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

Covid cases remain high in the district and across the Southwest, and SDC officers continue to work on supporting and advising local businesses. To date some £47m in government grants have been distributed to some 3,000 businesses since the pandemic began.

From Covid-related grants we have also been able to fund extra support for the community and the high streets, and the holiday activities programme over the summer. We have also just extended the council tax hardship fund for this year to give an extra £150 off council tax for those working age claimants already in receipt of council tax support. If you think you might be eligible for extra support you can find more information at

Environment committee kicks off the autumn committee meeting cycle this week, and will be considering the new five year council plan which focuses on three key priorities, responding to the climate and ecological emergency; supporting community resilience and well being; and supporting our local economy. At the heart of the plan is collaboration and partnership as it is by working together we can make a real difference in our district, whether by improving access to more leisure and sporting activities, supporting local businesses to grow, or meeting the challenge of retrofitting the council’s own housing stock. Following input from all the committees, the plan will come to the October council meeting.

Supporting active travel such as walking and cycling is one key objective in the plan, and the environment committee will be setting up a new cycling and walking task and finish group, with the aim of helping deliver on the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans for the district as issued by Gloucestershire County Council.

This week also sees the start of the council’s annual survey, when we undertake telephone surveys with residents and businesses from across the district on the council’s priorities, budget and general satisfaction with the services provided.