24 Oct 2008

Local news: WIs cow, SVP saved, Teddy, Swimming, Stagholt stream, Safer Stratford Road

Various updates on items previously discussed plus some new bits of local news...

Randwick WI buy a cow
- the WI have raised £750 so that a family in Africa can buy a cow. Shirley Charley, a member of the committee is quoted in the SNJ saying: "We are so thrilled to have raised the money. We held lots of events and the money all mounted up. We had a night of antique valuation, lunch parties, raffles, cooking and biscuit sales and an Italian evening."

Stroud Valleys Project saved from closure - see background here - seven months after launching an urgent funding appeal, Stroud Valleys Project is facing a brighter future. When the appeal began in April, there were very serious fears that SVP, which works with communities to look after green spaces and wildlife in Stroud and the surrounding countryside, would run out of funds by September. Patricia Rowan, chairman of the trustees, is quoted in the SNJ saying: “What was especially welcome was that nearly £5,000 came from ordinary members of the public who knew our work and had heard about the cash crisis. Many of them turned up at our stall in the farmers’ market in the summer, or called in at our Threadneedle Street office to offer cash or sign up as regular friends of the SVP.” But though cash-flow is now secure until next spring, SVP staff and volunteers are continuing to work to improve financial stability. The crazy thing is that just as governments everywhere are finally facing up to global warning, funding to groups like ours delivering on green issues on the ground is drying up."

Calls for slower traffic in Stratford Road - homes in the road have regularly been hit by speeding motorists and understandably they are fed up and fear someone might be hurt - they are petitioning the county council for improved speed enforcement. Police have already recorded an astonishing 30 incidents along the road this year, including one in July when a car ploughed into the bay window of a house. There is now a Safer Stratford Road Residents’ Association which was set up partly by Green Town councillor Val Saunders, who lives in nearby Central Road. This is excellent news and in light of the work being done by the Cycle Campaign on the Chalford to Stroud route I have emailed them to see if any work could be done in this area to develop plans - especially as that would support attempts to encourage folk to go to the Leisure centre by means otherthan the car.

FREE swimming lessons for over 60s - as part of a Government scheme, as noted on this blog council has been allocated £74,000 between April 2009 and March 2001 to fund the initiative at Stratford Park Leisure Centre, Dursley Pool and Wotton Pool.

Chalford Donkey update - as reported in SNJ this week Teddy, the donkey, is now delivering groceries around the village once a week - more than 60 years after the last working animal died. See previous post on this here.

Cartoon: from Russ, the Local Scribbler - still makes me smile

Stagholt Stream Delight - it was good to see the SNJ cover news re this brook - the residents of Little Australia, Stonehouse have been working with Water 21 following 13 homes being flooded there last summer. Adam Broadhead who spoke at the RBAG AGM and a recent Ruscombe Brook Action Group meeting has worked on plans with others from Water 21 for more sustainable flood measures at the site - using the land and tackling the stream up nearer the source - just what we have been after for Ruscombe - but sadly Ilaria, the Italian MSc student on secondment with Water 21 to work on our brook this summer had to concentrate more on Slad as the Environment Agency had figures for that and not for ours - but to be fair their need was greater than ours - as folk will know many properties were flooded there - anyhow she has like Adam done a stunning job that is groundbreaking and will hopefully create a real shift in how water is managed (see more here) - in the past authorities have seemed to go for engineered solutions that hasten the water away - this 'new' approach is a return to the ways of the past - slowing water down with attenuation ponds - like Mill Ponds - and indeed any work upstream at Slad or indeed in Ruscombe will be beneficial for those downstream....anyhow I'm rambling, unfortunately the Defra bid that I had identified for Water 21 for the Stagholt brook failed - I hope not because they are stuck in the old ways - anyhow SDC and the Stonehouse Town Council have stepped in with £10,000 and a further £10,000 is coming from GCC's multi-agency fund - this is very good news and all credit to all those involved - an excellent job indeed that will hopefully lead to work happening at Slad and other streams across the District.

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