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  • Heather Kidd
    Article: Jan 27, 2015

    Parish Councils: Shropshire Council are proposing to take away the support grant for parish councils. Parish Councils in rural areas run on a very tight budget and although not large sums (£529 for Chirbury Parish and £1157 for Worthen and Shelve) these cuts will have an impact. Basically this is a political ploy by Shropshire Council freezing their council tax to look good and forcing Towns and parishes to increase theirs. It is effectively putting up the Council Tax by the back door.

  • Article: Jan 19, 2015

    Charlotte Barnes, Lib Dem Shropshire Councillor for Bishops Castle, has slammed Government proposals for the upgrade of the Digital Radio Network as it ignores much of South and West Shropshire. It also fails to take into account the impact that a wholesale switch over will have on rural areas.
    Charlotte said "We are having a really raw deal in rural Shropshire at the moment - mobile phone signals are poor, broadband is indifferent and now the Government's proposals will leave many residents without radio reception! In their 'Framework agreement on local DAB expansion'* published the other day, the Government makes no provision for the upgrade of mast covering a huge swathe of the County stretching from Bishops Castle and Ludlow in the West over to Bridgnorth in the East. Given that this document speaks of a 'switch over' wholly to Digital towards the end of this decade this is very worrying. If we don't get some investment before the change over, many will be left with a poor or non existent signal by the switch over.
    "However, the problem is much more complicated than that in the hilly areas of the County. Digital (DAB) signal gives better reception but performs poorer than the current analogue systems in upland areas. Signals there are not good at present but may disappear altogether if FM is shut down.

  • Heather Kidd
    Article: Jan 18, 2015

    Since 2009 Local Joint Committees have received funding from Shropshire Council to give grants to community groups. Our Committee has given out a considerable number to help active and effective groups in our communities. We have helped applicants as diverse as village halls, youth groups and sports clubs.Unfortunately in this last round of cuts this funding was scrapped. The members of our committee however, felt that this was too valuable a scheme to lose as it was the only dedicated grant pot for our area. We have therefore decided to launch our own independent scheme.

  • . ()
    Article: Jan 12, 2015

    Last week, I went with my colleague, Charlotte Barnes, to visit the food bank in Clun. People usually think of deprivation as an urban phenomena. They forget that low wages and unemployment can cause real deprivation in rural areas too. Clun food bank serve a huge area from Bucknell to our area..

    During my visit I was surprised and a bit shocked to find that over Christmas the Bank helped 36 families (including 26 children) by providing the equivalent of over 900 meals.

    It's appalling that inthis day and age we still have people on the breadline but it's just as real a problem in our area as in major cities.Debt, delays in benefits being paid and low pay all push families into desperate situations

    Clun Food Bank is run from St George's Church, Clun every Thursday lunch time and evenings. In addition the Bank also provides advice on benefits, debt and managing money as well as providing computer facilities for clients to make claims or seek advice from other agencies.

  • Chirbury ()
    Article: Jan 7, 2015

    Shropshire Council has turned down an appeal from opposition Councillors to hold a special meeting about their proposal to slash grants to Town and Parish councils.

    Roger Evans, Leader of the Lib Dems on the Council, said: "Councils must by law set a legal budget. They will have to assume that Shropshire Council is not going to pass on the grant that our elected government has asked them to. This is totally unfair and immoral. It is not Shropshire Councils money it belongs to Paris Councils. They need to know now if they will get the money previously promised them."

  • Article: Jan 5, 2015

    Best wishes to Peter and Barbara who took over Chirbury Shop today.


  • Article: Jan 5, 2015

    Dear Editor

    I read with interest the front page story on George Osborne's 'vow on mobile coverage' in Shropshire. He talked about the deal done with EE, Vodaphone and O2 to deliver this vital service to our rural areas. I wish I had faith that this will actually deliver for us in South West Shropshire. Our EE signal is poor, O2 and Vodaphone are frequently worse. We have numerous not spots and Broadband is often dreadful or non-existent.

  • Article: Jan 5, 2015

    Two Shropshire Councillors have called for a urgent Special Meeting of the Shropshire Council's Health and Adult Social Care Committee after damning findings Local Government Ombudsman about the Council's handing of adult social care funding in the County.

    Heather said: "These verdicts reflect what we have been experiencing right across the County. The Council is squeezing the vulnerable and their families for every penny they can get for social care which in many cases should be free.

  • . ()
    Article: Jan 1, 2015

    Charlotte Barnes, Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Ludlow and Bridgnorth, has slammed O2 and Vodaphone for failing to address poor signal reception in the South of the County in their latest proposed upgrade programme.

    Charlotte said "I've been involved in a intensive campaign since April to get EE to improve their signal in my County Division. Now we find that Vodaphone and O2 do not look like they are going to do anything about upgrading their almost equally unreliable signal across the South of the County."

  • .
    Article: Dec 26, 2014
    Lib Dem Councillors in rural Shropshire have reacted angrily to the disclosure by the Leader of Shropshire Council that their efforts to upgrade broadband in the County will concentrate on urban areas leaving many in the country to struggle on with an inadequate service.
    Heather Kidd said: "Residents in much of rural Shropshire are caught in a double whammy at the moment. The Council insists that you register for schools and many other services over the internet and yet they have failed to deliver effective broadband to huge swathes of the countryside. In much of my Ward it's dreadful. And there is no transport available to Libraries to use the Internet.
    "For the many residents on limited means things are particularly bad. Council cuts have killed off many rural bus services, removed TeleTalk and has stopped supporting Broad places which allowed communities access to the internet * and are threatening libraries so using the internet at one these is not an option."
    Amongst services that require a good internet connection are: Registering you child for school, Applying for a Single Farm Payment, , income tax, animal passports",concluded Nigel Hartin (Clun Division) added "Councils have a moral obligation to help all of their area prosper both socially and economically. By failing to deliver on their promises on broadband they have put many small businesses in rural Shropshire who rely on the internet at a massive disadvantage.
    "Worse they are making life very difficult for many people of limited means who live in areas like mine. For example, I know of a couple who cant afford a computer and therefore cant register their child for school. Even if they could afford a computer the signal could well be too poor!
    Heather conclude: "We have been told that there may be more money available from the LEP** . We will be pressing hard for any such cash to be spent giving rural Shropshire a decent service.
    *Where residents use to be able to talk directly with Shirehall about services, pay bills etc
    ** Local Enterprise Partnership