Day: 6 May 2019

International experts say we are heading towards a global biodiversity emergency. We must act in Shropshire – now

Look around you. Trees are being felled. Hedges grubbed out. Arable fields are too often growing a monoculture crop boosted by chemicals. Biodiversity is the loser. As will be humanity if we continue this way. Few of us have heard of the body that published a technical report on the loss and threat to all manner of species today. But that doesn’t make the report from the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) any less important. It is one of the most important environmental reports of this decade. It states bluntly that almost all environmental indicators show the health of nature is decreasing. Biodiversity is dying.

Today is the last day to give your views on Shropshire Council’s unsustainable slash and burn cuts to bus services

Shropshire Council has been consulting on drastic cuts to local bus services. The council is only concerned with saving £455,000 – plus an unspecified saving on concessionary fares. This is a slash and burn exercise driven by a council that doesn’t have a strategy for the future of public transport in the county. The proposals will cut Bishop’s Castle off except for the school run. It is bad news for sustainable transport in Shrewsbury with a substantial hike in park and ride costs. In Ludlow, the popular 701 town service will be cut by a third. These cuts will disproportionately disadvantage older and vulnerable people, along with those of limited mobility. Shropshire Council has failed to assess the impact of the cuts on people, communities and the environment. Buses are a social service. By providing access to medical, retail and social facilities, they promote health and wellbeing. That lowers costs elsewhere in public sector, including the care sector and the NHS.

Shropshire Council’s recycling isn’t that green but it has backed down on charges for green waste collection

Shropshire Council was always determined to remove the 120 recycling bring banks from around the county. It had managed them badly and that allowed the council to make excuses for scrapping the service by saying the recyclables were contaminated and that businesses were disposing of their waste there. But of course, Shropshire Council only wanted to save money. The council’s waste contractor Veolia described the withdrawal as: “A great opportunity for residents to re-examine their recycling and to make full use of the kerbside service.” But we are more likely to see a lot more recyclables go into the black bin and incinerated. It’s better news that Shropshire Council has abandoned plans to charge £40 a year to collect green waste. The council realised that it was going against the grain of emerging government policy – ministers are calling for free garden waste collections and weekly food waste collections.

Back to top