As the deadline for Brexit looms ever closer, we at Stroud District Council have been doing what we can to help answer questions which businesses, charities and the voluntary sector may have.

One of the ways we are helping to try to reduce uncertainty is the staging of our Brexit Breakfasts at Ebley Mill.

Led by myself and chief executive Kathy O’Leary, they are a great opportunity for these sectors to air any concerns they may have and share them with our MPs.

Stroud MP David Drew has been in attendance at the first two and will be for the next sessions on Friday, March 22 and Friday, April 26. Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown is expected to be at the last session as well.

How Brexit will affect the district is an unknown quantity to some extent and we have a diverse range of businesses in our patch – being at the junction between Wales, the midlands, the West Country and London, we are at the heart of how goods and services are delivered across the country.

As well as our proximity to rail and road links with the rest of the country, we also have a port at Sharpness and it may not be widely known that the council is the Port Health Authority for it. While it is not a designated port of entry for passengers, cargo is docked there and our responsibility is to inspect ships for health and hygiene standards on board.

To request an invite to a Brexit Breakfast, please email

At the end of February a by-election was held to fill the vacancy left by the sad passing of Penny Wride and I would like to welcome Councillor Lindsey Green as one of Berkeley Vale’s three members.

Finally, Comic Relief took place this Friday and here at Ebley Mill staff raised funds in a variety of ways and had fun at the same time.