Stroud District Councillors’ Report

February 2020

Coronavirus / COVID-19

Councillors are being kept informed about the emerging situation in relation to Coronavirus. Like other organisations, the District Council is making plans to ensure core services can continue to run, should they be affected. This will include working from home, for those employees who are able to do so. The Council is also continuing to work to raise the profile of our collective responsibility to prevent the spread of illness including following normal hygiene rules and hand washing and good cleaning practices. Further relevant information can be found on the Gloucestershire County Council website (news) including a joint statement with Public Health England (1/3/20). National guidance for the public is available from the NHS and on

SDC Strategic Director of Communities.

The last of the 4 new directors, Keith Gerrard, will join us at Ebley Mill on 2nd March. A visit to Wotton, North Nibley and Stinchcombe for all the new Directors will be arranged with local Clerks and Councillors after the District Elections.

Elections timetable – 7 May 2020

Elections will be held for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire, all District Councillors and all Parish and Town Councillors on 7 May. To stand as a candidate, nomination papers must be received between 24 March and 8 April.

Due to the change in the bank holiday date (now on Friday 8 May). The District ward count will take place overnight on 7 May. The count for Parish and Town Councillors and the Police and Crime Commissioner will be held on Monday 11 May. All counts will take place at Stratford Park Leisure Centre in Stroud.

Review of Councillor allowances

In line with Local Authority regulations the council agreed to appoint an Independent Remuneration Panel to make recommendations to the District Council on a Scheme of Members’ Allowances for Adoption. These allowances have not been reviewed since 2016. The review applies to District Council allowances only and recommendations will be made in April 2020 (see report).

Local Transport Plan consultation event

A public consultation event on the Gloucestershire County Council Local Transport Plan was held on Thursday 13 February at Stroud District Council offices at Ebley Mill. This ‘drop in event’ was well attended by residents and business representatives and valued.

Attendees at the Councillor consultation event on the same day raised the concern that the targets in the revised plan on low carbon transport were welcome - but that currently they are not supported by resources or funding - if the County Council’s carbon neutral target is to be met, low carbon transport will be need to assigned funding – and the current priority for road building and roundabout improvements should be reconsidered.

Cllr Braun emphasised that connections between the south of Gloucestershire (Wotton and Kingswood wards) and South Gloucestershire and beyond needed to be more strongly represented in the revised Local Transport Plan. The re-opening of Charfield Station will provide an opportunity for modal shift (away from cars) for a wide catchment of residents in Gloucestershire as well as South Gloucestershire.

SDC Environment Committee (Cllr James) - 6 February 2020

There was only one item on the agenda. The committee received the UBICO Draft Business Plan available here.

In June 2019 a report was brought forward which agreed a process whereby members would be presented with a draft business plan and be given time to respond to Ubico with any feedback. Since the consultation period had elapsed the Environment Committee approved the Business Plan.

SDC Community Services & Licensing Committee (Cllr Tucker) - no meeting in February.

There is a proposal to remove the two taxi parking spaces outside the Co-op in Wotton and convert them to Blue Badge Holder spaces. Having spoken to local taxi companies and from our own evidence, these slots are regularly used, although BBH spaces are at a premium, especially when used illegally. Cllr George James and Cllr Tucker have made comments to SDC’s Licencing Officer that at minimum there is a 100% argument for 1 rank to remain. These slots are also used by other licenced operators outside of Wotton and 1 local operator has a Hackney Carriage Licence and takes impromptu bookings from shoppers, whilst parked in these spaces.

Installation of recycling litter bins

Following a request by Cllr Braun, the SDC Community Services Manager has proposed that two recycling litter bins can be provided to replace existing litter bins in Wotton. The potential sites for these bins will be discussed with the Town Council.

Recycling of plastic items

There is now information available on the SDC website about the seven different types of plastic and how to recycle them: link.

Meetings attended by Cllr Tucker

3 Feb North Nibley Parish Council meeting

4 Feb SDC Group Leaders’ meeting

4 Feb SDC Planning Review Panel

4 Feb Wotton Youth Partnership

5 Feb SDC Mobilisation Board meeting (new in-house repair team)

5 Feb SDC Group Leader meeting

11 Feb Alliance Group meeting

11 Feb 1 to 1 meeting with new Strategic Director, Brendan Cleere

12 Feb SDC Alliance Group Leaders’ meeting

12 Feb SDC Carbon Neutral 2030 meeting

20 Feb SDC Full Council

26 Feb SDC Group Leaders + Chief Exec meeting.

27 Feb SDC meeting with gFirstLEP – Local Industrial Strategy plans.

27 Feb 1 to 1 meeting with Chief Exec

27 Feb Wotton Area Climate Action Network meeting

Meetings attended by Cllr James

3 Feb North Nibley Parish Council meeting

6 Feb Environment Committee

17 Feb Wotton Town Council

26 Feb Stinchcombe Parish Council

20 Feb SDC Full Council

Meetings attended by Cllr Braun

3 Feb North Nibley Parish Council meeting

4 Feb Wotton Youth Partnership (second part of meeting)

10 Feb Wotton Fairtrade Town meeting

13 Feb Local Transport Plan consultation meeting

13 Feb Wotton Chamber of Trade – Plastic Pledge Launch event

26 Feb Stinchcombe Parish Council meeting

27 Feb Wotton Area Climate Action Network meeting

29 Feb Wotton in the World annual event