How we have kept our 2016 promises

PRESERVING LOCAL SERVICES
✅ Despite a decade of cuts from central government, we have continued to preserve services and invest in the District. We’ve a record of 9 years of sound financial management – we haven’t taken on major debts unlike other councils.

Gary POWELL
Gary POWELL

INVESTING IN LOCAL PRIORITIES
✅ As a result we’re able to invest long term in local priorities: supporting the local economy, the environment, homes, and health and wellbeing, even despite higher costs and lost income due to the pandemic (for example in having to close the two leisure centres).

HIGH LEVELS OF PUBLIC SATISFACTION
✅ Our annual businesses and residents survey consistently shows a high level of satisfaction, in 2020, 81% of residents surveyed told us they were satisfied with the way SDC runs things, well above the national average and our highest rating since 2016.

CAREFUL WITH PUBLIC MONEY
✅ We’ve taken care of your money and made efficiencies wherever possible, seeking ways to generate extra income, managing investments better and renting out part of Ebley Mill. We have a planned review of Council Assets, and have been able to transfer the ownership of key community assets to the community, ensuring they can remain in community ownership, while making savings for the council, such as Stroud’s Subscription Rooms which were transferred to Stroud Town Council and the Subscription Rooms Trust.
A further £1m savings target has been identified over next 4 years; savings in the waste and recycling contract and borrowing costs: using reserves to compensate for losses due to the pandemic.

MAKING EFFICIENCIES BY SHARING THE LOAD
✅ We’ve shared services such as audit and building control with other councils to make efficiencies and improve service delivery, and where contracted out services are not performing well or giving value for money, we took them back in house, as with tenant services’ gas servicing and the housing repairs and maintenance service.

SUPPORTING THE MOST VULNERABLE
✅ Through the years when central government has cut financial support for our most vulnerable people, we’ve protected what support we can. SDC is the only council in Gloucestershire to have kept a council tax support scheme for working age households since central government reduced the funding for this in 2012 and required councils to produce their own schemes.
Local people can receive up to 100% relief from council tax if eligible. Around 6,200 households now receive support which includes both working age and pension age claimants. SDC has absorbed the shortfall by utilising local powers to reduce council tax discounts on empty properties, along with adding premium charge.

COUNCIL TAX HARDSHIP SCHEME
✅ The Council Tax Hardship scheme allows an additional discount to people of up to £150 where eligibility is not the full 100%.

MINIMISING THE IMPACT OF WELFARE REFORMS
✅ We’ve minimised the impact of welfare reform in relation to the spare room subsidy (bedroom tax) and the roll out of Universal Credit by developing approaches which are informative, supportive and effective.

How we have kept our 2016 promises

INVESTING IN THE LOCAL ECONOMY
✅ We’ve changed council policies to ensure as much money as possible is put back into the local economy, ensuring over 60% of council spending stays with Gloucestershire companies.

The Council has updated its Procurement Strategy, incorporating a Social Value Policy in place to support local wealth creation and local business growth. In 2018 SDC adopted the principles of Local Wealth building in district Council policies and procurements.

Rachel CURLEY
Rachel CURLEY

INCORPORATING SOCIAL VALUES INTO OUR WORK
✅ Labour has introduced the Modern Slavery Charter, the Construction Charter, the Dying to Work Charter, and incorporated social value and our carbon neutral commitments into aspects of council procedures.

How we have kept our 2016 promises

EMBEDDING FLEXIBLE WORKING PRACTICES
✅ The council has embedded flexible working practices so staff can manage work with family and caring responsibilities.
During the pandemic we worked hard to ensure staff have been supported while working from home during restrictions.
In 2012 Labour introduced the living wage and have encouraged other employers to adopt it. Introduced the first work experience charter in Gloucestershire, taking on apprentices across the council services, and supporting small businesses wishing to take on apprentices.

DOUBLING THE NUMBER OF APPRENTICES
✅ Since 2015 we have doubled the number of apprentices as the council. SDC won the Gloucestershire Live Apprenticeship Employer of the Year 2020.

How we have kept our 2016 promises

LEADING AN EFFECTIVE POLITICAL ALLIANCE
✅ The council has been run by eight years by an alliance of three political parties, and on all major projects, all political parties including the opposition are involved in debating and making the decisions.

Tom WILLIAMS
Tom WILLIAMS

LOCAL GOVERNMENT FOR ALL
✅ We make sure the voice of Stroud District is heard in local government networks in Gloucestershire and the Local Government Network and District Council Network.
We’ve worked closely with the two MPs of the district, regardless of political party, to ensure the concerns of local residents are heard in Westminster.

OVERHAULING COUNCIL CULTURE
✅ We acknowledged, like many other parts of the country did as a result of the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020, that the council’s culture and policies on Equalities needed overhauling, and have set up a cross-party councillor and officer group to oversee this process, as well as establishing a community engagement panel.
Members were mandated to complete anti-racism training over the summer and an informal support network was created for BAME council officers. 

How we have kept our 2016 promises

ACTIVE DECISION MAKING
✅ SDC moved to a committee system five years ago, which gives all councillors of whatever party the chance to play an active role in the decision-making process.
The system is regularly reviewed to make sure it is effective. The move also resulted in a £80,000 savings in members allowances.

Find out more about how Labour goes #AboveAndBeyond to deliver for the whole of Stroud District

“You can trust Labour in Stroud District to keep our promises, so help us keep up the good work and support us with your vote for LABOUR on May 6.”

Cllr Doina Cornell, Leader of the Stroud District Labour Group

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