Category: Shropshire Council

Climate change meetings in February – it’s time we put the emergency into declarations of climate emergency

People and organisations are at last getting on with tackling the climate emergency. But there is still more talk than action. Too much talking up achievements rather than recognition that we have barely begun tackle the problem. There is a lack of commitment to early dates for going carbon neutral. A few organisations are talking about going carbon negative. Shropshire has been in the slow lane but that is changing. We need to push the pace of that change. The council is finally making steps towards addressing the climate emergency. But it is making steps not strides forward. There are two climate emergency meetings coming up in Shropshire during February. Please add any other meetings to the comments on this article.

Shropshire Council says it can’t afford to care for adults and children as it consults on its struggles to keep within budget

The cost of adult social care is increasing by £8m to £10m a year. Children’s social care costs are growing by £5m a year. “This is unaffordable and unsustainable.” New and innovative models of delivery must be created to stem growth of costs. That’s the message from Shropshire Council as it launches a consultation on next year’s budget and seeks to plug a £14m hole in the 2020/21 budget. Basic council tax will go up by 3.99%. Your council tax bill also includes the police, fire, and town or parish council precept. The West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner is consulting on a 2.94% increase. Fire and Ludlow Town Council precepts are not yet announced. All found we are probably looking at an £80 a year increase for Band D properties. We’ll know more in February.

Tory councillors demand retribution after I expose their options for Ludlow Assembly Rooms

It was always going to happen. The Tories that dominate Shropshire Council can’t take a word of criticism. Now, Councillors Steven Charmley, Peter Nutting and Lezley Picton have lodged a formal complaint against me for having “published information which had been obtained from a report to Cabinet that was exempt from publication”. This shows just how far Shropshire Council fails to understand that an open and challenging democracy is fundamental to way our country works. But in Shropshire, criticise the leadership and you are threatened with retraining, suspension or worse. The council leadership want to silence me. They want me to delete articles from my blog. No way. Never. Never. We are an open and challenging democracy. That is never easy. It is more often difficult. But it is the way our country works.

Peter Nutting says he has “no intention” of selling Ludlow Assembly Rooms – we need better guarantees than that

It is always worth listening to what politicians say. And listening to it twice. This morning, Shropshire Council leader Peter Nutting was questioned by Eric Smith on BBC Radio Shropshire. He said that reports of Shropshire Council selling Ludlow Assembly Rooms (LAR) were “tosh”. There is no intention of selling. Fair enough and good news. But “no intention” is not a guarantee. Shropshire Council has backed itself into a corner over LAR. It has only two options that will not cost it more money. Flogging the premises or allowing Ludlow to run South Shropshire’s premier cultural centre as agreed.

Ludlow Assembly Rooms gets an extra £1.3m but Shropshire Council reserves the rights to sell it 2023 and demand Ludlow pays the money back

It is no surprise that the price of renovations to Ludlow Assembly Rooms has soared over budget. Costs have hit the ceiling requiring an extra £1.3m from Shropshire Council. That funding is welcome. In a private session before Christmas, the council’s cabinet reluctantly agreed the extra money. Cabinet members also decided that the agreed transfer for the Assembly Rooms to Ludlow’s community will be reduced from a period of 125 years to just three years. This will allow Shropshire Council take over the facility in 2023. It can then flog it if wants to. The council is also to negotiate repayment of some or all the £1.3m from Ludlow & District Community Association (LDCA). Unsurprisingly, the council has not made this information public.

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