Category: Shropshire Council

Shropshire Council reshuffles its cabinet after Charmley steps down

Steve Charmley (Whittington) stepped down from Shropshire Council’s cabinet today. He had been in the cabinet since the unitary council was founded and deputy leader for six years. Steve has withdrawn for health reasons but will remain councillor for Whittington. We wish him well. He has also told BBC Radio Shropshire that the pressure on social media was becoming intolerable. Ed Potter (Loton) replaces Charmley, taking with him his portfolio for economic growth, regeneration and planning. Dean Carrol (Battlefield) picks up Charmley’s infrastructure portfolio, that’s mostly roads. He will be challenged on sustainable transport and active travel which have fared badly in council meetings this week. Simon Jones (Shawbury) gets the portfolio for Adult Social Care and Public Health.

Councillors challenge planning committee vote on Ironbridge

Four councillors are objecting to the vote that approved the huge development of 1,075 homes on the former power station site at Ironbridge. Councillors Andy Boddington, Tony Parson, Caroline Bagnall and Richard Huffer have written to Shropshire Council’s legal team saying that one councillor should not have been allowed to vote. Precedent and probity dictate that planning committee councillors cannot vote if they had not listened to the entirety of the presentation by officers, along with representations by objectors, supporters and the developer. Councillors on the committee must also be present during the subsequent debate leading up to the vote. One of the Southern Planning Committee councillors left the committee room during the Ironbridge debate for a short period. Despite this he was allowed to make a statement and vote without having heard the full arguments. We believe the vote was invalid and should be retaken to ensure that it meets the standards and probity that is required for determination planning applications.

Ironbridge housing – because of an email a planning battle was lost

This afternoon, the Southern Planning Committee approved the controversial application for more than 1,000 homes at the former Buildwas power station having rejected the scheme at its meeting on 10 August. There was an improved offer on the table, not improved enough in my view, but the committee voted by six votes to four to approve outline planning permission for the scheme. But if it was not for an untoward email, the rejection of the scheme would have stood and an appeal by developer Haworth would be underway. Those who oppose the development, in principle or detail, will rue the day that email was sent. Because of an email, a planning battle was lost. I do not oppose the Ironbridge development. I just want to get the right scheme.

Lib Dem Leader attacks secret debate on Shrewsbury’s shopping centres

A call to oppose the exclusion of the press and public before Shropshire Council debates the future of Shrewsbury’s Shopping Centres next Thursday has been made by the Leader of Shropshire Council’s Liberal Democrat Group, Councillor David Vasmer (Underdale). “It’s a disgrace,” commented Cllr Vasmer. “£51 million was spent by Shirehall’s Tories on buying Shrewsbury’s shopping centres and now they are worth just over £12m – that’s a loss of nearly £39m. Just think of the improvements that could have been made, not just in Shrewsbury, but throughout Shropshire with that sort of money.” “Now adding insult to injury, the latest plans for the shopping centres will be debated in private at Shropshire’s Council Meeting next Thursday. Plans that were going to be debated in open session have now been circulated privately to councillors who will vote on a motion to exclude the press and public before they are debated in private.”

Hump with no bump: Ludlow Sandpits traffic calming scheme speeds up traffic!

After years of discussions, a road safety scheme has been installed by Shropshire Council outside Ludlow Primary School on Sandpits Road. It doesn’t work. If anything, it speeds up traffic approaching the school gates. “This is not the scheme we expected”, says Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East Tracey Huffer. “After years of discussions, a scheme for improving road safety outside the school has been implemented. There are new signs and new road markings. The centrepiece of the scheme is a raised table, a wide road hump. But the table is too low. It has no effect on the speed of traffic. If anything, it is speeding traffic up because it is so smooth. It is a hump with no bump.” Tracey is now calling for an urgent site meeting with highways officers, parents and residents to discuss how the scheme can be improved. There has been a campaign for a safety scheme outside the school by parents, school governors and councillors for several years. The main concerns have been traffic travelling faster than is safe and careless parking. A scheme was approved a year ago and was installed after an extensive closure of Sandpits Road by Seven Trent Water and…

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