Stroud District Councillors’ Report
of SDC Wotton Ward Councillors’ Council meetings and local
Car parking charges – proposal withdrawn
On 16 August the District Council issued a statement to say that the proposals for introduction of car parking charges in Wotton, Dursley, Nailsworth and Stratford Park will be withdrawn. There were 1,080 responses received to the consultation as well as petitions from Nailsworth with 576 signatures and Wotton with 1061 signatures.
Statement from Councillor Doina Cornell, Leader of Stroud District Council: “After carefully considering the views of the public, parish and town councils, and businesses, Stroud District Council is stopping proposals to charge for car parking in Dursley, Nailsworth, Wotton-under-Edge and Stratford Park in Stroud.
“We have listened to concerns and it is has become clear during the past months that high street traders face a rapidly changing commercial challenge from a wide range of online services.
“I am keen to continue dialogue with traders and councils about these ongoing challenges for town centres.”
Some minor changes to parking arrangements will be proposed at the Strategy and Resources Committee on 4 October: to provide for up to 72 hours parking at the car park in Stonehouse and to extend long stay parking at Stratford Park.
New Chief Executive for SDC – Kathy O’Leary
On 9 August it was announced that Kathy O’Leary will be the new council Chief Executive, taking over from David Hagg. David is due to leave on 5 October. Kathy is expected to start in November 2018 and interim arrangements will be put in place to cover the period between David leaving and Kathy starting.
Kathy was selected as the preferred candidate by the cross-party interview panel and her appointment was unanimously supported at the Full Council meeting on 9 August. She has 32 years’ experience in the public sector, starting her career in local government as a Planning Officer with Hampshire County Council. She has subsequently worked for a number of district councils in Surrey, progressively moving into more senior management positions, and is currently Strategic Director of Resources at Tandridge District Council in Surrey. Earlier in her career she also spent a year lecturing in Geography (Urban Planning & Development) at the University of Leeds.
Council meeting 9 August
Withdrawal of ‘Negative Revenue Support Grant’ – Central Government has thankfully withdrawn the requirement for councils, including Stroud District, to make a payment to central Government next year. The proposal had been for Stroud District to pay £549,000 next year, labelled a ‘negative revenue negative support grant. A motion to council, opposing this payment, was withdrawn in recognition of the Government’s recent statement (see news article).
Vote on Brexit –
Recognising that Brexit and the type of Brexit will have significant
implications for the work of Stroud District Council as well as the
health and wellbeing of residents the council resolved:
To call on the government to abandon any plans for a hard Brexit and
to give the British people a vote on whatever deal they end up
getting along with the opportunity to vote on staying in the European
2. To write to its MPs and the Brexit Secretary expressing its views and asking them to support a People’s Vote.
3. To instruct our leader and Chief Executive to work with our MPs, the District Council Network and LGA to ensure there is a strong voice from the people of Stroud District in decision making over Brexit.
Gloucestershire Vision 2050 – The District Council discussed and commented on a draft response (paper) to the consultation. Comments emphasised the need to focus much more on people, quality of life and sustainability issues in a future vision – not just large capital projects such as a Cotswold airport and new city as the current vision proposed. The Chief Executive and Group Leaders will finalise and submit the response.