At our meeting on 9th December we set out the following outline spending plans for 2020–21. We would love to hear your feedback before the budget is finalised in January 2020.
At the same meeting we approved our draft strategy for the next 5 years, which sets out how we will serve the people of Stroud to create a thriving sustainable community.
Our biggest planned spend relates to building improvements at Lansdown Hall and the Subscription Rooms, which we aim to achieve without increasing the council tax. We already have plans approved for some exciting improvements at the Subscription Rooms and some external funding has already been committed. We will very soon be submitting an application for improvements to the access, toilets and bar at Lansdown Hall.
We already hold funds in reserve for Lansdown Hall, but both projects will require a significant fundraising effort. We will be promoting both projects in partnership with the trusts that operate the buildings, and working with them to raise the necessary funds through grants and donations.
We have included a budget of £10,000 for improvements to our property and equipment to help us achieve our target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
We will continue to support community organisations and services with grants and service level agreements. This includes our new grant fund for projects which help to reduce CO2. We have also recently agreed to fund a pilot project to develop volunteering in community venues and at arts and cultural events. Our community project, funded in partnership with Gloucestershire County Council, will continue to support residents in Paganhill and at the Top of Town.
From January 2020 we will be reorganising our committees, which includes the creation of a new Regeneration Committee. The committee will include representatives from Stroud District Council, Gloucestershire County Council and the business community and will be responsible for promoting projects which support the regeneration of the town. Priorities for next year will be: Real-time Passenger Information for buses and trains, car charging points, better signage, and improvements at Station Road. We have also started reviewing the Shaping the Heart of Stroud Neighbourhood Development Plan.
Our Green Spaces budget includes the cost of our staff and materials for managing and maintaining our parks, the cemetery and the many other open spaces that we look after. The budget also includes funding for replacing and upgrading play equipment.
Most of our income comes from council tax, but we are actively seeking external funding for projects and making use of our reserve funds to help keep costs down. In the last couple of years we have secured external funding of over £100,000 from for a variety of projects from partner organisations and grant funders. We were also able to secure a grant of £117,000 to enable GWR to install secure cycle parking at the station. We will continue to build on our fundraising efforts to ensure that we can deliver the projects identified in our strategy cost‑effectively.
Staff salaries are linked to a national agreement – no decision has been made yet on pay increases from 2020, but we have worked on 2.75% pending confirmation of the final agreement. We have a total of 13 staff, many of them part time, equivalent to 9.7 full time posts.
Please let us know what you think:
Send us an email [email protected]
Write to us at:
Stroud Town Council
Thanet House, 58 London Road