Report of Stroud District Matters to
Annual Parish Assembly, 13 April 2015
Councillor Paul Smith
During the past civic year I continued as Vice Chairman of Environment Committee, whilst Cllr June Cordwell continued to serve on the Community Service and Licensing Committee and Stroud Council Housing Forum. Cllr Lesley Reeves was appointed to the Housing Committee.
The administration remains an alliance of Labour, Liberal Democrats, and Green Party Groups working together.
The overall SDC budget for 2015/16 has been set for 2015/16 at £40.9 Million which includes a £7Million increase in the housing budget for new build. While Government funding has been cut by 12% this has been mainly offset by an increase in New Homes Bonus Allocation. For a fifth year the administration has frozen the Council Tax, meaning the total amount to be found from council tax payers is £7.744 Million and Band D council tax remains at £186.93.
I sit on an all-party working panel which is looking at the proposals of the Boundary Commission for the make-up of the district ward boundaries. Their draft proposals consists of keeping 51 Councillors within 12 single members (-3), six two member (-3), and Nine three member words (+3) when compared with what we have now. The draft proposal for the Wotton Ward is that the parish of Stinchcombe is brought into the ward while a small part of the Wotton Parish goes into the Kingswood ward. From 2016 the district elections will be based on all out election every four years starting with the first election in 2016.
SDC is now well on its planned programme of building 150 Council Houses with the first one’s completed just after Christmas 2014.
The new Local Plan continues to slowly move forward. At the beginning of the civic year the public inspector asked SDC to carry out further work to the housing numbers. The results of the work is that the housing numbers until 2031 have been increased from 10400 to 11200 with an area known as West of Stonehouse included within the Local Plan. The public inspection of the Local Plan was due to re-start in February 2015 but due to the public inspector falling ill it will not resume until May 2015. It is hoped that if there are no further delays the Local Plan will be adopted by April 2016.
The current Multi Service Contract (rubbish Collection) which is with Veolia is due to terminate on 30 June 2016. It has been agreed by Council that the new contract will be with Ubico Ltd which is a local authority owned company which SDC will become a shareholder. SDC are looking at sites for the new depot and will soon be placing an order for collection lorries. It is expected that the new contract will save £493,000 per year over going out to the private sector.
I have been your District Councillor twelve year since 2003. I am however standing down and will not be asking for re-election at this year’s election. I would like to say that it has been an honour to serve the residents of North Nibley and wish to thank you for your support and hospitality during the past twelve years and wish you all well for the future.