Tag: Shropshire Council

Want to know where your Shropshire Councillor lives? Shush! It’s now an council secret

Out of the blue, Shropshire Council has decided that it will no longer publish councillors’ home addresses. Anyone wishing to send letters, will need to send them to Shirehall where the overstretched secretariat will redirect them to councillors. As far as a I can see, this was a decision taken in secret by an increasingly secret council. I certainly wasn’t consulted. Current rules would allow a resident in Oswestry to stand for a Shropshire Council seat in Ludlow. But now you are not now allowed to know where a councillor lives. This is just the latest step in the Conservatives erosion of democracy on Shropshire Council. They talk democratic language while undermining democracy at every step. Excepting where there is an identified risk to a councillor, the public have a right to know where their councillors live. Public figures should expect and accept that.

Shropshire Council is dragging its feet on introducing wheelie bins for recycling

We have all seen it. Plastic recyclables blown out of boxes put out on the pavement ready for collection for Veolia. The boxes are not fit for purpose. They do not have lids and even if that was the case, there is a chance of the lids going the same way as the plastic milk bottles and trays that litter our streets in a decent storm. The good news is that Conservative administration for Shropshire made an election pledge to replace boxes with wheelie bins. The bad news is that the Conservatives had not worked through the election pledge. Any commitment will depend on costs and decisions to be made later in the year. With finances under stretch and no more than a weak commitment to tackling the climate emergency from the Conservative administration, the manifesto commitment on recycling might prove to be just rubbish.

New council leader Lezley Picton announces a pothole cabinet but will it get to grips with the climate emergency?

The Conservatives retained their majority on Shropshire Council in the 6 May elections despite loses of seats and its leader. On Thursday, the council appointed Lezley Picton, previously cabinet member for culture and waste. She will be the first female leader of Shropshire Council. There is some evidence that we have moved on from the Shrewsbury-centric obsessions of former leader Peter Nutting. But in her first day in the job, Lezley Picton outlined business as usual. Although she a promising a “pause and reflect”, the council’s most controversial policies – spending millions more on the shopping centres, demolishing Shirehall, building the North West Relief Road and the pushing through new local plan – she is not proposing to scrap the plans. The appointment of Cecilia Motely to head up transport, tourism and communities may bring a more rural perspective. And for the first time the cabinet has a member dedicated to the climate emergency and green economy.

Shropshire Council members get a pay increase and agree to automatic future increases

It is difficult for councillors to set their own allowances. It always generates controversy. Yesterday, councillors agreed the recommendations of an independent review to increase the backbencher allowance by 4% to £12,000 (which does not restore a previous cut of 6%). More importantly, it agreed to my proposal to raise allowances in line with the annual increase in council staff wages. We need never discuss backbench allowances again. We will need to debate adjustments on how much cabinet members and committee chairs receive. These roles change when the way the council works changes. Many councillors work their socks off, not for their allowance, but with the help of their allowance. Some I am sure don’t need the money but we can’t means test allowances.

Local Elections 2021 – The results for Ludlow and Clee and Ludlow Town Council

I am a bit late on this post due to other commitments. But you will probably have heard by now that all four of us, Viv Parry, Tracey Huffer, Richard Huffer and myself have retained our seats on Shropshire Council. Looking at the countywide picture, we look like an oasis of calmness as the Conservatives take a battering across the county and the Greens storm Oswestry. There was a big turnout for the one contested seat for Ludlow Town Council. A new face won more than 50% of the votes. It is pretty much all change at Shrewsbury and Oswestry town councils from today. But in Ludlow, we drift on without the renewal which is essential to the health of local democracy. We need contested elections to test the strength of the existing councillor body. Otherwise, we get councillors we did not and could not vote for and then complain!

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