Lib Dem Leader attacks secret debate on Shrewsbury’s shopping centres

A call to oppose the exclusion of the press and public before Shropshire Council debates the future of Shrewsbury’s Shopping Centres next Thursday has been made by the Leader of Shropshire Council’s Liberal Democrat Group, Councillor David Vasmer (Underdale). “It’s a disgrace,” commented Cllr Vasmer. “£51 million was spent by Shirehall’s Tories on buying Shrewsbury’s shopping centres and now they are worth just over £12m – that’s a loss of nearly £39m. Just think of the improvements that could have been made, not just in Shrewsbury, but throughout Shropshire with that sort of money.” “Now adding insult to injury, the latest plans for the shopping centres will be debated in private at Shropshire’s Council Meeting next Thursday. Plans that were going to be debated in open session have now been circulated privately to councillors who will vote on a motion to exclude the press and public before they are debated in private.”

Sainsbury’s supermarket at Rocks Green to open as soon as possible

Sainsbury’s is writing to residents in the Rocks Green area to tell them that the store will be open by Christmas. We don’t have a date yet but it looks like being sometime in November. The external works are nearing completion and should be completed in the next month. The internal fitting out inside the store has begun early. The store will also host a small Argos where customers will be able to order or collect having ordered online. For those looking for a job, Sainsbury’s is now beginning to recruit.

Shropshire Council in Chaos (1): The future of Shrewsbury Shopping Centres is top secret – why?

Thursday afternoon was to be the big announcement. Local media were invited to a briefing to hear about the future plans for redevelopment and repurposing and the Shrewsbury shopping centres purchased for a princely ransom of £51 million in 2018. But hours before the briefing it was called off. BBC Radio Shropshire’s Joanne Gallagher said on air this morning that she and media colleagues were told that that the council paper on the shopping centres had been pulled. That was it. The story of the month was dead. Except it wasn’t. When the council papers were published yesterday the shopping centre paper had reappeared. Except it is now exempt, which is a council code word for secret. Neither the press of public will be allowed to see the paper or hear the in camera debate in Theatre Severn next Thursday. The reason that the shopping centres are being discussed in camera is because they are an embarrassment for the council leadership. It is a council that doesn’t know a hawk from a handsaw, an investment from a flop. There is no reason why this paper should be exempt. I am calling for it to be released immediately.

Hump with no bump: Ludlow Sandpits traffic calming scheme speeds up traffic!

After years of discussions, a road safety scheme has been installed by Shropshire Council outside Ludlow Primary School on Sandpits Road. It doesn’t work. If anything, it speeds up traffic approaching the school gates. “This is not the scheme we expected”, says Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East Tracey Huffer. “After years of discussions, a scheme for improving road safety outside the school has been implemented. There are new signs and new road markings. The centrepiece of the scheme is a raised table, a wide road hump. But the table is too low. It has no effect on the speed of traffic. If anything, it is speeding traffic up because it is so smooth. It is a hump with no bump.” Tracey is now calling for an urgent site meeting with highways officers, parents and residents to discuss how the scheme can be improved. There has been a campaign for a safety scheme outside the school by parents, school governors and councillors for several years. The main concerns have been traffic travelling faster than is safe and careless parking. A scheme was approved a year ago and was installed after an extensive closure of Sandpits Road by Seven Trent Water and…

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Councillor Richard Huffer calls for inquiry into Clee Hill planning debacle

Last week, a developer on Clee Hill built fencing against decades old housing on Tenbury Road. That has prevented residents opening their windows. Media reports even suggest that the developer has told residents that if they open the windows on the back of their homes, they will be trespassing. Richard Huffer who represents Clee on Shropshire Council has been working to resolve these issues over the last few years. Last Wednesday, he sent an urgent message to the most senior officer in Shropshire Council’s planning department asking for action “urgently before this escalates with potential harm and further media coverage.” There is now both harm and media coverage. He is now calling for an inquiry by a council scrutiny committee into the planning department’s actions on this scheme.

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