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Gloucestershire Business News

Council cabinet opens doors to new role

Two new cabinet posts have been created by Cheltenham Borough Council to help tackle the climate emergency and response to the economic impact of the coronavirus.

Councillor Max Wilkinson's climate and communities portfolio will help make sure local communities are at the forefront of the essential work on tacking climate change.

And Councillor Victoria Atherstone's economy and development portfolio will help drive forward plans for a strong economy and protect and promote the town as a place to live and work.

This is in addition to Councillor 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 delayed by the pandemic.

Council leader Councillor Steve Jordan said: "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."

The roles to the follow an election process among the majority Liberal Democrat group on the council. with other members of the cabinet retaining their existing roles.

CouncillorWilkinson 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."

Councillor Atherstone said: "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."

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