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PROBLEM: Please prevent the double parking on Lakeside near the junction with the High Street.

REPLY: As a Newent Town Councillor,I have been involved with some of the recent proposals which were taken up first some time ago following suggestions by various residents. The Town Council Working Group liaised with Highways for the introduciton of Traffic Restriction Orders (TROs) such as double yellow lines at this and a number of other sites in the town.. Some were objected to during the consultation period which has recently finished, but this was not one of them as far as we know. It is a matter of waiting now until Highways get the green light from their legal department. It has been too long coming but is definitely on the cards and you should see some action soon to prevent the dangerous parking here.

PROBLEM: Flooding affecting Maisemore, Over, and surrounding villages and impacting on peoples' homes and work.

REPLY: This is a major problem that needs a major solution. The last attempt by Gloucestershire County Council to build an elevated relief road for the A417 met with failure. The project was given insufficient priority for government funding. The bid must be revived and given higher priority. A petition was raised by a local councillor and has gained many signatures, mine included, but ultimately it depends on getting government funding as it is outside the budget of the GCC. The area north of the A40 from the Over roundabout and the bottleneck across the Severn which affects many residents from the Forest of Dean has been neglected for far too long. In the recent County Council Transport Review, this area from the Herefordshire border to the A417 north of Over was almost entirely ignored. Both Cllr Vesma and I responded vigorously to this lack of attenton and some acknowledgement has been made of the omission in the final review document.

PROBLEM: Lack of police and poor response to calls for help.

REPLY: This is a result of chronic and ongoing underfunding by the government for local police services. Although some funding has been restored, much more is needed and it will take a while before enough new officers can be trained and put into service. Although technology offers some solutions, it cannot replace local knowledge and intervention that comes with a good police presence on the ground.

PROBLEM: Newent needs a new supermarket. There is not enough competition for the Co-op stores.

REPLY:
As the town expan
ds, as it will surely do under the the new Forest of Dean District Council's emerging Local Plan, there will be a need for a number of new community facilities including more retail opportunities. It is vital that a master plan is developed for the proposed enlargement of the town which includes designated sites for such faciliteis as a supermarket and a transport hub, and other accessible spaces and places that people will need who will be living in the hundreds of new houses that will be built here over the next twenty or so years. This may take a while but it is inevitable that some competition will eventuallly emerge. There are some local themed short surveys being issued by the Newent Neighbourhood Development Plan which can collect the views of residents in a statistically robust way. For more information please visit www.newentourfuture,co,uk.

More to folllow... watch this space.