WEEKLY COLUMN by Stroud District Council leader Catherine Braun

THIS week sees the first Community Services and Licensing Committee meeting of the year, and members will be carefully considering a number of agenda items including one on the cost of living.

Since declaring a Cost of Living Emergency unanimously as a council in October 22, as well as committing funds to it, we have had a working group which addresses issues too.

The focus of the group’s work at the meeting on Thursday, January 18 is an update from Stroud District Foodbank.

The report states that the number of parcels distributed in December went up by more than 100 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The Foodbank works closely with Community Hubs in Berkeley, Cam, Cashes Green, Dursley, Nailsworth, Stonehouse, Stroud, Paganhill and Wotton-under-Edge.

It works in partnership with Citizens Advice and P3 to host advice workers during outreach sessions – to find out more call 01453 367077 or visit https://strouddistrict.foodbank.org.uk/

Big Energy Savings Week started this week https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/campaigns/current_campaigns/big-energy-saving-week/ run by Citizen’s Advice, which we support.

The focus of this week of activity is to share our top five winter warmer tips to help consumers stay warm and save energy. We also have advice on saving energy and money in the longer term on the SDC website too: https://www.stroud.gov.uk/environment/energy-efficiency/energy-efficiency-schemes

The committee will also consider a report from the Museum in the Park, and it is great to see that visitor numbers were up 11% from July to September last year, compared to the previous year.

The Museum, at Stratford Park reopens on Saturday, January 27 after the usual winter closure for deep cleaning and installation of new air source heatpumps.

You can keep up with developments at the Museum at https://museuminthepark.org.uk/ all year round – the first event of the year will be Stroud Snowdrop Celebration on the first Saturday of opening.