MP visit focuses on the future of the Forest

Forest of Dean District Council welcomed local MP, Mark Harper, to a meeting with the Council’s Cabinet last week to discuss regeneration plans and ambitions within the district. 

Cabinet members discussed regeneration plans and updated the MP on projects such as Five Acres and High Street Regeneration with a view to finding ways of working more closely on achieving the ambitions they have for the district’s growth and regeneration.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Tim Gwilliam, said: “The meeting was of enormous value to the Cabinet and the Council. To be able to discuss our ambitions with our MP and to in turn hear his views, advice and support is a valuable tool for any local authority. We brought him up to speed on our priority projects and he undertook to look into assisting us in delivering those.

“This Council wants to aim big and to achieve; Mr Harper’s support will be vital to us in doing just that.  I thank him for his time and look forward to further meetings.”

Whilst at the Coleford offices, Mr Harper also took some time to speak with work experience students and interns; Will Llewellyn, from Dene Magna High School and Matthew Green, currently on a ten-week internship in the Regeneration team.

Will Llewellyn’s week of work experience included a trip out with the street wardens, attending a cabinet meeting, contributing to the Love Your Forest scheme, helping out with a council-run exercise referral class and attending a Cinderford Regeneration Board meeting. Will found his week at the council a positive experience and very much enjoyed seeing the variety of work that the council staff do.

Matthew Green is currently studying towards his Masters in Urban Planning at Bristol UWE. Over his 10 weeks with the council, he will be supporting the Forest of Dean’s future ambitions for regeneration, focusing on gathering evidence to support project work, external funding bids and contributing to the strategic strategy and plan-making efforts. Matthew grew up in the Forest and is excited to contribute to local regeneration activity. 

Rt Hon Mark Harper MP said: “I enjoyed having a robust and productive discussion with the District Council’s Cabinet about their regeneration projects. I look forward to working with the council to increase visitor numbers, support local businesses by providing better facilities, as well as benefit families and communities through enhancing their use of the local landscape. It was great to meet Will and Matthew, and hear about their experience at the Council”.

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