Stroud Town Council has pledged to support vital services in the community for the year ahead, writes Marianne Sweet.
At a full council meeting, councillors agreed to limit the increase in its share of the Council Tax bill to 4.88%. That means, an average Band D council taxpayer will pay £181.97 a year, an increase of £8.47 per year or an extra 16p a week.
“The Town Council, because we are at the grassroots of the community, pick up the slack from other agencies to ensure vital services are still available for our community. This modest increase will ensure we can continue that work in the year ahead,” said Mayor of Stroud Kevin Cranston.
The council supports a range of charities and organisations through ongoing service agreements. These include Allsorts, Down to Earth, Homestart, the Marah Trust, Citizen’s Advice and Lansdown Hall.
It also runs a Small Grants and Community Support Fund, Arts and Culture Fund and the Carbon Reduction Fund.
Among major projects for the year ahead include development of the Subscription Rooms forecourt to make it more of a community amenity, improving road safety with a focus on cyclists and pedestrians and making the town centre more welcoming and vibrant.
The Town Council’s Green Spaces team will work on accessibility improvements and new signage and interpretation boards at the council’s sites to make them welcoming to all.
The Town Council is responsible for 20 green spaces and play areas in the town and manages the Cemetery and five allotment sites, the Four Clocks and floral displays. It has a long-term programme for the planned replacement and improvement of play equipment at its playgrounds.
“While most of our income comes from council tax, we are always actively seeking external funding for projects but that takes an investment in staff time,” said Councillor Cranston.
“We may be much smaller than the county and district council but we are ambitious and councillors and staff are committed to ensuring our town is welcoming and supportive of everyone, whether they are residents, visitors or employers.”