The Strategic Plan for the Coleford Area includes three highly important items, namely the sewer, Whitecliff Brook and flooding issues.

The summer of 2007 proved to all of us how important these issues are. The Partnership has been working together with Welsh Water, Forest of Dean District Council, Gloucestershire County Council, Coleford Town Council (through Cllr Clive Elsmore) and Newland Parish Council (through the Vice Chairman, Cllr Terry Hale)

We were able to convince the County and District Councils of the need to invest financially in a land and road drainage survey and the South West Regional Development Agency has also agreed to make funds available for a Feasibility Study to be carried out based on this survey work. This work in total has cost around £60,000.

The outcome of this survey and feasibility study has been the proposal to invest £250,000 in works to improve the road and surface water drainage system through the town centre, work on which has been carried out during 2009. In addition, GlaxoSmithKline has carried out alterations to the connection of their systems into the old sewer pipe in Whitecliff which, hopefully, will resolvethe problem that had been experienced in that area

Gloucestershire County Council has carried out works in St Johns St and surfacewater repairs to lower Market Place.

Welsh Water have carried out a program to divert sewage etc from Tufthorn Avenue area away from the Town Centre to lower Newland St.  However there are still concerns that problems still exist from Thurstans and  Coller Brooks

Hopefully this will mean that the planning authority will be able to allow further development in the area assisting the town’s regeneration.

Other Environmental matters: The Partnership Strategy Document lists other environmental matters that have been raised by the public. Whilst we are particularly fortunate in the Forest of Dean to live in such a beautiful area, we must not take it for granted and should do our utmost to ensure our environment remains pleasant and healthy for us all to enjoy its benefits. Our working life is already much healthier that in the 18th and 19th Centuries but this did not happen by chance. We also need to ensure that the quality of the air around us remains high and we can help this with good planting in our gardens and common areas. All too often we hear that schools have sold off their playing fields for development. We must ensure that local authority and public play areas remain secure and this includes supporting them financially. The end of the First World War brought improvements in community facilities but now we must ensure these remain for the benefit of future generations.

As individuals, we can plant native species hedges that help to feed the birds and support wildlife rather that have fences and walls. We can use gravel paths instead of concrete to reduce runoff, and decking is still better than block paving for the patio. What can be better than our own vegetables grown in our own garden or even in pots on the patio? Our local schools are preaching this gospel already.

As communities, we can talk to our local authorities about Community Landscaping areas and perhaps some of these companies who want to buy off their carbon footprints could be persuaded to invest in more deciduous trees. The possibilities are endless.

Greening Campaign and Climate Change: On behalf of the four Forest market towns and surrounding areas, Partnership members will be organising events which will be open to all.

Forest of Dean Local Exchang Trading System FODLETS. For more information please click HERE

Garden Partners room to grow. For more information please click HERE

Individual Transition groups have been set up in each of the forest towns. For more information please click HERE

Forest of Dean Allotment Association: For further information please click HERE

Does climate change worry you? For further information please click HERE