Day: 28 February 2013

The Conservatives on Shropshire Council have rejected out of hand Lib Dem proposals that would have repaired the county’s roads, supported small businesses and young people, and improved transport for disabled people. Nigel Hartin, leader of Shropshire Liberal Democrats, says he is angered by the council decision. “When will this council begin to use its budget wisely? It splashes out hundreds of thousands of pounds on consultants, but it won’t make sensible changes to its budget that will help the boost the local economy. It piles money into reserves but rejects out of hand proposals that will help the elderly, the vulnerable and the young.” The Liberal Democrat proposals, rejected at this morning’s Council meeting, would not add a penny to council tax. The £4.185 million cost of the proposals can be found within existing resources [1]. One proposal rejected by the council was £2 million boost to the roads maintenance budget. As Nigel says: “Shropshire’s road network has suffered terrible damage in recent months. Our wrecked roads are dangerous for drivers and pedestrians alike. But it seems that council leaders are oblivious to the state of our roads. Do they drive around the county with their eyes closed?” The…

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A week ago I witnessed a fascinating debate on Twitter. Shrewsbury trader Julia Wenlock put Shropshire council leader Keith Barrow on the spot about Sunday car parking charges. After a lengthy exchange, Keith agreed to a free parking day on 30 June. During the discussion Keith revealed that for Shrewsbury: “We offered free parking on a Sunday if shops opened and that offer still stands.” Shrewsbury needs initiatives like this to give a boost to trade in The Loop. But why has the council leader not made an equivalent offer to Ludlow? Many of our shops already open on Sunday. I am sure that others would open if there was a hope of more customers. This morning, Keith announced a further initiative for Shrewsbury. He said that Shrewsbury will benefit from eight Super Sunday parking days with all-day parking for the price of an hour. Keith made clear that this initiative will not be extended to Ludlow. Why not? Once again, the needs of Ludlow are being by ignored councillors in Shirehall. Parking charges put off shoppers. The independent traders of Ludlow need every bit of help they can get. Let’s have free parking on Sundays and get people flocking…

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