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Andrew Grant appointed as Returning Officer for the 2021 city council elections ahead of Robert Pollock taking up post of Chief Executive in April

News release from 26 March 2021

ANDREW Grant, Cambridge City Council’s Interim Chief Executive, is to stay in Cambridge to steer the council through the 2021 elections on 6 May.  

Andrew was appointed last October and will continue to lead the council until the new, permanent Chief Executive, Robert Pollock, takes up his post on 19 April.  

From 19 April Andrew will focus solely on running the elections as Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer until 14 May. 

Cllr Lewis Herbert, Leader of Cambridge City Council, said: “I’d like to thank Andrew Grant for his skilful leadership and for guiding the council and the city through the second and third lockdowns over the last few months. 

“Being Chief Executive is a tough job at the best of times and never more so than in the current circumstances and Andrew has done it brilliantly, during this period in which the council needed to appoint our permanent new Chief Executive.  

“I am particularly grateful that Andrew has agreed to stay on to see us through the local elections on Thursday 6 May, all four of them, and to apply his considerable experience in ensuring the democratic process runs both smoothly and definitely safely, including offering people to vote by post if they prefer. 

Cllr Herbert added: “We all look forward now to Robert Pollock taking the helm in Cambridge from mid-April as we plan for life beyond the pandemic, leading the council as it improves the way we deliver services, in the context of a challenging future financial position with near nil government funding. 

“I know that all of our committed staff and councillors will offer Robert every support as we work together with our community and businesses to achieve a successful economic recovery for Cambridge and address our city's twin challenges of inequality and the climate emergency.” 

Cllr Tim Bick, Leader of the opposition Liberal Democrat Group, said: “Andrew Grant has provided excellent service to us over this very testing time for local government and the continuity he will provide to oversee the elections, as an experienced returning officer, is most welcome. Having shared in the process of appointing Robert Pollock as our new permanent Chief Executive, I am confident he will support the whole city council effectively and well, whether that’s on the Liberal Democrat or the Labour agenda after the elections."   

Andrew Grant said: “It has been a privilege to lead the city council over the past few months during a year that has been unlike any other.  

“Robert can look forward to working with a great staff team who have shown extraordinary resilience, a strong work ethic and a real commitment to the people of Cambridge. I would like to take this opportunity to thank every member of the council staff for their work. 

“Work is already underway on the elections and I relish the challenge of being Returning Officer for the elections. And, on that note, I would remind anyone who is not already registered to vote to make sure they do so. That way they can have a say in these important elections. I also would strongly advise people to consider a postal vote.” 

Robert Pollock said: “I am very much looking forward to getting started in Cambridge next month.  

“Andrew Grant has led the council superbly over the past few months – a period during which the pandemic has placed unprecedented demands on the council and its staff. 

“I have had a number of meetings with my new colleagues in Cambridge and their commitment to making the city the best possible place it can be is inspiring.  

“The council is ambitious and faces challenges that I know we will rise to. It will be a privilege to work with my new colleagues for the people of Cambridge and I can’t wait to get started.” 

Councillors confirmed arrangements for the elections at Civic Affairs Committee on 27 January https://democracy.cambridge.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=179&MId=3803 that will see Robert Pollock assume the role of Returning Officer as set out in Article 11 of the Council’s Constitution from 14 May. 

On 6 May elections will be held for every seat on Cambridge City Council. Elections will also be held on the same day for Cambridgeshire County Council, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Mayor. For more information: https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/elections-in-2021