Ludlow constituency is set to see major changes if proposals put forward by the Boundaries Commission are adopted by parliament. Nearly 8,000 people will be moved into the constituency from north Herefordshire and it will be renamed Leominster and Ludlow. Bridgnorth will join the Wrekin and Wellington. There are small expansions to Telford and Shrewsbury constituencies, while North Shropshire remains unchanged under the proposals.
Theresa May’s appointment of Michael Gove as head of the environment and farming ministry, Defra, is a disaster in the making. He is likely to sweep away many of the regulations that protect the environment and biodiversity.
Politically, we live in curious times with no certainty that the government will be stable or strong enough to survive the Brexit process. Theresa May has reappointed most of her pre-election cabinet, but she moved Andrea Leadsom from Defra to become Leader of the House of Commons. Michael Gove has been brought back to cabinet as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. We have gone from a barely noticed Defra Secretary to one that will crave attention by swinging a wrecking ball through environmental regulation.
Robert Tindall, recently re-elected councillor for Brown Clee, has today announced his resignation from the Conservative group on Shropshire Council.
I’m not surprised that Councillor Tindall has taken this action. He was one of at least three councillors from the south of the county that did not vote for the new leader of Shropshire Council, Peter Nutting. The makeup of the new cabinet has concentrated power further towards the north of the county.
We knew there had been some shenanigans within the Conservative group on Shropshire Council but we weren’t quite expecting members to be so obvious about their tensions in public.
At today’s meeting of the full council, Peter Nutting was voted in as leader. That was a foregone conclusion as he had been elected Conservative leader days before. But three or more members of the Conservative group sat on their hands and failed to vote for him. Later there was an extraordinary outburst from one Tory councillor who was outraged by the paucity of councillors from the south of the county in cabinet positions or chairing the key scrutiny committees.
Just a week ago, Malcolm Pate, the leader of Shropshire Council until the 4 May elections, was confident of being re-elected as leader of the Conservative group on Shropshire Council. The Conservative leader is always voted in as leader of the council. Now, the Conservative group have ousted Pate and replaced him by Shrewsbury councillor, Peter Nutting.
Only a week ago, Malcolm Pate used an interview on BBC Radio Shropshire to boast of his confidence in seeing off any “superegos” that might challenge him. His task, he told the interviewers, was to get “the council out of the mire it was in when I took over 15 months ago.” His belief that he had the backing of his Tory colleagues has proved to be wrong.