Category: Education

Very shortly, Shropshire Council will launch a review of the six hub libraries – Shrewsbury, Oswestry, Whitchurch, Market Drayton, Bridgnorth and Ludlow. I’ll write more about the review when I know more. But I do have a firm view on what the result of any review should be. We know we will have to work hard to sort out a future for the hub libraries in a time of local government austerity. But I don’t think it helps that we set to spend time looking at transferring these libraries to communities or local councils. The six hub libraries provide an integrated service that can’t easily be split up. I cannot see how we can retain that with more than one hub provider, not without creating a lot of bureaucracy to oversee any future arrangement.

Museums in Ludlow threatened as cut backs favour Shrewsbury

Ludlow has one of the finest heritage resource centres in the country. The Ludlow Museum Resource Centre is now under threat as Shropshire Council makes staff redundant and fails to put a plan in place for long term maintenance and access to the collections. The Museum Resource Centre has excellent historical and archaeological collections, and a nationally important geological collection. It currently has three staff that curate the collections, provide expertise on geology and palaeontology, support researchers, and organise education and outreach activities. This is not just a facility for Ludlow, it is a county resource and the collections are studied by researchers from across the country (more details of the collections). Almost all of this is set to come to an end. The three posts at the Ludlow Museum Resource Centre are to go. They are to be replaced with a half-time post based in Shrewsbury.

Shropshire Council is planning to bump up the charges for travel to school by 68% to nearly £900 per year for most 17 and 18 year olds. With inflation at less than 2% that’s eye-watering. The proposed charges from September 2014 are: Students from families not on defined benefits: £876 a year (previously £520) Students from families currently on defined benefits: £142.50 a year (previously free) There’s a £30 annual administration charge too. These proposals are unfair and short sighted. This is a low wage area. The new transport charges are significant amounts for any family and are likely to be unaffordable in many cases. A family on benefits will have to find more than £170 a year by cutting back on other expenditure. If we want Shropshire to flourish we must do all we can to help our young people thrive. Access to post-16 education and training is vital…

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