Day: 9 December 2015

Vote now: Should Shropshire Council raise council tax by nearly 4% next April?

Today’s council cabinet was chaired by the new leader, Malcolm Pate for the first time. One of the most important items it considered is whether to raise council tax. For years council tax in Shropshire has been frozen while central government funding has been harshly cut back. Now the writing is truly on the wall. In 2016/17, the council faces a funding gap of £18m (PDF). The accumulated funding gap over the next five years is projected to be £60m. That means eye-watering cuts to even the most essential of services. The question is whether the council should ease the scale of cutbacks by raising local taxes. Today’s cabinet meeting agreed:

If it wasn’t so serious, it would be funny. A press release from the Police and Crime Commissioner tells of how the Community Ambassador for Shropshire was astonished at the level of speeding in Ludlow. Graham Oliver was here to witness the first day of Ludlow police’s Christmas speed and drink-driving enforcement campaign. Seven vehicles on Sheet Road were pulled over in just a few minutes for speeding. I live near Sheet Road and I can tell you, Mr Oliver, that speeding not just frequent there, its normal. The default mode of driving on some roads here is to speed.

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