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 £1million of investment to resurface local roads and fix potholes, alongside extra resource 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 and so it is reassuring to see that support with the cost of living will continue this year and 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 am pleased to have played a role in helping to assemble an unprecedented £25million public investment package for Kingswood Town Centre. And that council funding to the tune of £400,000 has been secured to support the vitality of Hanham High Street, including refurbishing the public toilets.
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 carbon savings.
I welcome the council support for protecting nature locally, including our Green Belt countryside, like The Batch site in Hanham. This goes hand in hand with investing in regenerating our brownfield sites, like the former Grange School site, Kingswood town centre and the Kleeneze site. I have launched a petition to protect the Batch from development and this can be accessed on my website at: www.chrisskidmore.com
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.