SDC leader Geoff Wheeler's weekly diary

10:55am Friday 28th February 2014

Thursday, February 27 - Leadership Gloucestershire

The process of finalising the Strategic Economic Plan for Gloucestershire is coming to its conclusion as the final draft has to be submitted back to the government by the end of March. Ministers and civil servants have previously provided feedback. Council leaders will be agreeing the contribution from local authorities in the next few weeks. With the economic plan fundamental to the county’s future we also put together the terms of reference for a joint committee of local authorities to monitor its implementation once it is approved, however its remit will be wider as it will also consider other potential areas of economic development.

Thursday, February 27 - Council meeting, Ebley Mill, 7pm

As previously mentioned, council tax bills were set at this meeting. We and the county council froze our elements of your bills whilst there was a 1.99 per cent increase from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office to address anti-social behaviour and cybercrime. Changes by individual parishes and town councils vary, but the average increase for them comes to just over 3 per cent.

Monday, March 10 – Bills

Having mentioned how council tax was set for households at the above meeting, the bills will begin dropping through letterboxes across the district and indeed the country this week. As the only direct tax bill that households receive, unlike VAT and PAYE, it isn’t a popular piece of mail to receive. Whilst Stroud District Council collects the tax and has its logo at the top of your bills, our portion of the overall amount collected is 12 per cent. The county council receives just over 70 per cent, Gloucestershire Police 13 per cent, and town and parish councils 4 per cent. We collect the money on behalf of the other bodies and pass it on to them. Our 12 per cent translates to £3.60 per week for the average household.

Tuesday, March 11 – Planning Committee, Ebley Mill, 6pm

There are a number of applications on the agenda as usual, however the one which stands out is the controversial application for 150 homes on Mankley Field in Leonard Stanley. The developer had previously submitted an application for the same number of homes last year and it was subsequently rejected by the planning committee on several grounds. The developer is now in the process of appealing that original decision with the Planning Inspectorate and has simultaneously submitted a revised application back to SDC which tries to address the original reasons for refusal. Our planners have recommended it for approval; however it will be up to the committee to decide its outcome. National planning guidelines and public opinion really mean that they are caught between the proverbial rock and hard place. Doubtless there will be a big turnout for the meeting although seating is limited, but you can also watch it live at www.stroud.gov.uk/webcast

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