Despite the imminent election, which usually leads to a halt on policy statements, Shropshire Council yesterday issued a draft leisure strategy. There is good news for Ludlow and for Bishop’s Castle, whose leisure centres will continue to be supported by Shropshire Council, along with those in Shrewsbury, Oswestry, Bridgnorth and Market Drayton.
A planning appeal decision for housing in Wem earlier this week shows that Shropshire Council could have won a judicial review over the aberrant decision to approve 137 houses off Foldgate Lane. The council has never given strong reasons for not going to court. It has refused to publish the legal advice it received. I think it would have gone to court if Foldgate Lane had been further north in the county. The lead cabinet member and senor officers did not even bother to visit Foldgate Lane before making their decision.
In December, developers submitted plans for a pair of semidetached houses on Friars Walk.
I am not against this scheme in principle. But I don’t think it can be constructed without considerable disturbance of residents. It may well be that the level of disruption is so high that this scheme should not be built.
I have asked for a construction management plan for this site but it has not been produced. For this reason, I have formally objected to this scheme.
The good news is that fly-tipping in Shropshire is going down. The latest statistics show an 11% year-on-year fall in reports of fly-tipping in the unitary council area, much better than the 3% fall in the rest of England.
It’s not all good news unfortunately. The number of incidents is still higher than five years ago. Shropshire Council spent nearly £100,000 on cleaning up the mess and prosecuting offenders. The council needs to improve its enforcement. And we all need to do more to report fly-tipping incidents.
A merger would reunite our county within its historic borders. It would, some say, save money. Others, me included, think Telford and Shropshire are such different places that we need different councils. What do you think? Vote below.