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September 21, 2018 11:10 AM

SCThe Council will no longer minute Council meetings in full. They will say on occasion that people spoke but not issues they raise for their residents and about local services, the Lib Dem Group have now decided to publish our own so that our residents know that we are raising their issues and working for them.

Here is a brief report from today's Council meeting from Bishops Castle, Clun and Chirbury and Worthen Lib Dem Councillors.

Economic Growth

Cllr Jonny Keeley, Bishops Castle, ask for assurance that the hard work carried out by Enterprise South West Shropshire at Enterprise House would be continued. They support around 140 small businesses across our very rural area. The Portfolio Holder ran out of time answering the many questions he received but assured people he would respond in writing. Jonny awaits a reply. Jonny also pointed out that the Town Council had the highest precept in the County and the 26th highest in the Country. They are supporting local services.

Cllr Heather Kidd (Chirbury and Worthen) raised the thorny issue of rural Broadband where even villages with fibre cabinets have low speeds from BT as the copper from the Cabinet to the house is in poor condition. There are also now often too many people using the broadband and too often speeds are very poor. The Portfolio Holder agreed there were problems and would personally not have allowed BT to keep the contract. Roll out of superfast broadband is now moving slowly and will not be complete until 2021 - instead of 2020. Rural areas simply cannot wait!

Planning and Housing.

Cllr Nigel Hartin (Clun) raised that very unpleasant fact that Connexus - formerly South Shropshire Housing Association are pulling out of rural areas, selling properties and using the money to build in Shrewsbury. He asked for investigations by the Council and a resolution to the problem. Shropshire Council should have the tools in the box to help make them deliver our priorities.

Cllr Heather Kidd - agreed with Nigel Hartin as both she and Cllr Keeley have experienced the same issue. We all have people needing housing in our rural areas and this is removing them from the affordable housing stock and frequently selling off to developers - not an affordable option!

Heather Kidd also requested help to aid Parishes in community led planning and robust adoptable neighbourhood plans. They need support with capacity and advice.

The money taken by the Council for Affordable Housing from developers now stands at around £7.5 million. Heather asked for the money to be spent urgently but also that the Council stopped taking money from sites and started insisting on local needs housing being supplied on site. The Council simply does not have the land to build these homes on and usually not in the right places.