Shropshire

Coronavirus: Cases rise as children return to school

Shropshire Council News Feed - Thu, 09/16/2021 - 18:05

During the seven-day period between 3-9 September 2021:      

  • 1,145 new cases reported      
  • An increase of 18% on the previous week      
  • The 7-day infection rate for Shropshire was 351.9 per 100,000      
  • It was 345.2 per 100,000 for the West Midlands, and 317.9 for England    
  • 35 hospital beds were occupied by COVID-19 patients   
  • 7 COVID-19-related deaths in a local hospital    

Coronavirus cases 3-9 September

 Rachel Robinson, Shropshire’s director of public health, said: 

As predicted, with schools returning and offices getting busier after the summer break, the number of positive cases is on the rise again. The health protection team is currently managing 70 COVID-19 outbreaks, mainly across schools, with 32 new outbreaks declared in the last week.  

Testing rates are high across Shropshire, meaning we can monitor the spread of the virus and manage it appropriately. We will continue to work closely with schools, businesses and public venues to ensure they are well supported. 

This week the government announced its recommendation for 12 to 15-year-olds to receive one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This will help prevent disruption to education, however, it is not compulsory.  Young people and their parents should be supported in making this decision and in whatever choice they make. 

Sadly, we have seen a further seven deaths at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals and a high number of hospitalisations. We are continuing to encourage people to get vaccinated to reduce the risk of serious illness. There is still plenty of opportunity to get the jab, first and second doses, at walk-in clinics around the county.

Councillor Dean Carroll, cabinet member for public health, said: 

Thank you to everyone in Shropshire who is playing their part and doing what they can to minimise the spread of COVID-19. I know it is frustrating to see the cases rising, but it is encouraging to see so many people in our county testing regularly, wearing face masks where necessary and social distancing to keep each other safe. 

If you haven’t yet had your vaccine, or are due the second dose, please don’t delay it any longer. If you have concerns, speak to your GP or a clinician at one of the county’s walk-in centres.

A full list of vaccination clinics is available here.  

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Categories: Shropshire

Key worker transport charity thriving thanks to Council support

Shropshire Council News Feed - Thu, 09/16/2021 - 13:17

A project designed to help key workers travel to their jobs during the pandemic received over £18,000 from the Wider Economic Recovery Fund part of Shropshire Council’s Covid 19 business support package of grants.

Shropshire Rural Community Council Charity used the grant to purchase five 110cc mopeds to support local people back into work and help businesses and communities bounce back from the effects of the pandemic.

Shropshire RCC established Wheels2Work 26 years ago after recognising the challenges people faced travelling in the County when they did not have their own vehicle.

Julia Baron, CEO of Shropshire RCC, said:

“We were delighted to receive support from the ARG Recovery Programme for our Wheels2Work project.

“Our new mopeds will help open up job opportunities, giving employers and employees the chance to get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

“We know that certain industries like hospitality are struggling to fill their vacancies nationwide, and for Shropshire businesses there is the extra challenge of being in a large, rural county with limited public transport options for staff.

Lots of our clients are in the Care or Hospitality Sector and so we feel that we are supporting the wider economy in Shropshire by enabling their workers to get to their place of employment.

“The funding has also provided a future for the project – we can now look at how we can improve what we offer going forward and make it sustainable.”

“We are looking to fundraise for five 110cc Mopeds by the end of 2021, which would provide further additional vehicles to our Wheels2Work scheme and bolster those kindly funded by the ARG Recovery Grant.

“Our longer-term ambition is to secure the funding to install an electric charging point at our Head Office, which in turn would enable us to fundraise for an electric transit van, which would be kitted out with lifting hydraulics, enabling us to deliver our Wheels2Work vehicles to our client, quickly and efficiently. “

The project’s success has resulted in over 45 similar schemes being set up across England and Wales.

The scheme provides scooters and electric bikes at an affordable weekly rate, giving its clients the chance to save for their own transport or make other long-term arrangements so they can continue to get to their place of work.

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Categories: Shropshire

Improving health and wellbeing in Shropshire – public and stakeholders urged to give their views

Shropshire Council News Feed - Thu, 09/16/2021 - 10:14

A consultation has been launched to gather views on the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy for Shropshire.

The strategy explains the identified health priorities based on local evidence and data and describes how the board will work together to action these priorities.

The consultation process starts with two versions of a short online survey. People can respond as a member of the public or a stakeholder.

Councillor Dean Carroll, Chair of the Shropshire Health and Wellbeing Board said:

Although the strategy has been drafted using sound evidence base and in-depth discussions with Health and Wellbeing Board members, the views of Shropshire people and organisations who work with Shropshire people, are an essential part of creating the final strategy.

I would encourage anyone to complete the survey which should take no more than 10 minutes to fill out. We want to create opportunities to improve health and wellbeing for all residents and communities in Shropshire, while reducing inequalities in health.

Further information including links to both surveys and the draft strategy can be found here.

The final strategy will be based on feedback received from Shropshire people and stakeholders.

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Categories: Shropshire

Shropshire leads the way with new innovative mental health project for business sector

Shropshire Council News Feed - Thu, 09/16/2021 - 09:48

An new initiative has been launched to support the emotional heath and wellbeing of people living and working in Shropshire.

Shropshire Council, in partnership with the local Samaritans branch in Shrewsbury, is reaching out to support workers and volunteers in the fitness, leisure and sport sector to be a part of the exciting project.

Recent survey results show that people taking part in sport frequently talk about their feelings, experiences, worries and concerns.

The local Samaritans are hosting two-hour workshops for workers and volunteers to come together with others from their sector to learn how to manage these difficult conversations and learn more about local services.

Rich Dunnill Partnership Lead for Samaritans of Shrewsbury said:

Listening is a powerful tool. Compassionate and skilled listening is what the Samaritans provide, often when people are in their darkest moment. We’re delighted to be part of this new initiative and to share our listening skills with great staff from a range of great Shropshire businesses.

We believe this project will help people to avoid reaching crisis point or feeling overwhelmed. All of us have the capacity to listen in a way that enables people to reach out and find support.

Love2Live is hosting the sessions as part of their focus on health and wellbeing.

Laura Wild, marketing and events manager, said:

At Love2 Live we believe in a holistic approach to health and mental wellbeing. We offer a range of services, including our boutique gym, outdoor boot camp area and natural cold water swimming pool. We are delighted to be contributing to this important project.

The initiative is also being backed by Councillor Dean Carroll, cabinet member for public health.

He said:

As we all adjust to living with COVID-19 and reflect upon the impact of the pandemic, Shropshire council recognises the need to support emotional health and mental wellbeing. In Shropshire we are committed to developing resilient communities and involving the business sector in this way is an innovative approach.

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire’s director of Public Health added:

This project is public health at its best, reaching out to engage, involve, support, and inform the whole population. The business sector has a vital role and key part to play in keeping Shropshire emotionally and mentally healthy. Physical and mental health are intrinsically linked, and we are pleased that this project will support and recognise those working and volunteering in the gym, leisure, and sport sector.

The idea was developed by Shropshire Council’s Alice Cruttwell who overheard a personal trainer talking to a recently bereaved client.

She said:

“In between doing press ups, the conversation was incredibly well and sensitively handled. In addition, my hairdresser told me how emotionally drained and tired she was listening to everyone’s troubles. I knew that public health needed to support those who were doing the listening.”

Plans are in place to offer the sessions to other sectors, such as hospitality and the construction sector. Anyone interested in taking part should contact micayla.beaumont@shropshire.gov.uk

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Categories: Shropshire

Pride Hill: Gateway Review informs next steps

Shropshire Council News Feed - Thu, 09/16/2021 - 08:30

A report detailing the next stage in the repurposing and redevelopment of the former Pride Hill Shopping Centre in Shrewsbury will be discussed at a meeting of Shropshire Council next week.

The report relates to how the Council will take forward the development opportunity offered by the sites that form significant elements of Shrewsbury’s Big Town Plan ambitions.

Councillor Dean Carroll, Portfolio Holder for Assets, said:

“By bringing together the former Pride Hill centre site, the Raven Meadows surface car park and the Riverside area, the Council is in control of the major development site which will shape the future of the town centre.

“Previous reports identified potential uses in keeping with the national changing retail and leisure landscape together with feedback through the Big Town Plan channels. In keeping with earlier recommendations, this Gateway Review focused on Pride Hill as one of the potential sites suitable for the Council’s future civic accommodation requirements.

“However, further surveys have created concern that the Pride Hill site will not provide the high quality, sustainable or cost-effective office environment sought for the future.”

Councillor Ed Potter, Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth, Regeneration and Planning, said:

“The pandemic has impacted the role of town centres across the UK, forcing Councils to look closely at changes in lifestyle, work and shopping patterns. With Darwin now established as the premier covered shopping destination, the adjacent development site can be considered for civic, cultural and commercial use including offices, residential, leisure and hospitality. The new Civic hub is to be considered within these proposals.”

Sustainability and environmental assessments are key to meeting Council carbon targets and the redevelopment of Pride Hill and Riverside will provide an opportunity for the Council to create Low to Zero carbon buildings that positively contribute to environmental objectives.

The next step in the process is to commission detailed feasibility work to create the business case for the collective redevelopment of Pride Hill and Raven Meadows surface car park within the context of the Smithfield Riverside Strategic Development framework currently underway. The feasibility work is expected to complete in Spring 2022.

Shropshire Council benefits from having complete control over the development process, rather than an absent or distant financial institution without the vision or ambition for the county town’s centre. The goal remains the same, to create a vibrant town centre for the next generation of residents, workers, businesses and visitors.

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Categories: Shropshire

Ding ding! Bus survey extended until this Friday

Shropshire Council News Feed - Wed, 09/15/2021 - 20:15

We really want to know you views on bus services in the county – so much so that we have extended our survey until this Friday!

The Shropshire Bus Back Better survey has already been completed by more than 2,000 people – but we have decided to keep it open a few more days so more people can have their say.

Even if you don’t currently use bus services, we want to hear how we could make changes so you would consider using them in future.

This Autumn we’re bidding to the Government’s Bus Back Better fund to transform services across Shropshire.

We’ve got some great initial ideas – but our bid will be much stronger with your views on board.

We’ve created an online survey so you can have your say, which can be accessed by visiting: shropshire.gov.uk/busbackbetter

It takes about five minutes to complete and if you represent a group there’s an option to record the group’s views too.

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Categories: Shropshire

Meremaids ‘in the swim’ for national award

Shropshire Council News Feed - Wed, 09/15/2021 - 16:12
News from our partners

A community art initiative in Ellesmere featuring a ‘flotilla’ of mermaid figures has been shortlisted for a national award.

More than ninety brightly-decorated creatures from the deep were put on show around the town centre this summer in a bid to attract more visitors, boost trade and encourage people to get involved with local library activities.

Now, the project, led by Ellesmere library assistant Sally Poynton, has been chosen by the Libraries Connected charity for the finals of its first annual awards, celebrating the achievements of people working in libraries.

Sally Poynton with her own ‘Meremaid’ creation made from a feather duster, plastic knives and cotton buds

It is one of six ‘inspiring’ nominations shortlisted in the culture and creativity category.  The winner will be announced at the charity’s annual seminar in Bedfordshire on October 19/20.

Ellesmere library, close to the town centre, is housed in the Our Space community centre run by the social care charity Bethphage and supported by Shropshire Council’s library service. The project was nominated by team librarian Heather Rodenhurst.

Sally, who came up with the idea before last year’s pandemic lock-down and spent months working on the project in her own time, said she was ‘surprised and delighted’. She said:

“It’s wonderful that this great community effort has been recognised nationally and it’s a tribute to everyone involved.  All those who have supported the project in so many ways should feel very proud. I’m looking forward to the awards ceremony in October.  We’re competing against some very outstanding projects in other parts of the country, so even to be shortlisted is a great achievement.”

Using a template, Sally and her husband Alan spent countless hours cutting out MDF mermaid-shaped figures and handing them out for volunteers, including schoolchildren and community groups, to decorate individually with their own designs.

More than 40 shops and other businesses  joined together to  showcase the  colourful artworks, creating an eye-catching  figure-of-eight ‘mere-maid’ trail around Ellesmere town centre, taking in the town hall, library, medical centre, pubs and local churches.

Locals and visitors were invited to compete in a ‘spot the meremaid’ competition, and  the festival also featured visits by professional mermaid performer Jeni Hall from Gobwen who took part in children’s events supporting the library’s summer reading challenge.

Jeni Hall, a member of the Performance Mermaids Group who visited Ellesmere to support the project

 

A spokesman for Libraries Connected, which was launched by the Society of Chief Librarians with support from Arts Council England, said:

“Ellesmere Library’s Meremaid Trail initiative has boosted community connections, tourism, literacy and the local economy in one fell swoop this summer. This was a real community effort designed to draw visitors from the main mereside beauty spot into the small market town to see what’s on offer from local independent traders badly hit by the pandemic.”

Councillor Geoff Elner, local member for Ellesmere Urban added:

“I would like on behalf of the community to say a massive thank you to Ellesmere Library and in particular to Sally Poynton and her team which she inspired to design and make this project so successful.

“They have not only brought the community together at such an important time after lockdown but have attracted and entertained so many families from far and wide and provided yet another reason to come and visit Ellesmere and to explore the town and its beautiful countryside

“I have no doubt that the magical Meremaid Trail will become a regular occurrence.

“This is a really fantastic achievement and we are all so very proud of her and her team, we wish them the very best of luck at the awards and look forward to welcoming many more ‘Meremaids’ in the future.”

 

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Categories: Shropshire

Storage space found for ‘overwhelming’ amount of Afghan refugee donations

Shropshire Council News Feed - Tue, 09/14/2021 - 13:12

Amanda Jones and Councillor Dean Carroll at the new storage unit, with just some of the donations.

A new storage facility has been found for the hundreds of items donated by Shropshire people to help Afghan refugees arriving in the county.

Last month local group Shropshire Supports Refugees appealed for donations and set up 10 drop-off points around the county. Such was the response that within a few days people were asked to hold on to further donations while a suitable place was found to store  and sort them.

Now, a storage unit in Shrewsbury has been found and is now in use – and Shropshire Council has also made available two large rooms at Shirehall in Shrewsbury as additional, spillover, storage.

The council is also loaning furniture and other items to Shropshire Supports Refugees to help them in their work to sort, organise and distribute the donations.

Meanwhile, Shropshire Supports Refugees are also looking for volunteers to help get the donations to those who need them.

The Shropshire Supports Refugees team, with Councillor Dean Carroll, at their new storage unit

Amanda Jones from Shropshire Supports Refugees, said:

“Shropshire Supports Refugees has been bowled over by the level of support in the county for people resettling in the UK. Our attitude is always to try to facilitate as many offers of help and support as is possible, as we know first-hand how frustrating it can be to want to help but not know how.

“We have been a bit overwhelmed by the amount of donations, but with enough help from the community and those who donated we are determined that these donations will get to the people they were intended for. As always though there is enough for everyone, so any locals in need can also contact us for support.

“We are very happy to have been able to provide two hotels accommodating Afghan families with three loads of clothes, pushchairs, toiletries and toys, but we need help to make sure these donations get to the people you wanted them to get to, and this takes people power.

“If you can spare some hours – between Monday and Friday between 10am and 4pm for the next few weeks and months – then please get in touch with us.”

Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’ Cabinet member for adult social care, public health and assets, said:

“I’m delighted that Shropshire Supports Refugees have now found a suitable location for storing and sorting the many hundreds of items generously donated by people across the county, and that we’ve been able to provide additional storage space at Shirehall.”

The best was to contact Shropshire Supports Refugees is to send a text to 07960 968006 or visit their Facebook page.

To donate money to help Shropshire Supports Refugees in their work, please click here.

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Categories: Shropshire

Little ones invited to join in Wild Toddler events this autumn

Shropshire Council News Feed - Tue, 09/14/2021 - 13:02

Families with young children are invited to join a host of outdoor adventures over the autumn at Severn Valley Country Park in Alveley.

Pond dipping at Severn Valley Country Park

The Ranger-led Wild Toddler events are suitable for children aged 18 months to 4 years. Toddlers can get hands on in the outdoors and explore, discover and play in the beautiful natural surroundings of the park.

The one-hour sessions start at 11am from the visitor centre and will take place each Wednesday on the following dates:

  • 15 September – Pond dipping and sand art
  • 22 September – Woodland minibeast hunt and story time in the woods
  • 29 September – Make a raft and splashing fun
  • 6 October – Artists palette (natural collage) and bark rubbing pictures
  • 13 October – Autumn scavenger hunt and leaf bingo
  • 20 October – Magical potions and Halloween fun

Sessions are £5 each or you can buy 6 sessions for £25.

Price includes a snack and squash (or similar)

Younger siblings (under 18 months) are also welcome to come along free of charge, though activities may not be buggy-friendly.

To book a place, call 01746 781192.

Find out more on the Severn Valley Country Park website

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Categories: Shropshire

Best of Shropshire to be showcased through new investment drive

Shropshire Council News Feed - Tue, 09/14/2021 - 09:45

Invest in Shropshire will create a photo gallery as part of a website refresh and a major push to sell the county to potential investors and encourage new businesses to the area.

The gallery will introduce Shropshire to the world by featuring the county’s stunning surroundings, innovative businesses and bustling market towns. The photography will also be used to reveal Shropshire in a fresh and contemporary way.

As well as featuring major infrastructure developments and business parks, it will showcase Shropshire’s businesses and business-people, activities and landmarks to communicate the superb quality of life that can be enjoyed by people living and working in the county.

Richard Stonehouse

Richard Stonehouse of Stonehouse Photographic in Oswestry has been selected to create the portfolio of photographs.

Richard is a freelance press, PR, events and commercial photographer with 25 years’ experience, and works with small businesses as well as large international brand names.

The photographer moved to Shropshire 13 years ago after falling in love with it on regular visits to the area to see his in-laws. Having previously lived and worked in London, he now runs his photographic business from Oswestry.

Richard is deeply committed to the county and its people, and since moving here has been involved with promoting what it has to offer.

He said:

“It’s great that the team at Shropshire council have agreed to represent Shropshire in a new and contemporary way. It’s a fantastically diverse and exciting county with great potential and appeal.

“If my work can help to communicate this to encourage inward investment and help its businesses, then that’s what I want to do. It’s why I am delighted to have been chosen”.

Ed Potter, Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth, Regeneration and Planning, said:

“This is a very exciting time for Shropshire. There has been a paradigm shift since Covid. Alongside working and running their businesses people are now demanding a certain quality of life which Shropshire is ideally placed to provide.

“We already have a range of innovative businesses based here and can offer superb business support and excellent digital connectivity. Alongside this we can offer the opportunity to live, work and run a business in one of the UK’s most beautiful counties. We want our website to reflect all of this so that we can attract more businesses and investment here.”

It is hoped that the new- look Invest in Shropshire website will go live in the New Year.

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Categories: Shropshire

Spaces still available as new Peer Network programme gets under way

Shropshire Council News Feed - Tue, 09/14/2021 - 08:55

A new programme which brings businesses together to learn from each other and expert professional advisers will launch in Shropshire, Herefordshire and Telford & Wrekin next week.

And businesses are being urged to move quickly to snap up the remaining spaces on the new Peer Network Programme, which won widespread praise when it was first run earlier in the year.

The programme – which is fully funded by the Government and supported by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership and Marches Growth Hub – helps the companies involved share knowledge, benefit from expert one-to-one advice and take advantage of new opportunities as the economy bounces back from the impact of the pandemic.

Executive coach Leon Mundey, of Neale Lewis Associates, which is delivering the programme across the Marches, said the first of three 11-company cohorts would start meeting next week.

“We’re really excited to be starting the programme with our first 11 businesses and already have more signed up for the next two groups, which will launch later in the year.

“But there is still time for businesses to join us and take advantage of what has proved to be a really successful combination of mutual help and expert advice.

“The businesses meet for a series of group sessions where they can share their own experiences, knowledge and insights, as well as benefitting from two separate one-to-one sessions with an expert adviser.

“These give them the chance to take a really deep dive into any issues or challenges they face and explore ways of overcoming them.

“As the economy starts to bounce back from the pandemic new business opportunities are arising all the time, and this programme gives a real chance for business owners and senior managers to explore how they can develop and grow their business.

“We know from the sessions we ran earlier in the year that the whole programme has proved hugely beneficial to the businesses which took part.”

Ruth Martin, of Oswestry-based marketing agency Martin & Jones Marketing took on two new part-time members of staff as part of a new business plan developed with the support of the Peer Network Programme earlier this year.

Ruth Martin

Ruth said the programme had been an invaluable help in recruiting the new staff and developing the business structure to support them.

“I joined the scheme because I wanted to take on two new members of staff. We work remotely and I wanted some ideas about how to make sure they understood the company’s culture and how to develop targets for them.

“My colleagues on the group come from a wide range of businesses and their insight and knowledge was invaluable. They were able to help me come up with a definitive set of values for the company, a ‘rules of the game’ statement and some probing questions for the interviews. It was a massive help in the recruitment process.

“In return, I was able to share some of my marketing expertise with the group and give them tips and advice for their own businesses.”

The programme is being run on a virtual basis and each cohort will cover all sizes and sectors, though there is a requirement that any business should have at least five employees and a £100,000 turnover.

For more information about the programme visit https://bit.ly/marches_peernetworks

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Categories: Shropshire

Shropshire Local expands to support rural communities

Shropshire Council News Feed - Mon, 09/13/2021 - 16:50

Shropshire Local is expanding its services to rural communities across Shropshire and in the south of the county by launching two further pilot schemes.

Shropshire Local Ludlow launches this week from Monday 13 September 2021

Shropshire Local Ludlow will be launching on Monday 13 September at Ludlow Library, and Shropshire Local Mobile will follow on.

Both schemes are aimed to make the council more accessible to people and make it easier for those in rural communities to find out more about local support services and how best to access them.

Our friendly and experienced team will be on hand to provide a listening ear, advice and information to residents. Staff will talk to people about how they can access the services they need from the council and other organisations and can also demonstrate how to access these online.

Shropshire Local Mobile will utilise the existing mobile library bus routes and will stop at specific rural locations across the county. The intention is to provide access to more remote and rural parts of the county without libraries or similar facilities, where residents may otherwise struggle to connect to council services.

Shropshire is a large and rural county, the second largest inland county in England, with a population density of just 1 person per hectare. As of 2019 around 57% of Shropshire’s population of 323,136 people live in villages, hamlets and dwellings dispersed throughout the countryside.

This can be a challenge for those who live in the county’s most rural areas in terms of access to information and support from the local authority.

Cecilia Motley, Cabinet Member for Communities, Place, Tourism and Transport said:

“We know it’s so important for us to be as accessible as possible to our most rural communities. To respond to this challenge, we will be extending our Shropshire Local service by having Shropshire Local advisors at our Ludlow Library and on our mobile library vans in due course, to offer advice and information to those living in rural areas across the county.

“Shropshire Local will be visiting rural locations each week and will help put the council at the heart of our communities and helps us engage with more people.

“This will be a trial scheme and it’s hoped this will help the council reach more local people, make it easier for people to find out more about services provided by the council and its partners, and support them to access these.”

“As we develop the Shropshire Local programme we will look to include more locations in the next phase of our plans, and consider how we expand the service for wider reach into communities across the county. At a time when public sector finances are exceptionally stretched, our pilot stage will allow us to test the benefits of this approach, and how best to structure, equip and staff it, before taking it further. We therefore very much welcome customer views on the service as it develops.”

Shropshire Local Ludlow opening hours will be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9.30am – 5pm. You can view the walk-through video here.

Both schemes will run for 3 months after which Shropshire Council will review their use.

To find out more about Shropshire Local Ludlow, visit our website here.

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Categories: Shropshire

Innovative plans to support people with learning disabilities move forward

Shropshire Council News Feed - Mon, 09/13/2021 - 15:14

A new and innovative development that will help support independent living for people with learning disabilities is starting to take shape.

The Greenacres development plan will extend the Greenacres Farm offer by creating eight new single-storey supported living units on the site, along with a communal shared area, internal courtyard, and access to existing outdoor spaces including a sensory garden, and a fitness area with outdoor gym equipment.

Greenacres have ambitious plans to expand their offer to help those with learning disabilities lead fulfilling lives

The state-of-the-art accommodation will be the first of its kind for Shropshire and will be offered to people with a learning disability and/or autism.

Supported living enables adults with physical or learning disabilities or mental health needs to live in their own flat or home with the appropriate level of support.

There are currently over 100 supported living properties located across the county, both rural and urban and with over 190 individuals living across these schemes as tenants.

Councillor Dean Carroll Cabinet Member for adult social Care, public health and housing said:

“Shropshire Council is absolutely committed to support people with learning and autism and/or mental health needs to live as independently as possible within their own home or in another supported environment.

“We know that giving more the opportunity to move into “supported living” will help significantly improve their quality of life.

“While we have many supported living arrangements across Shropshire, this specialist provision, is not yet available in Shropshire and has resulted in, and continues to result in, individuals, particularly our young people, leaving Shropshire to live in residential settings or single occupancy homes outside of the county many miles away from family and friends. 

“Also, we recognise the gap in opportunities for younger adults with a learning disability, particularly those turning 18 and transitioning from children’s to adult services, individuals that have been in residential colleges and are coming to the end of their placements or other residential setting. As a local authority, we want to prevent this from happening and invest in our existing assets, to develop them further and expand on the offer for younger adults.

“Our Greenacres Development Project is a fantastic opportunity for us to build an innovative, sustainable living accommodation that is future proofed and can be sustained and adapted easily for young people in Shropshire.

“The project will provide a great opportunity for individuals to live more independently and will reduce the number of placements in residential care outside of Shropshire, allowing people to be much nearer their family and friends.”

Plans also include the development of an existing empty house on the Greenacres site into a more functional useable space. This could include using the property as a place for education and training and lifestyle activities such as cooking to support those in the living accommodation, as well as offering respite placements to those still living with families or informal carers.

Tanya Miles Shropshire Council’s Executive Director, adult social care, housing and public health added:

“We have been very keen to further develop Greenacres, who’s service greatly helps and supports adults with learning disabilities, to recognise and reach their full potential. 

“Extending the offer at Greenacres will provide a more person-centred, efficient service to individuals with a learning disability, some of which we do not currently provide a service to within the county. It will make a positive impact on the way people live their lives in a way that benefits everyone. The unique approach will enable the tenants to live in good quality homes and lead them on a path of independent living, community integration and volunteer opportunities or employment.

“We have and will continue discussions with those who attend Greenacres, their families and carers and existing and potential service providers to explore these options proposed in the development plan. We have already started initial discussions with potential residents and families as part of the development process and have received positive support and feedback from them.”

The council’s adult social care services along with its housing company Property Services Group (PSG) have been undertaking extensive engagement with the Local Parish Council and local residents, to discuss the development plans and visions.

The Greenacres Development Project planning application has now been published and is open to the local community and the wider public for further comment

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Shropshire traffic lights to be improved following funding award

Shropshire Council News Feed - Mon, 09/13/2021 - 10:13

Shropshire Council has received a boost in its effort to improve the county’s traffic lights, and to save money and carbon by reducing the amount of power that they use.

The council has been awarded £250,000 through the Government’s Traffic Signals Maintenance Specific Grant – which will speed up its traffic signals refurbishment programme over the next two years.

Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for highways, said:

“This is excellent news for Shropshire and will help to ensure that we have better, more reliable traffic lights, but also help to save the council money, and reduce the carbon emissions that result from traffic light usage and maintenance. It also means that we will achieve our carbon reduction and improved air quality targets more quickly. So, it’s good news for the council, for all road users, and for the environment.”

The money will be spent in three ways.

Firstly, eleven Low Voltage (LV) traffic light junctions will be converted to Extra Low Voltage (ELV).*

These junctions will be upgraded to Microprocessor Optimised Vehicle Actuation (MOVA), improving reliability, safety, journey time reliability, capacity and reducing power consumption – saving money and carbon.

Secondly, a programme of refurbishing controlled crossings from LV to ELV will be partially completed. This will significantly reduce energy/carbon consumption by around 65%, improve reliability by a factor of around seven, and allow future co-location of pollution monitors and other sensors.  The sites will be remotely monitored, eliminating wasted site visits and saving wasted fuel (carbon) and money.

Thirdly, remote monitoring units will be added to crossing sites which are not remotely monitored and are not included in the LV to ELV sites listed above. meaning they can realise the benefits of improved response times and reduced wasted journeys to site.

Assuming a 30-year life span for each set of lights this work will save the council an estimated £118,500.

Further information

*Nine are already on the refurbishment programme for 2021/23 and this funding would allow the remaining two to be brought forward over the next two years.

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Categories: Shropshire

The detectorist and the sun pendant: how Bob made “most significant Bronze Age metalwork find” in last 100 years

Shropshire Council News Feed - Fri, 09/10/2021 - 14:13

Bob Greenaway, a retired former engineer from Oswestry, found a sun pendant in an undisclosed Shropshire field in 2018.

The stunning 3,000-year-old pendant is on display to the public for the very first time today (Friday 10 September 2021), at Shropshire Council’s Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery.

Picture by Shaun Fellows / Shine Pix Ltd. Pictured are Bob Greenaway (Detectorist) and Emma-Kate Lanyon (Shropshire Council’s Curator of the Exhibition).

Bob recalls the once-in-a-lifetime find:-

“It was a Saturday afternoon and I had planned to go metal detecting in a field where I’ve found many objects previously. I nearly didn’t as I was invited to go sailing instead, but I just felt like I needed to go and have a look.

“I’d been in the field a while and something made me look up and choose another spot to set down my metal detector. Within about an hour it started bleeping. I dug around the spot and there, about 8 inches underneath the peat, I found something that took my breath away.

“It was a beautiful gold pendant. It was gleaming, even though I’d just pulled it from the ground.

“I picked it up and studied the intricate markings – it was perfect. As I turned it over in my hand, I felt sure that it must be damaged on the other side, but it wasn’t. In fact, it was even more beautiful.

“I quickly put it in my top pocket, ensuring that nothing else was in there, to keep it safe. I knew I’d stumbled across something really special.

“I just couldn’t carry on with metal detecting – I was too excited. I went to see the farmer who I told about my find.”

Picture by Shaun Fellows / Shine Pix Ltd. Pictured are Bob Greenaway (Detectorist)

Bob has been metal detecting for around 25 years and his interest has continued to grow. He’s found many historically significant pieces from prehistoric axes to arrow heads, which are also on display at the museum. He is equally passionate about all of his finds, but agrees that the sun pendant is truly special.

He added:

“I’m so pleased that the- sun pendant is here at the museum for all to see, for the first time in 3,000 years. It’s a legacy which I hope we will continue to learn from.”

Picture by Shaun Fellows / Shine Pix Ltd. Pictured are Bob Greenaway (Detectorist)

It’s free to see the sun pendant, but people are advised to book a ticket to avoid any disappointment https://www.shropshiremuseums.org.uk/smag/

 

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Categories: Shropshire

Shropshire’s carbon-neutral highways programme in running for national award

Shropshire Council News Feed - Fri, 09/10/2021 - 12:54

Shropshire Council’s £1m carbon-neutral highways maintenance programme – the first such programme in the UK – has been named as a finalist in the national Highways Awards 2021.

The programme has been shortlisted in the Environmental Sustainability in the Highways Sector category, with the winners to be announced on 21 October.

Working in collaboration with contractors Kier and Miles Macadam, and engineering consultants WSP, a trial programme of highways maintenance schemes was delivered across the county earlier this year.

Work was carried out at nine sites, including the A41 at Grindley Brook, the A53 at Shawbury, the A442 at Quatt, ​Coalport Road, the A4117 from the B4363 to Snitton Lane, B4385 Purslow to Three Ashes, B4385 west of the A488, Birch Road in Ellesmere,  and Oswestry Road in Trefonen.

For each scheme consideration was given to reducing the embodied carbon of the construction materials at the design stage by using lower mixing temperatures, lower energy resources and lower bitumen content, whilst producing greater durability than conventional materials.

This led to a reduction of approximately 95-tonnes of carbon emissions (see notes).

The remaining 189 tonnes of carbon produced by the programme has been offset through Miles Macadam’s verified carbon reduction programme, and provided Shropshire Council with a variety of British woodland trees to offset the equivalent total embodied CO2, through its ‘Community Tree Scheme’ initiative.

Shropshire Council has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to net carbon zero by 2030, following a climate emergency declaration in May 2019.

Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for highways, said:

“This work recognises the vital need to maintain and operate a safe road network, whilst acknowledging and addressing the effect these operations can have on the environment.

“Shropshire Council’s highways team and our partners have delivered the first carbon neutral, routine highways maintenance programme in the UK and set an example for the rest to follow.

“I’m delighted that this work has been recognised through being shortlisted in the national Highways Awards.”

Ian Nellins, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for climate change, natural assets and the green economy, said:

“This process ensures that the benefits of carbon offsetting from local highway projects are kept in Shropshire, and demonstrates the commitments made by Shropshire Council and its partners to combat climate change at no additional cost to the taxpayer.

“ We’ve always said we wanted Shropshire Council to be at the cutting edge of the fight against climate change and this is yet another example of how the council is leading the way.”

For information about the Highways Awards see https://www.highwaysawards.co.uk/live/en/page/2021-finalists

 Further information

 These 95 tonnes are a combination of both using Miles Macadam as a contractor and using their proprietary material in the resurfacing.

The Award for Environmental Sustainability in the Highways Sector – sponsored by Total UK Limited, Bitumen Division – is awarded to an organisation, highway authority or partnership that is able to demonstrate consideration of environmental issues within a project. The project should improve sustainability in the highway environment such as: carbon footprint reduction; local environmental benefits; sustainable material use; reduction of CO2 plus involve community liaison and consultation.

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Categories: Shropshire

Clee Hill housing development – an update

Shropshire Council News Feed - Fri, 09/10/2021 - 08:56

Concerns have this week been raised by local residents in relation to a housing development in Clee Hill.

Shropshire Council is aware of the situation and the difficult issues relating to this development, most notably the erection of temporary protective fencing affecting one of the properties.

The impact is understandably upsetting for the residents and we are keen to find a resolution to this matter.

We have held discussions with the developer and have been reviewing whether the fencing works that have taken place needs planning permission.

The outcome is that the work does not need planning permission, but the developer has assured us that the fence will be removed by 14 September 2021 once they have carried out works to the adjoining new dwelling. They then wish to hold discussions with the council and the residents to agree the best way forward.

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Categories: Shropshire

First phase of new ‘carbon neutral’ build at Harlescott Junior School now complete

Shropshire Council News Feed - Thu, 09/09/2021 - 16:56

The first phase of a new ‘state of the art’ school build at Harlescott Junior School at Featherbed Lane, Shrewsbury has been successfully completed.

Completed: The first phase of the new build at Harlescott Junior School. Image courtesy of Pave Aways.

Designed by Shropshire Council’s PSG (property services group) and specialist educational architect MHA Architects, the new build contracted to Pave Aways Limited, will use innovative building methods as part of the council’s ambitions to deliver more sustainable projects to meet its 2030 ‘zero’ carbon targets.

The new build will comprise of two nursery classrooms, four reception classrooms, eight classrooms for Key Stage 1, four classrooms for Key Stage 2, a pupil support hub, hall, kitchen, offices and meeting rooms. 

Classroom inside the new build. Image courtesy of Pave Aways

The project is expected to take around a year to complete and will allow Sundorne Infant School and Nursery to move from its existing home at Corndon Crescent and relocate to the junior school site, enabling the Haughmond Federation to consolidate its infant and junior provision on a single site.

Drone footage is here (courtesy of Be Bold Media): https://vimeo.com/601103175/857cbbecf0

Kirstie Hurst-Knight, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children and education, said:-

“I am delighted to see the completion of the first phase of this flagship facility at Harlescott Junior School.

“Pupils will benefit from a state-of-the-art learning environment and the very latest facilities to help make sure they get the best possible outcome from their education.

“This is one of the many investments we are undertaking that will expand primary school provision in and around Shrewsbury. The new build would provide a range of spaces needed to respond to the increasing demand for pupil places and will give local children a greater opportunity to access education within the locality.”

Steven Owen, Pave Aways Managing Director, added:-

“We are proud to have completed the first stage of this new phase for education in north Shrewsbury in time for children to start the term learning in an exciting new environment.

“These are first class facilities that will provide the foundation for their education. We are continuing with the construction of the new KS1 building and further internal and external works that will deliver a vastly improved and more environmentally-friendly school.”

The new ‘state of the art’ school build at Harlescott Junior School. Image courtesy of Pave Aways

Steph Peters, Executive Headteacher of Haughmond Federation, said:

“It has been wonderful to see the children enjoying their new environment and facilities at the start of this academic year. It is great that this facility will be carbon neutral and allow us to educate our children further about a more sustainable future. We would like to thank all involved in this process.”

The new school build is scheduled to be completed by March 2022.

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Categories: Shropshire

News from our partners: People struggling to get treatment from a local NHS dentist

Shropshire Council News Feed - Thu, 09/09/2021 - 16:01

News from our partners Healthwatch Shropshire

Healthwatch Shropshire has just published a report into the experience of people trying to get routine NHS dentist appointments in Shropshire. The local health champion asked people to tell them where they had found good access to NHS dental services and where they had found poor access. 93% of people reported poor experiences of accessing services.

The main findings were that:

  • There is poor access to routine NHS dental services across Shropshire, but this appears to be worse in some areas, particularly Oswestry and Market Drayton.
  • There is a lack of accurate information about whether there are dentists taking on NHS patients.
  • There is confusion caused by the current approach to the issue of ‘registration’. There appears to be a widely held misconception that patients are registered with an NHS dental service in the same way that a patient registers with a GP practice.

Healthwatch Shropshire have shared their findings with the NHS and have been told that “NHS England and NHS Improvement – Midlands will continue to finalise its procurement plans to secure a new NHS dental practice in Oswestry and review access in other areas of Shropshire.”

Lynn Cawley, Chief Officer of Healthwatch Shropshire, said:

“We found that the problems of finding a dentist willing to treat patients under the NHS has impacted on all ages from toddlers through to the over 80s. People are reporting that the NHS service to help people find a dentist is very out of date and often it indicated that a practice was taking on NHS patients, but when people rang the practice they found out it was not correct. In fact, when we last looked at an independent source of information it appears that there is only one practice taking on NHS patients in the Shropshire local authority area.

“Some people were also telling us that their dentist is no longer willing to treat them as NHS patients while offering them private treatment. It is clear that having been treated as an NHS patient does not mean guaranteed access to NHS dental appointments in future.”

The report and its recommendations can be found here: https://www.healthwatchshropshire.co.uk/report/2021-09-02/access-nhs-dental-services

Healthwatch Shropshire is the independent consumer champion for health and social care in Shropshire. It gathers the views and experiences of patients, service users, carers, and the general public about services including hospitals, GPs, mental health services, community health services, pharmacists, opticians, residential care and children’s services.  It also has statutory powers that it can use to influence service provision by encouraging improvements.

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Categories: Shropshire

Coronavirus: Response to COVID-19 outbreak at ABP Shrewsbury 

Shropshire Council News Feed - Thu, 09/09/2021 - 15:52

Shropshire Council is working closely with Public Health England and ABP Shrewsbury to manage a COVID-19 outbreak at the site in Battlefield.  

A small number of staff have tested positive for the virus and are now self-isolating as per the Government guidance.  

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Council’s director of public health, said:-

“We have been made aware of a number of positive cases of COVID-19 at ABP Shrewsbury and we are working with the business.  

“ABP is carrying out regular Lateral Flow Testing on site and I would urge members of the public to do the same.  

“Shropshire public health is currently dealing with a number of outbreaks in businesses, care homes and schools. Coronavirus is still very much in our communities so please be vigilant.” 

 An ABP spokesman said:-

“As a result of increased numbers in the local community, a small number of colleagues at ABP’s processing site in Shrewsbury have contracted COVID-19. In line with ABP’s protocols all close contacts of those impacted are self-isolating and as a result the company has temporarily suspended operations in the abattoir area of the site.  

“Farmer suppliers have been informed and cattle are being redirected to other ABP facilities. The company is working with the relevant authorities in relation to the matter. 

“Since the advent of COVID-19, staff safety and public health has been the priority for ABP and the company has in place a wide range of protection measures. We continue to be vigilant and support our colleagues through these extremely challenging times.”  

Up to one in three people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms so do not know they have the virus. Everyone over the age of 11 is recommended to take a Lateral Flow Test at home twice a week. These are free for all and are widely available across Shropshire.  

 If you develop any symptoms of COVID-19, no matter how mild, please book a PCR test.  

All details of testing in Shropshire can be found here. 

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