STROUD District Council leader Geoff Wheeler keeps you up to date with what is happening at the council

Tuesday, August 19 – M5 coach crash

YOU’LL have read about the coach crash on the M5 between junctions 13 and 14 in last week’s SNJ. Well done to the emergency services and all of the agencies involved for the way in which they responded to the incident. The council’s role on this occasion was to set up a rest centre to ensure the welfare of all of those on the coach who had obviously endured a traumatic event. Our job was made much easier due to the help of the owner of Waterend Farm, a farmhouse and bed and breakfast, whose fields back on to the motorway. Almost immediately after the crash she opened up her Dursley-based premises to provide the coach passengers with safe refuge. Fortuitously, the farmhouse caters for parties, conferences and other functions, so it had the space to accommodate the large numbers of people involved. I’m informed that that Mrs Mann was ‘an absolute star’ and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank her publicly, on behalf of the council, for her invaluable help.

Thursday, August 28 - Welfare advice roadshow

AN event for anyone living in rented accommodation so that they can find out more about the government’s welfare reforms. It will help people understand the spare room subsidy (more commonly referred to as the bedroom tax), Benefit Cap, Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payments. Experts from the council, Citizens Advice Bureau, P3, Stroud District Foodbank and Age UK will all be on hand to offer advice on benefits, housing, finance, maximising income and other welfare related issues. The roadshow takes place in the Merrywalks Shopping Centre (outside Wilko) between 1pm and 4pm. Similar advice from council staff will be available at Cam Parish Council offices on September 25 between 10am and 12pm.

Monday, September 1 – Meeting the Challenge

A CATCH-up with the leader of the county council to look at its plans and proposals for saving money in the years ahead. The main focus will be on adult social care and health and wellbeing.