Stroud Town Council came into being in 1990, after pressure from local residents for a greater say in how their town is run.
The town council has 18 town councillors, all of whom serve on an entirely voluntary basis.
Councillors are elected and usually serve for a period of four years.
Each year the Mayor is elected at the council’s annual meeting by the councillors present.
Stroud town is split into six areas known as Wards: Central, Farmhill and Paganhill, Slade, Trinity, Uplands and Valley, with three councillors representing the residents of each ward.
The town council sets the precept level and makes annual awards to members of the local community.
Tiers of Government in the UK
A town or parish council is the first tier of government in the UK.
The responsibilities of each level of government are broadly as follows:
Defence / Taxation / Health / Law and Order
Education / Social Services / Highways
Planning / Environmental Health (street cleaning, rubbish collection, etc) / Housing / Regeneration
Allotments / Green Spaces / Grants
Towns and parishes have limited direct powers but are able, in partnership, to influence other authorities and contribute to their activities to achieve better standards for their parishes. In Stroud, we have direct responsibility for a number of valued sites such as Bank and Park Gardens, the Cemetery, Daisy Bank and Uplands and The Leazes playing fields.
The town council has three main committees.
Finance, Community and Policy:
Established in May 2012, the committee oversees the council’s finances, monitoring expenditure against budget, and advises council on policy matters. It manages the council’s community support activities, including administering grant schemes and working for town centre regeneration, for example by undertaking the Lansdown Hall and Gallery project and supporting local festivals and other cultural activities. The Committee meets six times a year.
The management of more than twenty-five green spaces looked after by the council acquired its own committee in May 2012. Amongst these are play areas, parks, gardens, pocket parks and verges, as well as five allotment sites owned by the council and the historic Old Cemetery and nature reserve at Bisley Road. Other responsibilities of this committee include the council’s burial service and the provision of floral displays in the town centre. The Committee meets six times a year.
This is our busiest committee, meeting every month. It has the difficult task of responding to the hundreds of consultation documents that the council receives every year. The majority of these relate to planning applications for which the council can only comment upon. Final decisions usually lie with Stroud District Council.
In addition a number of Working Groups have been established, reporting to council on particular topics.
The minutes of each committee meeting are reviewed and accepted at meetings of full Council which are held eight times a year. Notices of meetings are posted in our office window and on parish notice boards as well as on our website. Members of the public are welcome to attend any committee meeting and at full meetings of the Council there is an opportunity for questions to be asked.