Stroud District Councillors’ Report
All SDC meetings are now being shared on You Tube - link
Business support grants
From 9 June, eligible businesses could apply to a new business support grant scheme offering priority to businesses who were not eligible for support in the previous schemes. Over 270 businesses applied by the deadline on 21 June. So far 76 businesses have received funding totalling £850,000 from this discretionary grant fund. (link)
In relation to all the business support grants available, by 26th June, a cumulative total number of 2,235 grants totalling £24.9m had been distributed (some businesses have received more than one payment within the grant total).
Strategy & Resources Committee – 18 June
Council Tax Hardship Scheme – Covid-19 - Changes were approved to the Hardship Policy to allow for the immediate implementation of the Government Covid-19 funding. This will go to the next meeting of Council for formal adoption.
Covid-19 Recovery Strategy - Councillor endorsed the approach outlined in the Draft Recovery and Renewal Strategy document and the proposed governance arrangements. Meetings are now underway to progress this work.
Financial Impact of Covid-19 on Stroud District Council Councillors considered a report which set out that the pandemic is having a significant impact on the Council’s financial resources. There is a real need for support from Government to local authorities in the longer term. It was agreed to use the Council’s Equalisation Reserve to meet the cost of the pandemic.
Strategy & Resources meeting papers
This issue was discussed during the Strategy & Resources meeting, and the Council Leader made a statement to say that SDC needs to do all we can as a Council to ensure we are an inclusive and anti-racist organisation with zero tolerance for racism and discrimination (link). This followed a statement by all four party leaders in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign (link). Complaints had been made about the activities on twitter of Councillor Debbie Young (Conservative). The Monitoring Officer found that Cllr Young had not significantly breached the Council’s Code of Conduct (link). All Councillors are undertaking training on Equality and Diversity. Cooperative Alliance leaders (Labour, Green, Lib Dem) issued a statement to put on record their disappointment that explanations for the judgement shows very limited understanding of the lived experience of direct and indirect racism, the impact of structural and institutional racism or the experiences that sparked the Black Lives Matter protests around the world.
Community Services & Licensing Committee Meeting – 25 June
Committee met to discuss the revised street
and to finally adopt a new Street Trading Resolution following
statutory public notice of intention to adopt, and to consider a
of Licensing Policy
prior to formal consultation. The Statement outlines the principles
Stroud District Council will apply when exercising its functions
under the Licensing Act 2003 from January 2021 when the current
Statement expires. Appointments were also approved to the
Committee’s outside bodies, in addition to appointing a Member to
the Citizens Advice Bureau. (Meeting
Development Control Committee – 16 June
was the first remote meeting of the Committee which discussed five
planning applications. Permission was granted for the erection
of five residential dwellings with associated parking and landscaping
(revisions to S.18/1289/FUL) on the Mount Pleasant garage site in
Wotton (ref: S.19/2329/FUL). Noting the objections of Wotton Town
Council and Cllr Braun about the impact the development would have on
parking in the vicinity, the Committee felt obliged to approve the
application since the GCC Highways Officer did not find any reasons
to object in relation to parking spaces. (Meeting
Environment Committee – 4 June
The Committee accepted (subject to the recommended modifications of Examiners’ reports) the Neighbourhood Development Plans for both Horsley and Cam. These will now progress to referendums no sooner than May 2021.
relation to the paper
recycling contract extension, the
Committee resolved to extend the existing contract for a period of 12
months and to investigate the headline potential for enlarging the
depot at Gossington, or other locations, exploring enhanced sorting
and/or storage facilities, beneficial to minimising greenhouse gas
Housing and homelessness
The June meeting of the Housing Committee was cancelled due to lack of business. Councillors held an informal discussion with officers on 30 June which focused on preventing housing debt in all sectors as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The Housing Advice team are providing to households as needed, which includes funding mediation, supporting a CAB financial advice post, working with Clean Slate on budgeting, and helping to get people set up in private rented accommodation.
continues at the county level to ensure that homeless people continue
to be housed and provided with the support they require, as lockdown
eases. Many more homeless people who had previously been informally
sharing with friends or family as ‘sofa surfers’ came forward
requiring housing during the lockdown. The need for more smaller
units and one bed properties in the District was noted.
Reopening of public conveniences
Access for the disabled cubicle at the Rope Walk toilets in Wotton has been changed from radar key entry only, to open use as a unisex / disabled cubicle. Use is expected to be low and will be monitored over the coming weeks to ascertain the sufficiency of this more limited facility.
Reintroduction of parking changes in Stroud
SDC will be reintroducing car parking charges in Stroud town centre from 21 July. To help shoppers and businesses some changes will be made, including removal of the 10p per transaction for use of the MiPermit app, and making changes to the Brunel Mall and Church Street car parks, in line with recommendations from the Stroud Town Council Parking Working Group (link).