Over a Decade of Action from 2004
Conservative City Council Key Achievements since 2004
• Kept council tax rises down – an average of less than 2% a year against 10% a year average for the previous 10 years when the other parties ran the Council. Council tax frozen for the last 4 years.
• Repaid £10 million of debt inherited from Lib-Lab administration. Borrowing is now only undertaken for specific projects where we know how it is going to be repaid.
• £7.5 million savings delivered over the last 4 years, mainly through efficiencies, in order to protect frontline services.
• Council management and accommodation costs reduced. Three floors of North Warehouse now occupied by office provider Regus. Reception at Herbert Warehouse refurbished to provide a better service to customers.
• Car parking charges cut.
• St Oswalds Park – former cattle market transformed into successful retail and leisure park, with residential elements including extra care village.
• Docks warehouses restored, new build taken place and new public spaces created.
• Gloucester Park transformed.
• Gloucester Quays scheme delivered, including latest phase of new cinema and restaurants.
• Linkages work between Gloucester Quays and the city centre completed
• 20 years of dereliction on the Railway Triangle ended, with new Morrisons supermarket opened and further phases to follow.
• Former Golden Egg acquired from Aviva and demolished. Kings Quarter redevelopment (around Kings Square and the Bus Station) closer than ever before through the Council’s partnership with Stanhope plc. Funding for bus station secured.
• Took on city centre assets from now defunct Regional Development Agency, including the Fleece Hotel, where urgent works have been carried out to save the listed structures and demolition of the newer interventions has taken place. Deal with YMCA currently being progressed to complete restoration.
• Former Gloscat college sites in Brunswick Road currently being redeveloped by Linden Homes to create a new residential quarter in the city centre.
• Restoration of historic buildings - 66 Westgate Street (former Teapots) with Council grant, Robert Raikes House, St Michael’s Tower, St Oswalds Priory. Blackfriars Priory opened as venue for events and exhibitions. Trust set up to manage and restore Llanthony Priory, which has now been awarded a stage one Heritage Lottery Fund pass.
• £2 million City Centre Investment Fund created for projects to support the city centre.
Culture, Leisure, Sport and Events
• Re-opened the Folk Museum after it was closed by the previous administration.
• £ 1 million museum refurbishment project completed, including ground floor at the City Museum and new Education Building at the Folk Museum.
• Secured Rugby World Cup Host City status for 2015.
• Tall Ships Festival held in 2007, 2009, 2011 & 2013. First major History Festival held in September 2012 and annually since. Successful portfolio of events for the city put together with partners, including Food Festival, Home & Garden event, Victorian Market and Crucible sculpture exhibition.
• Christmas activities increased –new lights, switch-on event/lantern procession, Christmas markets.
• Creation of Aspire Leisure Trust to manage GL1 and Tennis Centre.
• New outdoor market and car boot site opened at Hempsted Meadows, with more events now taking place there.
• Blackbridge athletics track refurbished.
• Creation of Marketing Gloucester to promote the city.
• Recycling rate increased from 7% to around 40%. Green box recycling extended across the whole city, plastic bottles and card now collected, garden waste collection introduced and separate food waste collection.
• Gloucester City Homes given 3-star rating and £40m of investment in “Decent Homes”, making 100% of our council houses meet the standard. Government has agreed to write off £50 million historic housing debt.
• Level of new affordable housing units delivered consistently higher than the previous administration.
• Worked with developers to bring community facilities and local centres to new housing schemes such as Kingsway.
• Leadership through the floods of 2007 and over 100 flood alleviation schemes undertaken since.
• Major improvements to open spaces across the city, including works at Robinswood Hill.
• Urban Wildflower Meadows introduced, helping Gloucester to become Britain’s first “Bee Guardian City”.
• Major investment in play areas across the city – more than £1 million spent on over 20 sites.
• Tough action taken to bring empty homes back into use – including the compulsory purchase of long-term empty property in Bristol Road. The threat of CPO has been used to bring other long-term empty homes back into use.
• Continued to support voluntary sector in the city through grants at a higher level than most councils. Further funding levered in from other sources such as the Lottery.
• Armed Forces Champion appointed and Military Covenant, setting out our commitment to the Forces community, signed.
• New City Vision agreed after extensive consultation.
• Believe in Gloucester campaign launched, and awards introduced with Gloucestershire Media, to generate pride in the city.
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