WHILE 2013 did not have the huge public events of the year before, it has been a busy year.

At the council, it saw the nature of decision making change as we adopted a committee system which allows all political parties to work together when making important decisions for the district.

It also saw the council produce its health and wellbeing, and jobs and growth plans.

They focus on the contributions we can make along with our partners to improving outcomes for our residents.

Tackling unemployment and social issues and strengthening our local economy remain important priorities.

The end of the year saw the passing of Nelson Mandela.

While his death was obviously sad, the celebration of his life and achievements across the world was truly inspiring.

The year ahead will also see further global commemorations.

This time it will be for the hundredth anniversary of the start of the First World War.
2014 will also be a big year for our district as the Stroud District Local Plan is assessed by the government.

It will play a huge part in determining the future of our local economy.

Speaking of the economy, it looks like a recovery is finally underway.

This is good news, but councils still have a tough few years ahead as cuts really bite.

Irrespective of this, please remember that we are here to help, so do get in touch if you need to.

Please remember, we have very broad shoulders.

Of course Christmas is a time when people spend time with family and friends.

But it’s also a time to remember our armed services personnel posted overseas who will be away from them, and those who have lost loved ones.

Whatever your plans and whatever the future holds, remember that we’re on hand to help.

Have a great Christmas and best wishes for 2014.