Monday, January 27, Holocaust Memorial Day, Quedgeley
Whilst this local commemoration event was held at Severn Vale School in Quedgeley, Holocaust Memorial Day is officially on January 27 each year. It is a national event which takes place in Britain to remember victims of the Holocaust and was first held in 2001. The chosen date is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp by the Soviet Union in 1945. This year’s theme centred on journeys - with an obvious link to those who had to flee their homes in Word War Two and also in more recent conflicts such as Bosnia and Rwanda. The students put on short plays and songs to represent how people fled and hid and a candle of remembrance was lit.
Tuesday, January 28 – Big planning
As you’re no doubt aware, several planning applications for large housing developments and three applications for supermarkets are either under consideration or will be submitted imminently. This well attended meeting was put together to provide an update for councillors on how the planning process works on these broad controversial issues. Whilst we have a planning committee comprising 12 councillors, any significant developments will impact on the wider community, so it was an extremely useful briefing for all councillors who may have to represent them. We obviously want to ensure that any significant developments in the district are in the right place and of the correct size so that we have a sustainable and strong economy. Our local plan will do this and it is currently with the government for scrutiny. We’re the first district in Gloucestershire to be at this stage but we’ve also been working closely with neighbouring authorities and sharing information – administrative boundaries are after all somewhat artificial, taking little account of the fact we may live and work in different parts of the county or even the country.
Thursday, January 30 – Constitutional Review Meeting,
As council watchers will know, we now work under a committee system rather than a cabinet system. These changes came into place nine months ago and meant significant changes to the council’s constitution. A group of councillors is now reviewing how well the new arrangements are working and will report back its findings so that any changes can be agreed at the council’s next AGM.
Friday, January 31 – Advanced Engineering Sector, Wotton-under-Edge
An event for MPs and council heads held by GFirstLEP and hosted by Renishaw. The focus was on improving communications between the advanced engineering sector and schools. Building relations between businesses and schools is something Stroud District Council supports strongly. Historically the national focus has been on encouraging schoolchildren into further and higher education whilst careers straight from school into sectors such as engineering, manufacturing and business generally have been overlooked.