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Leader's blog - 12 April 2023

Published: Thursday, 6 April, 2023

English Tourism Week last month, was a great opportunity to showcase the many wonderful places to visit in Stroud district. With the arrival of spring, it is a good time to be outside in the local area enjoying nature, whether that’s the woods, commons, gardens, parks, along walking trails, by a river or canal.  The monthly newsletter from always has inspiring ideas for a local day out. 

The summer season for canal boat trips opened on Saturday, with the Cotswold Canals Trust running trips every weekend until September from Wallbridge Lock and Ebley Wharf on alternate weekends.  These short trips offer a new perspective on the beautiful surroundings of the canal, and it’s recommended to book in advance. There is now improved access to the canal, thanks to a recent addition to the Cotswold Boatmobility fleet, with the launch of ‘Symphony’, a second wheelchair accessible boat.

With everyone facing financial pressures, we are fortunate to have so many lovely and low cost activities on our doorstep.  Our Council Leadership Team continues to monitor the impact that the cost of living crisis is having on local residents, and I was disappointed to learn that in March, the Stroud District Foodbank had its busiest month ever, distributing over 900 emergency parcels.

There are too many people who are not able to meet their basic needs, even with the help of state benefits. As an alternative, district councillors supported a motion calling for a pilot of Universal Basic Income in our local area. Unfortunately our proposal was rejected, but the idea continues to have wide support, and I was pleased to see the new UBI Lab Stroud on the local news last week, setting out their vision for radical economic changes, to tackle poverty and social inequality. 

Cllr Catherine Braun

Leader, Stroud District Council

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