I hope you have kept safe during these stormy days, and we are grateful to our emergency services who worked alongside our council officers to ensure people were informed about the storms especially in those areas at risk from flooding, getting letters out to some 1400 households last Friday.
The Government has announced a plan to to lift all remaining restrictions to suppress the transmission of Coronavirus, I look forward to a plan of how we will manage in the months ahead, should for example another variant arise, as well as how we will support those suffering from having lost loved ones or still experiencing the effects of long covid – there is some good partnership work with the NHS and organisations like GL11 Community Hub helping people with long Covid in our district. Our Environmental Health teams will continue to work with public health colleagues to advise and support businesses and workplaces to keep safe – not only from Covid, but other risks to health from infection.
I am pleased that our budget for 2022-2023 was passed last week. As well as funding essential services, we are allocating extra resources to tackle the climate and ecological emergency, retrofitting our council homes, putting extra funding into supporting our economy and our market towns, and investing in health and wellbeing. Rises in fees and charges have been kept at 3% which is below inflation, in many cases frozen this year, and we continue to support people on lower incomes with our council tax support scheme. We also approved a new ethical investment policy which seeks to directly invest in renewable energy, green investment and social housing.
Every household in the district be receiving a copy of SDC News this week with a lot more information about council services, and finally if you are enjoying half term holidays with your family, here is a great list of suggestions for days out, many of them free-of-charge: stroud.gov.uk/news-archive/seventeen-fun-ideas-for-february-half-term-most-of-them-are-free-of-charge