Stroud District Councillors’ Report
The rising costs of the service contract and the actual service level agreement between SDC and Ubico are under scrutiny. The increase expenditures is partly due to additional trips necessary to recover missed refuse/replace bins that have been squashed by the lorries and low income returns on recyclates). A financial report reviewing the contract with Ubico is now due early June, and will cover all aspects of the contract with Ubico, SDC and Gloucestershire County Council (who are responsible for all landfill). Cllr Tucker will attend the Task & Finish Group meeting on 12th June to ensure that satisfactory progress is being made.
Your District Councillors have been campaigning on behalf of some residents in Gloucester Street, Wotton, to have their new ‘landfill’ refuse bins removed and replaced with more logistically suitable beige bags. The bins were removed at the beginning of May and residents are delighted with the change and have personally thanked their Councillors for facilitating the change in SDC’s logic. We are currently working with other residents to remove bins from being left on the streets unnecessarily.
Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)
Most new planning applications received by SDC will now be subject to CIL. The Levy is set at £80/m² of floor space. Those Towns and Villages with a Neighbourhood Development Plan in place, will progressively receive sums totaling 25% of the levy or 15% if no Plan exists, to put towards identified capital projects within the community. Locally, The Kingswood Neighbourhood Development Plan was approved, almost unanimously, by residents on 4th May and ratified at SDC Full Council on 18th June.
New programme for affordable housing
A budget of £8 million has been approved from the General Fund to be spent over the next 4 years on ‘Homes for Rent’. Various cross-party meetings between Councillors and officers are ongoing to agree what mix these homes might take and how the programme will be implemented and an initial decision will be taken at the Strategy and Resources Committee in June. Options include ‘SDC build to rent’, ‘affordable homes’ provided by private developers, SDC/Developer shared mixed housing and ‘housing association’ developments.
Summary of District Council meetings
SDC Strategy & Resources Committee (Strategy, overview and governance) – No meeting in May. Next meeting 8th June. The revised Corporate Delivery Plan has been issued in draft form and is due for formal issue in July 2017.
SDC Investment & Development Panel (Asset management) - (22nd May). Discussions held on the following assets: Brimscombe Port, Stroud Subscription Rooms, Stratford Park and Littlecombe Business Park at Dursley. The SDC owned The Ship Inn at Brimscombe has recently reopened with a local tenant, who has experience in the trade. The pub is full for Sunday Lunch the next 4 weeks, which is a promising start, both as a business venture and as an income for SDC.
Subscription Rooms The options for this Asset of Community Value building are to keep the building under council control; allowing another organisation to run the Sub Rooms as a public arts and cultural facility or selling the building on the open market. Focused discussions with seriously interested parties are ongoing and business plans are being scrutinised.
SDC Housing Review Panel (16 May) – Discussions on affordable housing need across the district. We await clarification from Govt on the new methodology for calculating the ‘Objectively Assessed Need’ for affordable housing which will be used to prepare the next local plan.
SDC Bearlands Estate and play area improvements – SDC will appoint an architect to prepare a design brief for improving the kerb appeal and council properties. The Play Area Association will prepare a brief for play equipment. More fundraising is needed before the play area work can go ahead. Also discussed a newsletter for Bearlands residents and road safety ‘slow down’ signs that can be designed by local children.
The previously reported anti-social behaviour in a social housing block in Wotton is still under observation by Neighbourhood Wardens and PCSOs. Following clearance by SDC, the significant refuse dumped adjacent to the block has now stopped, but is under constant surveillance.
North Nibley Parish Council are holding a Speed Watch training event in the Village Hall on 10th June. Please contact the Clerk if you are interested. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Planning application for development behind the Fire Station in Wotton has been withdrawn by Colburn Homes. A new application with a revised layout is anticipated.
The appeal to the Planning Inspectorate by Woodbourne Group, who objected to SDC’s refusal to allow development on The Full Moon site in Wotton, has been upheld. An application by Woodbourne Group for costs was dismissed. This means that, subject to final planning approval, 10 houses will now be built on the site, 3 of which will be ‘affordable’. Your local Councillors are keen that SDC liaise with the developers, to incorporate the adjacent Council owned garages/car park in to the same build, as this will hopefully reduce the visual impact of this build. Discussions with SDC Asset teams, as to their proposals for this site, continue.
Cllr Ken Tucker
SDC Group Leaders & CEO meeting. (8 May)
North Nibley Parish Council meeting. (8 May)
Meeting with SDC officers regarding various concerns at Dryleaze Court. (11 May)
SDC Finance Training. (15 May)
Cooperative Alliance meeting of members to review 2017-2020 commitments. (15 May)
Wotton Town Council meeting. (15 May)
Housing Review Panel meeting. (16 May)
SDC Full Council (18 May)
SDC Investment & Development Panel meeting. (22 May)
Group Leaders meeting. (22 May)
SDC Planning Review Panel. (23 May)
Further meeting with SDC senior officers regarding various concerns at Dryleaze Court. (25 May)
SDC Environment Committee did not meet in May.
SDC Strategy & Resources did not meet in May.
Cllr George Butcher
‘Skills for Stroud’. Supported the Chief Exec at the event, which is sponsored by SDC. (16 May).
[Skills for Stroud is setting the standard for employability activities for young people in the Stroud district. Created by Stroud District Council, it’s a quality charter mark which provides businesses, schools and colleges with accreditation to ensure that their work to help young people in the workplace genuinely equips them for the world of work.] http://skillsforstroud.org.uk/
SDC Full Council (18 May)
SDC Community Services and Licensing did not meet in May.
Cllr Catherine Braun
Bearlands Play Area / SDC meeting (2 May)
Dementia Friendly Town training (9 May)
Wotton Town Council meeting (15 May)
Housing Review Panel meeting (16 May)
SDC Full Council (18 May)
SDC Surveyor site meeting – Full Moon & Fountain Crescent (22 May)
Dryleaze Court – meeting with residents (22 May)