community has the passion and spirit to make this a success.”
Cllr Victoria Atherstone, economy and development member added: “I have a huge passion for Cheltenham and the welfare of its people and am honoured to join council’s cabinet as member for the economy and development. We are living in unprecedented times, with the combination of the COVID crisis and our exit from the European Union which may give rise to a number of social and economic challenges.
"It is vital we continue to create and protect opportunities for Cheltenham’s people and its visitors and am committed to achieving Cheltenham’s vision for its future; economically, socially, culturally, and environmentally.”
The new roles to the cabinet follow a recent election process among the majority Liberal Democrat group on the council. Other members of the cabinet retain their existing roles.