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HEATHER KIDD'S REPORT FOR NOVEMBER

November 12, 2017 4:57 PM

COUNCIL FUNDING. The Government has continued to cut the funding to local Councils across England such as Shropshire. Until a few years ago Councils used to receive well over 50% of their grant from central government. By 2020 ALL this grant will disappear to councils in England. They will still have to carry out a range of statutory services - social care, waste disposal , roads, Environmental Health, planning etc. with much less money and rising costs for energy wages, national insurance and more. They are also capped as to the increase in council tax they can introduce to 3.99%. Education continues to be underfunded in Shropshire by the Government with rising costs not being funded. Shropshire's Administration refused to sanction any increase Council tax for around 5 years which only made the situation worse. Over the last few weeks we have learnt the following:

ROADS: Shropshire Council's roads budget has now been frozen - only key safety issues will now be addressed until April.

YOUTH SERVICES: They are also threatening to cut the remains of our Youth funding from April. This will impact both youth clubs like in Worthen and the grant funding that supports a whole range of projects for young people across South West Shropshire. Many services are being supported by money from reserves now. That cannot continue.

SHROPSHIRE LOCAL PLAN. Shropshire Council are reviewing this plan which identifies the number and type of housing which is required in each settlement. In my view we desperately need affordable 2 and 3 bedroomed houses (and not 4+5 bedroomed luxury houses) for local families to keep our villages sustainable. We are already seeing our schools under pressure as young families move out, unable to buy or rent locally.

To give your opinion.....respond to the 'Preferred Scale and Distribution of Development' Consultation, and use our questionnaire which is available on the Shropshire Council website at: http://new.shropshire.gov.uk/get-involved/local-plan-review-preferred-scale-and-distribution-of-development/. Once completed, the questionnaire can be submitted by: Email to: planningpolicy@shropshire.gov.uk. If you would like a hard copy, please let me know.

DANGEROUS DRIVING: I am pleased to tell you that 'dash cam' footage of dangerous driving on the A490 near Chirbury was submitted to the Police and - after pressure - the van driver has been prosecuted by West Mercia Police. If you have a dash cam with dangerous driving film on it please report it to the Police and copy me in. Together we can stop this atrocious driving . A dash cam would be a great Christmas present!

Best wishes

Heather .