4 April 2017
The Tory-run council in Shropshire is going into the local elections declaring they are ‘looking to make the council a more commercial organisation’ if they win a majority of Shropshire seats on 4th May. This is the same council whose leader claimed three years ago that their company ip&e (inspiring partnerships & enterprise) ‘will be at the forefront of where we want to be’ and ‘is going from strength to strength’. Two years later ip&e was wound up having amassed debts for the Council rather than surpluses.
The Green Party wants an efficient administration for the people of Shropshire, not more gimmicks. The Tory-run Council is secretive, and requests for what should be publicly available information now gain a hefty bill of £110 – enough to put off most investigators. Other Tory-run councils like Surrey have also had loss making so-called commercial initiatives, ‘Surrey Choices’, which failed partly because they also didn’t allow proper scrutiny - and inadequate scrutiny enables poor decision making to go unchallenged.
Councillor Pate for the Conservatives in a radio interview cited Shropshire’s recent investment in solar panels as an example of showing initiative to generate income. The reality is different. Councils that set up solar panels when the tariff paid was high maximised the return on their investment. In Shropshire’s case the payback time is much longer and again points to the Tories’ love of gimmickry.
Shropshire’s Green councillors will run services for people, not profit, and will ensure we harness skills outside the Council chamber to identify need, ideas, and to ensure transparency.
Green councillor Duncan Kerr said, ‘It seems sad and depressing that having admitted that both ip&e and their Council tax policies were disastrously wrong they can think of little else but to peddle the same discredited dogma. We need a Council that puts people before profits, councillors who don't take out more in allowances than their counterparts do in other counties, and a willingness to harness the full talents of the Council rather than just those in the Tory group to work with others in genuine partnership.’
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