SP welcomes rejection of merger

Emblems of Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council.

We welcome the commitments of the leaders of Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council to oppose any idea of the two councils being merged. The forced merging of Shropshire’s district, borough and county councils into the behemoth of Shropshire Council unitary authority we have today has done much to undermine democracy and move power away from Shropshire’s local communities and into the hands of a centralised bureaucracy in Shirehall.

Shropshire’s political structure and institutions need to be looked at again and reformed. But merging the two unitary authorities together is not the answer. We need decentralisation and community empowerment and we need a reform by and for the people of Shropshire, not imposed by Westminster politicians.

Rather than a ‘merger’ that would in reality look more like an ‘acquisition’, other arrangements could be put in place to provide a formal and institutional framework for cooperation between the two whenever both deem it to be appropriate.

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  1. I’ve just had your flyer for someone who supports Shropshire and its businesses I see the flyer was printed in Yorkshire. Perhaps try a local firm next time.
    No mention of the local rural community and farm businesses > we still need local produced food when we leave Europe > There needs to be a ban on cheaper imported food produced to a lesser standard than our own
    Lastly I think the climate change would slow down a lot if planes were grounded > failing that quotas so that families could only fly once every 5 years > holidays would be then taken more in the UK and that’d have a massive positive impact for the local tourist industry

    1. Hi Adrian, thank you for your comments. Regarding our flyers being printed elsewhere, I’m afraid we have to agree that it’s not great, but was necessary due to a number of problems. We investigated a number of printers in and around Shropshire. Unfortunately due to costs and high time pressures to get the leaflets designed, approved (Royal Mail delivered leaflets have to be approved by them first) then printed, delivered to us, sorted and organised and finally handed over to Royal Mail by their deadlines, it was necessary to go with a printer that could meet our turnaround requirements whilst staying within our very limited budget. In future election campaigns, where we have considerably more time to prepare and plan, we will make use of local printers.
      I live in a rural community myself, and work on a local farm. Shropshire’s rural economy in many way hinges on agriculture. Leaving the EU presents us with the opportunity to fundamentally transform the way we support farmers, to shift subsidies away from large scale farming and towards supporting smaller scale and family run rural farms. But it also presents an enourmous challenge. Boris Johnson seems to me intent on leaving the single market at the end of 2020 without a further deal in place. At this point, WTO rules would come into effect and the UK would set its own import. The schedule of tariffs already published by the government would allow for a free-for-all of agricultural produce from anywhere in the world to enter our market, undercutting British producers and without having to follow British/EU standards. The effects on our economy, especially in Shropshire would be devastating. I believe the only way forward to both honour the 2016 referendum and address the challenges associated with Brexit, whether its on food, standards, energy, the UK’s territorial integrity or the peace in Northern Ireland, is to retain full access to the single market in a sensible and pragmatic Brexit. Doing so would be a reasonable compromise, it would return control to the UK, and unlike Labour’s proposal, we would still have an independent trade policy.
      Regarding your point on aviation and climate change, and as I said at a Hustings event organised by Extinction Rebellion in Oswestry last night, I believe that we should be prepared to look at limiting (rationing) activities which have a high climate impact, flying being a particularly clear example of such an activity.
      Robert Jones

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