IN recent weeks South Gloucestershire Council has agreed its budget for this year and it is positive to see significant investment in the areas that get raised with me as the local Member of Parliament.
Across our highways, it is welcome news that there will be an additional £1 million of investment to resurface local roads and fix potholes, alongside extra resources to upgrade drainage on the highway network to reduce local flooding.
Action against littering, dog fouling and other environmental crimes will be taken by the council’s Street Enforcement Service, which is being put on a permanent footing following a successful trial last year. We are already starting to see the results of successful prosecutions of people caught littering locally.
I know this is a worry for many, so it is reassuring to see that support with the cost of living will continue this year, with an extra £500,000 of local financial support on top of support provided through government initiatives.
Free parking will continue in all council-owned car parks, which not only helps shoppers keep more money in their pockets, but supports our local traders and businesses too.
I’m working closely with councillors Colin Hunt, Alka Mehta-Graham and Rachael Hunt and we are therefore pleased to see funding set aside to deliver the new Lyde Green primary and secondary schools – and education funding for all schools will go up by over £15m this year.
Additional support for pupils with additional needs comes on top of this. We have seen school standards transformed over recent years – with 90 per cent of schools now rated good or outstanding – and it is encouraging to see investment continue to drive standards up even further.
Moving towards a Net Zero carbon future is so important for our economic, social and environmental well-being. The installation of solar panels on all remaining council buildings, with work to support schools and leisure centres to follow suit, will generate electricity and income, alongside delivering carbon savings.
I welcome the council’s support for protecting nature locally, including our Green Belt countryside.
We continue to be in tough times, which is why it is more important than ever to be supporting vulnerable people, as well as investing in the infrastructure and services that underpin a strong and resilient local economy and high quality environment for the future.