Day: 20 November 2015

The Barrow Era (2): Shropshire Council’s company ip&e needs reinventing as an innovation hub

The resignation of Shropshire’s council leader Keith Barrow from the board of ip&e has left the future of the company in limbo. My view is that the council should drop its obsession with making a profit out of other public sector organisations. ip&e must become the council’s innovation hub. This company is very much a Barrow baby. He has been the champion promoting ip&e. He has been the one claiming that it will make the council enough money to alleviate some of the government’s cut to local government budgets. He has been, until today, the public face of ip&e. But Barrow’s future as council leader is on the line. Can ip&e survive without him?

The Barrow Era (1): Shropshire leader forced to resign from council company after conflict of interest scandal

It is a press release slipped out with minimum of publicity. Visitors to the Shropshire Council Newsroom website are only greeted with the headline: “Shropshire Council Standards Sub-Committee meeting – 20 November 2015.” That’s a headline designed for boredom. Which is surprising because the news website is run by Three Sixty Communications, a subsidiary of ip&e. Three Sixty has often shown itself to be on the ball when it comes to communication. But ip&e is wholly owned by Shropshire Council. So we shouldn’t be surprised that this headline was written to disguise the leadership crisis that is enveloping the council. Keith Barrow quietly resigned as a director and chairman of ip&e ten days ago. At that point, he must have been aware that the external auditors had determined that he had failed to declare a conflict of interest when appointing Oswestry based auditors to ip&e. At the time, Keith’s resignation looked no different to an outsider from the perpetual turnover of ip&e directors.

House plan for Whitcliffe riding school for disabled dismissed as SAMDev policies bite

The owners of the riding school and camp site at North Farm applied for planning permission to build a “traditional style” house just above the Whitcliffe Common more than a year ago (14/03832/FUL). On Wednesday, planning officers threw the plans out saying that they conflict with SAMDev. The applicants have also failed to provide sufficient information on the potential ecological impacts of the scheme.

Back to top