Future Fit: South Shropshire Green Party wonders where was Shropshire Council?

29 November 2018

South Shropshire Green Party Future Fit The South Shropshire Green Party continues to be alarmed at the peril facing our local NHS services - including our wholly necessary life saving A&E at Shrewsbury. Because Telford and Wrekin Council and its Leader Cllr Shaun Davies became aware that their residents were unaware of the proposal under Future Fit to close Telford's equally wholly necessary A&E at PRH - Telford and Wrekin Council, unlike Shropshire Council and too many of our Shropshire Councillors, cared enough to ensure that every household in their area received a copy of the Future Fit proposals and were invited to respond.

The unsurprising result is that Telford residents therefore responded in greater numbers than Shropshire residents - 51% to 19% to the Future Fit Consultation - a consultation that was marred from the beginning by its failure to offer, in the 6th wealthiest country in the world , the option to retain both A&Es and to ensure full funding of our local and regional services on which our lives and quality of life so often depend.

The South Shropshire Green Party ran street stalls in late August and early September to enable south Shropshire residents to give their views in the Future Fit Consultation. We were alarmed at our street stalls to find that the majority of local people we spoke to were completely unaware of the proposals regarding our local and regional health services and the threats to our A&Es.

We are delighted that Telford and Wrekin's residents have spoken up for the value of their health services. We commend NHS Defend and our local press, both of which have worked diligently to ensure people in our area were aware of and responded to the Future Fit proposals. But where was Shropshire Council's leadership? Why did they not take steps equal to Telford and Wrekin Council to inform residents of our area of the Future Fit consultation and to enable them to take part by providing every home in Shropshire with the Future Fit proposal questionnaire? Our local press highlighted that Telford and Wrekin Council were doing this. Was Shropshire Council and too many of its Councillors too lazy or too incompetent to see that this was a good idea?

We applaud Telford and Wrekin Council for acting to ensure its residents were enfranchised in a process that has so many consequences for all of us who live in our area. We lament the failure of Shropshire Council and too many of its Councillors to act with similar care.