Cirencester Town Council Monthly Briefing

Christmas Window Competition 2022

The winner of Cirencester Chamber of Commerce’s Christmas window competition, in partnership with Cirencester Town Council, has been announced.

In a very close competition, Cirencester Antiques Centre in the Market Place has been named the winner and will be awarded the Peter Stringfellow Memorial Trophy.

This year’s competition was judged by the Mayor of Cirencester, Cllr Sabrina Dixon, Cllr Gary Selwyn the Lead Member for Community Services, and Cirencester Town Council officers, Andrew Tubb, CEO and Becky Coles, Community Services Manager.

Over 50 Cirencester shop windows were appraised on their originality, creativity, visual impact, festivity, relevance and overall impact.

The competition was extremely close, with French Grey in West Market Place and H&H Hairdressing in Castle Street declared worthy runners-up. Additionally, judges congratulated the businesses that came highest in each of the categories; H&H Hairdressing (Originality & overall impact), Cotswolds Dogs & Cats Home, Ashcroft Road (Creativity), French Grey (Visual impact & festivity) and Oops a Daisy, Cricklade Street (Relevance).

Budget Survey 2023-24

Cirencester Town Council is consulting on its proposed budget for 2023-24; in November the Council agreed to consult on not increasing Council tax. This puts a heavy reliance on the Council’s reduced
reserves and an increased reliance on securing external income, it also ensures that basic services continue but will not fund major improvements. Since November, in light of increased financial pressures
on meeting the needs of local communities, the Government has announced that town and parish councils can increase Council tax without the need for a local referendum and that local authorities can raise Council tax by 3% before a local referendum is needed.

We would welcome your views ahead of the Council formally considering this matter at the end of January and deciding on the Council tax and budget for 2023-24.

Please complete the survey below and ensure that friends and family in Cirencester complete the survey too:

Calling all Young People

Are you at secondary school, college or University and have a connection with, or live in, Cirencester? Your voice is important to us and we need your views.

Please take time-out to complete our youth survey and ensure your voice is heard as we look to set our budget and priorities for 2023-24.

Christmas in Cirencester

Do you have a connection with, or live, in Cirencester? Did you visit the Christmas Markets in Cirencester?

We would value your feedback by completing the following survey:

Cirencester Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group

2022 has been a busy year for Cirencester’s Neighbourhood Planning Steering Group (NPSG). Since welcoming many of you to our 3-day public Engagement Event at the Corinium Museum last December, we have been working hard to consolidate and develop your views and ideas and to ensure they are properly evidenced and reflected in the draft Regulation 14 Neighbourhood Plan (NP).

Once drafted and approved by the NPSG, working alongside our Planning Consultant Feria Urbanism, the Regulation 14 NP will go out for 6 weeks’ public consultation. We anticipate this consultation will take place mid-2023. This is later than originally planned and the reason for this is two-fold.  The first is the scale of the task of creating a Neighbourhood Plan for town the size of Cirencester which has superb
heritage and is undergoing considerable growth. The second reason is that the Neighbourhood Plan is one of several important town planning and infrastructure projects underway in and around Cirencester at the moment, all of which feed into and influence one another. These other projects include the preparation of the CDCs Local Plan update, and the Cirencester Town Centre Framework Masterplan. It makes sense therefore that our Reg14 consultation next year is likely to be run jointly with the TCMP.

Our December engagement last year was characterised by:

* A good level of youth engagement, with the involvement of
Cirencester College Geography classes

* Much support for/discussion around the 20-minute
neighbourhood concept, the walking and cycling routes (depicted as wheel
and spokes) and improvement to Primary Care facilities

* Identification of 6 key words for inclusion in the Vision
Statement: Character, Green, Heritage, Sustainable, Culture and Nature.

Following that event, three NP Sub-Groups were formed in order to focus efforts on identifying, mapping and gathering evidence to support these and other important initiatives which have come out of our engagement with community and other stakeholders.

Town Centre Connections Sub-group (TCC):

This group has been gathering evidence and developing ideas in relation to land use, which could include consideration of a multi-modal hub, active travel, 20 minute-neighbourhood concepts and other important issues coming out of NP community consultation, all with direct impact on/relevance to CDC Town Centre Masterplan.  By acting as an interface with the CDC Town Centre Masterplan project, the TCC seeks to ensure that the CDC Town Centre Masterplan reflects the evidence, ideas and vision gathered and alighted on through the NDP process and by extension, the aspirations of the local community.

CTC applied for and was awarded a High Street Regeneration Grant from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities to support our TCC group in this task by providing additional planning expertise from Feria Urbanism.

Non-designated Heritage Assets Sub-group (NDHA):

This group was formed to address the importance of protecting and enhancing NDHAs which are valued local unlisted buildings, monuments, green spaces, views and vistas in Cirencester. Working closely with CDC, members of this group have been reaching out to Community Groups and walking the Town to establish criteria for, identifying and compiling a list of evidence supported submissions for inclusion in our NP. 70+ NDHAs have been recommended for inclusion to date.

Primary Care separate parallel group:

Although not within the influence of a NP, this group has been set up to lobby for improved Primary Care Provision, as it seeks to support the NPs 20-minute neighbourhood aspirations.

Looking forward to 2023, the NPSG and Feria Urbanism are continuing to refine and develop the Regulation 14 Draft NP. We will keep you informed of plans for the joint consultation and hope to confirm dates early in the New Year.

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