Please see below for the latest news from Newent Town Council.... 
 
 
 
ANNUAL PARISH MEETING 
 
Thursday 22nd April, 7pm 
 
Online by Zoom 
 
Includes Annual report by Newent Mayor 
and 
Public Question Session 
 
Please advise the Town Clerk of any questions you wish to put 
to the Councillors, in writing 7 days prior to the meeting 
 
townclerk@newenttowncouncil.gov.uk 
 
Newent Town Council, 1st Floor, Community Centre, Ross Road, Newent GL18 1BD 
 
Meeting login details will be published on the agenda on the Council’s website 
 
 
 
Mayor’s Update – Cllr. Christine Howley – Spring 2021 
On 23rd March I took part in the National Day of Reflection at St Mary’s Church. This service was led by Rev Simon Mason; prayers were said for the people affected by the pandemic over the course of the year, those that had lost their lives to this dreadful virus, and those that were left grieving. A two-minute silence was held, and after it was a privilege to tie a yellow ribbon to the church railings in memory of and a support to all those affected, on behalf of Newent Town Council. 
 
On 25th March I attended a zoom meeting held by the National Association of Local Councils entitled Build Back Resilient Communities. The main discussions were how councils had coped during this year of the pandemic, and what could be learnt from their experiences. I came away assured that Newent had held together and dealt extremely well with this pandemic in a community minded spirit. We were very lucky that we already had the Lord’s Larder in place, and they had taken on the greater challenge and ensured that all vulnerable families were catered for. We also had the We Will Help Newent group who came together and took the town through the first lockdown, covering food shopping, prescriptions, befriending, etc. We were very lucky and should be very proud of what our community achieved. 
 
On 30th March the Deputy Mayor and I attended a zoom meeting held by Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice. We were deeply moved by the reports given to us by the Hospice Director; we are sure that most people are aware of the challenges faced by all groups attending the needs of the seriously ill during these times, but to hear it first hand was very humbling for us. 
 
I am pleased to confirm that a tree planting project at the Lake has been completed. The planting took place over two sessions, involving Councillors and members of the public, Castle Fruit Farm, Girl Guide Rangers and Neil Evans from Leaf Creative.A representative from our sponsor arrived to see the area a few days later and was impressed and supportive of what had been undertaken so far. Although in normal circumstances the project should have been completed many months ago, we had been given an extension due to the pandemic we live with. We are grateful for the support received from Leaf Creative who worked with us and enabled us to purchase several large expensive trees at cost. 
 
Just a reminder the Council’s Annual Parish Meeting will be taking place on 22nd April. Residents are welcome to attend to hear what work the Council has undertaken in the past year and to put forward any questions to the Councillors. Questions should be submitted to townclerk@newenttowncouncil.gov.uk by 15th April. 
 
Thank you 
Christine Howley 
 
 
NDP Countryside, Habitats and Wildlife Survey 
From the wooded slopes of May Hill to the orchards and meadows of Botloes Green, Newent is set in an attractive, diverse, and productive landscape. 
 
This new survey is the first of two dealing with environmental matters. A subsequent survey will collect information about pollution, flooding and climate change. Your responses will help us to ensure that the priorities of local people concerning the environment are represented in the final Neighbourhood Development Plan. 
 
If you live at a GL18 1** postcode, please complete our anonymous survey by clicking here: http://bit.ly/ndp-countryside 
 
The survey will also be available in paper form, which can be collected and dropped off at the Market Square Co-op in Newent. The blank forms and a collection box for completed surveys are situated behind the tills. 
 
If you didn't manage to complete our first short survey on transport, it is not too late. Just visit the NDP website 
 
 
New Hospital Consultation 
 
Please see here the Town Council's response to the New Hospital in Cinderford consultation. HospitalConsultation.pdf 
 
GRANT FUNDING AVAILABLE - NEWENT PARISH ONLY 
 
Applications will only be considered from organisations meeting the following criteria:- “Pro-social youth activities provided by voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations (other than by schools, statutory bodies or private companies) such activities to include sessions and programmes in the field of youth work, sports, play, informal education, physical and cultural activities with young people including those with protected equality characteristics from the age of 8 to 18 years who live, learn or play in the Newent area.” 
 
If you believe that your organisation qualifies for grant aid from the fund, please complete an application form and a business case form. 
 
Individual grant funding applications shall be between £5,000 - £10,000. One application being considered for each individual organisation. The funding source is from Gloucestershire County Council and administered by Newent Town Council. 
 
Newent Town Council and Gloucestershire County Council are not obligated to accept bids that are considered non-compliant and can also offer organisations at the sole judgement of the aforementioned bodies a lower figure than requested. 
 
The bids should clearly indicate how the monies, if granted, are to be utilised and a timescale to provide said service which must be before March 2022. 
 
Closing date for applications is Midday on 5th May 2021. 
 
Town Council Sets Budget 
Newent Town Council approved a budget for 2021/2022 at its meeting on 11th January and will raise £302,439 through the Council Tax, which equates to an increase of 8p per week for a Band D property. 
 
The Council has striven to address all actions that are required in the forthcoming year, balanced against the knowledge that it is funded by the ratepayers of the town. 
 
Part of the increased funds will be used towards improving youth facilities, as well as supporting local organisations. 
 
Councillor Mrs Howley, Mayor of Newent said, “The Council was very mindful of the impact the pandemic has had and kept the increase to an absolute minimum, whilst ensuring projects benefiting of the town can still be progressed”. 
 
CENSUS 2021 
 
Census Day has now passed. You must fill in your census, 
if you haven’t already. Whatever your needs, there are support services to help you. If you need help, visit census.gov.uk or call 0800 141 2021. 
 
Census Support Centres 
Census Support Centres provide local phone support for queries,over the phone completion and taking bookings for face-to-face help in completing the online census questionnaire. They will ring back callers to ensure the call is free. The Parliamentary Regulations regarding COVID-19 have been amended from 8 March, which means the majority of centres can now start to open for face-to-face support, where local COVID-19 conditions allow and it is safe to do so. 
 
To contact the South Glos Census Support Centres, please call 01454 865022 
 
To contact the Stroud Census Support Centres, please call 01453 751651 
 
To contact the Forest of Dean Census Support Centres, please call 01594 823937 
 
Other Census Support Centres can be located by calling the Contact Centre on 0800 141 2021 or by visiting www.census.gov.uk/en/find-a-support-centre. 
 
Local Elections - 6 May 2021 
Registering to vote 
Anyone who wishes to vote must be registered on the electoral register. The deadline for those who are not registered to make an application is Monday 19 April. For more information and to register see: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote 
 
Postal voting 
For anyone interested in voting by post this year they just need to make sure they apply before 20 April 2021. They can request a postal vote application form by visiting https://www.fdean.gov.uk/about-the-council/elections-and-voting/register-to-vote/ 
We would encourage people to sign up to do this as quickly as possible. 
 
Proxy voting 
If a resident is unable to make it to the polling station, then they can nominate someone to be their proxy and cast their vote for them. The proxy needs to be a registered voter and able to attend the voter’s own polling station. Applications for proxy voting need to be sent to the District Council by no later than 5pm on Tuesday 27 April. 
 
 
More information around the local elections for 2021 can be found at our website https://www.fdean.gov.uk/about-the-council/elections-and-voting/ 
 
 
 
 
Residents’ and Neighbourhood Associations Initial support 
 
Newent Town Council encourages residents of this parish to set up local voluntary associations which can help organize community action and engagement. Building a cohesive, strong community is regarded as essential for sustainability and resilience in the future of the town and parish. This factsheet sets out some guidance and offers initial support to any group of residents wishing to start up their own association. Help, advice and information is available from the following organisations: 
 
1. Forest Voluntary Action Forum (FVAF): 01594 822073 Forest wide, based in Cinderford https://fvaf.org.uk 
 
2. Your Circle (was Gloucestershire Rural Community Council - GRCC): County wide, based in Gloucester https://www.yourcircle.org.uk 
 
A grant of up to £50 is offered to each proposed association to cover room hire, photocopying costs for start-up publicity. As an example, this would cover printing costs, in house, of approximately 400 one sided, colour A4 leaflets in a basic design. Content to be submitted by the organisers and approved by the Council. By offering this support, Newent Town Council wishes to ensure that no group of residents is disadvantaged. Further grants, if needed, are available from other sources. The organisations mentioned above can signpost appropriately once an association is constituted. 
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