I HOPE you all had a good Easter break – I took the opportunity to use part of the holiday period to visit my relatives in Romania and I would to thank our Stroud District Youth Council leader Helen March for stepping in so ably with the leader’s diary.

The charity chosen by Stroud District Council employees and councillors for the coming year was revealed at the Full Council meeting on Thursday, April 25. I am really pleased that Allsorts will be the beneficiary of fundraising events over the next year. Last year £3,460 was raised for Sunflowers Suicide Support.

Stroud has been in the national headlines for many reasons over the past week – it was listed as one of the best places to live in the south west, and some from Stroud who feel very strongly about the environment were making their views known in the well-documented events in London.

These events came at the same time as the untimely passing of Stroud-based international environmental barrister Polly Higgins at the age of just 50. I had the privilege of meeting her and she was an inspiring person who was drawn to this area because of its commitment to the environment. She will be very much missed.

We are Europe’s first carbon neutral council and we are aiming for the whole district to be carbon neutral by 2030. We have already made good progress – this week it was revealed that the National Recycling Awards has shortlisted the council as finalists in two categories for our waste and recycling success. But we recognise there is so much more to do and we are determined to address the climate emergency in every way.

There is cross-party support for a carbon neutral district by 2030 and it is not window-dressing – it’s a firm commitment by the council to address climate change in a practical way.