Posts Tagged ‘library’

Devolved services

I hate this title, but it means services currently being delivered by the principal authority, Shropshire Council, instead being delivered locally – either by the town or parish council or local groups and companies. This is as a direct result of the difficult financial position that afflicts Shropshire Council – and the public sector generally.

A dialogue between Shropshire Council and Much Wenlock Town Council has opened regarding how best to maintain and deliver local services including the library, the museum, public open space, car parking and street lighting. Recently, however, Shropshire Council has clarified that any income from car parks could not be used to pay for services it had earmarked for budget savings. This effectively means that car parks and their perceived financial benefits are out of the equation – which will make agreement on other services more difficult. It also means that moving to local flexibility on car park charges – so important in Much Wenlock – is unlikely to be forthcoming.

Given that Shropshire Council is the tenant of parts of two burdensome properties owned by the Town Council, and that the unexpired leases (of the museum and the library) are lengthy, the next few months’ discussions are not going to be easy. Whilst recognising that Shropshire Council has made great efforts to manage its services within a much smaller budget, which has involved significant redundancy programmes and pay cuts, I shall be fighting to retain these valued services in Much Wenlock. They are used not only by Much Wenlock council taxpayers, but by many other people who live in the surrounding parishes that are not encumbered by having to maintain important listed buildings such as the Corn Exchange and the Guildhall. Local councils have largely been unaffected by austerity measures, thus far, so some challenging decisions will have to be made by town and parish councillors.

Despite lots of inflammatory press coverage, I should emphasise that no museums or libraries in Shropshire have been closed in recent years. A number of innovative solutions have ensured that they have stayed open and thrived for the benefit of local people and visitors.

Whatever the outcome of the coming weeks’ discussions, there will be consultation on the resultant options. I assure you that I will have the interests of Much Wenlock residents uppermost in mind in my endeavours to influence an equitable outcome.

Local amenities in Much Wenlock

Shropshire Council continues to work closely with the county’s town and parish councils to ensure that facilities such as libraries are kept open despite the unprecedented financial pressure on its budget. For example nearby, Broseley Town Council has made good progress on public spaces and the town’s library.

Discussions are now opening with Much Wenlock, where the management of the library, car parks, street lighting etc. are all on the table. The Town Council and/or community groups may be involved, and full and open consultation will take place.


Much Wenlock and the surrounding parishes continue to see an increasing number of planning applications. These range from small domestic extensions, which are usually not controversial, through to more significant proposals such as that for the Wenlock Edge Inn, the large portal-framed building in Farley, and for wind turbines.

You can see planning applications on-line – Much Wenlock library can help you find the website if you don’t have access to a computer at home. This is the website: If you wish to express your opinion about a planning application, either in support or against, you may do so on-line or in writing to Shropshire Council.

Our local town or parish council is one of the principal consultees in the planning process. It may consider local opinion when commenting on applications. You are free to contact this local council to put forward your views.

David Turner

Woodhouse Farm
Much Wenlock
TF13 6NZ

01952 728802
Shropshire Council
The views expressed on this website are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Conservative Councillors' Association or the Conservative Party.