Local News

Have a Fun & Safe Halloween

Halloween is tomorrow and although many enjoy this event, there are a number of residents whose children and pets do not. If you want to avoid callers, please find attached a poster you can print off to show Trick or Treaters you are not taking part.

In addition please find information from Cotswold District Council about how to recycle your pumpkins,

and advice from Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) on how to ‘dress safe’.

Revised Proposals for New Cotswolds Constituency Published

Press release from Cotswold District Council

The independent Boundary Commission for England (BCE) has published revised proposals for new Parliamentary constituencies, including the Cotswolds. The publication marks the start of eight weeks of public consultation, during which the Commission is inviting feedback to help shape the proposed new constituency boundaries.  This is the last round of public consultation before the Boundary Commission makes its recommendations to Parliament.

Insofar as Cotswold District is concerned, the current parliamentary constituency (known as ‘The Cotswolds’) encompasses the Cotswold District Council area plus the wards of Kingswood, Minchinhampton and Wotton-under-Edge within Stroud District Council.  The proposed constituency, also called ‘The Cotswolds’, would comprise the same Cotswold District Council area plus the Isbourne and Winchcombe Wards from Tewkesbury Borough Council.  The proposed new constituency would comprise almost 73,000 electors.

During the eight week consultation period, copies of the relevant documents for the Cotswolds Constituency will be available for public inspection at the Council’s offices in Trinity Road, Cirencester and the Moreton Area Centre.

The consultation closes on 11 December 2017 and comments can be made via the Boundary Commission’s website.

Village Agents Are Now Community Connectors

From 1st October 2017 the Village and Community Agents scheme is combining with social prescribing to become a new service called Community Connectors.

Village and Community Agents have been working across the county for 11 years and helped thousands of older people and communities gain better access to services and information as well as providing support and assistance to those who need it most. Over the past four years, social prescribing has offered GP practices and other healthcare professionals a mechanism for referring patients to a range of local non-clinical services.

The service has been extended so that anyone over the age of 16 living in Gloucestershire, or registered with a Gloucestershire GP, can access Community Connectors. Referrals can be made by a health or social care professional, a voluntary and community group, members of the community as well as via self-referral.

The service can offer one to one support for individuals and can also signpost or refer people to activities and groups available in their area. Community Connectors on the ground will have extensive local knowledge and will be able to facilitate local activity.

It can be helpful for people:

  • in times of change, for example after redundancy, health issues or retirement
  • in times of emotional hardship, such as after a bereavement
  • who are worried about debt or financial issues
  • who don’t know where to turn for support
  • who would like to volunteer in their community

A poster and local leaflets will be available soon in GP surgeries and elsewhere.

The Community Connector provider in Cotswold District is Gloucestershire Rural Community Council. Contact them directly on 01452 528491 or info@grcc.org.uk.

Introducing Publica

Press release from Cotswold District Council

In November, Cotswold District Council is launching a ground-breaking partnership which promises to deliver better local services for residents.

Four partner councils – Cotswold District Council, Cheltenham Borough Council, Forest of Dean and West Oxfordshire District Council – have created the new company Publica Group Ltd to deliver more efficient and improved services.

Employees from Cotswold, along with those from the other councils, will transfer into Publica and continue to provide services for local residents.

However – like the other partner councils – CDC will continue to be responsible for the standard of services that are provided as well as setting strategy, policy and making decisions.

So why is CDC doing this?

The purpose is to create more value through improving efficiency and reducing costs, while at the same time improving services.

Creating one company with staff from each council will reduce the cost of management and administration and provide the opportunity to share workloads, learn from each other and benefit from shared expertise and knowledge.

Ultimately, the aim is to deliver a better more cost effective service.

The benefits of partnership working and sharing services are not new to CDC. This month is the ninth anniversary of a very successful partnership with West Oxfordshire which began with the sharing of a Chief Executive and subsequently encompassed a range of managerial and support services – with combined savings subsequently growing to around £1.9m a year.

In 2012, the councils took the partnership a stage further by creating Gloucestershire & Oxfordshire (GO) Shared Services, along with the Forest of Dean and Cheltenham Councils. GO Shared Services provide a shared human resources, finance and payroll function.

Last year, the shared services were extended to include ICT, public protection, building control, legal, property and customer services. Additionally, a Joint Committee was established to oversee the partnership and to take it on the next stage of its journey.

During the last decade, CDC has learned how to make the most of collaboration and partnership, they’ve seen the savings it can generate while benefiting the services they offer.

Those savings have been substantial; over the last 10 years CDC has saved £13m when adding in savings delivered through its shared Environmental Services company, Ubico.

Realising that this was the best way to deliver the savings required by local authorities without services suffering, CDC along with its three partners created Publica and that’s where their partnership journey continues.

What does this mean for residents?

Residents will not see a difference in the way that their services are delivered, who they contact and how they contact them.

The Council will remain as it was and will be the place local residents go for all their normal services, advice and support.

What does this mean for CDC staff?

Existing employees of CDC will be transferred to Publica in November. They will be transferred under special arrangements that safeguard them and protect their terms and conditions. Once they’re together in one company with employees from the other partner Councils they will look at how the services they provide can benefit from the new company set up.

Publica will also start recruiting new employees to join the team, and will move away from the traditional public sector pay and benefits package by offering something new with greater choice for new employees.

The Councils together are expecting to make savings of around £5.6 million per year by 2020, and £41 million in total over the next ten years.

Leader of CDC, Councillor Mark Annett said: “This is an exciting time for us as we take the next step of our journey with our partner Councils to create a jointly owned public company. Publica is a creative and enterprising solution to our modern day challenges and I am confident that our communities will benefit from the continued shared experience and expertise this brings together from staff across all four councils.”

Publica Ltd has just launched a new website www.publicagroup.uk.

More information

Help Your Community, Become a Councillor

Following the resignation of Carol Stokes in the summer, Northleach with Eastington Town Council has a councillor vacancy, which we hope to fill by co-option at our next meeting on 18th October. If you are interested in this vacancy please let us know by 5pm on Monday 16th October.

Parish and Town Councils like us influence the issues that affect people in their immediate area and their day to day lives. We work closely with both the District and County Council to help deliver benefits to our residents, increase efficiency and cut costs. Our wide ranging responsibilities include the Westwoods Centre, allotments, Neighbourhood Plan, cemeteries, closed churchyard, Pavilion, playing field, play areas, planning applications, Charter Market and grass cutting to name a few.

If you are interested in helping your community and would like to find out more then please contact us or come to one of our monthly meetings to see us in action! You can also have a chat with one of your local councillors, who will be happy to tell you more about what the role involves. Councillors’ contact details can be found on the town notice boards in the Market Place or Westwoods Centre.

Cat Crompton, Town Clerk

New Affordable Homes in Northleach Ready Soon

The Housing Advice team at Cotswold District Council have sent us the following information on new affordable homes to rent and buy in Northleach. Please note that in order to be considered for any of these properties you will need to be registered and this process can take 4-6 weeks and the homes are due to be released soon. If you are already registered then please ensure that your registration and contact details are up to date.

Kind regards
Cat Crompton,
Clerk, Northleach with Eastington Town Council

I am writing to you from the Housing Advice team at Cotswold District Council. We have been informed that the new affordable rented homes on the Westwoods site are due to be handed over from the developer to the Housing Association between January and April 2018. The Housing Association would normally look at advertising them and allowing people to bid on the Housing Register 2-3 months before this, meaning they are likely to come through shortly.

Our concern is that applications onto the Housing Register can take between 4-6 weeks to be assessed before an applicant can start bidding, so if anyone is interested in these homes and don’t currently have an Live application they will need to submit one as soon as possible. As the developers never advertise the affordable homes on their signs many potential applicants don’t realise there are any on the site.

The following rented accommodation will be available:

  • 4 x one beds flats
  • 1 x one bed bungalow (first preference to those with a ground floor need)
  • 5 x two bed houses
  • 1 x three bed house
  • 2 x four bed house

To apply they need to visit www.homeseekerplus.co.uk – click on ‘Register’ then ‘Register Now’. Applications take between 4-6 weeks to be assessed. The new properties could be advertised shortly.

A local connection to Northleach will be considered under that in the Section 106 agreement so:

  • Person has lived in Northleach for 3 years
  • Person has previously lived in Northleach for 5 years
  • Person has worked in Northleach for 1 year
  • Person has family members (grandparents, parents, siblings and adult children only) who live in the town and have done for 5 years

People who do not meet these connections will be considered but only after those who meet it are exhausted.

In addition the following will be available to buy shortly under Shared Ownership:

  • 4 x two bed houses
  • 3 x three bed houses

Applicants [for Shared Ownership housing] need to be registered with www.helptobuysouth.co.uk and should also contact Cottsway direct.