This week I will be attending the Leadership Gloucestershire monthly meeting at Gloucestershire Police’s Waterwells headquarters.

The meetings bring together public sector organisations which allocate and spend significant resources in Gloucestershire, and it provides vision, leadership and strategic where those organisations need to work together – so as well as councils, there are leaders from the police, NHS and Gloucestershire First Local Enterprise Partnership involved too.

Gloucestershire First Local Enterprise Partnership presented to our Strategy and Resources Committee members last Thursday on its projects, which included the Local Industrial Strategy consultation, which runs until October 31.

I would encourage anyone with an interest in our county’s industry to respond at and make their views known on the county’s future.

Another agenda item at the same committee was a recommendation to full council that Stroud District Council agree to the terms of reference for the setting up of the Severn Vale Delivery Board. As part of the Vision 2050 project for the county, it is considering a new Severn crossing to improve connectivity for a ‘Western Powerhouse’ across Bristol, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Swindon and Cardiff. It would be an enormous project and it’s at a very early stage. But working with other local authorities which would benefit from a rail/cycle/pedestrian link could have major beneficial impacts to these areas and beyond.

It’s at a high level for discussion and working together with partners who have common issues over public transport gives us a better chance of success. I think locally we work well together across different political parties, and maybe Westminster could learn a thing or two from us! Gloucestershire has a wide range of parties running its councils and in Stroud Labour runs the district council with the Green Party and the Liberal Democrat Party – we have to work together to move forward on the huge challenges we all face.

With that in mind, during National Democracy Week, we are hosting a `Be a Councillor’ event, on Monday 14 October, which will include presentations from councillors and officers. Local elections will take place in May 2020, with all 51 Stroud District Council seats up for election, and 52 parish councils may hold elections at the same time. If they don’t get enough nominations, members will be co-opted but an election offers a chance for democracy to work at community level. To find out more click here.