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New role for well-known former councillor


The Open Spaces Society has appointed former Stroud District Councillor Chas Townley as its local correspondent for Stroud.

On behalf of the society, Chas will champion public paths, and commons, greens and other open spaces in his patch.

Chas lives in Stroud and is a retired social-housing manager and former Stroud District and Town councillor.  He has been working on the registration of unrecorded rights of ways in Stroud and surrounding parishes. As a result, 27 applications have been made to add paths to the definitive map, and three public path agreements have been made with landowners.

Now he will be able to put that knowledge to good use on behalf of the Open Spaces Society, alongside the society’s correspondent in the Cotswold District, Gerry Stewart.

Chas said: “Good access to outdoor recreation is essential for mental and physical health, so it is essential, for current and future generations, that our rich heritage of paths, commons, and greens is protected.

“One aspect of the society’s work I want to explore, in partnership with parish and town councils, is the extent to which the owners of open space can be persuaded voluntarily to register it as a village or town green under the society’s Grant a Green campaign.  Then the land is protected from development, and local people have rights of recreation there forever.”

Kate Ashbrook, the society’s general secretary added: “We are delighted to welcome Chas to strengthen our Gloucestershire team.  It is excellent to have someone on the ground in Stroud who will fight our corner in defence of open spaces and paths.”

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