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Tewkesbury Borough Council’s new approach to the delivery of its garden town programme is progressing well.

In the eight weeks that have passed since a gateway review was carried out on the garden town, the council has:

Introduced a new robust programme management system.

Established a programme of engagement sessions with local parish councils, community groups, businesses, and partners, with work also starting on an engagement strategy for the longer term.

Developed a new governance structure, which sees stakeholders playing a key role in the programme’s delivery.

In a report considered by Council on 26 September, councillors recognised the progress that has been made so far and supported the new approach to better oversight and transparency.

As part of its commitment to meaningful engagement, the council met with borough councillors and local parish councils to discuss the draft Council report and to ask for their feedback.

The parish council session was crucial in understanding the extent which affected communities had lost trust in the garden town programme, and it was recognised that this trust will need to be rebuilt by the council over time through a genuine commitment to working with these parish councils to deliver the programme.

The council has also established a programme of workshops that will start from October. The sessions will explore views on the garden town, and stakeholders will be asked to feed into an emerging ‘charter’ document that will directly shape the delivery of the new garden town.

At its meeting, the Council also agreed to explore opportunities with developers and landowners within the garden town area to ensure their proposals for development align with the developing charter and vision.

Tewkesbury Borough Council’s Leader, Cllr Richard Stanley, said: “The gateway review delivered some hard-hitting recommendations, and it was important that we worked to address these as quickly as possible. I am pleased with the progress that is being made – and I am confident now that stakeholder engagement, particularly with our community representatives, is sitting at the heart of our approach.

“I am under no illusion there is still a lot of work to be done, but as leader of the council I am pleased with the commitment to the new approach, which is clearly in line with the recommendations in the gateway review of the programme.”