COLUMN by Stroud mayor Tony Davey

I know there's been a lot of chatter about antisocial behaviour and the state of our town centre lately.

But you know what? It's not all doom and gloom. In fact, we've got some good news to share.

Let me tell you about some positive changes happening right under our noses. First off, remember that eyesore of a trade waste area in Fawkes Place?

Well, Gloucestershire County Council has stepped up with some new fencing, and it's made a world of difference. We've cleaned it up, and with CCTV keeping an eye on things, we're hoping to keep it that way.

I recently sat down with representatives from the District Council, Ubico, County Council, and our own Town Council to brainstorm ways to make Stroud even better.

We've got some great things in the works, like the Solace partnership scheme that's already making headway against antisocial behaviour. Ubico's got some clever new tech to pinpoint litter hotspots, and our Stroud Safe system is still going strong, helping our shops and nightlife venues stay safe.

Now, I know economically speaking we're not seeing massive growth, but hey, we're holding our own.

The Chamber of Trade tells me people are spending more time in town, which is great news.

We're monitoring whether the new free parking after 2 pm will give us an extra boost.

Have you noticed the work going on in some of our empty shops? And Peacocks is back in town – how about that for a vote of confidence?

Here's where you come in. If you spot something that needs fixing, don't just grumble on social media. Head to the District Council's website and report it. The more we all chip in, the quicker we can sort things out:

Sure, we've still got challenges, but if we all take responsibility, changes will be visible.”