11 Mar 2014
Philip writes to the Randwick Runner thanking local residents
I am writing with the news that I am standing down from Stroud District Council at the election on 22nd May.
I would like to thank all who have supported me over the last 8 years as your district councillor. It has been a pleasure and quite genuinely, an honour, to have served this community. I have met so many wonderful people, got involved in many exciting and fruitful projects and learnt much. I certainly have no less passion for building stronger communities and a greener, more just future. Indeed I plan to still be involved in a host of community projects - and also spend more time with family - including a particularly gorgeous 2 year old granddaughter!
I think that one of the exciting lessons for me has been learning how, by working together, change is really possible. We are fortunate to have so many in this locality who give so much time to improve our area; not just parish councillors and members of local committees but also the many residents who do their bit to make the place better.
However, change is not always easy. I remember being jeered at the District Council when I suggested some years ago that we should invest £10 million in renewables on our council housing. Well, by plugging away with the evidence, talking, chairing two scrutiny groups and more, we developed an Energy Strategy for the Council. Then, since sharing power at the Council with Lib Dems and Labour, we were able to propose and gain £12 million investment over two years! This not only tackles climate change and fuel poverty, but will also generate an income for the Council in the future. Win, win, win!
We have also achieved the County's first ward-wide 20mph speed limit, but this is only a start; more work is needed to help us all to drive slower. Walking and cycling is so much safer at lower driving speeds and our villages are more pleasant places to live.
Some of the other wins we have seen locally include new allotments, sewers relined, Stroud's Council Housing Standard developed with tenants to tackle fuel poverty and the Randwick Woodfuel project with the National Trust, where volunteers get a bootload of wood in return for conservation work. Indeed, all the pledges I made in election leaflets have now been fulfilled. Still, I know there are challenges ahead and much work is still needed.
Once again many thanks for your support over the last 8 years,
All the best - Philip
Cllr Philip Booth, Stroud District councillor for Randwick, Whiteshill and Ruscombe ward