In 2019, I was determined to see the long-delayed housing regeneration in Matson and Podsmead - working with residents, Gloucester City Homes and the Councils to ensure the benefits from greater energy efficient homes.
None of us knew back in 2019 how important this would become after the invasion of Ukraine and the hike in energy prices.
Since then, GCH and I have continued to work with residents on what they’d like to see in their communities.
In Matson, GCH has started work on improvements to 16 housing blocks with a £1.5m grant from government, which should save an estimated £200-£300 per year in energy bills per flat.
A wide regeneration plan for Podsmead is expected to go for planning approval by the end of 2023 and will, after a decade long campaign by my Chief of Staff Jennie Watkins and I, include a community pharmacy.
There’s still more to do but we’re making progress. Now community groups in Matson need to discuss further housing regenerations. So this pledge is work in progress: we have more energy efficient housing in Matson, and new and energy efficient housing in two new developments there, and also a new housing plan for Podsmead soon, including a new pharmacy.
These projects will run and run, eventually transforming two areas important in Gloucester.