Follow the Leader and Cabinet



David Finch 

Leader of Essex County Council


Reassurance in a time of crisis

I had to pop into Chelmsford late yesterday afternoon on an errand.

In the pedestrianised High Street just by Lloyd’s Bank, two police response cars were parked and just by them, two uniformed police officers were chatting.

There was nothing remotely unusual about this, save the fact that these were armed officers and their sub-machine guns were visible to anyone going about their business.

Just as I was, you will have been appalled by the appalling, shocking bomb attack in Manchester which has led to this highly visible armed police presence in busy shopping streets. You will also know, as everybody passing by in Chelmsford yesterday did, why that armed police presence is necessary – we are at the highest state of alert for a terrorist attack.

And they will have been reassured, not worried, seeing that extra armed police presence.

Manchester proved that the terrorists will strike at the softest of targets. There is no specific threat here in Essex, but our Police are prepared should one emerge.

Over the holiday weekend, we will see more armed police in public spaces, such as railway stations, or at sporting events, or where crowds of people might gather in general.

Their presence there doesn’t mean anything is going to happen. But it will help protect us in the event that it does. I for one – and I am sure you will agree with me – am grateful they are there.

Amid the world’s political leaders quite rightly and properly condemning last night’s atrocious bombing in Manchester, the comments of one Mancunian stood out.

Not the words of the Leader of the Council, the Chief Constable or the Mayor of the City.

But the thoughts of a taxi driver.

New Cabinet will “deliver lean, efficient and effective public services”

This week I had the pleasure of unveiling my new Cabinet at the first Full Council meeting since the May 4th poll, when 75 councillors, including 29 new members, were elected to represent the people of Essex.

Guest Blog - Cllr Kevin Bentley, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, Infrastructure and Partnerships

This week senior civil servants from the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission visited South Essex to hear how Essex County Council and its partners are striving to unlock the region’s economic potential.

Guest Blog – Cllr John Spence, Cabinet Member for Finance

Focus, Fairness, Value and Creativity – these are the four guiding principles that underpin Essex County Council’s £1.8 billion budget.

Guest Blog – Cllr Simon Walsh, Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste

The final days of this year’s Essex Energy Switch are upon us, but the good news is - there is still time left to register.

Social Care Precept a short term fix

Since the Government’s autumn statement announcement much has been said about social care, and how the country will pay for it over the coming years.

Social Care Funding is at crisis point

With the Chancellor due to give his first Autumn Statement later this month, social care funding must be his top priority.

Autumn Statement can be a statement of intent

This November the new Chancellor, Philip Hammond, will deliver his first Autumn Statement to the house.

Four-year settlement sets out financial challenge ahead

Today Cabinet approved the decision to accept the Government’s offer of a four year settlement on the funding they provide to us.
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