Shropshire

Independent gallery brings a ‘pop of Joy’ to Shrewsbury

Shropshire Council News Feed - Fri, 12/14/2018 - 15:51

At a time when high street retailers are under increasing pressure from online giants and rising costs, a gallery owner from Telford is taking the plunge and expanding her business to establish a seasonal pop-up shop in Shrewsbury town centre.

Two For Joy is an independent art gallery established by former glass artist Jenny Fletcher in 2017. Based at the Maws Craft Centre in the Ironbridge Gorge, the gallery has quickly built up a dedicated following and reputation for its authentic, carefully-curated collection of contemporary glass, ceramics, textiles, wall art, jewellery and gifts.

Two for Joy

In a bid to introduce this collection to a wider audience, Jenny is working with Shrewsbury Shopping to bring an empty retail unit in Shropshire Council’s Darwin Centre back into use as a vibrant gallery, retail and workshop space.

Jenny said:-

“To be honest, it was a real spur-of-the-moment decision. I hadn’t planned on relocating or expanding my business for some time yet, but when I came across this unit I decided it was too good to miss. It’s a big step, but so many of my customers travel from all over Shropshire looking for beautiful yet affordable handmade items, that it made sense to bring them here. It’s about making beautiful things accessible without compromising on choice or quality.”

She added:-

“Two for Joy’s ethos has always been to discover hidden talent and to showcase the best of what’s on offer from emerging and established artists across the UK. I love seeking out new designer-makers or picking up on the latest trends to commission exclusive ranges which have not been seen before.”

In addition to Two for Joy’s portfolio of resident artists, the pop-up will also feature the work of a number of Shropshire-based guest makers, including artists Hazel McNab, Sandy Densem Winter and Sarah Fennell, jeweller Sue Chadwick and interior designer Debra Harris. They will work alongside Jenny to staff the pop-up and look forward to meeting customers and sharing their creative stories. From time to time, other local artists and makers will also take over the gallery for a day to demonstrate their work or run ‘mini’ shops.

“It’s all about giving as many artists as possible an opportunity to showcase their work and keeps things fresh for my customers. They, in turn, are helping to support the artists by buying from a bricks and mortar gallery where they can see and feel the items as well as discovering the story behind the artwork.”

Two For Joy pop-up will open on Monday 17 December 2018 and operate for a period of six weeks.

(scripted by www.buy-from.com)

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Categories: Shropshire

Successful year for Shrewsbury’s shopping centres despite challenging times for retail

Shropshire Council News Feed - Fri, 12/14/2018 - 15:34

The Darwin Centre, Shrewsbury

In January this year Shropshire Council completed the purchase of Shrewsbury’s three main shopping centres from UK Commercial Property Trust Limited.

The primary objective for the purchase is to support the economic growth and future vitality of Shrewsbury town centre, by supporting the development of Shrewsbury as a ‘destination’, helping provide an improved and attractive retail and leisure offer, and securing employment for Shropshire residents. By securing a strong mix of future uses, it will also generate a sustainable year-on-year income stream for the council.

Since taking ownership of the centres the council and their team of agents and management advisors have been able to retain and attract tenants and both numbers of occupied units and footfall are holding up well, with footfall six per cent higher than in 2016. Earlier this year Wilko opened a new store in the Pride Hill Centre. In the Darwin Centre, The Disney Store opened at the end of October 2018; national retailer Menkind have returned, Calendar Club have opened a Christmas store, and Chikpe has also opened.

Local artist Megan Hawkins has opened in the Pride Hill Centre, along with PURE – and JD Sports and Planet Doughnut both opened in the Darwin Centre this month (December).

JD Sports in the Darwin Centre

These new tenants mean that vacancy rates in the Pride Hill and Darwin centres are at their lowest levels since 2012. The vacancy level in the Darwin Centre is 10 per cent (five units) and in the Pride Hill Centre it’s eight per cent (three units).

Planet Doughnut in the Darwin Centre

Councillor Steve Charmley, deputy leader of Shropshire Council, said:

“It’s been widely reported that these are challenging times for the retail sector, and this is undoubted from the picture we are seeing nationally as well as locally. Consumers’ habits and behaviours are fundamentally changing but this only emphasises the importance of the need for town centres to adapt and to become strong destinations in their own right, based on more than retail alone. Shrewsbury and many of Shropshire’s other market towns are well placed given their strong heritage and visitor offer already.

“When the council purchased the centres, we made it clear that this was not a short-term investment. Over the past year we’ve been carefully thinking through our next steps in terms of the wider development opportunities, and how these align with the vision for the town as articulated within the recently published Shrewsbury Big Town Plan.

“We’ve already introduced some temporary uses into the centres with initiatives like the ‘pop in shop’ and community arts and events. The future permanent uses of the centres must respond to offer a mix of uses as well as continue to ensure retailers are successful and want to trade in Shrewsbury. A future mixed use development of Riverside alongside strengthening the positioning of Darwin and Pride Hill centres with retail and complementary activities will help ensure the future success of the town centre and deliver on those aspirations of the Big Town Plan.”

The next steps for the centres were considered by the Shropshire Council’s Cabinet on 12 December. Councillors agreed that an initial budget of £500,000 be approved to secure the appropriate resources and expertise to prepare a Strategic Development Framework and Masterplan to support the delivery of the Shrewsbury Big Town Plan (to include the redevelopment of Riverside), along with the appointment of two dedicated posts to support this implementation.

For more information about Shrewsbury’s shopping centre, go to www.shrewsbury-shopping.co.uk

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Categories: Shropshire

Applications going to Central planning committee on 20 December 2018

Shropshire Council News Feed - Fri, 12/14/2018 - 14:38

The following planning applications will be considered by Shropshire Council’s Central planning committee at its meeting at Shirehall, Shrewsbury on Thursday 20 December 2018 at 2pm.

The meeting is open to the public and all are welcome to attend. To see the full agenda and reports, click here.

  • Former Copthorne Barracks, Copthorne Road, Shrewsbury (18/03637/REM) Approval of reserved matters (appearance, layout, scale and landscaping) pursuant to the Outline Permission 16/04228/OUT for the erection of 216 no. dwellings (conditions 15 and 17 amended and 25 removed by 18/01826/AMP) (Amended description).
  • Proposed development land at former bus depot, Minsterley, Shrewsbury (18/03583/OUT) Outline application for mixed use development for residential, retail and business units with associated parking (all matters reserved).
  • 182 Monkmoor Road, Shrewsbury (18/05121/FUL) Alterations to existing retail unit to form a hot food premises and takeaway premises including flue and ventilation system to include change of use.
  • Proposed dwelling north east of Waters Edge, Mill Road, Meole Brace, Shrewsbury (18/04801/OUT) Outline application (appearance, access, layout and scale for consideration) for the erection of one dwelling.

Decisions will be made available after the meeting on our online planning register which you can search by using the appropriate reference number or keyword.

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Categories: Shropshire

Local Plan Review: site allocations consultation meeting in Much Wenlock on 3 January 2019

Shropshire Council News Feed - Fri, 12/14/2018 - 13:40

Shropshire Council’s planning policy team has launched the ‘Preferred Sites’ consultation, which runs to Thursday 31 January 2019. During this time there will be a number of public meetings, open to all, throughout the county, where the Local Plan process and local development proposals will be explained, and there will be the opportunity to highlight issues specific concerns and suggest alternatives to the preferred approach set out in the consultation document. Please come along and have your say on how your community is shaped for the future.

The Much Wenlock place plan area meeting will be held on Thursday 3 January 2019 at Priory Hall, Much Wenlock – 7pm start.

The Preferred Sites consultation document outlines a housing policy direction to improve the delivery of local housing needs and establishes development guidelines and development boundaries for Shrewsbury, the principal and key centres, and each proposed Community Hub. It sets out the preferred sites to deliver the preferred scale and distribution of housing and employment growth during the period 2016 to 2036.

David Turner, local Shropshire Councillor for Much Wenlock, said:-

“The Much Wenlock presentation will provide an opportunity for residents and other stakeholders to learn more about the proposals and to question Shropshire Council planning policy officers.“

Claire Wild, local Shropshire Councillor for Severn Valley, said:-

“I urge Cressage residents to attend this public meeting and air their views on the proposed sites.”

Whether or not you attend any of the public meetings you can comment on the proposals by following the link below and commenting on the documents online:-

https://www.shropshire.gov.uk/get-involved/local-plan-review-preferred-sites-consultation/

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact your local community enablement officer Kerry Rogers at kerry.rogers@shropshire.gov.uk.

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Categories: Shropshire

Key Stage 2 results tables published: Shropshire primary schools achieve well

Shropshire Council News Feed - Fri, 12/14/2018 - 11:41

Results for last summer’s national curriculum tests for 11-year-olds were published yesterday (Thursday 13 December 2018).

The Key Stage 2 tables confirm the percentage of pupils achieving the nationally expected standard or above in reading, writing and mathematics combined, and the average progress scores achieved in reading, writing and mathematics separately (a calculation based on national prior attainment groups at the age of 7).

Results show that Shropshire primary schools achieve well compared to national standards and against local authorities with similar contexts.

The percentage of Shropshire pupils achieving the expected standard or above in reading, writing and mathematics combined was 63 per cent, a rise for Shropshire of 1 per cent from 2017.

Many primary schools in the Shropshire Council area have achieved above the national average on all measures.

In reading, 77 per cent of pupils achieved at least the expected standard, bettering the national figure by 2 per cent. Both writing and mathematics (78 and 75 per cent respectively) were in line with the national average this year.

These outcomes, when compared to the 10 other similar councils, placed Shropshire second in all three subjects.

Nick Bardsley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children and young people, praised the efforts of children, teachers, schools and Shropshire’s wider school communities for their hard work.

Nick said:

“I would like to commend all our school staff and parents for the considerable guidance and support that they give to all our pupils. The highly committed school staff ensure that pupils get the best possible start to their education and, whilst the standards they achieve in reading, writing and mathematics are only part of the picture, it is good to see Shropshire again riding high against our statistical neighbours.

“The proportion of pupils attaining the expected standard again exceeded national expectation in the key skill of reading, and was in line with the expectation in writing and maths. This provides pupils with a firm foundation on which to build their future educational success.”

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Categories: Shropshire

Shrewsbury Pride Hill enhancement work to re-start in early 2019

Shropshire Council News Feed - Fri, 12/14/2018 - 11:09

Pride Hill in Shrewsbury

Work to upgrade and enhance Shrewsbury’s Pride Hill will re-start early next year, following the Christmas and new year break.

The work is planned to begin again on 4 February 2019, with an anticipated completion date of spring 2019.

Unfortunately, the delivery of the scheme this year was not what Shropshire Council expected and, as a result, the council will not be proceeding with the previous contractor.

However, we’re pleased to announce the appointment of a new contractor, McPhillips (Wellington) Ltd. Their locality and previous experience will allow the successful delivery and completion of the works, to the required and expected standard.

We’ll soon be recommencing our formal consultation with Shrewsbury BID, Shrewsbury Town Council, other key stakeholders and businesses, in order to successfully complete the scheme with the least amount of disruption possible.

The Pride Hill work is part of a programme of enhancement works in Shrewsbury town centre being carried out as part of the Shrewsbury Integrated Transport Package (SITP), and aims to make a positive and consistent change to the quality of the public realm within Shrewsbury town centre.

More information about the work and the Shrewsbury Integrated Transport Package can be found at shropshire.gov.uk/sitp.

Further information

The improvements in the town centre will incorporate a range of traffic management and public realm enhancements as a part of the overall SITP.

The aims of these improvements closely align with the objectives for the overall package, these being to:

  • Discourage through-traffic from using the town centre;
  • Create a pedestrian-friendly town centre environment, with an increase in footfall;
  • Reduce the number and severity of accidents;
  • Promote economic vitality and attract investment, and
  • Ultimately create a heightened sense of place and wellbeing.

The public realm improvements link with these measures and aim to make a positive and consistent change to the quality of the public realm within Shrewsbury town centre.

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Categories: Shropshire

Views sought on plans to remove recycling bring bank sites

Shropshire Council News Feed - Fri, 12/14/2018 - 09:45

Shropshire residents are being asked for their views about proposals to remove Shropshire Council’s recycling bring bank sites, as part of six-week consultation that runs until 25 January 2019.

To read and take part in the consultation, click here.

Shropshire Council and Veolia currently provide bring banks at 120 sites across Shropshire, to enable people to recycle household waste including cans, glass, paper, clothing and drinks cartons. They are typically located in pub, supermarket and village hall car parks.

The council is proposing to remove its bring bank sites to help reduce fly-tipping and littering, to encourage recycling, and to save money.

The proposals don’t affect banks provided by private organisations on private land.

Rubbish piles up at Oswald Road bring bank site in Oswestry in summer 2018

 

The reasons for the proposed removal of the bring bank sites are as follows.

1) Financial savings

As a result of substantial Government funding reductions, Shropshire Council needs to significantly reduce its budget and make unprecedented changes to services.

It’s estimated that removing the banks would save the council around £230,000 a year, money that would then be put towards the provision of other vital services.

The savings would come from no longer needing to maintain and manage the sites, and provide a service to clean and empty the banks.

2) Inappropriate use of the bring bank sites

Inappropriate use of the banks is becoming increasingly common, and the sites are experiencing three main issues:

  • People placing the wrong materials in the banks.
  • People leaving general household waste alongside the banks.
  • Business using the sites to dump trade waste.

Putting the wrong material in a bank causes the waste in the bank to become contaminated, meaning that it can’t then be sent for recycling.

Waste left alongside the banks is also classed as fly-tipping, which is illegal and could result in prosecution. It also costs the council time and money to clear and dispose of.

The ongoing costs of cleaning and the removal of frequent fly-tipping at particular sites also costs money.

Bring bank sites are for household waste only. Any business should have its own commercial arrangements in place for removal of any waste or recycling.

3) Fall in use of – and need for – the sites

There has been a steady decline in the amount waste left at the sites since the introduction and development of kerbside recycling collections.

Bring banks were once the only way residents could recycle anything. However, a wide range of materials can now be recycled using the kerbside collection service meaning there is now much less need to use a bring bank.

In addition, around 20 different materials can be recycled at each of Shropshire five household recycling centres.

4) The regional/national situation

A number of other councils have already removed their recycling bring sites, including Telford and Wrekin Council.

5) Increasing recycling rates

As mentioned above, putting the wrong material in a bring bank causes the waste in the bank to become contaminated, meaning that it can’t then be sent for recycling. By removing the banks and encouraging people to recycle from the kerbside or at a household recycling centres, it is anticipated that the amount of household waste sent for recycling will rise.

Joyce Barrow, Cabinet member responsible for waste services, said:

“Over the next five years, with no action, Shropshire Council is facing a budget shortfall of around £59m so we’re having to look carefully at how we can save money that can be put into provision of our most vital services. Removing bring banks sites from across the county would save a significant sum, but saving money isn’t the only reason for this proposal. Thanks to our kerbside recycling service and recycling centres bring banks are no longer as important as they once were – and misuse of the sites is costing time and money, and reducing the amount of waste that can be recycled.

“We ask people to take a close look at our proposals and tell us what they think.”

All responses to the consultation will be carefully considered before the final proposals are presented to Shropshire Council’s Cabinet in early 2019.

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Categories: Shropshire

Decisions made by Cabinet on 12 December 2018, plus video of meeting

Shropshire Council News Feed - Thu, 12/13/2018 - 16:13

Some important decisions were made by Shropshire Council’s Cabinet at its meeting yesterday (Wednesday 12 December 2018).

To see the full agenda and papers, click here.

These items on the published agenda were discussed and approved in line with the recommendations:

  • Welfare reform Task and Finish group final report (scrutiny item). (This issue will also return to Cabinet in early 2019)
  • Financial Strategy 2019/20 to 2023/24
  • Setting the council tax taxbase, and council tax support, for 2019/20
  • Treasury management update Quarter 2 2018/19
  • Addressing unmet housing need: outline business case to establish a wholly-owned local housing company
  • Designation of Norton in Hales, Adderley and Moreton Say parishes as a Neighbourhood Plan Area
  • European Social Fund – community grants
  • Shrewsbury shopping centres next phase.

Video of meeting:

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Categories: Shropshire

Winter advice on hand to help you stay safe and well during the cold spell

Shropshire Council News Feed - Thu, 12/13/2018 - 15:44

With many parts of England forecast to receive their first bout of cold this winter, Shropshire Council’s public health team are urging residents across the county to keep warm and well during the cold.

Stay well this winter

The council’s ‘Stay safe and well this winter’ website offers a range of advice and information, from helping vulnerable people to remain safe and well, to notifications of school closures and travel updates.

The website signposts people to a wide range of both local and national winter-related information which includes:

  • Stay well this winter, Public Health England and NHS advice – to help those people who are most at risk of illness during winter to take steps to stay well, including make sure you get your flu jab. Pharmacies offer flu vaccinations in Shropshire.
  • Local information during bad weather – updates and information on traffic, winter road maintenance, road and school closures, what to do if your waste is not collected and services effected by adverse weather
  • Keep well and warm– Government advice on staying well in cold weather, covering issues such as financial help, healthy lifestyle and heating.
  • Get Ready for Winter– Met Office advice and information of the dangers posed by winter weather and provide tips and advice on how to minimise its impact.
  • Winter advice for older people– advice and information from Age UK.
  • Shropshire Newsroom– news and updates from Shropshire Council.
  • Rough sleepers – advice on how to let us know if you see someone rough sleeping. Spells of cold weather can put older people, those with underlying health conditions and young children, at risk from a range of conditions, because cold weather forces their bodies to work much harder than usual.

NHS111 staff

Lee Chapman, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult services, health and social housing, said:-

“Shropshire Council’s ‘stay safe and well’ pages are designed to help residents in Shropshire remain well throughout the winter period.

“Much of this advice is common sense but it’s always worth making the point, as there are many people out there, the very young and very old and those with underlying health conditions, such as asthma and heart disease and those who sleep rough, who will feel the effects of cold weather more than others. This is why we issue these warnings, so that people think about what activities are appropriate for them and their situation.

“This time of year we are also very mindful of those who are sleeping rough. Our Homeless Outreach Street Triage (HOST) team provide a valuable resource in Shropshire to react to reports of rough sleepers and getting the correct support to them as soon as possible. This has proved invaluable in helping to reduce the numbers living on the streets and improving the outcomes for those unfortunate enough to find themselves homeless.

“We therefore urge people to take practical steps such as to wrap up warm before the temperature dial hits freezing, so I’d really encourage everyone to view our stay safe and well pages, which offer invaluable advice and tips, as well as useful contacts, on keeping safe and well.”

With flu uptakes slightly down in 2018 from last year, the public health team are also urging those eligible for a free flu vaccine to take up their flu jab.

Saving energy by dressing warm and adjusting your thermostat.

Dr Irfan Ghani, Shropshire Council’s consultant in public health, added:

Dr Irfan Ghani, Consultant in Public Health at Shropshire Council added:

“It’s really important for those who are eligible to take up their free flu jab to do so now, especially before Christmas when many people will be gathering together with the added risk of spreading infection that this brings.

The vaccine is the best defence we have against the spread of flu, and it isn’t too late to get vaccinated.”

Top tips to prepare for colder weather:-

  • look out for friends and family who may be vulnerable to the cold, and ensure they have access to warm food and drinks and are managing to heat their homes adequately
  • try to maintain indoor temperatures to at least 18°C, particularly if you are not mobile, have a long-term illness or are 65 or over
  • stay tuned for weather forecasts, ensure you are stocked with food and medications in advance, have deliveries, or ask a friend to help
  • take weather into account when planning your activity over the following days
  • if eligible, seek entitlements and benefits – power and utility companies have schemes which make at-risk groups a priority for reconnection following power cuts
  • avoid exposing yourself to cold or icy outdoor conditions if you are at a higher risk of cold-related illness or falls
  • discuss with your friends and neighbours the need to clear snow and ice from in front of your house and public walkways nearby.

Visit www.shropshire.gov.uk/stay-safe-and-well-this-winter/

If you are concerned about someone sleeping rough in England or Wales you can refer them using the following details:

  • Streetlink website – www.streetlink.org.uk
  • Contact Shropshire Council’s housing options team on 0345 678 9005 or
  • Contact Shrewsbury Ark on 01743 363305.

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Categories: Shropshire

Local Plan Review – site allocations consultation meeting in Broseley on 14 January 2019

Shropshire Council News Feed - Thu, 12/13/2018 - 14:54

Shropshire Council’s planning policy team has launched the ‘Preferred Sites’ consultation, which will run from Thursday 29 November 2018 to Thursday 31 January 2019.

During this time there will be a number of public meetings open to all throughout the county, where the Local Plan process and local development proposals will be explained, and there will be the opportunity to highlight issues, specific concerns and suggest alternatives to the preferred approach set out in the consultation document.  Please come along and have your say on how your community is shaped for the future.

The Broseley place plan area meeting will be held on Monday 14 January 2019 at the Victoria Hall, Broseley – 6pm start. 

The Preferred Sites consultation document outlines a housing policy direction to improve the delivery of local housing needs, and establishes development guidelines and development boundaries for Shrewsbury, the principal and key centres, and each proposed Community Hub. It sets out the preferred sites to deliver the preferred scale and distribution of housing and employment growth during the period 2016 to 2036. 

Simon Harris, local Shropshire Councillor for Broseley, said:-

“The Broseley presentation will provide an opportunity for residents and other stakeholders to learn more about the proposals and to question Shropshire Council planning policy officers.“

David Turner, local Shropshire Councillor for Much Wenlock, said:-

“I urge local residents to attend this public meeting and air their views on the proposed sites.“ 

Whether or not you attend any of the public meetings, you can comment by following the link below and commenting on the documents online:-

https://www.shropshire.gov.uk/get-involved/local-plan-review-preferred-sites-consultation/

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact your local community enablement officer Kerry Rogers at kerry.rogers@shropshire.gov.uk.

 

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Categories: Shropshire

Bronze Age gold bulla found in Shropshire

Shropshire Council News Feed - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 16:45

The British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme launched its Annual Report for 2017 in London yesterday at an event attended by Rt Hon Michael Ellis MP, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism and Dr Hartwig Fischer – director of the British Museum.

As part of this event this new exciting and nationally important artefact discovered in Shropshire was revealed to the public for the very first time.

The Bronze Age gold bulla found in Shropshire

The Shropshire Marches Bulla was discovered in May this year by a responsible metal detector user who wishes to remain anonymous.

The find was swiftly reported to the Finds Liaison Officer for Shropshire – Peter Reavill and to HM Coroner for Shropshire – Mr John Ellery as potential treasure.

The finder of the bulla has said it is “the very best find of their detecting career” describing it as “simply mindblowing”.

The find is nationally important being one of the most significant pieces of Bronze Age gold metalwork discovered in the British Isles.

The artefact is known as a bulla (from the Latin for bubble) which is a hollow pendant suspended from a long-decorated gold tube. It is crescent in shape and wedged in profile. All surfaces are decorated with incised repeated geometric patterns. The gold plates are cut with opposing lines by a craftsman whose skill would have been almost unequalled in the period.

Peter Reavill, Finds Liaison officer, British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme, said:

“The design is such that the play of light over the surface is what you see most, changing with angle and light moving and shimmering, dancing and ever different. This would have been enhanced in the period where it would have been stunning when viewed by firelight or in bright sunlight.”

This form of pendant is amazingly rare. In fact, only one other direct parallel is known. That example was discovered in the 18th century whilst cutting a canal on the River Irwell, Manchester. It was sold in 1806 and its whereabouts is not known.

Six other broadly similar bullae are known from the northern part of the island of Ireland and are broadly dated to the late Bronze Age (1000 – 750 BC).

Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture and lesiure, said:

“This find is wonderful for Shropshire and further demonstrates the rich and broad heritage we are fortunate to hold in the county.

“I’m looking forward to finding out more about the bulla at the inquest which is likely to be held in the New Year.”

Research led by Dr Neil Wilkin at the British Museum has shown that the Shropshire Marches bulla is most probably hollow and formed from gold sheet with at least 80% precious metal. Specialist investigations are still ongoing.

Mr Ellery, HM Coroner for Shropshire, will hold a Treasure inquest into the circumstance of the find once the full scientific analysis has been completed. The date for this inquest is not yet set.

A multi-agency research bid to investigate the archaeological landscape from which the bulla comes is currently being written by Historic England, Portable Antiquities Scheme, The British Museum and archaeological staff at Shropshire Council.

The bulla is currently undergoing analysis and study by specialists at the British Museum. It is not on public display and further information about the find will be released at inquest.

This is not the first time an artefact of historic importance has been found in Shropshire. In summer 2018 Mr Ellery held an inquest for a Roman Brooch which dates to the late 1st and early 2nd century (AD 80-140).

Other finds include the Tudor Coin Hoard now on display at Ludlow Museum, the Shropshire Hoard on display at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery and the South Shropshire Ring.

Further information

More information and images on the bulla can be found here:

Bulla: https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/902916
Image: https://finds.org.uk/database/images/image/id/1037310/recordtype/artefacts

(images may be reproduced and used with permission of British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme).

More information about PAS and Treasure can be found here:
https://finds.org.uk/documents/advice.pdf

For more information, please contact:

Peter Reavill – Finds Liaison Officer (Shropshire and Herefordshire)
Portable Antiquities Scheme
Email: peter.reavill@shropshire.gov.uk
Tel: 01743 254748
Web: http://finds.org.uk / Twitter: PAS in the Marches @PeterReavill

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Categories: Shropshire

News from our partners: Archie Spriggs Serious Case Review report published

Shropshire Council News Feed - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 16:05

News from Shropshire Safeguarding Children’s Board

The report of a Serious Case Review carried out following the death of seven-year-old Archie Spriggs has been published today (Wednesday 12 December 2018).

Archie, from Wall under Heywood, near Church Stretton, died in September 2017. In March 2018 his mother was found guilty of his murder following a trial at Birmingham Crown Court.

Following Archie’s death the Shropshire Safeguarding Children’s Board (SSCB) commissioned a Serious Case Review (SCR) to consider the way in which agencies worked both individually and together in this case, and to explore whether there is a need to improve the way they work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in Shropshire.

The family were given the opportunity to contribute to the review process.

The report – which has been published on the SSCB website – was written by independent safeguarding consultant Liz Murphy, a qualified social worker.

In the report she makes it clear that:

“It is important to stress that the system challenges identified in this or any SCR, can have no responsibility for the perpetrator’s motivation or their actions. Responsibility for the death of any individual rests firmly with the perpetrator.”

The report makes a series of recommendations for the lead agencies, and these have already been addressed, or are currently being addressed, as summarised below.

Shropshire Council’s children’s social care team is currently reviewing the referral pathways and the consistent use of the multi-agency written referral forms where there are concerns about a child, in order to provide clarity and effective application of the referral pathway. The new arrangements are under consultation with partners and will be implemented from January 2019.

Training and learning opportunities for the multi-agency workforce are currently being considered to include factors highlighted in the report such as: the impact of protracted private law proceedings on children’s emotional wellbeing; factors to be considered and assessed in circumstances whereby separated parents make allegations about the welfare of their children; experiences and barriers to working with fathers; and enabling professionals to reflect on the approach to providing a whole family focus.

Shropshire Safeguarding Children’s Board has also started to work with the Local Family Justice Board and the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) to ensure timely and consistent arrangements are in place where there are safeguarding concerns for children who are going through the family court process.

And SSCB will continue to seek regular assurance from partner agencies in Shropshire that the impact of the learning from this case has improved the safeguarding response to children of separated parents where contact and residency are decided by the Court.

Ivan Powell, independent chair of the Shropshire Safeguarding Children’s Board, said:

“This is a tragic and terrible case and it is absolutely right that we have conducted this review to better understand the way that the partner agencies worked together and individually, and to determine what lessons can be learned. The SSCB has already taken steps to ensure that all of the recommendations are pursued robustly to change and improve the future experience for Shropshire’s children and their families.

‘’I wish to acknowledge the strength of Archie’s family who fully contributed to the review at a time of such a terrible loss for them.”

Note to editors

1. Archie’s family have asked not to be approached by the media at what is a difficult time for the family. We’re sure that you will all appreciate their position and ask that you respect their wishes.

2. In the report, Archie is referred to as ‘Child E’

3. About the review:

a. The review focuses on the period from January 2014 to September 2017. This period was selected following a SCR Panel meeting and is of a sufficient range to include the relevant engagement that Archie had with agencies in Shropshire.  Whilst this period was the basis for the review, contextual and relevant information falling outside of this period was also included.

b. The review was conducted in a way which:

  • recognised the complex circumstances in which professionals work together to safeguard children;
  • sought to understand precisely who did what, and the underlying reasons that led individuals and organisations to act as they did;
  • sought to understand practice from the viewpoint of the individuals and organisations involved at the time, rather than using hindsight;
  • was transparent in the way data is collected and analysed;
  • made use of relevant research and case evidence to inform the findings.

c. The key agencies involved in the serious case review were: West Mercia Police; the GP; Shropshire Council’s children’s social care service; the NSPCC; the CCG; Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS).

The post News from our partners: Archie Spriggs Serious Case Review report published appeared first on Shropshire Council Newsroom.

Categories: Shropshire

Raven Meadows multi-storey car park – update on safety barrier work

Shropshire Council News Feed - Wed, 12/12/2018 - 10:51

A recent safety inspection showed the need to install new restraint barriers at Raven Meadows multi-storey car park in Shrewsbury to help prevent vehicles striking the inside of the car park. As a result, on 23 November 2018 around 200 spaces had to be closed off as a safety precaution until new barriers are in place. The affected spaces are those on the outer edges of levels 2 to 9.

We’ve been working had to make sure that the new barriers are in place – and the car park is fully open – at the earliest opportunity.

The good news is that a contractor has now been appointed and will be starting work tomorrow (Thursday 13 December 2018) to install the new barriers. As each section of work is completed, that area of the car park will be immediately re-opened up for use, meaning that spaces will be made available as work progresses.

It’s estimated that the work will take three weeks to complete. We’ll provide a further update as soon as we know when work will be completed, and the car park fully open.

In the meantime, we encourage people to continue visiting Shrewsbury town centre, and also ask them to consider using the Park & Ride, or parking in one of other town centre car parks, especially Frankwell or Abbey Foregate.

For more information about parking in Shrewsbury go to shropshire.gov.uk/parking.

 

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Categories: Shropshire

News from our partners: Teddy bear manufacturer donates more than £2,000 to hospitals from sale of Bevan

Shropshire Council News Feed - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 16:04

News from our partners: Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH)

A limited edition teddy bear, created to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the NHS, has so far raised more than £2,000 for Shropshire’s acute hospitals.

Bevan the bear

Bevan the Bear was created by Ironbridge-based Merrythought – the only traditional teddy bear manufacturers left in the UK – to raise money for SaTH Charity, which provides funds to enhance care for patients and their families.

He has proved so popular, that he will continue to be available over Christmas and in 2019, with a percentage of the sales again going to the SaTH Charity.

Bevan was launched in the summer with a limited edition run of 1,948 to celebrate the year the NHS was formed.

Julia Clarke, Director of Corporate Governance at SaTH, who was one of the first people to buy a bear, said:

“Bevan is completely adorable and we are incredibly grateful to Merrythought for creating this gorgeous bear as part of our celebrations to mark 70 years of the NHS and for this wonderful donation.

“Bevan is a great gift for anyone – old or young – and it is great that he will continue to raise money for our own charity in 2019.”

Bevan the bear

Sarah Holmes, Director at Merrythought, said:

“We have been delighted to be working with SaTH to celebrate the NHS’ 70th anniversary, and helping to raise funds for our local hospitals and are delighted to announce that Bevan will still be available in 2019.

“Bevan is a very characterful bear that we designed with the whole family in mind and has proved to be very popular. He has been carefully hand-made in Shropshire from the finest pure mohair and cotton velvet, and is a bear that we hope people will enjoy for generations.”

For more information on Bevan or to get your hands on your own bear, visit www.sath.nhs.uk/about-us/nhs70/Bevan

Further information

  • SaTH Charity is a registered charity that makes a real difference to the patients, affected friends and family, and members of staff at The Royal Shrewsbury and Princess Royal Hospitals. For more information, visit www.sath.nhs.uk/about-us/charity
  • Merrythought has handmade traditional teddy bears in the World Heritage Site of Ironbridge since 1930. Merrythought is a family business famous for crafting the finest, jointed, mohair teddy bears adored by children and adults across the world. Every one of their bears is lovingly made by hand in their Ironbridge factory, giving them a unique character and superior quality that can last a lifetime.
  • Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust is the main provider of acute hospital care for almost 500,000 people from Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and mid Wales. Patients come to us from Telford, Shrewsbury, Ludlow, Oswestry, Bridgnorth, Whitchurch, Newtown and Welshpool in Powys.
  • The Trust continues to work with its partners in health and social care in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and mid Wales to develop patient-focused services that meet the needs of our communities.

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Categories: Shropshire

Applications going to South planning committee on 18 December 2018

Shropshire Council News Feed - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 15:33

The following planning applications will be considered by Shropshire Council’s South planning committee at its meeting at Shirehall, Shrewsbury on Tuesday 18 December 2018 at 2pm.

The meeting is open to the public and all are welcome to attend. To see the full agenda and reports, click here.

    • Proposed affordable dwelling north of Jays Farm, Hope Bagot (18/02384/FUL) Erection of affordable dwelling and installation of septic tank (revised scheme).
    • Land to the south east of Hemford, Bromlow, Minsterley (18/03312/OUT) Outline application for the erection of a single dwelling (to include access).
    • Royal Oak, Alveley, Bridgnorth, WV15 6LL (18/03476/FUL) Application under Section 73A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 for the erection of toilet block, shower block and change of use to glamping and touring caravan site.
    • Barn south west of The Grove, Ashford Bowdler (18/03585/FUL) Conversion and extension to redundant agricultural building to form one dwelling and garage; change of use of agricultural land to form domestic curtilage; formation of vehicular access, and; installation of package treatment plant.
    • Barn south west of The Grove, Ashford Bowdler (18/03586/LBC) Conversion and extension to redundant agricultural building to form one dwelling and garage; change of use of agricultural land to form domestic curtilage; formation of vehicular access, and; installation of package treatment plant.
    • Spicers Hall Caravan Park, Spicers Hall Farm, Digbeth Lane, Claverley (18/04206/FUL) Application to position 1 metre high lighting bollards at 30 metre intervals along approved widened access track and passing places.
    • Garages north of Mynd View, Craven Arms (18/04776/FUL) Erection of a detached, 3 bedroomed dwelling following demolition of existing garages.

Decisions will be made available after the meeting on our online planning register which you can search by using the appropriate reference number or keyword.

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Categories: Shropshire

Shropshire Hills AONB wins International Sustainable Tourism Award

Shropshire Council News Feed - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 11:42

The Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership has won an international award for sustainable tourism from the Europarc Federation.

This is the second time that the AONB has been recognised having completed a successful, evidenced based application and passed a three-day assessment by a Europarc Federation assessor.

The award recognises the work that the AONB Partnership does to support environmentally positive tourism in the Shropshire Hills.  This includes working closely with tourism bodies, businesses and communities, running the Shropshire Hills Shuttles and working with partners to manage visitors.

This award puts the Shropshire Hill AONB in a prestigious group of protected landscapes across Europe as well as the Cairngorms National Park and Norfolk Broads in the UK.

Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council Cabinet member for leisure and culture, said:

“This award for sustainable tourism is a tremendous achievement for the Shropshire Hill AONB Partnership and promotes the Shropshire Hills as a sustainable visitor destination. Congratulations to the team and all partners.”

Phil Holden, Shropshire Hills AONB manager, said:

“We would like to thank all of our partners who have worked with us to help secure this important award for the second time, including Shropshire Hills Tourism: The National Trust, Shropshire Council Outdoor Partnerships and Church Stretton Walking Festival.

“This is a big deal for the Shropshire Hills. It recognises our commitment to conserve and enhance the Shropshire Hills by promoting the best of sustainable practices.”

For more information on the Europarc Federation and Charter click here.

Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership

The Shropshire Hills AONB was designated in 1958 and covers a quarter of Shropshire. It is one of 46 AONBs in the UK which, along with National Parks, make up our finest landscapes.

The main purpose of AONB designation is to conserve and enhance natural beauty, while also taking account of economic and social needs, promoting sustainable development and meeting the demand for recreation.

The Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership co-ordinates this work, and is hosted by Shropshire Council and funded in addition by Defra, Telford & Wrekin Council and project funders.

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Categories: Shropshire

Shrewsbury Town in the Community thanks town’s shopping centres for their support

Shropshire Council News Feed - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 09:30

Shrewsbury Town in the Community has thanked Shrewsbury’s shopping centres for helping to raise awareness of, and funding for, the charity.

Shrewsbury Town in the Community is the official charity of Shrewsbury Town Football Club, striving to make a positive difference across Shropshire through sport and learning, by providing fun, safe, and enjoyable activities for people of all ages and abilities.

Shrewsbury shopping centres became a partner of Shrewsbury Town in the Community in 2017 and have since worked with the charity on a number of different events and activities.

For example, in 2017 the Darwin Centre hosted the Junior Shrews Christmas Party, which gave young fans the chance to celebrate, meet Father Christmas and first team players.

And club mascot Lenny the Lion has made several appearances at the shopping centres, most recently at with Santa in his grotto, which this year is raising funds for Shrewsbury Town in the Community.

Lenny the Lion visits Santa and his elves in the Darwin Centre grotto

Head of Community, Jamie Edwards, is delighted by the benefits the partnership has brought about so far and is looking forward working with the centres even
more in the coming months.

He says:

“Having local businesses such as the shopping centres on board with us is vital in helping us carry out our work. Not only do they help fund many of our projects through being a Friend of the Community, but they also allow us to engage directly with those in the local area through hosting Lenny the Lion and our Junior Shrews.”

Kevin Lockwood, Shrewsbury shopping centres manager, said:

“We’re proud to support Shrewsbury Town in the Community and I’m delighted that we’re able to help to raise awareness of and funding for the charity and their valuable work.

“As a great example, this Christmas children can visit Santa in his grotto in the Darwin Centre for just £4, with all money raised being donated to Shrewsbury Town in the Community. We now look forward to continuing to work closely with Jamie Edwards and his team in the future.”

The relationship between the centres and Shrewsbury Town in the Community is set to grow in the new year with more events and player visits taking place at the Shrewsbury shopping centres.

For more information about Shrewsbury Town in the Community visit www.shrewsburytowninthecommunity.com.

For more information about Shrewsbury shopping centres, visit www.shrewsbury-shopping.co.uk.

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Categories: Shropshire

Councillors to consider next stage of Shirehall redevelopment scheme

Shropshire Council News Feed - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 09:27

How the front of Shirehall may look

Shropshire councillors will be asked to approve moving to the next stage of plans to refurbish and reconfigure the council’s Shirehall headquarters in Shrewsbury at a meeting of full Council this Thursday (13 December 2018).

A report was due to be considered by Council earlier this year, but it was agreed to take the report to a later meeting to allow councillors to fully consider the proposals before making a decision.

At their meeting this week, councillors will be asked to approve the refurbishment in principle of the entire Shirehall building, subject to a further report to be considered by Cabinet with a final business case, developed designs and final project budget. They will also be asked to approve the addition of £1.15m to the capital programme to support Stage 3 of the project with delegation to the Director of Place to oversee the production of the final business case.

In July 2017, a specialist team of architects and property specialists considered options to reconfigure and refurbish Shirehall in order to meet the council’s priorities (stage 1). In December 2017 Cabinet considered their feasibility report and agreed, in principle, to move forward the option of refurbishing the entire building.

The necessary due diligence and feasibility work around this option (stage 2) has now been completed and councillors will now be asked to approve the spending of £1.15m capital funding to support the next, detailed design stage of the development (Stage 3).

Stage 3 of the work will see more detailed designs and costs worked up and an application for planning approval made, as well as work on the strategy to procure the contractors for the final refurbishment work, before a detailed project budget, developed designs and a full business case are presented to full Council in March/April 2019.

If approved, work is set to be completed by autumn 2021.

The overall cost of the project is estimated to be £24.1m but this spend is set to be met by the proposed income generation and savings, with a yield of 7% anticipated.

How Shirehall reception may look

Steve Charmley, deputy leader of Shropshire Council, said:

“These plans offer a huge range of opportunities. They’ll make Shirehall better suited to modern working, providing our staff with a much improved place to work. They’ll save us money while reducing the cost of heating, lighting and maintaining the building, and will create income-generating opportunities for Shropshire Council through us acting as landlord for some of our public sectors partners. By creating a ‘Civic Hub’ Shirehall will also become much more accessible to the public and the local community.

“With the money spent set to be earned back through the savings and income generated, and a with a yield of 7% expected, this will be an excellent investment.”

Subject to Council approval on 13 December, the project will proceed to phase 3, and further option appraisal work would also be undertaken by officers to ensure that the best value option is secured for the council.

Reasons for the planned refurbishment

How the partner entrance at the rear of Shirehall may look

There are a number of reasons for the planned refurbishment:

  • Provide office space for council staff: Directly employed Shropshire Council staff will continue to need a suitable office base. Shirehall can continue to serve this purpose. It is owned by the council, and therefore in the council’s control to adapt and reconfigure to meet its needs. It has good transport links to the rest of the county. It is a well-known building, which, whilst of its time, has a provenance and striking aesthetic, which is befitting to a local authority and the local community.
  • Need to modernise the building: Shirehall is now ‘of its time’, resolutely exhibiting almost exactly the same plan as in its original drawings. Furthermore the building in its current state presents an image to the public and partners which is far from ideal, appearing old fashioned and unwelcoming and disorientating for staff and visitors alike.
  • Investment urgently required: The building is structurally sound and its key mechanical and electrical systems remain viable, but a number of years with minimal planned maintenance has had a negative impact on the quality and performance of the building, which now needs to be addressed urgently. A number of key elements have exceeded their expected lifespan, and significant investment is required to bring the building to modern standards.
  • Revenue generation: In the light of reduced revenue funding and changes to business rates the council’s focus for our own land holdings is on revenue generation and Shirehall offers great potential for linking with public and private sectors partners, both through the One Public Estate programme and via commercial opportunities, to maximise the potential of the site to generate ongoing revenue contributions.
  • Cost savings through sharing: Sharing Shirehall with other public sector bodies via the One Public Estate programme, will also enable us to share a number of business functions and operational costs, leading to savings and potential efficiencies.
  • Greater commercial focus: Shropshire Council is also seeking to become a more commercially focused organisation, but the image Shirehall currently portrays to business partners is tired and out dated. Our base needs to demonstrate that we are open to business and a safe set of hands in which to trust the future place making of Shropshire.

Investment in improvements to Shirehall will provide a number of significant benefits and opportunities including:

  • Improved public perception, customer experience, revitalised sense of civic pride and sense of place.
  • Improved working environment for staff, leading to improved efficiencies through flexible and agile working and opportunities for collaborative working.
  • Reduced running costs, through significant energy savings, increased efficiencies and reduction in empty desks/meeting room voids, along with reduced maintenance costs.
  • Rationalisation of public estate to generate further letting/disposal opportunities, making land available for housing and business growth, reduce overall running costs and maintenance liabilities.
  • Rental income from third parties, along with opportunities for some shared facilities, given the location of Shirehall on a key town centre access route into and its proximity to residential areas.
  • Opportunities to provide much needed improvements to the car parking requirements and the development of an effective travel plan.

This is project acknowledged by Central Government Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Housing Communities & Local Government and the Local Government Association as being an exemplar within the One Public Estate programme and which could be used as a demonstrator of good practice to other local authorities.

Background information

How will the work be paid for?

The work will be funded from Shropshire Council’s ‘capital budget’. This is money that legally can only be spent or invested on assets and infrastructure projects and not on the direct provision of council services. Any money earned or saved as a result of a capital project can then be added to the council’s ‘revenue budget’ to help fund key, frontline, council services.

Stage 1 and stage 2 work

At stage 1 the consultants recommended a significant investment to address the problems with the building and achieve the desired project objectives.

It was agreed that a sum of £300,000 should be added to the capital programme to enable to project to proceed to Stage 2, which would provide significantly increased certainty around the project costs and the business case.

Activities carried out in Stage 2 included:

  • Due diligence on the existing building, in the form of technical surveys and research into existing systems.
  • Concept designs for the building and the external areas and spatial planning.
  • The preparation of a workplace strategy, based on the emerging policies and aspirations around transformation and agile working, as well as good practice.
  • Discussions with third parties to identify letting opportunities.
  • Consultation with directors, officers, councillors and other key stakeholders.
  • Financial modelling and work to build the business case for the project.
  • Early work on establishing the BREEAM and sustainability principles and options for carbon reduction and energy saving.
  • Early work on a parking strategy.

Shrewsbury town centre consideration

Before submitting this report for approval, the opportunity was taken to pause the work briefly to consider the opportunity presented by the purchase of the shopping centres to relocate the Civic Hub in the town centre.

A report, was commissioned to evaluate the Shirehall Redevelopment Project against the potential of other new build options in Shrewsbury town centre. Its purpose was to assess the viability of the project, in the context of Shropshire Council’s wider estate and ask whether the Shirehall refurbishment proposal is the most sustainable and effective solution.

The outcome of the appraisal demonstrated at a high level that Shirehall remains the most cost effective, lowest risk and quickest option to deliver.

The post Councillors to consider next stage of Shirehall redevelopment scheme appeared first on Shropshire Council Newsroom.

Categories: Shropshire

Planet Doughnut to open new kiosk in Shrewsbury’s Darwin Centre this Wednesday

Shropshire Council News Feed - Mon, 12/10/2018 - 14:48

Shrewsbury-based Planet Doughnut is to open a new kiosk in the town’s Darwin Centre this Wednesday morning (12 December 2018), giving visitors to the centre the chance to buy their handcrafted yeast-raised doughnuts.

Twelve different flavours will be available on launch day, and the first customer on the day will receive a free gold card, with the next 50 receiving a fully stamped loyalty card – which can be exchanged for a free doughnut on their next visit.

Established in 2017, Planet Doughnut is a small independent business run by husband and wife team Duncan and Sam McGregor. In April 2018, they opened their first-ever store on Claremont Hill in Shrewsbury where they serve up 20 varieties of doughnuts, along with speciality coffee, tea, hot chocolate and more.

Now, eight months later, a new Planet Doughnut kiosk is set to open, selling doughnuts freshly made each day.

Duncan McGregor says:

“At Planet Doughnut we have a passion for making the very best doughnuts.  We handcraft every single doughnut from cutting all the way through to decorating and love coming up with fabulous flavour combinations.

“Opening a kiosk in the Darwin centre and its prime location will hopefully mean more people find out about Planet Doughnut, experience our doughnuts and, as a relatively new small local business, help us hold our own on a high street mainly dominated by national retailers.

“For launch day we’re releasing our first ever Nutella filled doughnut and more new flavours to tempt everyone along with some fantastic giveaways, so make sure you keep an eye on our social media.”

Kevin Lockwood, Shrewsbury shopping centres manager, said:

“We’re delighted to welcome Planet Doughnut to the Darwin Centre and wish them good luck and every success as they open their new kiosk.”

Planet Doughnut is set to open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5.30pm, and Sunday from 10.30am to 4.30pm.

For more information about Planet Doughnut, visit www.planet-doughnut.co.uk, Planet Doughnut is on Facebook (PlanetDoughnut); Twitter (@planet_doughnut); Instagram (planet_doughnut).

For more information about Shrewsbury shopping centres visit www.shrewsbury-shopping.co.uk.

About Planet Doughnut

Planet Doughnut are first generation bakers. They handcraft fresh doughnuts daily at their store, featuring classic and internationally inspired flavours. They strive to infuse their doughnuts with the latest flavours and American inspired designs, and have amassed more than 50 flavours of doughnuts.

The Planet Doughnut journey started in their garage, where Chef Duncan developed signature flavours Toffee Crisp and Lemon & White Chocolate. While in the garage, they operated through social media, catering, and event pop ups and gained quite a following.

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Categories: Shropshire

Fifteen primary schools to get running tracks made from recycled Shropshire roads

Shropshire Council News Feed - Mon, 12/10/2018 - 10:39

Fifteen Shropshire primary schools are to get brand new running tracks made from recycled roads, thanks to the government’s ‘sugar tax’ and to staff from Shropshire Council, WSP and Kier – partners in the Shropshire Highways alliance.

Construction of the first track began at Criftins Primary School near Ellesmere last week, with the remaining 14 tracks due to be completed by the end of March 2019.

The tracks will be constructed from a total of 1500 tonnes of recycled Shropshire roads. In each case the track will be made of unwanted materials from road maintenance work being carried out close to the school.

In addition, a number of improvements to each school’s facilities will also be carried out while the tracks are being constructed, including creating/maintaining forest schools, maintaining school gardens, refreshing playgrounds, repairing raised plant beds, and repainting car park markings.

In total, 4000 children are set to benefit from the project, which will enable each child to walk or run a total of 285km in each academic year, at a cost of just £1.30 per pupil per year.

Work is underway on the new running track at Criftins Primary School

The idea for the tracks came about earlier this year when Shropshire Council received £226,572 from the Healthy Pupils Capital Fund (HPCF) – which is funded through the ‘sugar tax’ grant. Of the total grant, £105,000 was set aside to provide school running tracks – to help children meet the ‘Daily Mile challenge’ to walk or run a mile every day.

Schools were invited to bid for a share of this funding, and fifteen submitted bids for all-weather running tracks – though the specification varied for each school.

With just £7000 available for each track Shropshire Council asked their engineering consultant WSP to consider how the tracks could be provided within the available budget.

WSP decided to offer its services for free through the WSP employee benefit scheme, which allows each employee two paid volunteering days per year. Shropshire Council’s term contractor Kier and their wider supply chain, including Tarmac and L&R, followed WSP’s example by offering their services and materials at cost with no additional multipliers or mark-ups.

Savings were also identified by standardising the specification for the 15 tracks, allowing materials to be purchased in bulk at lower costs.

The proposed width of the tracks was increased to allow larger machinery to be used in construction, which will result in increased output and reduces the time needed to construct each track. The wider tracks can also be used for cycling, and by wheelchair users.

Further savings were identified by agreeing to tarmac surfacing for all the tracks. This durable and weather-resistant material will also reduce the need for, and cost of, future maintenance.

WSP is also working with Shropshire Council’s highways team and Kier – along with Kier’s supply chain – to provide the most significant savings in costs and efficiency by linking the construction of the tracks to the existing Shropshire Highways maintenance contract.

Work at each school will coincide with highways maintenance work nearby, enabling the material to be quickly and easily transported to the school.

Project manager Ben Corfield from WSP, said:

“The whole project is an example of how collaborative working, intricate planning and financial astuteness can achieve the greatest level of benefits for the maximum number of children.

“Constructing all 15 tracks before the end of March will be quite a challenge but we’re confident that we can do it. Linking to the highway maintenance programme and favourable winter weather conditions will be key factors. We can manage the former, but have our fingers crossed for good weather!”

Nick Bardsley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children’s services, said:

“The schools who will be receiving the tracks have positively embraced the project and are looking forward to realising and assessing the health and educational learning benefits they will bring for their pupils, both in terms of physical and mental well-being.”

Steve Davenport, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways and transport, said:

 “It’s brilliant that our partners WSP and Kier are donating time and materials to aid children’s fitness. I want to thank them for helping to make these running tracks a reality.”

Regular updates about the progress of the project will be provided on the Shropshire Council website, at shropshire.gov.uk.

Further information

 The 15 schools that will be getting a new running track are:

  • Oakmeadow CE Primary & Nursery School, Bayston Hill
  • Church Preen Primary School
  • Cockshutt CE Primary School & Nursery
  • Christ Church CE Primary School, Cressage
  • Criftins CE Primary School
  • Highley Community Primary School
  • Kinnerley CE Primary School
  • Market Drayton Infant School & Nursery
  • Market Drayton Junior School
  • Lower Heath CE Primary School
  • Shifnal Primary School
  • Harlescott Junior School
  • St George’s Junior School, Shrewsbury
  • St Peter’s CE Primary & Nursery School, Wem
  • Woore Primary & Nursery SchoolThe 29 schools whose bids didn’t include a running track will receive a share of the funding to spend on other related activity.

Key facts

The following figures give an indication of both the complexity and scale of the project that is to be undertaken:

  • A total of 4132m of running track will be constructed using
      • 8km of timber edging used, along with
      • 5500 wooden pegs and
      • 1500 tonnes of recycled carriageway
  • A total of 4000 children across Shropshire will benefit from the tracks, allowing each child to walk or run a total of 285km in the academic year. With a minimum 20 year design life, the cost of providing this is only £1.30 per child per year

The Daily Mile

The Daily Mile is a concept first introduced by Elaine Wyllie, the former headteacher of St Ninian’s Primary School, Stirling. As a passionate and fresh-thinking educator, Elaine introduced the initiative in response to observations by a volunteer at her school that the pupils weren’t fit and lacked stamina. This theory was put to the test and pupils were invited to complete a lap of the school field, where upon the results were evident. The pupils became exhausted very quickly and some couldn’t complete a full lap.

It was at that point that Elaine realised the implications of unfit children on their health, wellbeing and ability to concentrate and learn at school. She took action by initially inviting a single class to walk or run a mile every day and in a very short space of time all the classes in the school were taking part.

The Daily Mile was a huge success, improving pupils’ concentration, mood and relationships, as well as their fitness. This led to Elaine being named UK Teacher of the Year at the Pride of Britain awards 2015 and, in 2016, she was awarded an honorary Master of Arts by the University of Stirling.

The Daily Mile is a fully-inclusive, free and simple initiative which improves the physical and mental health of children. It’s a social activity where the children run, jog, or walk at their own pace, for 15 minutes every day and it improves focus in the classroom.

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Categories: Shropshire

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