Archive for the ‘Local Government’ Category

All change for local elections on 2nd May

Posted on Wednesday 3rd April 2019 at 7:44 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of a teller outside the Brook Way Activity Centre in Bradley Stoke.

Residents across the Stokes will be called on to elect representatives to both South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) and their respective parish council in local elections which take place on Thursday 2nd May.

A decision to reduce the number of seats on SGC from 70 to 61 means that there have been significant changes to ward boundaries across the district, so some voters may find themselves in a different ward or being asked to elect a different number of representatives compared to the last across-the-board local elections held in 2015.

Bradley Stoke

Bradley Stoke parish (town) previously elected five SGC members, two each for the wards of Bradley Stoke South and Bradley Stoke Central & Stoke Lodge and one for the Bradley Stoke North ward. For 2019, there are just two wards, Bradley Stoke South and Bradley Stoke North (the latter incorporating Stoke Lodge), each represented by two members.

In order to balance the numbers of electors in the district wards, some properties in the extreme south of Bradley Stoke parish have historically been allocated to the Stoke Gifford district ward and the boundary changes for 2019 have seen more properties fall into this area of overlap.

No changes have been made to the Bradley Stoke (or any other) parish/town boundary, but the number of parish wards in Bradley Stoke has been reduced from the present seven to just three, named North, South and Stoke Brook, electing six, seven and two members respectively to the town council.

The Stoke Brook parish ward of Bradley Stoke corresponds to the part of the town which falls within the Stoke Gifford district ward.

More: Stoke Gifford and Little Stoke | Election timetable »

Share this article:

Discussion is open - be the first to comment - click here to respond.

UK_Best stuff in your city_468x60

South Glos council tax to rise by 2.99 percent

Posted on Thursday 14th March 2019 at 9:22 pm by SH (Editor)

South Gloucestershire Council.

South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) element of the council tax levied on local households is to increase by 2.99 percent from April.

The latest rise follows inflation-busting uplifts of 5.99 percent in 2018/19 and 4.99 percent in 2017/18, both of which included a ring-fenced levy of 3 percent to support adult social care.

The social care levy could not be increased further for 2018/19 as the council has already reached the government-imposed cap of a 6 percent cumulative rise over three years.

The increase means that the South Gloucestershire Council element of council tax for a Band D property for 2019/20 will rise to £1,484.

Meeting on 13th February, councillors agreed to set a revenue budget of almost £221 million. The spending plans also include a further £208 million that will be distributed to schools.

The Budget papers show that while the council’s finances are projected to remain in balance for the coming two years, this is only by using reserves set aside for this purpose, delivering additional savings and generating extra income. The council concedes that challenges remain in the medium term, caused by falling government grants and increased costs and demand for services.

Public consultation carried out by the council prior to the budget-setting process showed that 37 percent of respondents expressed a preference for a lower council tax rise for 2019/20 of 1.99 percent, while 36 percent opted for the finally chosen value of 2.99 percent.

The council’s Conservative administration says its budget includes £78 million of investment in local schools and £35m for road and highways (both over four years).

There will also be £3.2m of additional funding for social care, with further increases set aside for extra support to deal with the spike in demand for adult social care seen over the winter months.

More: Police precept increased by a massive 12.38 percent »

Share this article:

Discussion is open - be the first to comment - click here to respond.

Metro Mayor election on 4th May

Posted on Tuesday 4th April 2017 at 9:25 pm by SH (Editor)

West of England Mayoral Election, 4th May 2017.

Voters in Bradley Stoke and across the wider West of England region are being called to choose a ‘Metro Mayor’ in a poll to be held on Thursday 4th May.

The election follows the decision by three local councils – Bath & North East Somerset; Bristol; and South Gloucestershire – to accept a devolution deal proposed by the government.

Features of the West of England devolution deal include:

  • Control of a new additional £30 million a year funding allocation over 30 years, to be used to boost growth in the region
  • Devolution of multi-year transport budgets, enabling the region to deliver transport projects with greater certainty that the funds are in place
  • Responsibility for the adult education budget, helping the region ensure that adult skills provision meets the needs of local businesses and learners
  • Enhanced powers to speed up the delivery of new housing in line with the Joint Spatial Plan

A new West of England Combined Authority was established in February 2017 to oversee the new powers. The authority’s current members are Cllr Tim Warren, leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council; Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol; and Cllr Matthew Riddle, leader of South Gloucestershire Council.

Following the mayoral election on Thursday 4th May, the authority will be chaired by the new West of England Mayor.

Most decisions made by the authority will require the agreement of a majority of the four members – provided this includes the Mayor.

More: Likely candidates and further information »

Share this article:

[Letter] “Arrogance” of our town councillors

Posted on Saturday 18th October 2014 at 7:52 pm by Fred Hillberg (Forum)

Reader's letter (Bradley Stoke Journal).

Like many of your readers, I was amazed at the arrogance shown by our town councillors in ignoring the will of Bradley Stoke residents, who voted in favour of extra car parking at the Brook Way Activity Centre & Bradley Stoke Surgery site, in place of the existing tennis courts (also the cheapest option).

Still, this is something we have experienced for many years – the cronyism, the secret meetings and the cosy little ‘Conservative club’ who think they can walk on water and spend our tax as they wish.

We have the same stale old faces year after year who have gained their seats with marginal votes and have not been challenged by the electorate, so we are all to blame.

Town councils have very little power anyway, and have to obtain permission from South Gloucestershire Council for anything of any significance, and the budget money goes back and forth to pay for services provided by South Gloucestershire anyway. So what’s the point of a town council? Democracy? Accountability? That’s a joke! It’s just another layer of bureaucracy, which we pay for, and an ego trip for most of the councillors.

What we need is more independent councillors at all levels, who have the interest of the public who voted them in, and not their political masters. It should also be compulsory that you live in the area you represent.

Remember, we get what we deserve. Use your vote, it was fought for! And have your say!

Fred Hillberg, Bradley Stoke

This letter originally appeared in the October 2014 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,450 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

Related link: Brook Way consultation “a costly waste of time,” says disgruntled neighbour

Share this article:

0

Bradley Stoke Journal 6 & 11-year anniversary (2019).
Ocean Estate Agents, Bradley Stoke, Bristol.
1st Stop Accountancy & Tax Services Bristol Ltd.