WEEKLY COLUMN by Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie 

Thank you to everyone who stood for election last week.

Parish, district, county councils and the police and crime commissioner are the bedrock of local democracy and they are where the vast majority of our services are delivered from.

Many congratulations to those who won or retained their seats from all parties and commiserations to those who did not quite make it. Standing for election is an important civic duty and everyone who does so has my respect. I have been a local councillor and school governor myself and I know they want the best for their communities.

Sadly, turnout in local elections tends to be low despite their obvious importance to people, although in Stroud it was higher than average for Gloucestershire.

For Stroud district, there is no overall control of the council yet again. If I can ask anything it would be for the authority to now work together to ensure there is a local plan in place as soon as possible.

Many of my constituents remain very concerned about the issues surrounding planning, infrastructure and services. Failure to get this right could lead to a free for all for local development in the wrong places.

Many thanks to all those who organised May Day events across the district.

The weather wasn’t too favourable but nevertheless having such events shows that summer is on the way.

I went to as much as I could with my two daughters. 

It was a joy to highlight the brilliant Amberley Cow Hunt on my social media too. I always look forward to this event and the weather held up to make an already beautiful village even more spectacular.

Thank you to everybody involved from the school, local families, the parish council and businesses, including Murrays Estate Agents who sponsored it again alongside so many other sponsors and cow creators. 

It was lovely to see the impactful Homestart Stroud and Gloucester out to say hello to everybody as they do so much for families locally.

A special shout out also to the Wonderland Stage School performers and other local dancers who were out in force in the sunshine over the weekend. 

We are lucky to live in such a gorgeous and quirky bit of the Cotswolds.