IT’S good see Stroud District Council putting itself under the microscope as they have just done through a detailed Local Government Association Corporate Peer Challenge.

The report just out is very good news for the council and says: “In the view of the peer team, SDC has the potential to be an exemplar leader of place”.

But nowhere in the report and its conclusions is there a mention of business.

There is no mention of the great opportunities Stroud has to attract more investment in business to the area.

So, having been asked to talk to the committee wearing my Business West hat, I am somewhat disappointed because I told them about two key issues.

One, that the council must do a great deal more to engage with business and two, I believe that Stroud should look to develop a clear image of place for itself.

I suggested that Stroud has all the ingredients to market itself as A Town of Culture.

Not a new idea but one which, in my view, does tell everyone what it does best.

Let’s be more proud of Stroud as a place.

Readers will know that it has just been voted in the top ten places to live in the South West by the Sunday Times.

I saw no mention of business and Stroud’s aspirations for business in this report. Perhaps they felt my thoughts were not relevant?

So, I asked Steve Dechan, chairman of the newly-formed Stroud Business Voice group, for his view.

“We have some great businesses in Stroud and the Five Valleys-particularly SMEs-and I would like to see a plan that actually sought to promote business,” he told me.

Stroud has to prove it is open for business—Business West, the LEP and Stroud Business Voice are here to help.

The business nettle must be grasped.

View the full report at