Shropshire in crisis: Health special measures and service cuts, future could be “Armageddon” – is it safe to live in Shropshire?

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust is in special measures because patient safety is being compromised. Telford A&E will close overnight for safety reasons. Rural maternity units, including Ludlow, are closed for live births. For safety reasons. Shropshire Council is axing £4 million from its public health budge despite the opposition of the director of public health. The council’s cabinet member for adult social care and public health is predicting “Armageddon” in public health services.

Soon, the medics will be saying its not safe to live in Shropshire. It is beginning to feel that way.

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Shropshire in crisis: Don’t spend £25 million on Shirehall, council staff should work around the county

Shropshire Council is one of the largest employers in our county. Yet it has concentrated most of his staff in Shrewsbury. That sucks jobs and expenditure from the rest of the county. It also means that its view of Shropshire is dominated by Shrewsbury and rural areas barely get a look in.

There is a different model. Back office operations could be devolved around the county to give the rest of the county would get an economic and democratic boost. Shirehall should be knocked down and replaced with a mix of offices and homes.

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Shropshire in crisis: community team axed despite council resolution

Shropshire Council is to make its Community Enablement Team redundant. This comes as the council struggles with an unprecedented financial crisis. The move bizarrely seems to have the support of the cabinet member for communities. The decision flies in the face of a motion passed unanimously by Shropshire Council members on 20 September. That called for a working group to review how Shropshire Council supports communities. But now it’s official. Shropshire Council doesn’t support communities any more.

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Shropshire in crisis: Friday “lock outs” of staff and customers as council runs out of cash

Shropshire Council can longer afford to operate normally. It is running fast towards becoming a basket case like Northamptonshire. The chief executive has been asked by the cabinet to implement a spending freeze across the council with immediate effect. This will mean “Environment Days”, when staff will work from home on Fridays and “Lock Outs” when all council offices will be shut down at noon on Fridays. The political spin on the announcement to lock staff and customers out of the council on Fridays cannot hide a growing crisis in council finances.

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Should we part of a national park? Join us for a debate on 29 November

I have been promoting the idea of South Shropshire becoming a national park. I hear more support for this idea than I hear opposition. A recent straw poll in the Shropshire Star was 70/30 in favour. There is a lot of debate to be had. A lot of work to do.

The start the ball rolling, the Ludlow and Clee Local Joint Committee will be holding a public debate on the idea on 29 November. Please join us.

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