March the bands. Bang the drums. Sound the trumpets. The Conservative leader of Shropshire Council has lost his seat to a wannabe Lib Dem councillor by a mile.
The feedback on the streets of Copthorne in Shrewsbury for Rob Wilson, the Lib Dem candidate has been strong for weeks. And tonight, it has been confirmed. Rob has won the Copthorne Division in Shrewsbury by 519 votes. We done Rob! Welcome to what looks like being a very different Shropshire Council. I hope….
Peter Nutting, who has led Shropshire Council since May 2017 has been retired by the electorate. Thank you voters. You have done the county a service.
It was Nutting that pressed the council to buy the now near worthless shopping centres in Shrewsbury. It was Nutting who was driving the council onwards to build the North West Road (North West Relief Road) on the doorstep of Copthorne at great financial and ecological cost, let along driving further holes into the council’s finances to suit his own ambitions. We can’t do anything about the shopping centres but we can review the North West Road.
Successful Lib Dem candidate Rob Wilson said:
“I’m proud and honoured of the trust that the people of Copthorne have placed in me. This win is a rejection of the last administration, and the next Leader needs to take this result very seriously. It is clear that people want Shropshire Council to stop talking about taking climate change seriously, but to actually deliver. That has to start with a review of the North West Road alongside a thorough appraisal of 21st century alternatives. Our existing roads need fixing as matter of urgency and firm commitments need to be brought forward to secure the future of Shrewsbury’s bus station and Quarry Pool.”
Rob won Copthorne through tireless campaigning. I sure he won’t mind me saying that when I talked to him last night, he was struggling to keep awake.
But it is also true that Peter Nutting lost this election through his own unpopularity. Not just in Copthorne but within his own party.
The council will need a new leader but that is for another day.