Category: Shropshire Council

Shrewsbury shopping centres plummet in value by two thirds – Shropshire Council shrugs off the loss

The devaluation of the Pride Hill, Darwin and now defunct Riverside shopping centres within the Shrewsbury Loop will be a surprise to no one. But the collapse in value from £51m to £17.5m– 66 per cent – over three years is bigger than expected. It is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, retail devaluation seen anywhere in England in such a short period. Shropshire Council has shrugged this off as an expected devaluation. Deputy Council leader Steve Charmley said: “We were aware of the possible downturn in the fortunes of the high street – an issue compounded by COVID-19 – but it’s for exactly that reason that the purchase was made – so that we could manage and mitigate any downturn.” The Shrewsbury shopping centres are expected to provide a profit to council tax payers of just £434,000 this financial year. Less than one per cent return on the original investment. The council could have better spent our money on social housing.

Car park charges back in Ludlow from Tuesday but no plans to reinstate park and ride service

Without any consultation with councillors, Shropshire Council is to reintroduce car parking charges across the county on Tuesday 14 July. This could not be worse timed. Ludlow is beginning to recover from lockdown but it is a long haul ahead. Social distancing is a challenge everywhere but more so in a historic town with narrow streets and pleasantly ancient pubs, restaurants and cafes. Free parking in the Galdeford and Smithfield car parks should be part of Ludlow’s offer over the summer. We councillors have been told that officers are “looking at how Park and Ride may support more fully and proposals are in development.” But there is no timetable for this. Not even an indication that the council is thinking about Ludlow’s park and ride service, which is unusable at present. There should be no additional car park charges this summer and certainly none until the park and ride is fully functional.

It’s a farce – Shropshire Council’s Norwich crew closes Ludlow roads for unnecessary work on ‘Super Saturday’

Yesterday, contractors drove 200 miles from Norwich to resurface Dinham and Linney. That’s despite the council’s commitment to using local contractors and to becoming carbon neutral. The works also began on a day when King Street was closed and pubs and cafes reopened. The work was four days later than scheduled. No one in Shirehall seemed to know this was happening. Or of they did, they didn’t care about the disruption to traffic and trade on the most important day for Ludlow this year. This work was not necessary. The residents of Dinham and Linney don’t think the work should have been done. But a mile away, Parys Road is collapsing. The recent patching on this road will not survive next winter. This problem is not about broken roads. It is about a broken highways operation in Shropshire Council. The council has embarrassed itself this weekend. But I don’t think it cares so much as a pothole.

Ludlow’s broken park and ride site is an embarrassment to our town – it’s time it was fixed

The parking surface is rubbish and unsafe. The bus shelter is a mess. Disabled parking bay signs have been knocked over. Almost every morning sees litter strewn everywhere. Nitrous Oxide canisters, condoms, booze tins. Young racers spin their cars around and perform handbrake turns. This is Ludlow’s park and ride site. A major gateway to our town. The Eco Park site has been neglected by its owner, Shropshire Council, for more than a decade. Councillors have been complaining about the state of the facility for years but Shropshire Council’s answer is always, “We’ll sort it out when we can”. We are calling time on Shropshire Council. We are telling it to get the park and ride fixed. Get it fixed now. Today, myself, Vivienne Parry, Tracey Huffer and Richard Huffer are launching a consultation on the state of the park and ride site, and on what we see the priorities for improvement. We want to hear your views.

Developer of Linney House lodges appeal before the latest two planning applications have been decided

At the end of last year, developer James Hepworth lodged yet another application for housing in the gardens of Linney House, this time for four homes. The previous application for eight homes lodged in March 2019 had not yet been decided. It still hasn’t been decided so Mr Hepworth has asked the planning inspectorate to decide the application. He is within his rights to do so but it takes the decision out of local democratic hands. I have asked for both applications to be considered by the Southern Planning Committee. In the instance of the eight homes now being appealed, the committee can only give an indicative opinion, the decision it would have made. This will be passed to the planning inspector in Bristol. I have rarely seen such a weak case for an appeal. The scheme is well designed and will be an attractive place to live. But it is the wrong place and is not needed in a town which already has planning permissions for nearly 750 unbuilt homes.

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