Archive for June, 2014
Over the past twelve months as your Shropshire Councillor I have held well-attended advice surgeries in Much Wenlock, Willey, Broseley Wood, Shipton and, most recently, Brockton.
My next surgery will be at Much Wenlock Museum on 12th July from 10:30am until noon when I anticipate being accompanied by a Town Councillor and the police. Any local residents are welcome to drop in. Of course, if anyone has a problem that they think I can help with, they can contact me at any time by telephone or email.
An indication of the community’s opinions has emerged from the popular survey which Philip Dunne MP and I conducted in March and April. An encouraging 17% of all electors in Much Wenlock Division responded and indicated that 81% are in favour of the principle of a locally prepared Neighbourhood Plan to determine where and how much development should take place in the area.
The answers also showed that 61% disapproved, or disapproved strongly, of the siting of large (over 40m high) wind turbines in our neighbourhood. Only 23% approved of them. The prospect of smaller turbines was also unpopular with the majority expressing an opinion.
Just under 50% experienced slow broadband speed – hopefully this will be much improved for many after the superfast broadband rollout in Much Wenlock in the second half of this year.
67% of mobile phone users who responded could get no more than two bars of reception in the Much Wenlock area. The Government has set aside £150 million to help boost rural mobile signal availability and we will be pressing the needs of Much Wenlock residents to Arqiva, who are responsible for delivering the Mobile Infrastructure Project.
Finally, there is strong consensus (85%) in favour of the Shropshire Council Tax freeze and Shropshire Council spending cuts focused on reducing administration costs (77%).
As you may have read here and in the local press, the Much Wenlock Neighbourhood Plan referendum returned an 85% “Yes” vote. This is a very firm endorsement of the first such plan in the West Midlands to reach this stage. The turnout was 42%, one of the highest of the seventeen plans put to referendum in England so far.
What happens now? I have arranged a meeting on 22nd July where Shropshire Council officers will explain how the Neighbourhood Plan will work in practice when a planning application for a new development is submitted. They will also touch on other topics including the Much Wenlock Place Plan and the Community Infrastructure Levy.
All are welcome and there will be a question and answer session – the Priory Hall doors open at 7:30pm.