My most recent newsletter is attached below along with a short video at the bottom of this page of me revisiting 4 pledges made in 2006.
I was elected in 2006 as a Green party Stroud District Councillor for Randwick, Whiteshill and Ruscombe with 56% of the vote (52% turnout). In May 2010 I was reelected with 68.5% (77.4% turnout).
I moved to the area in 1993 brought by the countryside, the creative energy and work. Then, I was managing services for people with learning disabilities, but a chronic illness meant I was myself disabled for a number of very difficult years. I have been back at work since 2004 and currently work part-time for a charity that provides support across the county for various people including those with with mental health problems and learning disabilities. I am an unpaid Director of Stroud Community TV which I created with a colleague; it is growing rapidly with over 850 local films now on the site to help record and celebrate Stroud and the Five Valleys. See Stroud Community TV Awards 2012 winners here.
I live in Bread Street, Ruscombe with my partner, Ingelin, whose two daughters and two granddaughters live nearby. I take a leading role in many local projects helping to build our community. These include the new allotments site for Whiteshill and Ruscombe Parish Council, a bus shelter in Stratford Road, improvements to road gulleys and grit bins, helping set up the Ruscombe Brook Action Group in 2005 and getting the sewers in the valley relined, protecting key local sites from development, pushing for local traffic calming and 20 mph in residential zones, support for the Village Shop to encourage more custom and initiating the Randwick wood fuel project where in return for conservation work volunteers go home with a boot load of wood.
I care deeply about building a fairer society. Inequality and environmental problems are not inevitable: we just need more political will to address them. We have a long way to go. However I believe that by working together Stroud can be a leader in showing what must be done.
I am passionate about tackling rising fuel poverty, growing energy security problems and climate change. I have chaired two District Council scrutiny inquiries which have made successful recommendations to tackle these issues. I initiated and coordinated the hugely successful Transition Stroud's Eco Renovation Open Homes weekends to encourage people to take more energy efficiency and renewable measures. I also helped set up and organise the Transition Stroud Edible Open Gardens project, Stroud Potato Day and initiated the project to make Energy Monitors available in libraries to help people cut their energy use.
This blog has been voted the tenth best councillor blog in the country and the seventh best Green blog in the country in the last Total Politics poll. I have also helped make over 90 local films about various community events and projects: http://www.youtube.com/user/CllrPhilipBooth
Greens are since May 2012 in an agreement to run Stroud District Council with Labour and the Lib Dems. There are some very exciting opportunities to get more serious about issues like fuel poverty and help develop resilience - but also some big challenges with funding being reduced. There are difficult decisions ahead.
Other interests include our beautiful countryside, a good film and local cafes.
Annual newsletter: January/February 2013
and Ruscombe News
from Philip Booth,
your District Councillor
This is my annual newsletter to update you on some of my work representing this ward at Stroud District Council.
Greens have been sharing power since May 2012 with Labour and LibDems to lead Stroud District Council. This has brought many opportunities for change, but also some serious challenges. The current economic climate is making things particularly hard for some in our communities. I am committed to trying to lessen the impact of any cuts.
As usual I have tried to deal with the many queries over the year about planning and other issues locally.
I do my best to represent the views of local residents and welcome hearing from any of you - do please get in touch if you have any thoughts, questions or issues relating to the District Council.
Wishing you a good 2013,
Cllr Philip Booth,
Stroud District Councillor for Randwick, Whiteshill and Ruscombe,2 The Laurels, Bread Street, Ruscombe, Stroud GL6 6EL
Tel: 01453 755451
2006 pledges revisited! Back in 2006 when I was first running for election I made 4 specific pledges. I thought it would be useful to revisit them in this newsletter:
Ö ‘Protect our green fields and spaces like Ruscombe Valley’: this remains an ongoing battle but we have succeeded for the moment with the Ruscombe Valley not being listed as a key site for development - although Callowell remains under threat. Agreeing where we put housing is one of the challenges for 2013.
Ö ‘Ensure new policies to tackle climate change’: I have chaired two Scrutiny Task and Finish Groups. These have led to a Council Energy Strategy and a Stroud Standard for our Council housing developed with tenants. The Council now looks set to invest a whopping £12 million in Council housing for energy efficiency measures and renewables; £5m next year and £7m the year after. Great for cutting carbon and reducing growing fuel poverty - and increasing local jobs. £12 million is more than I could have dreamed of when I first started the inquiries – but is desperately needed for our poor quality housing stock.
Ö ‘Improve the water quality of our local brooks’: Last year saw the relining of problem parts of the sewage system in Ruscombe and Randwick, which had led to pollution incidents in our waterways. We have worked hard in the Ruscombe Brook Action Group over several years, with Severn Trent and others, to ensure that this happened.
Ö ‘Create more 20 mph’: Locally, over the years, we have seen meetings, petitions and more to create a ward-wide 20mph. Working with both Parish Councils, it looks likely that later this year, if all goes well, we should see a mandatory 20 mph for large parts of the ward; the first in Gloucestershire under their new scheme. Of course, a speed limit is only a small part of the answer to improving neighbourhoods and reducing speeds and injuries on our roads …. there is more to do.
Other highlights from this year include:
Ö Taking part in a major review of sheltered accommodation with tenants and officers; the Council has become the first in the country to win national accreditation for it's tenant participation
Ö founding Stroud Community TV online; made dozens of films of local events and projects and uploaded nearly 700 local films to the site
Ö helping improve recycling
Ö my online blog/diary/news, ‘Ruscombe Green’ of Council and community projects was voted 10th best UK councillor blog 2011
See more about what I am doing on my award winning blog:www.ruscombegreen.blogspot.co.uk
County Council Elections, May 2013 - Anna Bonallack
I'm delighted to confirm that Anna Bonallack will be the Green Party candidate in the forthcoming County Council elections. Greens are traditionally strong in this area and Anna will fulfill the pressing need for independent voices at Shire Hall. A parent, teacher, Director of a Community Interest Company working with young people and schools in the Stroud area and - until recently - a Parish Councillor, Anna has the experience and skills to bring to improving County Council policies and performance.
As County Councillor for our division, she would focus on developing employment opportunities for young people, supporting the growth of sustainable local trade and businesses, improving rural public transport, meeting the needs of vulnerable and isolated people, and - of course - challenging the economic and environmental madness of building an incinerator at Javelin Park.
With thanks to Stroud District Green Party for funding this newsletter.
Printed and published by Stroud District Green Party,
2 The Laurels, Bread Street, Ruscombe, GL66EL