Day: 24 September 2014

It’s a truly shocking statistic. Only fourteen planning authorities in England have a worse planning performance than Shropshire (so we are 15th worst out of 338). That’s because the Shropshire Council has failed to invest in its planning operation. And it’s because the council is beholden by big developers and big businesses, not the small builders and entrepreneurs that make this county tick. Back in 2010, we weren’t the best performer in planning but we were a long way from bumping along the bottom [1]. Now we are plummeting towards the abyss of planning failure and are amongst the worst planning authorities in the country. In 2010, there were 94 planning authorities with a worse performance than Shropshire. In 2014, just 14 planning authorities have a worse performance than us.

Of course we don’t want to build Future Fit, a new model for health provision in our area, on fear. But in my view, Future Fit is flawed because it is more theoretical than grounded in the reality of Shropshire’s geography and because I doubt it can be funded. Yesterday, the Future Fit team held its last major workshop on the future of health provision in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin and Powys. The event in Ludlow Assembly Rooms was attended by more than 100 people. As this stage, the discussion is about issues and options. It’s about getting reaction to a set of top down proposals for radical reorganisation of health services including A&E, planned surgery, Minor Injury Units and community hospitals. The scheme is ambitious and I question whether it is achievable. There will be more care at home and perhaps in GP surgeries – but I did not gain the impression that GPs have been closely involved in this or think they can cope. I heard no mention of carers. The Future Fit model centralises all major operations and significant care needs. It may even lead to a new A&E allied with an Urgent Care Centre midway between…

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