Annual Report for Worthen with Shelve Parish Council

Monday, April 29 th , 2024.

Council Tax and Council services.
The Council Tax for 2023/24 was set at 4.99%. This is the cap limit set by
Government. A further £62 million of savings are to be made and consultants
costing a further £6.2 million have been engaged.
Like most Councils in England, Shropshire has been facing a growing adult social
care bill ( of our elderly and children with special needs). Because we are a
retirement area and the general population of the UK is ageing, this now amounts to
approximately 80% of the Council budget.
What is the Council doing next?
i) Shropshire has already announced that it is seeking 300 voluntary redundancies
from everywhere except schools. We only hope that these are carefully selected and
we don’t lose key staff like we did in 2008
ii) They are reviewing our libraries and leisure centres.
iii) Shropshire is looking to remove at least 2 of the recycling centres across the
County – possibly including Craven Arms
iv) They are looking to cutting money from adult social care, transport for children
with educational needs, the highways budget, charging for green bins and stopping
waste food collection
v) A cut of £803,592 in the roads budget has been implemented this year.
vi) The School Library service is also proposed for closure and is out to a 45 day
SpArC in Bishops Castle
This is safe from closure as it was transferred to Shropshire Community Leisure in
The pool which was built by the community is celebrating its 50 th birthday this year.
The Trustees are now embarking on raising £250k to upgrade the pool to be the
most sustainable in Shropshire. So far, the fund has topped £130k. The Council has
also obtained grant funding for a further £190k for the pool lining, plant and other
works to the SpArC building.
Road repairs and road closures
B4386 – road closures on this have not always been communicated to us. There are
investigations ongoing about a 999 ambulance hold up and protocols which could be
adopted to prevent recent chaos.
Pothole mending continues to be hit and miss and contractors will come out to one
and miss others. Many of our roads are verging on impassable.
It also appears that the prioritisation of road mending is unclear to say the least and
needs a much more robust system put in place.
We have 3 landslips which need significant finance to be spent on them, there are
assurances that the A488 and the Brockton brook will be attended to this year.

Planning continues to be controversial at times. It has failed to deliver any
affordable housing for our residents and housing lists continue to rise.
Local Plan and building land allocations. This has been slow to reach a
conclusion it is now out to consultation again but is unlikely to be adopted before late
spring next year.
Our Schools
Long Mountain has appointed a new Head Teacher.
Shropshire Hills Federation (Stiperstones, Chirbury and Norbury Primary School
continues to thrive. Both School sites now take 2-year-olds and numbers are rising.
With nursery Chirbury now has 108 children. The Chirbury nursery is looking to
expand its building as it has a waiting list.
Stiperstones School is not closed. The children are educated on the Norbury site.
The school building is now used around 3 and a half days a week for technology,
forest schools, mountain biking and using the outdoors around the school.
None have academized so far.
Shopping centres – the management of these continues to rumble on. Levelling up
funding has been allocated to demolish the Riverside.
The North West Relief Road. It has not been communicated in writing that the
Government will fully fund the road. The business case is still being built. The
Council has also agreed to put a further £17.5 million to develop further towards the
build. The total cost is now thought to be in excess of £200 million.
NHS, the Health Plan for Shropshire (STP) Future Fit, and ambulance response
A&E is now regularly among the work for waiting times in the country. There is extra
intervention to begin to improve it.
Ambulance response times have not improved – yet again.
Phlebotomy may well cease at Bishop’s Castle GP’s from 22 nd May.
Bishop‘s Castle Hospital staffing recruitment has gone well and Shropcom Board
have agreed to open the 12 beds there. They will also be delivering more services
on site. The timetable for implementation for opening will be agreed in May.
They will now use this new recruitment technique as an exemplar.
Well done to the Mayor of the town and the community. We all worked hard to make
sure his was a success.