Stroud District Councillors’ Report

May 2018



Summary of SDC Wotton Ward Councillors’ Council meetings and local business.

  1. Proposed introduction of car park charges

Proposals for the introduction of car parking charges have now been published for discussion at the Strategy and Resources Committee meeting on 14 June - see link. Further information on the Car Parking Review and the recent consultants report can be found on the SDC website here.

Car parking charges already apply in nine of the thirty-seven SDC car parks in Stroud, Painswick and Stonehouse. Charges are now proposed for the SDC car parks in Wotton, Dursley, Nailsworth and Stratford Park in Stroud. Following consultation this summer, a final decision is expected in the autumn, with new car parking charges implemented from January 2019.

Study results

The proposals are based on data from car park surveys which were undertaken in January 2018 and show a parking space capacity shortfall in Wotton, Dursley and Nailsworth and a consistently high level of parking at Stratford Park. Every car park, in all of these town locations was consistently operating above the practical capacity, which leads to drivers searching multiple locations for spaces.

Studies have shown that visitors are more influenced by the availability and convenience of parking rather than the cost. The consultants (Arup) who undertook the parking survey study, conclude that charging can bolster the local economy by encouraging a ‘churn’ of visitors and shoppers.


Car park improvements

General car park improvements are also proposed:


Costs / Revenue

Wotton car park proposals

For Wotton this would mean parking charges

On all days, except Sundays and bank holidays. 

Charges and payment

The draft Variation Order proposes the following charges for the Wotton car parks:

Pay and Display machines will accommodate card and contactless payments and have a ‘pay by phone’ option.


Residents and leisure use

Residents would still be able to use the car parks free of charge overnight (from 5pm (or 3pm for some car parks) to 8 am). Parking permits would be available to purchase for the long stay car parks for up to 50% of the total available spaces.

Season tickets for one month (£43.00), two months (£127.00), and one year (£450.00) would be available for the long stay part of The Chipping Car Park and Potters Pond car park.

Users of The Pulse in Dursley, and Stratford Park and Museum in the Park in Stroud will be entitled to 2 hours free parking in the nearest car park. Users of these facilities will be expected to enter their car registration number on arrival.

Timetable

Final proposals will then be published, and a decision is then expected on 4 October when the matter will again be on the agenda for the Strategy and Resources Committee.

There is a full explanation of the legal implications on page 4 of the meeting document pack. Any charges if introduced must be appropriate and proportionate.



Consultation

It’s very important that local Town Councils, residents and traders take part in this consultation, and provide as much evidence as possible to support any alternative proposals that they wish to put forward (such as a “1st hour free” approach to car park charging).





  1. Council cuts

Given the loss of Revenue Support Grant for this financial year 2018/19, there continue to be budget cuts to council services with a workforce plan to reduce staff headcount underway.

Financial efficiency savings have also been identified from SDC’s multi service contract with Ubico, through more efficient management of the waste collection fleet vehicles, reduced frequency of cleans across the 10 public conveniences, reduction of seasonal grass cuts from 16 to 10, changing the council office cleaning regime, reducing the annual clean of communal flats from 2 cleans to one clean, increasing the charge for a bulky waste collection from £20 to £25, and increasing the costs of the garden waste subscription in future years by £5 per year for the next two years.


  1. Full Council Meeting and Annual General Meeting (17 May)

The AGM included appointments to the following roles:





Stroud District Council also agreed one representative to attend each of the following bodies

A new role of ‘Mental Health Champions’ was also appointed – to ensure that the District Council’s work supports the mental health of residents and staff. The new champions are Cllr Jim Dewey (Green), Cllr Skeena Rathor (Labour), and Cllr Tom Skinner (Conservative).

Cllr change of party It was announced that a Labour member (Cllr Karen McKeown) has resigned from the Labour Party and will sit as an independent councillor, before she is formally approved as a Green Party councillor. This will slightly change the political balance, but there will be no change to the Labour-Green-Lib Dem Cooperation Alliance which runs the council, with the following numbers of councillors: Labour (17 members) Green (9 members) Lib Dem (2 members) Conservative (22), Conservative (no group) (1).


Motion on Votes at 16 - the motion, proposed by Cllr Cornell and seconded by Cllr Butcher was approved by members, with Stroud District Youth Council present for the debate.

The Council resolves that it:

1. Supports the extension of the right to vote in local government and devolved elections in England, to 16 and 17 year olds; and

2. Helps to promote the ‘Votes at 16’ by:

(a) Working with Stroud District Youth Council to raise awareness of the ‘Votes at 16’ campaign and consider ways to increase young people’s voices in the Council’s democratic process;

(b) Agreeing that on behalf of the Council, the Leader should write to the British Youth Council, the UK Youth Parliament, local MPs and the local media stating its support for the ‘Votes at 16’ campaign; and the British Prime Minister and the Minister for the Cabinet Office to request that they consider extending the voting age to 16 years for local government and referendum in England, and to review the wider franchise for all elections and referendums in the United Kingdom.

There are excellent resources in support of Votes at 16 online at: http://www.votesat16.org/about/



  1. Community Services and Licensing Committee Meeting (31 May)

Appointments were made for the Committee’s Performance Monitoring Representatives and to a wide range of outside bodies including the Youth Council, Older People’s Forum, Stroud Road Safety Liaison Group, Stroud Citizen’s Advice and Homestart.

The Stroud Subscription Rooms building and operation will be transferred to Stroud Town Council who are setting up a charitable trust to run the Sub Rooms operations. A report will go to Strategy and Resources on 12 July with proposed terms of the transfer. If approved the transfer of the freehold would happen in September.

There were also brief updates from the County Health and Overview Scrutiny Committee, the Tourism Task and Finish Group, the Museum in the Park, the Police and Crime Panel and Performance Monitoring. There were further capital project reports on Kingshill House and the Stratford Park Lido. For more details see the Committee page for the meeting webcast and minutes


  1. Strategy and Resources Committee meeting (24 May)

Three financial outturn reports were formally approved, for the Housing Revenue Account, General Fund Revenue Account and Capital Outturn Report so that the statement of accounts could be produced and signed by end of May.

There was also a presentation by Dave Marshall, Canal Project Manager about implementing the Canal Project, particularly in securing further Heritage Lottery Fund support and making provision for progressing the project through its development stage. Further details can be found in the paper.


6. Local issues

Bearlands Play Area

The new play equipment is now in place and final work is underway to make it ready for the official opening on Sunday 24 June (11am – 2pm). Rospa recently inspected the site and requested some final finishing work to be completed, which is why the opening date has now been set for 24 June instead of 3 June. The Bearlands Play Area Association is working hard to prepare the event with food and drink, a tombola and entertainment for children. Wotton in Bloom and the Gardening Club are kindly providing and planting flowers for two new district council planters at the play area.

Meetings attended by Cllr Braun during May:

Meetings attended by Cllr Butcher during May:

Meetings attended by Cllr Tucker during May



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