Council of the Week: Lydney Town Council
This week we are celebrating the work and achievements of Lydney Town Council (LTC), a forward thinking and proactive Council in Gloucestershire.
Lydney Town Council (LTC) covers approximately eight square miles, standing on the north bank of the UK’s longest river, the River Severn, and is the gateway to the Royal Forest of Dean by road, rail and sea. Steeped in history it has been suggested that the Saxons named the settlement ‘Lydeney’ possibly meaning either ‘Travellers Island’ or ‘broad’, referring to the River Severn itself.
The council is dedicated to meeting the needs and aspirations of the whole community; to improving the quality of life for people living in Lydney and enhancing the attractiveness of the town as a place in which to live, work, visit or invest. It’s excellence in these areas has just been recognised and the council is one of the first to be awarded the Quality Gold level of our Local Council Award Scheme.
LTC takes pride in promoting Lydney as a clean, safe, welcoming and socially inclusive town, a town which encourages appropriate developmental growth whilst balancing/protecting biodiversity, promoting citizenship and localism, and valuing and embracing partnership working - knowing that such will achieve more for Lydney and the surrounding areas.
LTC has a Strategic Action Plan which shows its medium and long term aims and objectives, it also has a Yearly Action Plan; both are linked to its budget forecast which identifies the human and monetary resources required to achieve its goals, such aims and objectives being directly derived from consultation, through the NDP process and public meetings/community engagement.
LTC adheres to strong financial and governance practices as set out in its Standing Orders and Financial Regulations; Members understand their corporate duty to protect the ‘public purse’ from ‘risk’ and seek to fulfil this duty by ensuring compliance with its governing documents/policies and sector specific best practices at all times.
LTC firmly believes in providing value for money (VFM), defined as the relationship between economy, efficiency and effectiveness, achieving VFM means achieving a balance between all three: relatively low costs, high productivity, and valued outcomes.
The town Council has a number of on-going Service Contracts in place i.e. for Grass Cutting and Litter Picking, (both of which has seen the Council benefit from funding from the Environment Agency with whom it works closely to maintain the harbour area) this year it has also sought tenders for the repair work both to the ‘closed’ churchyard stone wall and the cleaning of the War Memorial (again, applying for and receiving Grant funding).
As part of LTC’s commitment to effective/efficient service delivery it believes in establishing strong working relationships with Society of Local Clerks, Gloucestershire Association of Parish and Town Councils (GAPTC) the Principal Authority (FODDC), County Council (GCC), other statutory bodies and voluntary/not for profit organisations; this then allows it to serve its electorate better through collaborative working practices, efficient service delivery and ‘shared’ expertise. This formulae has secured substantial funding which LTC (and partnership organisations) continue to use to further actions identified via the Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) – developed in partnership with a local community group.
One item of particular concern to residents remains that of flooding, as some residents have repeated flooding of their homes in recent years. To tackle the problem, LTC instigated Lydney Flood Defence meetings to provide a forum for representatives from partner organisations (Forest of Dean District Council, Gloucestershire County Council, Environment Agency, Severn Trent Water, Residents Representatives, Local Businesses, Local Landowners, etc) to meet to discuss the problems and agree actions to reduce the threat to residents.
Through this forum LTC has implemented a number of flood defences which have mitigated the risk and they continue to work with its partners, lobbying the Local Planning Authority (Forest of Dean District Council) to ensure they too consider the risk of localised flooding when seeking to approve housing developments; ensuring that water run-off is addressed on site by Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems or the design/inclusion of Attenuation Ponds.
NALC would like to congratulate Lydney Town Council for its hard work, for striving for excellence and being a fantastic ‘all-rounder’, highly deserving of Quality Gold status.