Day: 6 February 2022

The draft Shropshire Plan lacks targets amid platitudes and back slapping

Shropshire Council has had several stabs at a corporate plan in recent years. I can’t recall any of the plans having any impact on the way its political leadership acts. I have encountered a lot of corporate plans them in my life. I even drafted a few. But they only work if they if they provide clear guidance, parameters and targets to keep an organisation on course. The draft Shropshire Plan, which is a corporate plan in all but name, doesn’t achieve that. There are no targets for housing, the economy, welfare or climate change. Instead, there are promises and platitudes. We will achieve this and that it says. There is back slapping. We have achieved this and that. As a philosophical statement, it’s pretty much okay. But as a corporate plan, a guide to the way the council will work it fails. There are no benchmarks against which the public or councillors can judge success or failure.

Rome and Jericho get more mentions in Gove’s Levelling Up plans than Shropshire – its Byzantine

Old Mother Shropshire went to the government to get the county a grant. When she went there the cupboard was bare. So the poor county got none. (Misremembered old nursery rhyme). On Wednesday Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up – he used to be Secretary of State for Growing Up – published the long awaited Levelling Up white paper. There is every hint that this policy paper was rushed out to distract from the ongoing tribulations of the prime minister. It includes paragraphs copied and pasted from Wikipedia. It mentions Jericho three times, ancient Rome twice and modern day Shropshire just once. It also mentions Byzantine, which might be a good description of the white paper. The exclusion of Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin from Levelling Up funding has led to both councils making protests to the government. Michael Gove has responded to Shropshire saying we would need a mayor covering both councils before he will allocate any money. Shropshire Council’s leader has rejected this. It is another example of how Westminster politicians profess to support giving more power to local areas, while dictating how they operate democratically. Levelling Up is a bad white paper from a…

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