Posts Tagged ‘South Gloucestershire Council’

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 »

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Register now for the 2019 Spring Clean!

Posted on Tuesday 19th February 2019 at 9:49 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Andrea Devlin and her litter-picking “troops”.

South Gloucestershire Council is once again calling on volunteers to help clean up their neighbourhoods by joining its annual Spring Clean initiative.

This year’s campaign will run from Monday 11th February to Friday 10th May, when local groups, individuals, schools or town councils are invited to hold a litter pick of a targeted area in their community.

A litter pick does not have to be a big organised event – you and your friends, neighbours or family may just decide to have a clean up of your local park, street or pathway. However big or small, the council can lend out equipment to help you run your litter pick successfully.

The South Gloucestershire Spring Clean is the perfect opportunity for everyone to help keep their town, village, high street, woodland or park free from litter and clean for all to enjoy. Friends, families, neighbours, parish and town councils, community and voluntary groups, church groups, schools, students, youth clubs, scouts, cadets, brownies, guides, and businesses are all invited to take action against litter.

Volunteers can request free bin bags and gloves and can also borrow litter pickers and hoops.

Groups are asked to book any equipment required as far in advance as possible as there are limited numbers available and high demand during peak weekends throughout the Spring Clean campaign.

All items must be returned to the council after your event.

More: How to request your litter-picking equipment »

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Paralympian trains councillors for mental health awareness ride

Posted on Tuesday 5th February 2019 at 9:36 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Paralympic gold medallist Andy Lewis MBE (centre) giving training advice to South Gloucestershire Council Cabinet members Cllr Jon Hunt and Cllr Toby Savage.

South Gloucestershire Council’s leader and deputy leader are set to embark on a tough 220km challenge: cycling to every school in the district to mark Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week (4th to 10th February).

Cllrs Toby Savage and Jon Hunt, who also serve as Cabinet members for schools, skills and employment and for children and young people respectively, will ride across South Gloucestershire to visit its 121 schools on 7th & 8th February for leading national children’s mental health charity Place2Be.

The task is particularly challenging for the pair as they are inexperienced in cycling, with Cllr Savage not having been on a bike in around a decade prior to training. By taking on an active challenge, they hope to reflect the awareness week’s message of ‘Healthy: Inside and Out’, demonstrating the link between physical wellbeing and positive mental health.

The Council has issued grants this year of £1,000 or £2,000 to ten schools taking part in the South Gloucestershire Schools Mental Health Award and the councillors will stop off along the ride to visit some of those schools to see how they are using the money to make a difference and improve mental health amongst their students.

Cllr Savage said:

“We firmly believe that any child failing to fulfil their potential is a tragedy, particularly when it is due to poor mental health.”

“This ride will be tough, but I hope the positive message it brings will help highlight the challenges schools face around student and staff mental health, as well as the work being done to support and improve good mental health in South Gloucestershire schools.”

Cllr Hunt said:

“To be truly healthy, it’s not just what we see but the hidden factors. Fifty per cent of mental health problems are established by the age of 14 and we need to tackle this growing issue to allow the best start in life for all our children.

“Nearly every classroom will have a child suffering with some form of mental health issue. We are taking on this physical challenge to help highlight the problem, with a route that encompasses every school in South Gloucestershire.”

Helping the councillors in their training is Paralympic gold medallist Andy Lewis MBE, who has been offering his experience and knowledge to prepare them for the journey ahead.

More: Training session held at Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre »

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Council seeks new powers to combat dog waste littering

Posted on Thursday 10th January 2019 at 8:47 pm by SH (Editor)

Keep Britain Tidy glow-in-the-dark poster displaying a pair of eyes and the phrase "We're watching you!"

South Gloucestershire Council is consulting on proposals that would give authorised persons the power to challenge anyone in control of a dog to demonstrate that they have the means to clear up after the animal, even if it hasn’t defecated at that time.

It is also proposed to extend the land types on which people have to clear up after their dogs so that it applies to all land ‘open to the air’ to which the public have access to.

Currently, the council lacks the power to enforce against dog fouling on commons, woodland, farmland or heathland.

The proposals would be implemented using powers under Section 59 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 to make a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in relation to dog fouling.

Breach of a PSPO is an offence, which can result in fine of up to £1,000 if convicted, however the council’s proposals recommend issuing a Fixed Penalty Notice of £100 (reduced to £75 for prompt payment) instead of prosecution.

In a further effort to reduce the amount of dog waste littering in South Gloucestershire and ensure that dog owners meet their responsibilities, the council is taking part in a national poster campaign.

A council spokesperson explained:

“Incidents of dog fouling usually increase as the darker nights draw in, and studies show that people are less likely to pick up after their dogs when they feel they aren’t being watched.”

“That’s why we are taking part in Keep Britain Tidy’s ‘We’re Watching You’ campaign, which features innovative, eye-catching, glow-in-the-dark posters to help to remind thoughtless dog owners that ‘we’re watching you’. The posters will be placed in known problem areas across South Gloucestershire.”

More: How to respond to the council’s consultation »

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