A PARTIAL LIST OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF GREEN COUNCILLORS 2016-2020
ACTION ON THE CLIMATE CRISIS
Green Stroud District Councillor and Chair of the Environment Committee, Simon Pickering sponsored the motion that committed the district to a target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030 (CN2030).
“We must recognise the size of the challenge ahead and maintain political courage to meet the obstacles that will arise. If we are to succeed, we have to accept that the landscape we love will have to change to accommodate the solar panels and wind turbines necessary to replace fossil fuels. We don’t need hope. We need courage. Every morning when you wake up the first thing you must do is decide what action you will take that day to fight climate change.” - Simon Pickering
The Strategy and Resources committee of Stroud District Council approved including £60,000 in the 2019/20 budget to begin work to achieve a Carbon Neutral District by 2030. Green Cllr Simon Pickering, Chair of the Environment Committee applauded the unanimous support from all political parties and said “We now need to move from words to action.
A district-wide carbon neutral 2030 Strategy is now out for public consultation. Community engagement is run through Transition Stroud with monthly Climate Action Network meetings including 17 parish and community Climate Action Groups.
A £1m plan to replace gas heating in the grade 1 listed council main offices and the historic Port mill in Brimscombe with water source heat pumps from the local river.
In a trial scheme refuse vehicles are to be converted to electric rather than being sold on and replaced.
Funding – mostly from CIL - found for rewilding & tree planting schemes, cycle routes (despite not being a transport authority) and covered cycle parking.
Green councillors have led on the setting up of local Climate Action Networks, empowering local communities to move forward on taking radical changes.
Stroud Town Council have replaced a diesel van with an electric one and are replacing power tools used by Green Spaces Team with rechargeable battery powered tools as they come up for renewal.
Stroud Town Council worked with Network Rail and GWR to provide 40 covered cycle racks at Stroud Station.
Exposed the figures kept secret by GCC showing that an extraordinary ‘anti-recycling’ pricing policy has been agreed by The Conservative County councillors. The base amount of waste – which the Council must supply to the incinerator – will be charged at a high price which is well above the going rate offered by competitors. See here for more information.
Working with our District Councillors, the Green Party submitted a detailed response to the major revision of the Stroud District Local Plan and called for action to combat and adapt to climate change to be at the heart of all future planning in our district. The Green Party proposals will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions but will also, through promotion of energy efficiency, walking, cycling and public transport, make our communities healthier, safer, cheaper to live in and make more space for nature, improving the quality of life for all. See here for more information.
As a result of Green pressure, cutting edge energy policies are included in the Local Plan, including identifying sites for renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, active travel connectivity and green infrastructure going to inspectors next year.
Took the lead on committing Stroud District Council to become ‘plastic free’ and encouraging businesses and individuals to take the ‘plastic free pledge'. See here for more information.
GCC Single Use Plastic Task Force, chaired by Cllr Eva Ward, published its first Report in December 2020, detailing great progress on plastic reductions across the council and setting out a series of recommendations for future progress.
Cllr Martin Whiteside has led on plans on the proposed restoration of Brimscombe Port as a new low carbon community that includes the restoration of an historic Port and remediation of contaminated brownfield land and secured over £4m of funding.
Potable water fountain in Bank Gardens for refillable bottles to reduce the use of single use plastic.
a comitment to warm, safe & energy efficient homes
Working with Gloucestershire Energy Coop to replace storage radiators in sheltered housing with PV panels, batteries & ground source heat pumps. Over £1m won through LAD Green Homes Funds to insulate around 100 Park Homes and install 50 air source heat pumps.
Cutting edge energy policies are included in the Local Plan going to inspectors next year.
responding to the covid crisis
Cllr Catherine Braun introduced motion to trial Universal Basic Income (UBI) as a non-means-tested sum paid by the state to cover the basic cost of living, which is paid to all citizens individually, regardless of employment status, wealth, or marital status. UBI is the fairest, most effective way to mitigate the effects of coronavirus on people’s incomes. See here for more information.
Many Green Councillors played leading roles in their local Covid Mutual Support Networks.
Cllr Martin Whiteside visited and contacted struggling businesses in his ward and enabled three to apply for Covid support funding of £10k each.
Green district and town councillors worked with officers to enable the closing of London Road in Stroud to enable a socially distanced Farmers Market to continue.
Green leader ensured that the discretionary Covid business grants were open to a wider range of applicants, less dependent on inflexible business rates criteria.
Stroud Town Council funded 4 Freezers of Love.
working with other councils
Led the campaign to save the Sub Rooms and transfer this community resource to Stroud Town Council.
Cllr Rachel Smith’s budget amendment got more funding for community libraries.
GCC funding was obtained for Cotswold Canals Trust canal remediation work in Chalford.
Green GCC Councillors have used their Growing Your Communities funding to support local youth projects, such as Allsorts (Gloucestershire’s charity for children with additional needs and their families), and the Studio 18 (Brimscombe and Thrupp) art exhibition for creators aged 18-25. Rachel Smith and Eva Ward have used their local Highways funds to implement road safety and traffic calming measures in conjunction with local councils.
Stroud Town Council led on the Golden Valley Inspiration Study (with Gloucestershire County Council and Parish Councils in Chalford and Thrupp & Brimscombe) to identify a dedicated cycle track to link Chalford to the Stroud section of the Chalford - Stonehouse route.
Stroud Town Council commissioned a disability survey on crossing from Platform one to two at Stroud Station.
Stroud Central Division Cllr Eva Ward found three years match funding from the County Council for the Community Development Officer post for Stroud Town Council which has now made the post permanent. The CDO is doing excellent work supporting the Paganhill Community Group and establishing Top of Town Toddlers.
"I have been consistently impressed by the work of the Green Party group on the council, including their contribution to consensual politics and placing the needs of the residents above party dogma. With strong leadership, dynamism and ability to think of creative solutions, the Green Party group responds effectively to the changing needs of the district."
From Karen McKeown's public statement on why she was joining the Green Party, May 2018.