Winchcombe Town Council

News

FEEDBACK WANTED ON DRAFT COUNCIL PLAN
Tewkesbury Borough Council sets out new vision, priorities and focus areas for next four years

The consultation, which is live from Friday, 19th January, invites views on whether what is being proposed will ensure the best outcomes for residents, businesses and communities in the borough.

The council’s proposed vision is ‘supporting people, strengthening communities’ and it is underpinned by three priorities:

  • Caring for our people - being dedicated to the wellbeing of our communities to ensure our borough is a supportive, inclusive and thriving place with a focus on those that need us most.
  • Caring for our environment - providing community leadership to support the borough to become carbon neutral. Delivery policies and practices that protect and enhance our environment.
  • Caring for our place - committing to working with our communities to shape the future of our towns, villages and rural areas, actively contributing to the prosperity of our borough.

Sitting underneath each of these priorities, the council is proposing that it focuses its delivery actions on eight big issues, which range from flooding, growth and young people to health and wellbeing, the economy and climate.

To coincide with the launch of the new plan, the council is using the opportunity to explore the option of a new name for Tewkesbury Borough Council.

Options were originally being considered to update the council’s existing logo, which is out of date and difficult to use on digital assets such as the website and online forms.

During discussions with councillors, community groups and local businesses, it became clear that many communities in the borough do not actually identify with the name ‘Tewkesbury Borough’, and so as part of this consultation, the council is keen to hear views on changing its name to better reflect the whole area and the towns and villages within it. One suggestion that has been proposed is North Gloucestershire Borough Council - it is felt that such a name would also support the council’s ambition to attract jobs and investment for the whole borough and better reflect its key strategic location.

Importantly, if the council was to change its name, all costs would be minimal, particularly as the logo is primarily used on digital assets. The design work would be done in-house and physical signage across the borough would be updated and replaced in line with its normal life cycle.

Find out about the draft plan and submit your feedback at Tewkesbury Borough Council - Council Plan 2024-2028 - Tewkesbury Borough Council

Hard copies of the consultation are also available on request by emailing council.plan@tewkesbury.gov.uk or calling 01 684 295010.

Tewkesbury Borough Council Leader, Councillor Richard Stanley, said:

“We are very keen to create a new four-year plan for the council that reflects the ambitions of the new council and the views of local people, businesses and community organisations.
I encourage those groups in the borough to respond to the consultation and to let us know if our draft plan addresses key concerns and issues for the area. All responses will be carefully considered, so please help us to shape a positive future for Tewkesbury Borough.
The consultation also includes questions on a proposed name change for the council and I’m keen to hear people’s views on this. We know this has been talked about for years, and recent feedback from community groups, businesses and parishes shows people feel the name ‘Tewkesbury Borough’ isn’t considered representative of our entire borough - it’s more associated with Tewkesbury Town, which can cause confusion, especially for people from outside our area.
We want to make sure our name is as inclusive as it possibly can be - our borough covers 160 square miles and includes other large areas such as Brockworth, Bishop’s Cleeve, Winchcombe and Churchdown - and many more! We believe a new name has the potential to raise the profile of our borough, help us to attract new jobs and investment, and better reflect our important location in the country.
It’s important to stress that no decision has been made on changing the name, but since the whole council is embracing change anyway as part of the new Council Plan, it makes sense that we take the opportunity to consider a change of name as well.”

NATIONAL GRID'S VISUAL IMPACT PROVISION (VIP) PROJECT
Going underground in the Cotswolds

The Visual Impact Provision (VIP) project in the Cotswolds National Landscape aims to reduce the visual impact of National Grid’s overhead line that runs over the Cotswold Plateau and along the Cotswold Way.

Up to 20 pylons and 7km of overhead electricity line will be permanently removed from the landscape - from Postlip Mill near Winchcombe to the edge of the Cotswold Plateau north of Dowdeswell Reservoir.
National Grid is at the early stages of developing its proposals and is inviting local people and stakeholders to find out how the plans could transform the landscape in this popular and protected location.

Stakeholders have agreed that the best way to achieve this is to remove a section of this overhead line and replace it with electricity cables buried underground. This represents a major opportunity to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and environmental heritage of this precious Cotswold landscape.

The section of National Grid transmission line to be removed is around 7km long, from the north east of Dixton to the south east of Cheltenham.
The line runs parallel to the Cotswold Way National Trail for much of its length, with many regional trails also crossing the area. As well as Cotswold Way, the existing overhead line can be seen from Belas Knap long barrow, the Winchcombe Way, and Cleeve Common - the latter being very popular with dog walkers, horse riders, cyclists and ramblers.

This section of line was identified by an independent landscape study as having landscape impacts of high importance.
It’s an area of huge national significance, with the World Conservation Union recognising the Cotswolds National Landscape as a Category V protected landscape - a protected area managed mainly for landscape protection and recreation.
Most of the area is covered by farmland, and over half of the country’s flower-rich (Jurassic) limestone grassland can be found in the Cotswolds. The line was judged to have visual impacts of high importance affecting users of the Cotswold Way National Trail and visitors to attractions such as Belas Knap burial ground and Cleeve Common.
This is a long section of line across a classic Cotswold landscape, the topography and steep slopes making it a fascinating engineering challenge.

For more information about this project, please visit the National Grid “Visual Impact Provision (VIP) project” website.

Find out more at one of their public drop-in events

  • Friday 23 February 2024, 3:00pm - 7:30pm
    Stanton Hall, Charlton Kings, GL53 8AR
  • Saturday 24 February 2024, 10:00am - 2:00pm
    Abbey Fields Community Centre, Winchcombe, GL54 5QJ
  • Tuesday 27 February 2024, 3:00pm - 7:30pm
    Whittington Village Hall, Whittington, GL54 4HD

An online webinar will also be held on Thursday 29 February at 6.00pm for anyone unable to attend the drop-in sessions.

WINCHCOMBE POST OFFICE BRANCH CLOSURE
Statement from Post Office

"Post Office have been advertising for applicants on their website and have spoken to some local businesses in Winchcombe to assess their interest in an application. Currently there is interest, but there isn't yet a confirmed application for Winchcombe Post Office. Post Office apologise to customers who are travelling further to access services at this time. The nearest alternative branches are at Gotherington, Bishops Cleeve, Alderton and Cheltenham. More information about the nearby branches is available on the Post Office website."

WINCHCOMBE TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRE TO CLOSE
TIC will permanently close on 31st March 2024

The centre - located in the Winchcombe Museum building - is currently funded by Winchcombe Town Council. However, due to changes to the way customers are now accessing tourist information, the town council has decided to cease funding the centre and instead direct the money towards other ways of promoting Winchcombe as a tourist destination.

In April 2023, the town council gave notice to the borough council, which manages the centre on its behalf, that it would be withdrawing its funding, affecting six colleagues, three of whom are at risk of redundancy.

Affected staff and trade unions have been consulted, and the borough council explored other possible options to keep the centre open – before reaching the decision that, without the funding, it would have to close.

Tewkesbury Borough Council will continue to support tourism in Winchcombe in various ways including:

  • Supporting the locally run website Experience Winchcombe to promote the area
  • Developing new marketing campaigns for the Winchcombe area, and support for tourism businesses
  • Supporting Winchcombe’s many attractions through Cotswold Tourism
  • Engaging with local businesses to understand how they can best be supported by the council, particularly in attracting visitors to the area

Chair of Winchcombe Town Council, Jim Mason, added:
“The decision to withdraw funding from our information centre was not one that was taken lightly. As a council, we have a responsibility towards the residents of Winchcombe to apportion our financial resources wisely, and given that customers are more and more frequently choosing to access information online, we decided our budget would be better allocated to other ways of promoting Winchcombe as a tourist destination.
Our (sic) Experience Winchcombe website will, of course, continue to provide a wealth of information on the town and what it has to offer.
I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to the Information Centre staff, and to all those involved behind the scenes in its running, for their excellent work over the years in being the welcoming face of Winchcombe.

Tewkesbury Borough Council’s Leader and Lead member for Economic Development and Promotion, Councillor Richard Stanley, said:
“The withdrawal of funding for the tourism information centre was a difficult decision for the town council, but importantly we will still work closely with them to support tourism in Winchcombe
I’d like to thank the whole Winchcombe TIC team, including our casual colleagues who have supported the core team, for their hard work and commitment over the years in supporting the community and visitors. Where possible, we will redeploy the staff into alternative roles and also provide support in applying for other jobs, ahead of 31st March 2024.”

ROLLOUT OF ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING POINTS GETS UNDER WAY
Work on installing 1,000 electric vehicle (EV) charging points in Gloucestershire over the next three years has got under way this week.

More than 20 sites were chosen to be part of the first phase of the rollout after residents were invited to give their feedback and work started on the first five sites around the county on Monday 16 October.
The first five sites are in: Stroud Road, Gloucester; Churchill Road, Gloucester; Abbey Terrace, Winchcombe; Elwyn Road, Cheltenham; Church Street, Newent.
Work is expected to take about three weeks to complete and the chargepoints are due to be operational in the week commencing 6 November.
The locations for the first phase of the rollout, along with more information, can be found here and further locations are being identified to continue the next phase.

The county council listened to public feedback and made changes to the proposals in light of responses. To ensure value for money, two twin chargepoints are being installed in many locations, so four EVs can be charged. However in areas with the greatest parking pressures only two bays for EVs are being marked out initially, before there is demand to fill four bays.

Some locations in Stroud were dropped following the feedback and the council has made it a high priority to find alternative sites.

The programme is part of the county council's strategy to tackle the climate emergency, helping Gloucestershire to reduce the impact of transport on our climate and improve local air quality. The scheme is funded by the county council and the Department for Transport's On Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS).

Greater availability of public chargepoints will make it easier for residents to switch to EVs. However with one third of homes in Gloucestershire lacking the ability to charge an EV on a driveway, the council and government are prioritising chargepoints in these locations.

These new chargepoints will be installed in public areas, giving residents greater confidence that they will be able to charge their EV either near their home, while working or when out and about in the county.

Around one third of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in Gloucestershire comes from transport and private vehicle use accounts for over half of this (55 per cent). However switching from fossil fuel to electric vehicles has the potential to reduce these figures significantly.

The county council has appointed Connected Kerb to install and run its network of chargers. Residents can share their views on where they think new charging points should be located by registering their interest here.

Cllr David Gray, cabinet member for environment and planning at Gloucestershire County Council, said:
“I'm delighted that the rollout for our electric vehicle charging points has now started. Electric vehicles reduce emissions and noise pollution, as well as improve air quality.
These charging points will provide accessible facilities for residents who do not have off-street parking and help to create a greener Gloucestershire.”

Chris Pateman-Jones, CEO of Connected Kerb, said:
“Local communities are the beating heart of the EV transition which is why listening to their feedback on EV charging proposals is so important. Our aim is make EV charging inclusive, reliable and convenient for everyone, particularly residents without a driveway, so all input is invaluable. This is a great project that will encourage further EV uptake and accelerate Gloucestershire's efforts to tackle climate change.”

Find out more about how you can reduce your travel emissions on the Thinktravel website: https://www.thinktravel.info
Keep up to date with the latest climate change news from the council by subscribing to the Greener Gloucestershire Climate Action newsletter.

“Helping Us to Help You” online survey
Homeowners across the Tewkesbury Borough

If you are a homeowner investing in your property over the next 1-5 years, then the Low Carbon Communities Project will provide opportunities for homeowners in Tewkesbury Borough to receive technical support and advice about energy efficiency and home retrofit. This will be subject to availability aimed at those investing in or looking to complete home improvements.

What home improvements are we talking about?

We are talking about retrofit home improvements. Retrofit in this instance is about modifying an existing home. A retrofit project can be big or small. Everyday examples of retrofit are more commonly termed ‘maintenance’. This could be something small like adding draught proofing to something much bigger like adding solar panels.

If you are interested in this type of support for your home improvements, please complete our online survey providing you with the opportunity to express your interest and for future engagement with us.

There are lots of reasons you may be undertaking retrofit such as:

  • Updating elements inside or out to make them more appealing
  • Improving the comfort of your home
  • Changing the size or layout
  • Investing now to save money in the longer term by lower running costs
  • Reducing your homes carbon footprint

These days, more and more people are also thinking about ow their homes contribute to the climate crisis and they want to know how they can change that for the better.

WINCHCOMBE POST OFFICE FRANCHISE FOR SALE
Post Office Ltd looking for successful retailer to incorporate Post Office Local into existing or proposed business
NOTICE OF CONCLUSION OF AUDIT
Annual Governance & Accountablity Retrun for the year ended 31st March 2023

Sections 20(2) and 25 of the Loca Authority Audit and Accountability Act 2014
Accounta and Audit Regulations 2015 (SI 2015 / 234)

The audit of accounts for Winchcombe Town Council for the year ended 31st March 2021 has been completed and teh accounts have been published.

WINCHCOMBE MATTERS
This season's news from your Town Council

In this issue:

  • Meet your new Councillors
  • Winchcombe Park
  • A Right Royal Celebration
  • Join your Town Council

CEMETERY FEES AND REGULATIONS
Effective from 6th July 2023
NATIONAL GRID’S COTSWOLD VISUAL IMPACT PROVISION
Going underground in the Cotswolds

The Visual Impact Provision (VIP) project in the Cotswolds National Landscape aims to reduce the visual impact of National Grid’s overhead line that runs over the Cotswold Plateau and along Cotswold Way.

Stakeholders have agreed that the best way to achieve this is to remove a section of this overhead line and replace it with electricity cables buried underground. This represents a major opportunity to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and environmental heritage of this precious Cotswold landscape.

The section of National Grid transmission line to be removed is around 7km long, from the north east of Dixton to the south east of Cheltenham.
The line runs parallel to the Cotswold Way National Trail for much of its length, with many regional trails also crossing the area. As well as Cotswold Way, the existing overhead line can be seen from Belas Knap long barrow, the Winchcombe Way, and Cleeve Common - the latter being very popular with dog walkers, horse riders, cyclists and ramblers.

This section of line was identified by an independent landscape study as having landscape impacts of high importance.
It’s an area of huge national significance, with the World Conservation Union recognising the Cotswolds National Landscape as a Category V protected landscape - a protected area managed mainly for landscape protection and recreation.
Most of the area is covered by farmland, and over half of the country’s flower-rich (Jurassic) limestone grassland can be found in the Cotswolds. The line was judged to have visual impacts of high importance affecting users of the Cotswold Way National Trail and visitors to attractions such as Belas Knap burial ground and Cleeve Common.
This is a long section of line across a classic Cotswold landscape, the topography and steep slopes making it a fascinating engineering challenge.

For more information about this project, please visit the National Grid “Visual Impact Provision (VIP) project” website.

NOTICE OF PUBLIC RIGHTS AND PUBLICATION OF UNAUDITED ANNUAL GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY RETURN
Commencing on Friday 30th June 2023
and ending on Friday 11th August 2023
Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 Sections 26 and 27
The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 (SI 2015 ⁄ 234)