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The Leader of the Council

Councillor Adrian Birch is the Leader of the Council. His role is to have overall responsibility for the vision and corporate objectives of the council. He is the principal spokesperson for us and represents our views to the public and other organisations we work with.  


Councillor Birch is a former naval officer and is also a Chartered Building Surveyor, environmental building designer and retired university lecturer. He has lived and worked in the Forest of Dean for over 40 years. His children attended Tutshill and Wyedean schools. 

He served for nine years on the board of a local housing association and has a strong connection with the social housing sector and is a passionate believer in building sustainable co-housing communities as well as sustainable buildings. He was involved in the design of the award winning Brockweir and Hewelsfield Eco Shop and Café and the revamp of Sedbury Space, both of which revitalised local communities. 


  • Climate and nature emergencies 
  • Thriving communities 
  • Sound finances 
  • Public engagement 

Adrian says: “Being Leader of Forest of Dean District Council is a real honour and I will be doing everything in my power to serve the residents of the district and deliver the ambitious plans of this council.  

“Whilst I have a passion for buildings, especially zero carbon buildings, they are inanimate without people to inhabit those buildings, whether they are homes, community buildings, workplaces, shops cafes etc.  

“We need to future-proof our existing buildings, and coincidentally we all need to become resilient and adapt our lifestyles to face the rigours of climate change which will affect all of us over our lifetimes.  

“We want to encourage thriving communities for all sorts of reasons and united together we will be far happier, healthier and able to face an uncertain future.” 

Financial allowances 

Councillor Birch gets a basic allowance and a Leader’s special responsibility allowance. Find out more about councillor allowances and their code of conduct,