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Leader's blog - 18 May 2022

Published: Tuesday, 17 May, 2022

Our council AGM takes place this week as we appoint our committees for the coming year. We are also considering the report from the Local Government Association Corporate Peer Challenge team, which visited the Council in March. I am pleased to say it has been a positive report, stating

'SDC is a good council, progressing well towards its ambition of being a great council' and 'the council should be proud of what it has achieved over the last 3 years and of its response to the pandemic. The council worked very hard to support its residents, tenants and businesses as well as its own staff.'

We recognise that there is still much room for development, but I am proud to be part of the team that is working to make a difference in our community.

As one example, our Revenue and Benefits team have been working very hard to implement the government's £150 council tax rebate; it has taken a little while to get this in place, as the system required for thousands of one-off payments is complex. Payments have now started for eligible residents who pay council tax by direct debit and all payments will reach bank accounts by 26 May. We will be contacting around 12,000 households who don't use direct debit and inviting applications via the on-line portal. More information is available here: https://www.stroud.gov.uk/council-tax/council-tax-energy-rebate-information-from-central-government

This week the Gloucestershire Joint Economic Growth Committee meets, and we are hopeful our joint bid with SGS College will be successful, for £450,000 for a renewable energy and retrofit training centre at Berkeley. Interestingly enough this bid started with a conversation I had with the college at the Nailsworth Climate Action Network Retrofit Fair last September. Our Climate Action Network, supported from its inception by SDC, is really starting to thrive in all parts of the district.

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