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  • Food
    Article: Sep 11, 2020
    By Cllr Vilnis Vesma

    Contact numbers for food banks around the Forest of Dean are as follows by postcode. Please remember these numbers belong to volunteers, who ask that you only call during times shown:

    • GL14: 07553 611294 (9:30-11:30 Fri)
    • GL15: 07391 001217 (2-4 Weds)
    • GL16: 07387 502240 (2-4 Mon)
    • GL17: 07553 611294 (9:30-11:30 Fri)
    • GL18: 01531 821641
  • Portrait of Vilnis Vesma against brick wall
    Page: Aug 26, 2020

    Vilnis is a councillor on the Forest of Dean District Council, one of three representing the Newent and Taynton ward. He was elected chair of the Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee in 2020.

    He is a graduate chartered engineer who originally worked in the electricity supply industry but having later retrained in energy-saving techniques he has specialised for most of his career in helping large energy users cut their consumption. This includes two years on the staff of Gloucestershire County Council's Property Services Department where he led the energy management team, the job which brought him to Newent in 1985. Newent Library was built with low-energy design features thanks to his collaboration with the architect. He has settled here, married his wife Kate, helped raise two now-grown-up daughters and renovated two homes: one in Culver Street, and his present home in Market Square (both of which included energy-saving features).

  • Play area sign
    Article: Aug 18, 2020
    By Cllr Vilnis Vesma

    The Town Council can bid for what is known as "Section 106" money whenever it sees an application for a major development, residential or otherwise. 'Major' usually means ten or more dwellings; requests can be made in relation to smaller developments but are unlikely to succeed. Bids should be for capital projects that offset some defined planning harm arising from the proposed development. By default such projects relate to youth or adult recreation facilities (on- or off-site) but that does not preclude projects in other categories if some planning harm can arguably be offset by them.

  • Article: Aug 10, 2020
    By Cllr Vilnis Vesma

    I am 100% behind the idea that supermarkets and butchers should not stock meat from areas where deforestation has been used to create grazing land. I see that Tesco in particular has come under attack from Greenpeace on this score but I think the story is more complex and nuanced than the press headlines suggest. Tesco may be the wrong target as they have already stopped buying Brazilian beef (the most problematic source) and their two meat suppliers, Moy Park and Tulip, already meet the supermarket's zero deforestation standards.

  • Cllr. Gill Moseley
    Article: Aug 9, 2020
    By Andrew Cooley

    Don't be fooled. The Tory government's new proposals on planning are a direct attack on local democracy and a power grab by central government. Although the consultation is now over, you can still write to your MP to express your views at mark.harper.mp@parliament.uk. You can look at the -'Planning for the Future' white paper here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/907647/MHCLG-Planning-Consultation.pdf