The leader of Stroud District Council, Doina Cornell, explains what she has been up to this week.

Being a councillor is such a varied job and you never quite know what your week will involve – it is always different.

From helping out residents with queries about waste collections and housing concerns, to mixing with council leaders from far larger authorities than mine, you have to be ready for anything.

Last week I joined neighbouring council leaders, as well as representatives from government, education and business at the House of Lords for the launch of the Great Western Powerhouse.

You may have heard of the Northern Powerhouse, and there’s a Midlands Engine too, that have been successful at attracting significant levels of Government funding and investment.

The Great Western Powerhouse is a collaboration between those areas that span the River Severn in England and Wales, with the aim of unlocking economic potential and improving transport links.

The area includes the M4, M5, Great Western Railway and Severn Bridges so we’re in a strong position to expand for the benefit of us all.

It’s early days but I hope our small district can benefit from being part of a larger partnership.

My two top asks would be more investment for buses and trains, and an increase in local, clean energy generation.

There are just three more council meetings before the summer break, including full council on July 18.

There are some interesting proposals coming forwards including one to replace our current ageing fleet with electric and hybrid vehicles which will not only save the council money in the long run, but of course will contribute to our carbon neutral ambitions for the district.

Plans also include investing in new electrical charge points in different parts of the district.

This week is also Year 10 work experience week and traditionally we see the average age in Ebley Mill drop dramatically.

As one of the district’s largest employers we attract work experience students in almost every area of council business. For the first time I will be work shadowed by a student from Archway school; you’ll be able to read about our week as I’ll be inviting him to guest write my next diary.