The following is from council leader Doina Cornell's weekly column.

This week sees the launch of an important public consultation on something which affects us all the roofs over our heads.

We are taking comments on our new draft housing strategy until May 2, and it maps out the challenges we face in the district, including a rise in the private rented sector as the national divide between those who can afford to buy a home and those who can’t widens.

We are fairly unusual in Gloucestershire in that we own and manage our own council housing stock of 5,160 homes and we are coming to the end of a four year plan to build more – some 236 to date.

There are 47,640 private homes in the district and 1640 housing association homes but the population is predicted to grow from 118,130 now to 136,000 by 2041.

With a Government-assessed need to plan for 446 homes to be built in the district every year, we need to explore every avenue we can to make sure we can put good quality homes over everyone’s heads.

We’ve worked really well with Nailsworth Community Land Trust, by gifting it the land for 10 homes in Lawnside, Forest Green, which will only ever be available for rent, and are intended to allow people with a local connection stay in their community.

We work with housing associations, and would like to facilitate more homes through CLTs as well.

I had an interesting meeting with town and parish councillors from Nailsworth and Horsley and discussed the value of local councils - even if they don’t have large budgets they can often bring extra investment into communities that other bodies can’t, and they can respond to grassroots issues. Working together with Nailsworth CLT and Nailsworth Town Council means those 10 homes will be made available soon. See SDC website for the consultations.