District Matters

 We live in historic times

July 2024

These are historic times for Stratford-on-Avon District and constituency. Following the momentous win for the Liberal Democrats in the local District elections in May 2023, Stratford-on-Avon now has its first Liberal Democrat member of parliament and its first Liberal MP for more than 100 years.

Last week my friend and colleague on the District Council, Manuela Perteghella, became the constituency’s first-ever female MP. I cannot wait to start working with her to improve the lives of residents in so many different ways by working with her and her colleagues in Parliament.

As the District Councillor for Welford-on-Avon over the past few years, Manuela already has a well-developed knowledge of the area and of local issues. Our task will be to make the case to the new government for changes in the way it finances, engages with and respects local government.

On the doorstep during the General Election, we heard from residents about what would make their lives and communities better.

What local government needs is a decentralisation of government powers coupled with financial certainty and stability. Only in this way will we be able fully to support our residents and local communities. Genuine collaboration and a parity of esteem for local government and the communities they represent is essential.

Another historic landmark this year is the 50th anniversary of Stratford-on-Avon District Council.

Since the Council was formed, local government has changed considerably. I expect the change of government will bring more changes in the years ahead, but I hope always with the aim of providing services that encourage residents and communities to flourish. Since we took over the administration last year, we have sought to make changes ourselves. We have undertaken a number of reviews to examine what the Council does well and to learn about best practice in other, similar authorities.

The most recent review was of the way the Council communicates. We have an excellent communications team, but the recent elections have shown that many people are unclear about the services for which the District Council is responsible.

It does not have responsibility for roads and pavements, for example, but it assesses planning applications, provides waste collections and manages services such as environmental health and leisure provision. We do not own social housing, but are responsible for housing waiting lists and addressing homelessness. The District Council also has a partnership role in supporting economic development and encouraging environmental improvements, both of which require excellent communications.

Explaining what the Council does and how residents may engage with it is part of our task ahead. A new digital newsletter – The Online View – has been launched for residents to receive by email. Details are in the ‘News’ section of the Council’s website. You can sign up to the newsletter. We shall also continue to explore better ways of communicating with residents who do not have access to online information.

We are at the beginning of a new era. The next few years will bring change and challenges, but after fifty years Stratford-on-Avon District Council has shown its resilience in continuing to deliver services that are vital to local people.

 

Contact: The Communications team

Last updated on 03/10/2022