Forest of Dean Council Consultation
Consultation can be defined as a process where advice, information and opinions are sought. The consultation we carry out will help shape our policies and services to meet the varying needs of our residents. Everyone should have the opportunity to have their say on issues that affect them.
Council Tax Benefit
Forest of Dean District Council, and all the other local authorities in Gloucestershire, are asking residents for their views on a new locally-determined Council Tax benefit scheme which would come into force in April 2013.
View document: Council tax benefit survey
Budget Consultation 2012/2013
The Forest of Dean District Council has published its draft budget for 2012/2013, setting out proposed savings and a strategy to balance the books over the next three years. The budget is set against a backdrop of a cut in central government funding of up to 36% (£2.5m) over four years to March 2015, with the majority coming in the first two years.
Housing Strategy Consultation
The supply of good quality, affordable housing is essential to allow communities to thrive. Many of the residents of the Forest of Dean district face significant housing challenges. Local house prices continue to remain high for the many on medium to low incomes to afford. In addition many, particularly older householders, are unable to afford the cost of modernising and improving poorly maintained housing that is hard to heat.
This Housing Strategy document is the Forest of Dean Strategy for Housing for the next five years 2013-2018. It incorporates the Homelessness Prevention and Tenancy Strategies outlining the housing challenges facing residents of the area and setting out the means by which, through working in partnership, the Council will attempt to address them.
We would now welcome your views and comments on the draft document by completing the Housing Strategy Questionnaire. The aims of the consultation and how to respond are contained in the questionnaire.
The deadline for consultation responses to be received is 1 February 2013.
Gloucestershire Homeseeker Policy Changes - Consultation
Gloucestershire Homeseeker is the system by which Social Housing is allocated within the six District Councils across Gloucestershire.
We are proposing to make changes to the Gloucestershire Homeseeker Policy as a result of the Welfare Reform Act and the Localism Act. We have also made a few changes to simplify the banding table and make it easier to understand.
The full policy will be updated on the website once the consultation period has ended and the changes have been approved by the 6 partner local authorities. The IT system will then have to be upgraded and tested. We expect to be ready to start using the new policy in the Summer 2013.
We are asking users of the system and support agencies to comment on the changes as set out below. The website address is www.gloshomeseeker.co.uk. The banding table has also been updated and shows how priority will be awarded in the revised policy. Click on the link to access the following documents; Covering letter - Your Comments - Banding Table
Comments can be sent to:
The Housing Options Team, Forest of Dean District Council, High Street, Coleford, Gloucestershire GL16 8HG.
Telephone: 01594 810000
The consultation period is running from Wednesday, 2 January 2013 for 12 weeks and will close at the end of Tuesday, 26 March 2013.
Cinderford Northern Quarter Masterplan and Design Code - Community Consultation
A revised Masterplan and Design Code document for Cinderford has been approved by Forest of Dean District's cabinet and will now be followed by a final round of community consultation.
The updated documents are available for comment for the next six weeks until 4 March. The Masterplan will then be finalised and brought back to the Council for adoption in April.
The main change within the Masterplan reflects the revised route for a new 1.5km single carriageway link road that will open up the Cinderford Northern Quarter site for new mixed-use investment. The road will provide a new access into Cinderford from the A4136 and will provide welcome relief from traffic congestion for Steam Mills Primary School users and local residents.
The new junction with the A4136 has been changed in response to concerns expressed by Natural England and the local bat group who were worried about the impact the new road may have on the bat colonies in this location. The new alignment moves the junction further west away from the existing Northern United access and away from the artificial bat roost in the woods.
The Council will use the Masterplan and Design Code to guide developers and investors as they prepare future planning applications.
The Masterplan and Design Code can be viewed on the Council's website (the document is item number 33), in Cinderford Town Council and at all surrounding Parish Councils, Cinderford Library and in the Council's main reception in Coleford. Comments can be emailed to Louise.Scammell@fdean.gov.uk or written to Louise Scammell, Regeneration Officer, Forest of Dean District Council, Council Offices, High Street, Coleford, GL16 8HG.
Forest Viewpoint Panel
Our Viewpoint Panel is a group of residents that is broadly representative of the district population. We use the panel to get feedback on our services and policies to help decision-making. We are currently refreshing the panel, which requires us to recruit new members.
If you are interested in becoming one of our volunteers on the Viewpoint Panel you will need to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org you will need to provide your name, postal and email address. We will contact you when the results of any review is known.
No personal information you give us will be passed on to third parties for commercial purposes. Our policy is that all information will be shared among officers and other agencies where the legal framework allows it, if this will help to improve the service you receive and to develop other services. If you do not want certain information about you to be exchanged within the Council, you can request that this does not happen.
Our Equalities Advisory Panel
We have an Equalities Advisory Panel which consists of members of the community representing groups of people sharing protected characteristics. They give us feedback on our services and help us to carry out equality impact assessments. Their feedback helps us to identify opportunities for improvement. The group was established in April 2008 and reviewed in June 2011. The group consists of new panel members with other interested parties welcome to join us. The notes and feedback from recent meetings can be downloaded below:
16 February 2012 notes
The Terms of Reference for this group can be downloaded by clicking this link - Terms of Reference
If you are interested in being one of the panel members, then please contact the Community Engagement Team on 01594 812617.