Day: 30 May 2014

On Radio Shropshire earlier this week, portfolio holder Ann Hartley and Karen Bradshaw Director of children’s services announced changes to hikes in post-16 transport to sixth form and college. This follows a consultation which fairly predictably came out against the huge leap in fares. Shropshire Council had planned to hike the cost of a bus pass from £550 to £878 a year from September. Now it is going to phase the increase over three years. Following the consultation, students will have to pay £658 during the next academic year. That’s still an eye-watering hike of £324 a year, but it’s a lot better that Shropshire Council’s initial proposal. But over three years, the cost is set to hike 60%. For students whose families receive benefits, the costs of a pass will rise from £10 to £22.50 a term next year, increasing to £47.50 in 2016. This may not seem a…

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For those involved in planning, land supply often seems to be the only game in town. Where a council has not identified enough land for housing developments over the next five years, developers believe they can build almost anywhere. This has led to a degree of panic in some councils, with planners and councillors approving pans which would otherwise have been rejected. The Shropshire Star reported Shropshire Council officers telling a meeting: “You can get speculative development on the edges of villages one after one after one. There is no way we can so no to these.” A subsequent planning meeting was not only reported in the Star but also the Daily Mail. That’s because members of the Central Planning Committee described applications as “awful”, “horrendous” and “dangerous” before approving them. The councillors reluctantly granted these applications because our county doesn’t have a five year land supply. The problem is…

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