I’m proud that we have put the voice of the community at the heart of two key pieces of work we have undertaken which are coming to our council meeting this week.
A community panel has led the review of statues, monuments and street names in our district, most notably the Blackboy clock and statue in Stroud which has attracted a lot of interest.
I would recommend reading the report and understanding all the work and careful consideration that was undertaken in making the recommendations that the council will consider, which are about much more than the statue, such to restore the Anti-Slavery Arch at Paganhill.
This is not about ‘cancelling’ or ‘removing’ history, but enriching our understanding of our past, so we can celebrate the best of it, the people and the events that we are proud of in our district.
Taking a stand against prejudice and discrimination is something we can all do. This week we will also be proposing to adopt the All-Party Parliamentary Group definition of Islamophobia and to increase our understanding of how this prejudice can blight our community.
Also being considered is the 2021-2022 Annual Report on progress so far on our ambitions to be a carbon neutral district by 2030. We have put the community’s voice at the heart of the 2030 strategy, with the newly formed Community Engagement Board. I’m also glad to see how we are combatting fuel poverty by investing in improving council homes and homeowners most at risk, with £14.9m funding secured towards countywide retrofit measures. We will also be saving about 100 tons of CO2 each year through our Water Source Heat Pump installs, and 5,000 trees have been planted in our community woodland project at Salmon Springs.
Alongside the environment which we aim to have as a golden thread through all the council’s work, is the work we do on equalities, and the annual report on our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion plan is also coming to council.