Category: Shropshire Council

We often despair about the state of our highways. A bumpy ride has become the norm as potholes and road defects grow as fast as Shropshire Council can sort them out. Council leaders have been obsessive in their view that only the private sector can deliver quality highways work. Yet the experience in Shropshire of managing highway maintenance through major contactors has proved as jarring as driving on our roads. The initial 2011 contract with Ringway delivered poor quality and late maintenance. There were high hopes of improvement when Kier took over in 2018 but at a recent committee meeting council officers admitted the company is still struggling to deliver timely and quality work after three years. The Conservatives describe the task of getting improvements as being like turning an oil tanker around. Thank goodness they don’t run the Suez Canal!

Recycling rates have stagnated – here are five steps to recycling heaven in Shropshire

Shropshire Council is in the top fifty councils in England for recycling rates. It recycled 54.6 per cent of its waste in 2019/20 but that rate has not improved over the last five years. Though it’s good news we are among the high recyclers, there is never room for complacency when it comes to environmental matters. The council has become complacent. South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse districts, both rural areas, recycle 63 to 64 per cent of their waste. Why can’t we do the same? Or better still, do better. The way recycling operates in Shropshire can and must be improved. Shropshire Council should set a target of being in the top ten of councils for recycling by 2026. We should aim for a minimum of two-thirds of our waste being recycled within five years.

Expanding Ludlow business could move operation to Wales after lack of council help

One of Ludlow’s most significant employers, Flowfit, is on the verge of signing a deal for expanding its business in Wales. This move comes after Shropshire Council has failed to help the company find a site in Ludlow. Simon Parsonage is Chief Executive of Flowfit, a market leader in everything hydraulic, from distribution to systems and manufacturing has been based on Ludlow Business Park and celebrates 25 years in business in June. At the beginning of the year, Simon contacted Shropshire Council’s Business Growth team. Flowfit has been expanding and wanted to expand further on an adjacent vacant site owned by Shropshire Council or a site close by. Although there were promises to help from council officers, after more than three months Flowfit has not received a valid response. It is now at the point of signing up to expanding on a site in Wales.

Shropshire Council to use council meeting to smooth over highways problems ahead of 6 May local elections

Despite the clear restrictions on what council business can be conducted in the run up to an election, Shropshire Council’s administration has scheduled a meeting on its contractors’ performance on highways maintenance next Tuesday. It seems that the council is not aware that highways are a political issue and a battleground in many council areas around the county. Among the reports to be considered by the Place Overview Committee next Tuesday is one on the struggling highways contractor Kier, the company responsible for delivering highways repairs at a cost of £27m a year. The report admits to three years of failings but makes the case improvements are being made. This is a smoothie view of highways. If only our highways were smooth.

Shropshire Council gives little hope that Shrewsbury bus station will be retained when Smithfield is redeveloped

Shrewsbury’s bus station and the bus layover bus are the essential for the operation of bus services in and out of Ludlow. Fears that the bus station will be demolished were raised when Shropshire Council and Shrewsbury Town Council published the latest stage of the Big Town Plan. This suggested that the bus station would be replaced by housing and people coming into Shrewsbury by bus will change to a town bus at a park and ride site. Now there are suggestions that Shropshire Council is having a rethink but it only committing to a “facility” not a bus station. If a modal shift in the way that people travel in and out of Shrewsbury town centre is to be achieved, buses should be at the centre of the Big Town Plan. Bus transport should shape development, not be squeezed into the margins.

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