Cotswold District Council leads recovery in Town Centres

Cotswold District Council has recently commissioned expert advisors to provide business support and advice for each of the ten main towns and villages within the District as part of current measures to support the reopening of each centre.
Heartflood has been appointed by the Council as independent experts in town and city centres and will be providing advice, information and signposting to a range of Cotswold businesses.

Work on the project will begin immediately, focusing on Cirencester, Tetbury, Northleach, Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold, Moreton-in-Marsh, South Cerney, Fairford, Lechlade and Chipping Campden and will involve supporting businesses with a range of key recovery factors.

Heartflood will be asking businesses to book a diagnostic appointment and will provide targeted advice or signposting based on individual business needs.  Businesses within each centre are therefore urged to visit the District Council website at cotswold.gov.uk/business-and-licensing to gain contact details for this programme.

Councillor Joe Harris, Leader of Cotswold District Council, said: “We are taking a safety-first approach to reopen our town centres. Our goal is to help our district to recover as quickly as possible and we are committed to supporting businesses through the current situation and beyond. We want to encourage all our residents to shop locally and support Cotswold businesses.

“As we prepare for lockdown restrictions to ease we will be providing businesses with the tools and guidance they need to reopen with confidence and become more resilient.

“If you are a local business and would like more information on the scheme, please email high.streets@cotswold.gov.uk or call us on 01285 623000.”

Chris Gregory from Heartflood added: “We recognise that many businesses currently require considerable support and that the balance of needs will vary in each individual case.  We, therefore, urge businesses to get in touch so that we can best assess how they can be supported.”

Download Heartflood’s guide to Town Centre Business Support Services in the Cotswold District: cotswold.gov.uk/media/8d8ef85fdd81cf3/heartflood-town-centre-support.pdf

Stow on the Wold and the Swells Neighbourhood Plan Update no 1-2021

Please click on the attachment link to read the latest news.

Visitors encouraged to ‘Respect and Enjoy’ the Cotswolds

As national restrictions ease, Cotswold District Council is putting plans in place to support local communities as visitors are expected to return to the area in the coming weeks.
From March to June lockdown restrictions are due to lift in line with the Government’s roadmap, allowing people to once again visit the Cotswolds.

As restrictions ease, the Council is putting together plans to minimise the impact on local communities as visitors return to the Cotswolds bringing a welcome economic boost to the area.

Work has already begun across the district to support businesses to reopen safely with council officers providing training and materials to local businesses, including takeaways that are already allowed to be open, to help manage queuing and enable customers to continue to follow Government guidance on social distancing.

As the stay at home guidance is lifted on 29 March and outdoor gatherings of up to six people, or two households, are allowed, the Council’s Covid Recovery Assistants will be out across the district providing guidance and encouraging people to respect the local area.

Bourton-on-the-Water saw particular issues with littering over last summer and so additional bins will be added to encourage visitors to put their rubbish in a bin. There will also be additional litter picking and increased emptying of bins around the village.

At the end of 2020, the Council set up a ‘tourism charge’ of 50p for every stay at its Rissington Road car park in Bourton-on-the-Water which will fund local improvements. The Council consulted during February on options for how to spend the fund with over 250 residents responding. The Council is now looking at those responses with plans due to be finalised shortly to further help manage visitors and help keep our residents safe.

As attractions, pubs and self-contained holiday lets are due to open on 12 April the Council will be working closely with those businesses to help them prepare and ensure customers remain safe when visiting.

Visitors to the Cotswolds and surrounding area are also being encouraged to respect and enjoy our local beauty spots by parking considerately, taking home any litter (particularly if a litter bin is full) and helping to maintain the beauty of the Cotswolds.

Councillor Tony Dale, Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills, said: “After a year of restrictions and lockdown for the past three months, people will understandably want to get outside, meet friends and family, and visit our beautiful towns and countryside.

“While we welcome visitors and the benefits they bring to our local economy, I would encourage everyone visiting the Cotswolds, including people from within the region,  to think about the local people and respect our towns, villages, countryside and attractions which only maintain their beauty when people look after them.

“We will be doing all we can to help our local communities and we hope the support we will be putting in place will help us have a safe and enjoyable Spring and Summer as lockdown restrictions ease.”

Council funds affordable housing schemes in Moreton in Marsh and Avening

Cotswold District Council has agreed to support the building of 29 affordable homes in Moreton in Marsh and Avening by allocating nearly £900,000 from its commuted sums funds.
The homes are being brought forward in partnership with the Cottsway Housing Association and Bromford Housing Association on behalf of Gloucestershire Rural Housing Association.

They will see a mix of social rented homes and shared ownership units built in the coming years, subject to the funding being secured and permissions being acquired, providing houses that those on lower incomes or starting on the housing ladder can afford.

The move forms part of the Council’s wider ambitions to increase the number of affordable homes in the district as house prices soar and local people struggle to be able to afford to buy and rent in the Cotswolds and stay in their local area.

The developer funding used by the Council to fund the schemes comes from Section 106 contributions made by housing developers when they build in the local area. It is ring-fenced for delivering affordable housing only and required to be spent in a certain time frame.

The funding will not only help to make sure housing is affordable but will also enable the developers to deliver housing that is much more sustainable and environmentally friendly, in line with the Council’s ambition to tackle the climate emergency.

Councillor Lisa Spivey, Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness, said; “In the face of a growing affordability crisis, in February last year we set out our ambition as a Council to increase the number of genuinely affordable homes across the district for local people.

“We have been working hard with housing providers to turn that ambition into a reality. Where we can we are using available funding to create truly affordable homes here in the Cotswolds. This is a great example of that work, and we want to bring forward other schemes in the coming months.

“It is also brilliant to see developments like this coming forward that are not only affordable but also more sustainable than standard housing, benefitting not only our local communities but the environment as well. Again this is the result of engaging with Housing Associations to ensure our corporate goals of improving residents’ lives.”

Cotswold District Council £1.2m funding success fuels carbon reduction plans

Cotswold District Council has secured funding of over £1.2m to install carbon reduction and energy efficiency measures at three council-owned premises, boosting the Council’s ambition to make drastic cuts in emissions arising from its own activities over the next few years.
The grant has been awarded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which supports public bodies – such as local authorities and schools – to implement projects to reduce carbon emissions within their own buildings and estates.

The leisure centres at Cirencester and Bourton-on-the-Water, as well as the District Council’s satellite Moreton Area Centre offices, can expect their ‘green’ revamp to start in the next few months.  The works will include roof-mounted solar photovoltaic panels, high efficiency air-source heat pumps, ventilation heat recovery systems in the swimming pool halls and LED lighting.

Taken together, the measures should save the District Council over £40k per year in energy bills and reduce emissions of the global warming pollutant, carbon dioxide, by around 240 tonnes of CO2 per year – the equivalent of 10% of the Council’s total annual emissions.

Councillor Rachel Coxcoon, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Forward Planning at Cotswold District Council, said: “Whilst our Climate Strategy sets out our aim of reaching at least an 80% reduction in our carbon emissions by 2030, our ultimate goal is to reach net-zero as quickly as possible.  We are delighted to have been successful in our bid for funding through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which will cover 100% of the capital investment needed to undertake the planned works across the three sites.  A quarter of all Council emissions is from burning gas to heat municipal buildings and leisure centres, so to be able to take major steps to reduce these, with the potential to achieve our carbon reduction targets sooner, is welcome news.

“We are determined to lead by example and demonstrate to both businesses and residents the environmental and financial benefits that can be achieved from adopting more sustainable technologies and cleaner energy sources to tackle the climate crisis.”

The Council will provide further information on the timing of installations in the next few months once contractors are in place and the final schedule of works agreed.

Cotswold District Council plans to make its activities net-zero carbon as soon as possible, aiming for a 100% reduction by 2045, with no reliance on offsetting or the trading of carbon credits.  The Council aims to use 100% clean energy across its full range of functions as soon as possible and by no later than 2030.

Details of Cotswold District Council’s Climate Strategy can be found at: https://www.cotswold.gov.uk/environment/climate-action/cotswold-climate-and-ecological-emergencies/

NHS NATIONAL DIABETES PREVENTION PROGRAMME

I am the Diabetes Prevention coordinator within the Gloucestershire area, I am  trying to increase awareness and access to the NHS National Diabetes Prevention Programme (NDPP) for residents within the Gloucestershire area.

The Gloucestershire Diabetes Prevention programme is a free service for people who are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The Diabetes Prevention Programme is a behaviour change programme where people learn about, diet, physical activity and strategies to improve their overall health, all aimed at reducing their risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Normally, people access the programme through their GP however, due to the pandemic  and the subsequent pressure that our GP practices are facing, for a limited time we have enabled a self-referral option via the Diabetes UK ‘Know Your Risk Score’ – a check list of questions that can determine a person’s risk factors – This has also enabled the programme to become more accessible to people within the area.

The risk tool can be accessed via the link below:

https://riskscore.diabetes.org.uk/start

In order to increase access to the programme in Gloucestershire I was hoping you could help me with promotion within your community.

We would love to put some local advertising of the programme on your newsletter, notice boards, website and/or social media sites if you have them to spread the word that this programme is available, completely free of charge through the NHS.

We also have promotional material available if you require and are really keen to support you however we can.

More information about the programme can be found at https://preventing-diabetes.co.uk/gloucestershire/ and I would love to have a conversation with you to answer any questions you have.

Amy Partridge

Service Coordinator

Xyla Health and Wellbeing

Mobile: 07773040373

SUSPICIOUS WHITE VAN – LOOKING AT DOGS IN LOWER SWELL ON 16TH MARCH 2021

GLOUCESTERSHIRE CONSTABULARY – COMMUNITY ALERT

We have had a report of three males in a white van that stopped outside a property in Lower Swell and were taking an interest in the dogs in the garden. The owner of the pets came out and took the dogs inside and the males got back into the van and drove off.

Police have the details of the van and are making further enquiries.

Anyone who needs to report suspicious behaviour can call us on 999 in an emergency, 101 as anon-emergency or online on our website.

Many thanks
PC 2201 Nick Westmacott