The last couple of weeks or so I have been out walking the local streets delivering my annual newsletter - a copy of most of the contents is below. I found it hard to pick what to put in the newsletter this year and ended up having to cut out lots of interesting stuff but hopefully it gives a flavour of what I am doing and this blog fills in the gaps...
This year I've had a couple of friends help deliver several streets as it takes some 18 hours to deliver the whole ward - all good stuff to keep me fit but also a great way to really see the ward - I walk about lots of it anyway but there are some corners that I rarely get to - it is also good to run into folk I've not seen in a while and meet new people....anyhow thanks for the emails and phone calls with issues, questions and support.
Photo: Leaflet delivering
Randwick, Ruscombe and Whiteshill News Jan/Feb 2009 From your District Councillor Philip Booth
I wish you a happy and successful 2009. In this newsletter I hope to give a flavour of some of my activities as your local councillor over the last year.
I try my best to represent the views and interests of everyone in this ward and welcome hearing from you - so do please ring, write or email me with your thoughts, issues or concerns. Please bear in mind that while I usually respond very promptly, I do get a considerable number of queries each day.
Thanks to all in the ward who have supported me and to the local Green Party for funding this newsletter.
Cllr. Philip Booth,
Stroud District Councillor for Randwick, Ruscombe and Whiteshill ward,
2 The Laurels, Bread Street, Ruscombe, Stroud GL66EL Telephone: 755451
Email: philip.booth2 (at) virgin.net
Blog voted 5th Best Green Blog
There is no easy way of regularly updating residents with what I am doing as your local councillor so when I was elected in 2006 I started a blog - an online diary with comments, copies of my letters to the press, info about meetings, campaigns, photos and more. There were over 640 entries last year alone and some 3,000 unique visitors each month - do please visit and consider leaving a comment.
See Philip’s blog at: http://ruscombegreen.blogspot.com
Open Homes success
During a weekend in September over 750 visits were made to 12 homes in the Stroud area, including our ward, to see renewable energy and energy efficiency measures in action. In addition to this over 400 people visited Randwick Village Hall to see the eco-exhibitions and the official opening of the hall.
Photo: Philip at the opening of Randwick Village Hall - the first carbon neutral hall in the country. Huge congratulations to the Village Hall Committees for all their hard work over recent years to make this happen.
As coordinator of the Open Homes event I was blown away by the interest. Measures on show included wood pellet boilers, lime plasters, solar thermal, PV, green roofs, co-housing, rainwater harvesting, external insulation and more. I was delighted to get enthusiastic feedback for the project - and better still - news that many people, after seeing the homes, were planning actions to reduce their fuel bills and CO2 emissions. See more including information on grants at: www.stroudopenhomes.org.uk/
Some recent actions by your Councillor...
Council’s environmental targets - trying to ensure through my role on a Scrutiny committee that the District Council meets its environmental targets.
Action on fuel prices - I have sought more action by the District Council to prepare for forecast rising fuel prices like a pool cover for Stratford Park Leisure Centre and greater promotion of special tariffs for those facing financial difficulties.
Planning issues - taking action where people are having problems with the planning system or when inappropriate development is proposed.
Slowing traffic - along with the Parish Council I have sought to improve traffic safety by seeking County Council action on measures to reduce traffic speeds.
Ruscombe Brook - the action group I helped set up has had significant success in reducing sewage incidents in the brook and our approach has been reproduced by the other local action groups. We have seen improvements locally by Severn Trent, organised a morning clean-up of one section of the brook and are working with the District Council to see measures at Puckshole to reduce the occasional severe flooding there.
Stratford Road Bus shelter - for some time now I have been working to see a shelter put in place by Tesco outside their store. I have had a huge amount of correspondence over this and have a commitment from their developers for the shelter. However Tesco have delayed any action until March.
Telecom mast rejected - with residents, the Parish Council and others we successfully opposed a mast being erected near Ash Lane, Randwick.
Allotments wanted - we have a working group with Whiteshill and Ruscombe Parish to explore finding a local site for allotments. As prices rise this is surely the best time to be growing more of our own food?
Basketball hoop - having managed to obtain a hoop following requests from younger residents I am now waiting a final decision by the Parish Council regarding siting on the Whiteshill and Ruscombe Playing Field.
Bank near Ash Lane saved - successfully helped residents campaign against a proposal by Highways to remove large parts of the roadside bank.
Building communities - after initiating a street party in Bread Street this summer with local residents I have supported other communities to plan their parties. I am also working with a local land owner to establish a community-run orchard. We have already had two very successful picking and juicing days this Autumn where much fun was had.
Road Gullies - I negoitiated with the County Council to see improvements at several key locations. However there are still clearly problems; do please let me know.
Recycling - trying to improve recycling and prevent the construction of a monster sized waste incinerator at Stonehouse.
Housing needs - support to people with various housing needs in the ward.
Wessex Water - I was appointed to represent the District Council on the Customer Liaison Panel and have already raised more issues than all other representatives on that panel.
Climate Change talks and articles - I have written regularly in the local press and spoken at several local groups including two churches about the threat of climate change. The science is clear that we need to act and act very quickly. Yet the prospects of climate change are very scary and many, including politicians, seem paralysed or unclear about what measures they can take. It is vital we all get the message across about what is possible; fear disempowers us but there are real signs of hope. We must all play our part in ensuring necessary actions are taken.