Stroud District Councillors’ Report
Summary of SDC Wotton Ward Councillors’ Council meetings and local business.
Housing Committee meeting 12 Dec (Cllr Braun)
the contract with Mears for repairs and maintenance of council homes
in the south of Stroud District (covering Wotton-under-Edge ward)
will come to an end by March 2018. This is due to contractor under
performance. A change in contractor should enable SDC to provide a
better service to council tenants. A procurement process will take
place to appoint a new contractor and in the meantime, NKS, who
provide repairs and maintenance in the north of the district will
cover to ensure continuation of service for tenants. (News
Grants for first time central heating - £5m has been awarded for the installation of first time central heating for households which may be in fuel poverty in Glos and South Glos. Please encourage any residents who may benefit to contact Warm and Well advisors: www.warmandwell.co.uk tel: 0800 500 3076. For full details see press release
Fixed term council tenancies: Committee agreed to convene a new task and finish group to consider how these tenancies could be introduced in future. This is required by the latest Housing Act but guidance from central government has not yet been issued.
Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG) – SDC provides means tested grants to assist disabled occupants to remain living safely in their own homes by providing adaptations such as stairlifts and wet floor showers. The maximum limit is £30k. This is funded by central government on the basis of referrals from the County Occupational Therapy Service.
New Council homes – work is ongoing, through the final part of the five year programme, to invest in new council homes across the District. It’s expected that 226 homes will have been delivered by end March 2018 with a further 10+ homes in the next financial year.
Rents and charges – agreed that council house rents from April 2018 will rise by 1% (the maximum allowed by legislation, equivalent to 81p per week at average rent level). Service charges and garage rents will increase by 3%.
Affordable homes: discussion on how SDC can make better use of small site sales (garage sites etc) to encourage more affordable housing, by working more closely with housing associations as the sites are marketed. Further discussions will be held with officers in the new year.
Environment Committee meeting 14 December (Cllr Tucker)
Market Town Centres Initiative Fund - letter to be sent to town councils in the new year for expressions of interest (£50 k per annum for next four years).
Multi service vehicle
contract – high
level of support for recycling and food waste collection has
required SDC to hire additional vehicles which the Council is now
likely to purchase.
Updates on District cycling and walking plan, including Cam Dursley Uley Greenway and Nailsworth cycle path and submission of a funding bid for canal regeneration to the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Community Services and Licensing Committee meeting 7 December (Cllr Butcher)
Taxi fares: Agreed that Stroud District taxi fares are increased in accordance with the recommendations of the Task and Finish Group
Updates on the County Health and Overview Scrutiny Committee, Arts and Culture Task and Finish Group, Tourism Task and Finish Group, Museum in the Park, Police and Crime Panel and Subscription Rooms.
Stroud Subscription Rooms
An extra meeting of the Strategy & Resources Committee (Strategy, overview and governance) was held on 5 December to discuss the recommendations of a task and finish group on the future of the Sub Rooms. Following huge strong local and political support for the sub rooms to remain in public ownership (#SaveOurSubs), the Committee decided not to accept any of the bids considered by the previous group and to convene a new group, whose meetings will be held in public, to ensure that there is transparency in future discussions. Objectives of the new group are:
to enable the freehold of the Subscription Rooms to be retained in public ownership;
Ensure that the level of Council cost is significantly reduced; and
Promote and enhance the availability of the venue to the public for public arts, community use and education
The new group will report back to the Strategy and Resources Committee on 12 April 2018. For more details see final motion in minutes.