Please see below for the latest news from Newent Town Council.... 
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 
 
On behalf of Newent, the Town Council send congratulations to local heroes Carl Hester and Charlottee Dujardin, who together with team member Charlottee Fry, won a Bronze medal for Britain in the Toyko Games. Charlottee Dujardin also becomes Britain's first most decorated female Olympian, as she claimed Bronze in the individual Dressage with her horse Gio, taking her overall total to 6 medals. Team bronze and individual bronze in Tokyo to add to 3 gold and a silver medal from the London and Rio Olympic Games.  
We are proud to having you living in Newent!  
Road Closure 
Church Street: junction Bury Bar Lane to junction Church Way, for 175m 
Reason: Access to Overhead Network - cabling for new customer connection 
Dates/Time: 26/11/2021 09:30 until 15:30 
Proposed Alternative Route signed 
Pedestrian & emergency access maintained 
Contact: Gloucestershire Highways 08000 514514 
https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/highways/ 
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”. 
 
Free COVID Business Course 
 
Forest of Dean District Council is offering free courses to local businesses to help keep them COVID safe during the winter months. The Keeping Your Business COVID Safe during the Winter Months course will take place each Monday in October and November 2021, starting 18 October. The course will include practical demonstrations on Disinfection Fogging, Air Purification and Distance Space Bands devices. 
 
The course is a great opportunity for local businesses to learn and understand the risks of COVID transmission and the steps they can take to minimise that risk. The course contains a wealth of information for businesses, including practical demonstrations on keeping businesses COVID safe. 
 
The course can help ensure businesses and the public remain healthy and safe this winter. Topics include information on hazards of COVID transmission, the routes of transmission and how this can be avoided, as well as control measures. 
 
The District Council invites all who are interested to sign up and attend. Upon completion of the course delegates will receive a Certificate of attendance by the Forest of Dean District Council. 
 
If you are interested in attending one of the courses at locations in the Forest of Dean district, please email covid.secure@publicagroup.uk to register, quoting FODDC. 
 
 
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. 
 
 
Christmas Home Decoration Competition 
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