Last Friday, MPs, councillors and others grouped on the historic Teme Bridge between Tenbury and Burford. Richard Huffer, Shropshire Councillor for Clee and myself, joined Ludlow MP Philip Dunne and Harriet Baldwin, MP for West Worcestershire, along with representatives from south of the Teme to discuss what might becalled the “Burford Question”.
Burford is planned to expand by around 170 homes. Tenbury is growing also. That’s putting pressure on services in Tenbury, including GPs and schools.
In this post, Richard Huffer talks about the problem that are mounting up and what the solutions might be. Should SC transfer money from Shropshire’s community infrastructure levy fund to help improve Tenbury’s services? More radically, should Burford move into the Malvern Hills district and into Worcestershire?
Richard Huffer said:
“Burford and Tenbury are one community. But it sits on a county boundary.
“We have a newly formed Burford Parish Council. We are going to have a lot of challenges coming forward. There is a new emerging plan for Shropshire which proposes new development for Burford. That will put pressure on services. Doctors. Dentists. Schools. There going to be many issues that the new parish council will have to face.
“I believe that it is time that Shropshire stood up to the plate and made fair contributions to the infrastructure in Tenbury. That may mean Shropshire community infrastructure levy funding will be coming over the river to Tenbury.
“What is important to residents in Burford is that infrastructure is there, that they can get appointments with dentists. They can get appointments with GPs. Their children will have a school place in Tenbury.
“There is a need to look at the long term future of Tenbury Hospital, which is in Burford. Is it possible to move a stretched GP practice from Tenbury and make better use of the hospital?
“These are all things that we need to discuss over the next few months.
“There is also the issue of boundaries. Shropshire Council is going to set up a working group looking at boundary changes throughout Shropshire. Is it possible to make boundary changes that cross county boundaries?
“If I was to ask Burford residents whether they feel part of Tenbury, they would say yes. Do they feel part of Shropshire or Worcestershire, I am not sure?
“One thing I am sure of is that they are keen to ensure is that the infrastructure, the services that they enjoy, are improved for the longevity of their children. The growing pressures on services cannot be left for Tenbury and Malvern Hills to deal with. This is problem that Shropshire will help create. And it is a problem that Shropshire will have to contribute towards solving.”