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Leader's blog - 15 February 2023

Published: Wednesday, 15 February, 2023

"On Thursday, we’ll be debating the budget for Stroud District Council for 2023/24. This budget will support the important local services provided by the council, as well as some new projects to benefit our communities and the environment.  

Like local residents and businesses, the council is facing big inflationary cost increases this year, in particular for the waste and recycling services that we provide to residents through Ubico, our local authority-owned environmental services company.  I’m pleased that we’ll be able to keep the district council tax increase to a minimum, at just below 3 per cent, and to continue providing 100 per cent council tax support for people in need. 

New items in our budget for the next financial year include £150,000 to renovate the play area in Stratford Park, in addition to the five district council play areas that are already being renewed.  Health and wellbeing remains an important area of work – and we’ll be investing in our leisure centres in Dursley and Stroud as well as increasing funding for walking and cycling schemes across the district.  We are also continuing to support health and wellbeing programmes for all ages. This includes classes to help older people improve their strength after a fall or serious health problem, as well as projects to work with children, young people and their families to understand and manage their mental health and wellbeing, such as the Reading Well Forums.

Finally, many residents have raised concerns with me about the proposed cuts to bus services across Stroud district, which will limit access to school, jobs and health services.  We ought to be improving, not reducing, our public transport service, to provide better access for all, an alternative to car use, and greener transport options.  I’ll continue to raise concerns about the impact of these cuts with the local transport authorities."

Cllr Catherine Braun

Leader, Stroud District Council

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