Julian is a Shropshire County Councillor and Shrewsbury Town Councillor for the Porthill Ward which includes the Porthill, Frankwell and Kingsland areas of Shrewsbury.
[You can also download this newsletter (PDF 3.9Mb)]
Last month I held a well attended, positive local meeting about road speed and safety on the streets around Frankwell.
Many locals now have '20s plenty' signs on display on wheelie bins and in windows and are investigating setting up a Community Speed Watch Group.
If you want a sign or would like to help, please get in touch (details below).
TOWN ACTION I have prompted the town council to produce a map showing areas of road safety concern. We need to show Shropshire Council that Shrewsbury people take road safety seriously. Let me know if you have a particular concern in Porthill that should be on the map.
SHROPSHIRE COUNCIL ACTION?The Conservatives on the council are still dragging their feet. Local schemes are all frozen due to cuts. So far, they have refused to do a proper study into a '20mph limit-where-people-live' policy. Five town councils in Shropshire now want such schemes. Elsewhere in the country 20mph schemes are becoming more and more common.
A decision on the plans for the Barracks is likely by the end of the year. I am supporting many residents' objections, especially to the planned loss of trees along Barracks Lane. We have already lost trees on Copthorne Road, which I have protested about, but so far haven't had proper plans for replacements.
I am pushing for a study into an extra crossing on Copthorne Road. The developers have to produce a 'travel plan' to promote walking, cycling and the use of public transport. Council officers should check and monitor this, so I will be chasing that. Please have your say on the plans via the Shropshire Planning Portal.
The real problem is that Shropshire Council doesn't have the policies or staff to make sure the development is the best it can be for local residents. So it hasn't been possible to insist on things like a community room in the keep which I had hoped for. I'm working with the Shrewsbury Civic Society and others to try and get these policy changes made. If new developments, including the Big Town Plan, are to work, they must be done in the right way. That needs much stronger democratic control of developers.
What about an annual sponsored walk around Shrewsbury's lesser-known green spaces and footpaths?
You could discover new walks and meet new people; community groups could run water stops in their local areas; volunteers could do some TLC to their local patch in preparation. Shropshire Council says it wants to improve 'green' routes through the town. An annual walk would drive improvements year on year. I've won support for this idea from Shropshire Wildlife Trust and some senior staff at Shropshire Council. Watch this space... or get in touch with more ideas!
The public consultation on 'Future Fit' (the proposed options for the future of our NHS in Shropshire) has been a long process. We remain strongly opposed to both options suggested by Future Fit. Thank you to all of you who helped raise awareness about the petition, got consultation surveys filled in, informed people and shared posts. Together with other representatives of Shropshire Defend Our NHS I enjoyed presenting a public meeting at Darwin Centre in July. Thanks to all who attended and helped me to organise the meeting. Thanks also to those who came door-to-door with me in Porthill and to all those who filled in questionnaires to make their feelings known.
Now that the public consultation has finished, what happens next? Completed surveys have been sent to an independent company for analysis and we will hear the results sometime in March 2019.
In the meantime, the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust have taken the decision to close the Accident and Emergency department in Telford between 8pm and 8am in November. Instead patients will be sent to Wolverhampton, which with the recent closure of Stafford A&E is already overwhelmed. What may happen instead is a huge influx of people to the Royal Shrewsbury A&E.
This, along with the baby death scandal (the NHS review is extending their enquiry to include an open-ended date range of incidents in Shropshire maternity units) and a Care Quality Commission inspection of our local NHS Trust resulting in warning letters being sent, shows huge failings at the top of Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust. We may never see an outcome to Future Fit.
All welcome. Tuesday 23rd October, 7.30PM, The Wheatsheaf, Frankwell.
Minimum donation: £2 per person
Funds will go to Green Party campaigns in Shrewsbury.
Phone: 07939 121607
4th Tuesday of the month at Woodfield Stores Annex, 52 Woodfield Road, SY3 8HX, 5:30pm to 7:00pm. Any changes to this will be posted at the Annex.
More from Julian