March 2022: News from your local MP
Chris Skidmore writes for Kingswood Voice
AS the local MP, I welcome the approval of South Gloucestershire Council’s budget for the forthcoming financial year and believe it will be of significant benefit to the communities, residents and businesses across Kingswood.
The council says it pursues robust financial management of taxpayers’ money and this is immediately apparent through its four-year balanced budget, increased investment in frontline services and below inflation rise in council tax.
Our local environment and communities will benefit from extra funding going into street cleansing and highway maintenance, including road resurfacing and filling potholes. A new flagship park will be created in Cadbury Heath, through upgrading an existing green space. The project will begin later this year to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee and it will have a focus on supporting wildlife in a built-up area.
Alongside the council’s budget, I welcome the creation of a new Town Council for Kingswood which will allow more support for our community and allow local people greater control on tackling local issues, just like in neighbouring areas Hanham and Oldland. I was disappointed to see local Labour councillors vote against this, especially as they voted to create new parish councils elsewhere.
Vulnerable children will be supported with £15m of extra funding, on top of over £12m extra investment into our schools. The council is also extending its Youth Employment Hub to support local youngsters into employment and training and there is new investment into boosting child literacy through local libraries.
Support for our local economy and jobs comes through the unlocking of over £100million of new transport investment into buses, cycling and walking. I am delighted that the council has begun a formal review into the future of car parking charges at the Kings Chase Shopping Centre following my campaign. High Street coordinators will continue their work to help our high streets thrive, including in areas such as Hanham.
And finally the country’s prestigious cycling event – the Tour of Britain – will come to South Gloucestershire this summer and will be an opportunity for us to showcase our area.
For those residents struggling with the rising cost of living, it should come as reassuring news that the council has extended its Community Resilience Fund which makes grants available to households in need. You can apply online through the council’s website or call 01454 868009.
Both I and my office team will continue to support residents needing any help and advice. Please email me at email@example.com or call 0117 908 1524