Column by the leader of Stroud District Council, Doina Cornell.

I’m back to writing these council leader’s updates from Stroud District Council, as the ‘pre-election period’ has come to an end.

I do hope all those of you eligible to vote did so, it is a precious right we have.

It was good for us candidates to have time finally during these last few months to get out and talk to people again, and hear local concerns.

Concern for the environment remains uppermost, from the global challenge of the climate and ecological emergency to care for local green spaces and ensuring people live in warm and decent homes.

We all campaigned for different parties but now we’re elected I shall be working for everyone in my ward and in the district.

Continuity reigns at the council, as the council remains in No Overall Control which means no one party has an overall majority, and Labour, Green and Liberal Democrat parties have agreed to renew the Cooperative Alliance to form the council’s political administration.

I’ll be working closely alongside Catherine Braun, Green Group leader and deputy leader of SDC, and Ken Tucker, leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Almost half the councillors are newly elected, which brings new energy and experience to the council, and through our committee system there is an opportunity for all councillors from all the parties to get involved in decision making.

As ever, we will continue to work very closely with our partners across the county, and our communities, to deliver the services and respond to the challenges we all face.

There will be plenty of work for us councillors in the coming years - until the next election, when once again you will get to choose.

The formal Council AGM was held last Thursday, with committee positions allocated.

It was strange to meet inside, in a socially distanced hall at Stratford Park, after months of zoom meetings.

As restrictions continue to ease, the council and committee meetings will continue to meet in person, at Stratford Park or Ebley Mill, and members of the public can attend.