DURING this second year as mayor, one of my main concerns has been the condition of the High Street.

We have been promised by Highways that the top half will be replaced from late January (with as little disruption as possible) to the same specification as the central section. This will not only be a huge visual improvement but will make it much safer to use.

The decision by the District Council to not to go to tender ensures the future of the Farmers’ Market.

It has been one of Stroud’s success stories, bringing in shoppers and the loss of it or reduction in quality could have had a devastating effect on the town.

There are also now three supermarkets proposed in the immediate or near vicinity which goes against all the efforts made to create vibrant independent shops.

Controversial planning reforms by the government threaten large areas of open countryside as applications for speculative development will be more difficult to refuse.

The impact of government’s bedroom tax is now becoming apparent as those considered under occupying are facing increased rent and possible arrears.

The Inquiry challenging the refusal of planning for the Javelin Park incinerator is now ongoing with a disappointing defence by Gloucestershire County Council.

SDC, Glosvain and Friends of the Earth will be providing the full arguments opposing this appeal. In January the town council will be making a verbal statement stating why this technology is not best option.  

Congratulations to the Green Spaces team again for another Stroud in Bloom Gold Medal and thank you to all the staff and councillors for their hard work and support. 

Also thank you to all those who have contributed their time and effort to make Stroud a better place to live and work in. Next year there are some important anniversaries both locally and internationally and I’m sure Stroud will celebrate them in its own unique way 

Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for the New Year