Geoff Wheeler's Weekly Diary: County councils’ teamwork means we’re almost £1m up

Stroud News and Journal: Geoff Wheeler (8039536) Geoff Wheeler (8039536)

Monday, June 30 – Rural Housing Week

MORTGAGES and house prices were in the news quite a bit this week with Nationwide stating that the average house price in the UK is now above the 2007 peak. By strange coincidence this was also the week of an initiative run by the National Housing Federation to highlight housing issues in rural areas. Their figures show that house prices in rural areas are 11 times the average salary.

Incidentally, the council now has brand new two-bedroom council homes available on the Littlecombe development in Dursley on a shared ownership basis.

More homes are being built.

Please take a look at www.helptobuysouth.co.uk for the specific details or call 01242 258842 for more information on this issue.

Thursday, July 3 – Economic Growth, Shire Hall

The Gloucestershire Economic Growth Joint Committee made up of leaders and chief executives from the county’s seven councils met to discuss countywide economic developments. The decision taken by the councils, a little over a year ago, to work together under the new system of business rates collection was a good one. The detail of how it works is a little technical, but fundamentally the outcome has been that the county is nearly £900,000 better off. We discussed how the money would be used and how it would be put forward to support Gloucestershire’s strategic economic plan. Incidentally, just as I write this column, the government has approved the plan, which will see £62.5million invested in the county. More on this next week. We also looked at promoting employment and skills opportunities in the county.

Friday, July 4 – South West Councils, Taunton

As you’ll no doubt remember, our region suffered quite badly from flooding earlier this year, although at a more local level our district and other parts of Gloucestershire weren’t so badly affected. This meeting focussed on the recent issues in the south west.

Monday, July 7 -

Rounders

On a lighter note, as part of the council’s health and wellbeing work, we have just launched eight weeks of free rounders sessions at Stratford Park Leisure Centre. The aim is to get people active in a relaxed and fun way. Many of us will remember the occasional rounders game from our school days. These free events take place at 6pm on Mondays and anyone interested in trying it out can just turn up and play.

l Call 01453 754508 for more information.

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