Stan’s March Blog

Stan’s March Blog

Well, here we are, sorry for the delay in putting this blog out. Over the last few weeks I have spent a lot of time in meetings, mostly concerned with Planning Reviews and Prestbury’s Idsall Drive Car Park.

Just a note before I start though –  PAB has been getting a lot of stick in the initial Election leaflets from the Green Party. Some of which appears to be based on outdated information and some on unclear facts.

PAB members and residents generally will be aware that since the last Election we really have tried to keep you in touch with us whilst  endeavouring to act on your concerns. My own pre election leaflet will hit doorsteps soon where we will go into more detail as to what we have been doing and how we feel that Prestbury wants us to represent its people

BUT as regards Idsall Drive and the Greens comments thereon let’s put the up to date  facts out there and clear it up once and for all;

The car park was first put up for sale in 2020/2021 by Cheltenham Borough Council (CBC).  Prestbury Parish Council (PPC) were approached with regard to purchase at a substantially reduced price (£40,000) but after considerable debate they felt they had to decline whilst clarifying they felt the car park should be kept as an important asset for the local community.

Then again in 2022/23  CBC put the car park up for sale, for offers around £100,000.

PAB Councillor, Ian Bassett – Smith, was involved in conversations with CBC to re-negotiate another offer to PPC of the option to purchase for £40,000. Again, despite the best efforts of both PAB Councillors, PPC did not feel able to purchase and declined the offer .

However, PAB did not let things lie there. We joined up with County Councillor Stephan Fifield (Con – Prestbury and Pittville) in getting behind a petition to persuade CBC to review their decision to sell. The petition topped 1,000 local signatures which meant CBC had to debate its request for review. At the debate (18 March) the Lib Dem cabinet coldly informed the Chamber and the packed public gallery that an agreement had already been made to sell.

The ‘ debate ‘ continued but it already seemed that the petition would be overlooked  and the LIB-DEM-run council would ignore the wishes of a considerable number of the people of Prestbury. Voting on  the motion, it was 26 Councillors  for continuing to an immediate  sale and 9 ( including both PAB Councillors) for looking again at other possibilities.

 So as an example of our commitment to Prestbury  I hope I have been able to make clear  how  PAB has been working to  retain this particular much needed  asset and how this sort of ongoing, daily support is what I see PAB is about.

PAB doesn’t have occasional meetings outside  public houses and on street corners talking about what they may do, PAB is working non-stop to make Prestbury the place you love to live in.

 What else is going on in our area?

We have some good news in the village, the old pharmacy is being taken over by  the Church and turned into a hub. The ground floor will be a charity shop with a parcel collection centre, the second floor will be offices for the church, and the top floor will be turned into office space for the public to drop in and use.

I reported to Gloucestershire Highways that a rather large hole had appeared in Albert Road, where recent cable laying had been done.  I must say, what a response !!

I phoned on a Monday morning and there were white markings around it Monday afternoon, repaired by Wednesday (Just a thought, it was race week).

 I followed up on the pathway in Southam Road – the report back from the Highways department is that the wheels are in motion, they are going to clear the pathway of debris  for a mile  –  if you need to look it up the reference number  it is  11452593.

 Have again been in contact with Highways regarding an email from a resident in New Barn Lane, about brambles over the pathway. They are dealing with this, reference number 11453630.

 Had, a Trustees meeting with Prestbury United Charities.

This is a Group that helps the needy within the GL50 postcode.

 This may be the last blog before the Council elections on the 2nd of May. 


Regards  Stan

( Cheltenham Borough Councillor Stan Smith , PAB Prestbury )


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