COLUMN by Stroud District Council leader Natalie Bennett 

I HOPE you’ve had a peaceful and relaxing time over the festive period and warmest wishes for a happy new year in 2024.

As is usual Stroud District Council is closed between 27-29 December and New Year’s Day but there is an emergency number, 01453 222104 and many council services continue to be available at The council reception reopens at 8.45am on Tuesday, January 2.

Also don’t forget to check your bin days as they may have changed, any waste and recycling that would normally have been collected on Tuesday 26 December will be taken on Saturday 30 December - go to

I’m delighted that SDC is again backing the Longfield Community Hospice Christmas Tree Recycling campaign.

One of the priorities in our council plan is environment and climate change and we have pledged to reduce the quantity of resources sent to incineration, encourage and support local initiatives to reduce, repair and recycle, and continue to increase recycling rates across the district.

This campaign will contribute to those aims and all money raised from donations will help to fund the hospice’s vital work supporting patients, families, and carers across Gloucestershire.

Bookings for the collection of your real tree are open until 9th January via the Longfield website.

Our ongoing partnership work with Community Hubs, Citizens Advice, and others, has enabled SDC to continue to support residents through another year of significant cost of living pressures.

The festive season can also be a particularly challenging time of year for many different reasons and information and sources of support that could help you or someone you know are available on our dedicated web page

If you need emergency food support, help is available at Stroud District Foodbank.