At Scrutiny meeting at Ebley Mill on Thursday night we passed the Energy Strategy for our Council Housing stock - I have been working on this for too long! I will say a bit more ion that but also cover in this blog more from Scrutiny re NHS and Canal
The Energy Strategy was a recommendation in the inquiry I chaired which started 2 years ago! That got passed when I presented it to Cabinet in March 2010 but then various things led to a delay and in the recent inquiry I chaired on Decent Homes Standard for housing we reiterated that call with a deadline for November this year. Well you can now download the paper from:
At the meeting I gave it a huge welcome - there are too few Councils taking this issue seriously enough - and particularly in the light of news this week that average household fuel bills are now a staggering £1,000!! As I have repeatedly said it is unacceptable that we have more than 15% of households in the district in fuel poverty. This strategy will go a way to prioritising and tackling that. The strategy passed unanimously. I diod also note thanks to Officers and others for working on this strategy - particularly Ruth Kirkup who has now left the Council. See more background here: http://ruscombegreen.blogspot.com/2011/04/success-re-step-to-tackle-fuel-poverty.html
Councillors were treated to an update of progress re the canal - the highlight this week being the Ryeford Double Lock gates - The Cotswold canal Trust have a great website which is regularly updated - see: http://www.cotswoldcanals.com/
I mentioned the Brewery windows - see previous blog here and it seems money is being sought to repair these. I also noted at the meeting the huge volunteer input from individuals and also the support of great organisations like REACH. They really are making a significant difference to the project - and it has also been great to meet some of the volunteers and see and hear the enthusiasm for the project. The Scrutiny Committee passed a note to congratulate volunteers and I also asked to hear back more about how we can recognise/thank volunteers.
Well we had a verbal report back from the County Scrutiny Chair which sounds like they will completely ignore the 'demand' by Stroud District to look at the changes to our health service. See more background here. I am seeking the legal advice they got that they say means they cannot look at those changes. See also here link to Guardian coverage re Glos health. More on all this soon - there were other issues re the NHS but it seems as a District we have very little powers to make a difference. See also Molly's blog this week: http://gaianeconomics.blogspot.com/2011/10/where-is-social-in-social-enterprise.html
Anyway there was a fair bit more at the meeting but check out the webcast on the District Council site to see more. Apparently the County Community Safety Committee will look at how the riots were handled but not the causes. This seems a missed opportunity - see Green Party response here.