Stroud District Councillors’ Report

July 2018

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

  1. Community Governance Review

It was agreed at the Council meeting on 19 July to undertake a Community Governance Review before the next scheduled local elections in May 2020. A small number of parish and town councils (including Wotton) are expected to be considered for changes. In the debate, councillors paid tribute to parish and town councillors, and all the work they do for their communities. The timescale indicates that a consultation with Parish and Town Councils will start in early September.

The reasons for undertaking the review are:

This Community Governance Review (CGR) will enable SDC to consider what changes, if any, are needed to the existing arrangements, in order to ensure that: Parish governance within the District is robust, representative and able to meet new challenges; that there is clarity and transparency to the areas that parish/town councils represent and that the electoral arrangements of parishes are appropriate, equitable and readily understood by their electorates.

Issues that can be considered in the Community Governance Review include whether to:

To note: there is no requirement to change existing arrangements within parishes if it is felt that they are fit for purpose.

Indicative Timeline for Community Governance Review

A table in the papers provides outline information for the 52 Town and Parish Councils across the district, including the wards and number of councillors (link).

Additional documents can be found on the website – item 7 on the agenda (link)

  1. Car parking charges

The consultation on proposals to introduce car parking charges closed on 29 July (see car parking review). Officers are now reviewing all the responses and preparing a report for councillors to consider in September / October. The Leader, Cllr Cornell, announced at the Council meeting on 19 July that a decision on the proposals to introduction of car parking charges would go to Full Council, rather than the Strategy & Resources Committee for a final decision.

  1. New Chief Executive for SDC

Interviews were held for the Chief Executive Officer position on 31 July and 1 August. The Current CEO, David Hagg, will retire on 5 October. The interview Panel, Councillors and staff had the opportunity to meet and hear from the 5 down-selected candidates on day 1 and the interview panel (including Cllr Tucker) made a decision on day 2 from the 3 carried forward. Subject to suitable references, the recommendation will go forward for approval at the Full Council meeting on 9 August.

  1. Wotton development – Development Control Committee

On 24 July DCC discussed the proposal for a new 80 space car park on Symn Lane and 12 houses. Opinions were divided on this issue, with the Committee narrowly voting in favour of the development (5-4). Management arrangements and planning conditions are still to be confirmed.

  1. Single Use Plastics

Cllr Braun provided an update to the Strategy & Resources Committee on the proposals to reduce single use plastic across Stroud District. It’s been agreed that SDC will seek to work with community groups – including parish and town councils, the Refill Project and the Transition Stroud Action Group, ‘Stroud Valleys Action on Plastic’. We also intend to promote the plastic free work to schools and other community groups. Some of this work is dependent on external funding which is likely to be decided in the autumn. For further information see the ‘Plastic Free Community’ toolkit.

Strategy & Resources Committee (12 July)

Cllr Tucker sits on a Task & Finish Group that is looking at the future and options for the Tourist Information Centre (TIC), which is currently located in the Sub Rooms. STC have stated that their re-generation plans for the Sub Rooms do not provide for a TIC and that they do not wish to host a ‘regional’ tourist office elsewhere in Stroud. Meetings continue to reach a compromise.

Meetings attended by Cllr Tucker during July:

Meetings attended by Cllr Butcher during July:

Meetings attended by Cllr Braun during July: