EducationEducation cuts damage our future economic success by placing a ceiling on productivity, innovation and growth. Cutting education budgets is counterproductive. It is economic madness and damages the social mobility and futures of our children and successive generations. We should be doing more to invest in education, to free future generations to be the best that they can be and to improve our productivity. We should invest in our, our children, and our children’s children future
housingThe simple uncomfortable truth is that, Nationally and locally, not enough houses are being built. Affordable house to rent and buy is in short supply. For people looking to get on the housing ladder house price growth is outstripping local wages and people’s capacity to save for a deposit is diminishing all the time. Beyond that houses need to be built in the proper places, and residents need to a have a stronger voice in the process, before applications are even submitted. All too often Shropshire Council’s planning system has been development lead with little real urban planning for the long-term. Only recently they failed to sort out their 5-year land supply and had to allow hundreds of houses to be built anywhere, including in West Felton. Shropshire Council is now in the process of updating their sites to meet the needs for the next plan period. Strategically they are still failing to deliver affordable housing.
MLUsRural Midwife Lead Units (MLUs) are under threat of permanent closure. as SaTH looks at ways of restructuring the service to cope with a shortage of midwives at Telford. For over a year Oswestry MLU, as well as the MLUs in Bridgnorth and Ludlow, have been plagued by short-term closures and suspensions. Now they have been closed possibly indefinitely. This Category highlights the campaign to keep the Maternity Unit open 24/7
The NHS & Social Services are facing a massive funding crisis. Winter pressures are growing. The population is ageing. Social Services can’t cope and that burden is now being felt bt the NHS. Outpatient and Inpatient Services, ambulance response times, mental health services, Rural Maternity Services, staffing levels, and care home provision are ALL suffering. Liberal Democrats want to take politics out of the issue altogether by having a cross-party convention on funding. They would also like to see a 1p rise in income tax to fund the NHS properly and unite the NHS and Social Services into a National Health & Social care Service.
retailOur town centres & the retail sector is facing massive cost pressures from Brexit, rising rents, business rates & online shopping are all having an impact. Retail footfall is reducing as people shift to shopping online. Void and empty shops are increasing, retails are going into administration. Yet Shropshire Council Conservatives decided to spend £51m to buy shopping centres in Shrewsbury, for a very short-term gain, in a sector that is undergoing massive change. It would have been more prudent to invest that money directly into the overall economy across Shropshire and not put all of their eggs in one basket. Their strategic investment in the Shropshire Economy has been inadequate for many years. If Shropshire’s market towns are to survive the changes they need to become more attractive and not just a trip to the shops. They have to become more of an event in their own right, with added value that online retail can’t offer. They need to add value and be an attraction with more specialist independent shops.
Shropshire CouncilShropshire Council is the top tier local authority for Shropshire. It is run by the Conservatives. The Liberal Democrats are the largest opposition group. Since the Conservatives took charge of the new Unitary Authority for Shropshire they have been plagued by scandal, waste and incompetence. They have made huge cuts to local services, developed a huge black-hole in their finances and have no credible plan to find a sustainable solution to their financial problems
street lightsSodium Street Lights need to be phased out as replacement bulbs won’t be available soon. Converting to LED Street Lights will save up to 80% of the energy bill, are brighter, have a longer life expectancy than sodium, and reduce maintenance costs. Reasons enough to upgrade them now and not wait. Yet, Shropshire Council admits it will take them 36 years.
The Coronavirus scourge that is rampaging across the globe is now causing increasing disruption across the UK, as normal life is increasingly suspended, including politics. Venues are closed. Meetings are cancelled. As people self-isolate and socially distance and we move towards more general isolation, it is important that we help stop the spread of coronavirus… Read More »Coronavirus update
Over recent weeks and months, the pothole plague has been spreading with a vengeance. More people than ever are complaining about the state of the roads. More people are making insurance claims for vehicle damage… and more claims are being dismissed by Shropshire Council out of hand. This isn’t how it should be and we… Read More »Coronavirus update
After a frustratingly busy spell, I have managed to upgrade some of the features of this site to improve speed and performance. Elections, Christmas and illness have held it back longer than I would have liked but things should normalise again now.
Shropshire Council are now belatedly upgrading their street lights to LED. They could have upgraded a long time ago but chose not to. They could have been building up savings or re-investing the savings for years. They could have funded it with a cheap loan using the Green Investment Bank (now axed). They could have… Read More »Coronavirus update
Highways England are going to be closing the A5 from Queens Head to Gledrid roundabout for 2 weeks from the end of September. The roadworks are combining two seperate projects to minimise disruption. The A5 will be closed overnight from the 30th of September until the 10th of October. A representative from Highways England will… Read More »Coronavirus update
As many people will be aware, but worth repeating for those that don’t, Whittington level crossing closure is happening from the 30th of August to the 9th of September. This was published in the Shropshire Star in July: Shropshire village to be cut in half for 10 days The closure is to rebuild the level… Read More »Coronavirus update
On Tuesday evening I chaired the August meeting of West Felton parish council. Below is the summary report I have sent to the parish magazine: With Marian Hesketh on holiday, David Walker chaired the meeting. With a high number of people away we discussed whether meetings in August were wise. The Clerk said that she… Read More »Coronavirus update
I am pleased to see the Top Street road safety planning application has been rejected, particularly as I helped Top Street residents frame their objections to the scheme. Oswestry and Border Counties Advertiser news article:Shropshire Council throws out village road safety scheme The Church Street / Top Street junction is dangerous with poor visibility and… Read More »Coronavirus update
The farming community plays a big role in Shropshire’s economy. Today the president of the NFU has once again laid out how badly the farming community will be impacted by a no deal Brexit. A tariff wall would lead to massive oversupply, farmers going out of business and a huge cull of livestock would be… Read More »Coronavirus update