2 Dec 2010

Runner article: garden for use, cuts, planning and more

I write the odd bits for the Randwick Runner but with a minimum of three or four meetings every week I would probably send folk to sleep if I wrote about all of those. I have however just sent a brief summary below of some of the issues. It is hard to get balance right. How much info do people want?

Photos: Ruscombe valley in sharp frost before the snow

Garden for use?

I have been approached by a resident near Lightwood Lane who would be happy to share their garden if someone would like to grow vegetables there. Please contact me on 755451 for further information.

Ruscombe Blog news: cuts, planning changes and more

My blog (a sort of online diary) continues to cover many and varied local issues in over 50 entries each month. I have reported on some of the proposed local cuts as information comes out. The deficit needs tackling with urgency but cuts of this nature are damaging and unnecessary. I have set out on the blog a series of measures that could be taken instead (click on 'Coalition Cuts' in headline above and label below). However locally with cuts to government funding, cuts to services will be inevitable. Already people locally are facing threats to jobs and their income. My hope is that we can ensure that the least vulnerable members of our community are not hit as hard as some are predicting. Britain is already one of the most unequal of the world's richest countries: we must not make this worse.

However there is an opportunity to invest to earn. I am continuing to push for serious investment locally in renewables. The evidence is that borrowing for renewables makes economic and environmental sense. Earlier this year I chaired a District Council committee that made a series of recommendations that have been accepted. Indeed Stroud District Council has just won the 2010 Green Energy Award for being the south west’s 'Most Proactive Local Authority'. However despite this significant success we still need to go much further if we are to tackle energy security, rising fuel poverty and the threat of climate change.

In my blog I have also covered other District Council issues like the changes to how planning applications are managed. The Parish Council and indeed myself, as ward member, will no longer be able to call in planning applications and send them to the Development Control Committee. Five letters from residents will also not trigger an application going to the committee. The Parish and myself still have a right to request that DCC look at applications, but this is a significant change to how planning applications will be processed. Many of us consider this is now a less open and less democratic process, but I hope that where an application is not appropriate we can still argue the case effectively.

Other items on the blog in the last month include:
- new grants for hard to insulate properties
- a review of the Ruscombe-based Stroud Theatre Company's production of 1984
- the latest push for 20 mph speed limits
- the local bee project's success
- meetings with MP on local flooding issues
- apple picking in Humphreys End
- the clear up of Randwick tributary
- sell-off of county farmland
- threat to Forest of Dean
- appeals for more funds by the Hedgehog Hospital
- and more!

See more at: http://ruscombegreen.blogspot.com/

Please do feel free to contact me on the number below if you have a query.

Cllr Philip Booth, Stroud District councillor for Randwick, Whiteshill and Ruscombe ward

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