WEEKLY COLUMN by Stroud District Council leader Catherine Braun 

HAPPY new year! I hope 2024 will be a happy one for you, your family and friends.

To start the year, I’d like to share a few of the upcoming projects in Stroud district.

Climate action is an important priority for Stroud District Council, and in the spring, we’ll complete the £5 million investment in new air source heat pumps and solar panels for the leisure centres in Dursley and Stroud as well as the Museum in the Park. On 1 November, the council takes over management of the Stratford Park Leisure Centre, when the current contract comes to an end and there’s work underway already, to ensure a smooth transfer to the new arrangements.

This year we are expecting to reach a major milestone in the next phase of the Canal Project. The Cotswold Canals Connected partnership, is co-led by the district council and Cotswold Canals Trust, and after many months of work, we hope the planning application for the Missing Mile will be submitted in the spring. This means connecting to the national waterway network and delivering further benefits for wildlife, people and communities is a significant step closer.

In 2024, I’m looking forward to seeing Tricorn House finally brought back into use, after being derelict and dangerous for decades. We’ve worked hard to bring about this redevelopment, and last year councillors gave the go-ahead for work on a compulsory purchase order. Fortunately, that wasn’t needed in the end, as the building was then sold, and we have been working with the developer on the planning aspects of its conversion to residential use.

Finally, if you have a real Christmas tree to recycle, there’s still time to book a collection through the Longfield Community Hospice scheme, until 9th January - go to tinyurl.com/yayejxeb