I was disappointed with your item on my co-option to Cirencester Town Council at the town council’s July meeting.

Your reporter did not contact me at any point during the production of the article in order to give a balanced view.

I’d like to take the opportunity to introduce myself.

My wife and I moved to Alexander Drive in Chesterton ward in Cirencester earlier this year (not South Cerney as indicated in the report).

I’ve always felt that people should be willing to give something back to the community in which they live.

I have been on the parish council’s of both my previous communities (serving a total of 19 years), all of which were not in support of any political party.

I was a district and unitary authority councillor for 15 years up until 2001.

I know that Cirencester, like communities across the UK has inequalities, which have grown over the years.

We need to work on ideas to tackle this in co-operation with other councils and government agencies.

The localism legislation encourages more involvement from local residents in planning.

This is mainly through Neighbourhood Development Plans.

I was involved in the process of preparing one of these for the last parish council on which I served and will be able to assist with one for Cirencester.

We have the large development about to take place on the edge of Chesterton.

The principle of this development has already been approved, but we need to fight to ensure it is of benefit to local people.

It needs to be well designed, a mixture of property types with a high proportion of affordable and social housing and it needs to be to a high environmental standard, preferably Carbon neutral.

It’s unlikely the Neighbourhood Development Plan will be produced in time to assist here, so we will have to rely on lobbying of Cotswold District Council and talks with the developer.

We need to work with others to encourage energy efficiency in existing housing, particularly for residents most susceptible to fuel poverty.

We need to lobby the county council to tackle our roads which are in a very poor state.

I hope that this indicates that I have skills which will support the local residents of Cirencester.

Andy Jopp