Shropshire Council is consulting on the future of its library services – I fear for mobile library services

Shropshire Council’s Library services were reviewed two years ago. The conclusion of that review was that three tiers of library would be established: Tier 1 Library Hubs in Shrewsbury and larger market towns, including Ludlow; Tier 2 Community Libraries in the smaller market towns such as Church Stretton; and Tier 3 Community Libraries in smaller market towns such as Craven Arms. Rural areas would be served by mobile libraries with 281 stops in all.

The new library strategy was to last for five years. But just two years into its implementation, Shropshire Council has announced another review. The council does not give a straightforward reason for the review. Rather, it says “we identified the need for a refreshed strategy that offers a robust vision with clear priorities for the library service of the future.” Given how stretched staff are within the council, and how stretched its finances are, it is inevitable that people are wondering whether the review presages another round of cuts. Otherwise why allocate so much staff time?

The council says it is committed to retaining the three tier library structure. But it hasn’t said it is committed to keeping mobile libraries. There will be a drop in session in Ludlow Library from 10am to 3pm next Wednesday, 9 October.

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Shropshire Council budget: Cuts are targeted at the health of our county and planet

Shropshire Council has cut £48 million from its budget over the last three years under pressure of government cuts. It will need to cut, or in its words “save”, £18.5m next year. The council has now set out details of the proposed cuts and is asking for public comments.

Under the proposals, recycling will get more difficult and households will pay twice over for garden waste. This is bound to cut the proportion of waste that is recycled, a proportion that is already falling.

The council is also proposing cuts to the planning team, along with culture and leisure services.

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Shropshire Council budget: Cuts are targeted at the health of people and will cost the NHS more

Shropshire Council has cut £48 million from its budget over the last three years under pressure of government cuts. It will need to cut, or in its words “save”, £18.5m next year.

The list of cuts is appalling. Public health services will get a big hit. Giving up smoking, reducing obesity and promotion of healthy lifestyles will be hammered. People from Wales will be snubbed. There will be cuts to social support, including cuts to day centres, though there is doubt whether all the cuts can be achieved.

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Shropshire Council budget: Bus subsidies cut, park and ride fares up and new housing company burdened with debt

Shropshire Council has cut £48 million from its budget over the last three years under pressure of government cuts. It will need to cut, or in its words “save”, £18.5m next year. The council has now set out details of the proposed cuts and is asking for public comments.

The lengthy litany of cuts is grim. In this article, I look at buses and Shropshire Council’s plan for a new debt-ridden housing company. I also review other cuts that will affect how Shropshire Council works with local communities and will make Shirehall more distant from Ludlow than ever.

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An oddball 2019 for Shropshire Council (2) – Leader Peter Nutting refuses to say the “C word” as he denies the council is making cuts

This is the second article highlighting how Shropshire Council’s leaders have had an oddball start to the New Year.

In an interview on BBC Radio Shropshire on Friday morning, Shropshire Council leader Peter Nutting denied that Shropshire Council has been making cuts. Pressed hard by the interviewers, Eric Smith and Clare Ashford, he refused to agree that that the council had been making cuts. It had been trimming and moving to working differently but not cutting. Smith pressed on the “C word” but Nutting refused to utter it.

With the council leader in denial over Shropshire Council has been making cutbacks and the deputy leader demanding censorship of vegan ads, 2019 is promising to be an oddball new year in local politics.

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