Volunteers – Human Library needs You!

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Mon, 01/20/2020 - 16:35

Volunteers are being recruited by Shropshire Council’s library service to take part in Human Library events across the county in 2020.

The Human Library publishes people as open books to challenge stereotypes and prejudices through conversation.

At Human Library events, volunteers will answer questions and chat with ‘readers’ about their personal experience on a given topic. Examples of current topics include adoption, anorexia, gay dad and married to Asperger’s.

Following two years of successful Human Library events, Shropshire Libraries are recruiting more volunteers in order to organise more events this year.

The added events also coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Human Library and special events are set to be held all over the world in celebration.

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

The Human Library events over the past two years in Shropshire have been incredibly successful with 119 people attending twelve events since 2017.

The success is in no small part down to amazing volunteers kindly giving their time.

The role is incredibly rewarding. It helps to drive social change and positively support equality, diversity and inclusivity through open conversation in a safe space.

If this sounds like something you would like to be involved in, I would strongly encourage you to get in touch with Shropshire Libraries and help us continue to challenge stereotypes and prejudice together.

Successful applicants will be given a full induction and training, and regular support and guidance will be given by the Shropshire Human Library organisers.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please visit the Shropshire libraries website for more information and to apply.

The work by Shropshire Libraries has been recognised by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) and has been included in the Libraries, Information and Knowledge Changes Lives position paper as an example of good practice to support equality and diversity.

Shropshire Libraries are part of Shropshire Council.

What previous participants have said

An insight into the process of self-discovery, the hurdles and isolation. The coming to terms with a new way of thinking. As a white person in my cookie cutter life, it is very important to hear these stories. Thank you! We all have the right to be our real self.


I learned about dementia and what living with it is like. I knew very little about it before this talk. I learned more about the difficulties gay people faced in the 80s/early 90s before I was born.


I really enjoyed hearing the books stories and it definitely made me think about the prejudice and discrimination people are still facing today in 2019 and that there is always more work to be done creating inclusive communities.

Further Information

The Human Library® is a global innovative and hands-on learning platform. We are embedded in high school to higher learning, medical training to civic engagement to better our understanding of diversity in order to help create more inclusive and cohesive communities across cultural, religious, social and ethnic differences.

For more information, visit the Human Library website.



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Categories: Shropshire

Shropshire Council to hold public climate change strategy workshop

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Fri, 01/17/2020 - 16:33

Shropshire Council is inviting businesses, groups and residents to attend a Climate Change Strategy workshop to work together on the Climate Change Strategy.

The workshop will introduce and discuss four key themes that are central to the climate change effort in Shropshire and beyond:

  1. Carbon reduction in energy efficiency
  2. Carbon mitigation in renewable energy
  3. Carbon capture and storage
  4. Adaptation and resilience

The workshop will take place in the Council Chamber at Shirehall on Monday 10 February, 2020 from 2pm to 4.30pm.

Shropshire already has the fifth largest amount of installed renewable energy generation capacity in the UK and produces 20% of the renewable energy across the whole of the West Midlands. Shropshire Council is eager to work further with partners in Shropshire and beyond to expand this capacity and establish the county as a leader in tackling climate change.

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

We want to work with and involve Shropshire communities, organisations and residents to tackle the greatest challenge of our life time, climate change.

This workshop aims to do just that. It will inform people of the pressing themes and invite discussion around these.

We’re hoping that the workshop will help us identify projects that are important to the people of Shropshire which have the potential to improve our performance and deliver Shropshire Council Climate Change Strategy’s target of being Carbon Neutral by 2030.

I would strongly encourage people to attend this workshop so we can work together to approach this issue as a county.

While there is still much work to do, Shropshire Council has already seen some success reducing its’ carbon footprint.  For example, 100% of electricity used in all council buildings has come from renewable sources since September 2019 and street lighting is powered by entirely by green electricity.

Solar panels on the roof of Shirehall

Since 2013, Shropshire Council has reduced its carbon footprint by nearly 30%.

This workshop follows the adoption of the Climate Change Strategy Framework by full council on 19 December 2019.

The workshop is free to attend. You will need to register your attendance in advance and you can do so by following this link.

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Categories: Shropshire

News from our partners: Carers invited to attend Let’s Talk Local drop-in support sessions at RJAH

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Fri, 01/17/2020 - 15:45

News from our partners The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) 

A drop-in service has been launched at RJAH to help ensure that family carers receive the emotional and practical support they need.

The Let’s Talk Local drop-in support sessions take place every Thursday afternoon, between 1pm and 3pm, in the Main Entrance at RJAH.

Let’s Talk Local sessions

Carers who attend one of the drop-ins will be able to find out about the resources available to them, and identify ways they can be supported within the community.

Information and resources will be available on a variety of topics, including emergency respite, practical support, befriending, peer support and much more.

Paula Jones, a Shropshire Council social care practitioner, will be on hand at the weekly sessions.

Paula said:

“Many people do not identify themselves as being a carer, they see it simply as being part of being a family member, spouse, partner, friend or neighbour.

“It’s important that people recognise that helping to look after someone who could not manage otherwise is caring; and by identifying themselves as a carer earlier, gives them the opportunity to find out about the support available to them.

“Many informal carers are not aware of what sort of help is there for them and what a huge difference it could make to their lives.”

Nicki Bellinger, Assistant Director of Nursing at RJAH, said:

“We are pleased that Paula is here on a weekly basis, providing carers with the information they need. Carers need support and caring for too, and this weekly drop-in session will ensure that they are given the assistance they need, as well as the signposting and resources.

“Caring for carers ensures that our patients are cared for too, when they leave us – that’s another reason why this service is so important.”

The drop-in runs alongside the outreach support sessions, also held at the hospital every Thursday, for military personnel, veterans and their families.

For further details about the drop-in sessions for carers, contact Paula on

For more information about how the Let’s Talk Local service can support people to maintain their independence and wellbeing.

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Categories: Shropshire

Global footwear retailer Skechers to open in Shrewsbury’s Darwin Shopping Centre

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Fri, 01/17/2020 - 12:45

How the new Skechers store will look

Fast-growing global footwear retailer Skechers is to open next month in Shrewsbury’s Darwin Shopping Centre, in a unit opposite JD Sports. The scheduled opening date is Friday 21 February.

Skechers, which offers diverse lifestyle footwear for men, women and children, began life 27 years ago with just one style – a men’s logger boot.

Now the retailer has more than 3,000 shoe styles on its shelves and operates from more than 3,000 stores in 170 countries.

This will be the first Skechers store to open in Shropshire.

Kevin Lockwood, Shrewsbury shopping centres manager, said:

“We’re delighted that such a well-known, big name retailer is to open in the Darwin Centre and we know that people will be excited that Skechers is to open a store in Shrewsbury.

“Skechers offers comfortable, stylish shoes at affordable prices, so they’re sure to have something for everyone and will help to attract people of all ages not just to the Centre, but to Shrewsbury and even to Shropshire.”

The store will be open Monday to Saturday from 9.00am to 5.30pm, and on Sunday from 10.30am to 4.30pm.

On their first three days the new store will be hosting their ‘win and spin wheel’, which will give visitors the chance to win prizes, from shoes to vouchers and more.

For more information go to

Further information

To follow Shrewsbury shopping centres on social media, go to:

Facebook: @shrewsburyshopping
Twitter: @shop_shrewsbury
Instagram: @shrewsbury_shopping

Issued on behalf of Shrewsbury shopping centres

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Categories: Shropshire

Adults using social care services urged to complete national survey

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Wed, 01/15/2020 - 16:16

People who use adult social care services in Shropshire are being encouraged to take part in the annual Adult Social Care Survey that was launched this week.

Adult social care

The survey, which forms part of a national programme led by NHS Digital, will be randomly targeted to people who receive care and support services either in their own home or residential home, and / or in the local community.

Those chosen to take part will be contacted by letter and will be asked their views on how they feel about the adult social care services they receive. This could be any equipment or care provided by staff who are paid to help the individual. The staff could be from adult social care, an agency, a care home, or bought by the person using money from adult social care through a Direct Payment.

All feedback from the survey will be used to help the council better understand the impact of the adult social care services they and other agencies provide, and help identify what areas need improving and or developing.

Andy Begley, Shropshire Council’s director of adult social care and housing, said:-

“The Adult Social Care Survey is designed to understand more about how services are affecting people’s lives and their impact on quality of life. Therefore it is vital that we ask those who use the services. This allows us to better understand the impact of services and feedback can identify where service improvement and development is needed.

“Not everyone will receive a survey. People are chosen through a random sample technique and receive a letter explaining how to complete the survey and including key information with a survey form and freepost envelope.

“If you do receive a letter please take the opportunity to let us know your views.”

Help and support is at hand for those who are selected to take part. Those who may struggle to complete the survey can contact the customer service team on 0348 678 9077 for advice. Alternatively, those selected could ask a family member or their carer to help them complete the survey.

Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult social care, public health and climate change, added:

“I would encourage everyone who receives a survey to respond. The more people who take part, the more useful the results will be. The survey is based mainly on tick box, multiple choice questions and is designed by NHS Digital to be as simple as possible to complete.

“However, if you need any help completing the survey, you can either ask a friend or relative to help, or phone Shropshire Council’s Customer Services helpline. Shropshire Council can provide easy read and large text versions of the survey for those who need them.”

People can also find out the results from previous year’s surveys:-

NHS Digital (All results)

Shropshire Council (local results)

Passionate about adult social care?

If you haven’t been chosen to part in the national Adult Social Care survey, you can still have your say about adult social care service you receive and help make a positive difference to people’s lives. Shropshire’s Making it Real advisory groups offer people the chance to discuss their concerns, experiences and views on how services can be improved.

To find out more call 01743 257705, email or visit the Making it Real webpages here:

Further information

2019/20 is the tenth year the survey has taken place; it was launched in 2009/10. The survey is part of a national programme led by NHS Digital. Shropshire Council delivers the survey on behalf of NHS Digital and follows national guidance to ensure surveying is consistent across all councils. The data enables councils to benchmark against their peers and to gather information to support their local commissioning, performance and strategy. The survey also supplies data for a number of measures in the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework.


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Categories: Shropshire

New way of delivering Shropshire’s youth support services proposed

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Wed, 01/15/2020 - 07:00

Shropshire Council’s Cabinet will consider a new way of delivering youth support services across Shropshire at its meeting next week (Wednesday 22 January 2020). It follows a consultation held late in 2019 into youth support in the county.

The report and appendices can be seen here.

Under the proposals there will be both targeted support through outreach/detached youth work – ie. meeting young people wherever they are, in schools and in places where they choose to congregate – and open access clubs, whilst building a trusted and appropriate network of youth support across Shropshire.

It is proposed that town councils and parish councils fund local open access youth groups.  These are currently funded via the Local Joint Committee commissioning arrangements and Shropshire Council.

The council would provide funding for a team of youth workers to provide an element of detached youth work across the county, focusing on our more troubled young people involved in youth crime and at risk of exploitation.

The proposed model of youth support would cost Shropshire Council £365,000 per year.

The model would be implemented gradually, initially by employing a strategic lead and a team of detached youth workers, working with the town councils who have expressed an interest in this partnership approach.

Ed Potter, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member  for children’s services, said:

 “With an increase in youth crime, exploitation and demand on children’s social care, there is a growing focus nationally on the work councils need to undertake to ensure the most vulnerable young people can access and receive the support they need.

“This new model will enable us to build a trusted and appropriate network of youth support across Shropshire. Our aim is to strengthen and grow the current limited offer of support, extending the focus to incorporate Shropshire’s troubled and more vulnerable young people involved in youth crime, at risk of school exclusion and exploitation.”

The new model was broadly supported in the consultation, but some concerns were raised, especially from town councils, parish councils, and from the voluntary and  community sector.

The gradual implementation – proposed by a cross-party task and finish group of councillors in response to concerns raised – will allow more time to work at a local level with town councils and parish councils, and to work with the voluntary sector to redesign and implement a revised package of support for the voluntary clubs.

The eight-week formal consultation period on the proposed model of youth support ran from 9 September to 31 October 2019. There were 342 surveys returned – 126 from the public, 70 from groups and organisations, and 146 from children and young people. There were 1,361 comments from the 342 survey respondents.

Further information

1. Shropshire’s model for youth provision

a. In the new model we will work with partners, including town councils and parish councils, to design and deliver a localised model of youth provision maximising the use of all available resources and funding to:

  • Work with local providers/partners and voluntary sector to support the delivery of open access youth clubs.
  • Target services towards those young people in most need of support, including those who are vulnerable or most at risk.
  • Ensure qualified youth workers are in place across Shropshire, providing the skills and experience needed to make most difference.
  • Work to address emerging social issues and concerns such as youth violence and knife crime, county lines etc.
  • Provide a localised youth offer – ensuring there are workers on the ground able to reach young people within the community eg schools/colleges, on the streets.
  • Build and strengthen the system of support available to meet the needs of young people by linking qualified youth workers to other services and specialist workers.
  • Improve the use of information to understand impact and enable investment to build on success.

b. The new model would see the council employing a strategic lead for youth support who would develop the Youth Partnership model and manage a team of three professionally qualified youth workers, based north, central and south, who in turn would manage teams of part time youth support workers.

c. Town councils and parish councils will ensure delivery and resourcing of open access youth groups.

d. Shropshire Council will explore models of support to the voluntary sector who currently deliver open access youth clubs. This would include support around safeguarding as well as DBS checks, training, implementation of appropriate policies and procedures and assistance to support future financial sustainability. There is further detailed work to be undertaken to develop an appropriate specification, but we anticipate a budget allocation of £60,000 for this activity.

2. Shropshire Council is currently in discussion with four town councils and two parish councils who are keen to work in partnership to develop the model locally.

3. The consultation was held as part of the council’s review of the delivery of youth support in Shropshire. A review was necessary because the current arrangements were due to come to an end, and decisions needed to be taken concerning how youth provision should be delivered in the future to best meet local needs.

This local work took place alongside a national review launched on 10 July 2019 into how councils should secure activities and services for young people.

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Categories: Shropshire

Find out more about proposals for a new health organisation for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Tue, 01/14/2020 - 13:50

News from our partners the Clinical Commissioning Groups

Shropshire residents are being encouraged to come along to a series of pop-up events to find out more about proposals for a new health organisation for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.

The pop-up events are being organised by the county’s health bosses to give people the chance to voice their opinions on a new health proposal.

The proposal is to replace the two existing Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and form a Single Strategic Commissioning Organisation for the whole county.

Shropshire CCG and Telford and Wrekin CCG are currently the two NHS organisations responsible for planning, paying for and monitoring most local health services in the county.

The pop-up events are being set up to provide an opportunity for local people to come and talk to the CCG teams about the changes they are planning, ask any questions, and give their feedback.

Each pop-up runs between 10am and 12midday, with no appointment necessary:

  • Wednesday 29 January, 2020 – Park Lane Centre, Telford, TF7 5QZ
  • Thursday 30 January, 2020 – Oswestry Library, SY11 1JN
  • Thursday 30 January, 2020 – Tesco Extra, Wrekin Retail Park, TF1 2DE
  • Friday 31 January, 2020 – Meeting Point House, Telford, TF3 4HS
  • Friday 31 January, 2020 – Whitchurch Library, SY13 1AX
  • Monday 3 February 2020 – Darwin Shopping Centre, Shrewsbury, SY1 1PL
  • Friday 7 February, 2020 – Ludlow Library, SY8 2PG.

David Evans, Joint Accountable Officer for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin CCGs, said:

“These pop-up events will provide a great opportunity for us to find out the views of our residents, to have a chat about the proposals and to discuss why we think they provide the best route forwards.

“We are faced with big challenges in Shropshire, such as a rapidly growing elderly population as well as significant deprivation in areas of the county which means we need to be able to respond in the best possible way to these changing needs.

“I would like to urge everyone to come along to one of our events to find out more about the proposals and to ask any questions. There is no appointment necessary and you can come along at any time between 10am and 12midday.”

Dr Julian Povey, Chair of Shropshire CCG, said:

“These events will provide an excellent opportunity to speak with local people and hear their views to help us shape the proposals for the future CCG.

“This proposal is really about the way the two CCGs work operationally, so we expect there will be little impact on patients. For example, local people will still carry on going to their regular GP practice.”

Dr Jo Leahy, Chair of Telford and Wrekin CCG, said:

“We believe a brand new organisation could provide a number of benefits for local people by streamlining and removing duplication which will lead to improvements in providing services.”

For further information please contact the Shropshire CCG Communications and Engagement Team at

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Categories: Shropshire

Planning applications received for former Ironbridge power station site

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Tue, 01/14/2020 - 12:01

The Ironbridge power station site

Shropshire Council has received the following applications associated with redevelopment of the former Ironbridge power station site.

The details are now available for review and comment on the council’s planning portal:

1. Outline application (reference 19/05560/OUT)
Includes plans for 1,000 homes, a new local centre to contain a mix of leisure, commercial, retail and health uses, a primary school, nature corridors, public open space and the re-use of the site’s pump house to support either retail, community or river-based uses.

2. Application for sand and gravel extraction (reference 19/05509/MAW)
Proposal to extract up to 1.9million tonnes of sand and gravel.

Part of the area for application reference 19/05560/OUT falls within the Telford and Wrekin area and the applicant Harworth Group PLC has submitted an equivalent application to Telford and Wrekin Council (reference TWC/2019/1046). The councils will work constructively to assess the applications which are the subject of a comprehensive planning consultation process.

Members of the public can view and make comments on the applications by entering the appropriate application reference on Shropshire Council’s online planning register.

Key supporting documents available on the portal which detail the applications include:

  • Design & Access Statement
  • Transport Assessment
  • Environmental plans (including flood risk and ecological assessments).

The applications will be open to public comments for an extended period of 56 days and are expected to take six months to determine.


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Categories: Shropshire

Discovery of historic cellar in Shrewsbury town centre – Shropshire Council’s response

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Tue, 01/14/2020 - 11:27

It was recently reported in the media that concerns have been raised about the future of an historic cellar rediscovered by workmen in Shrewsbury town centre in October 2018. The cellar lies under the corner of Murivance and St John’s Hill, adjacent to the home of Mr Alan Fox

However, the situation regarding the cellar is not as straightforward as these reports suggest.

Firstly, the cellar is not medieval as reported, but 18th century, although one of the walls may utilise the external face of part of a former medieval gate tower for the town walls.

The cellar is located below the pavement and road, and the vault was exposed immediately below the York stone pavement when it was lifted during the recent pavement replacement work.

Prior to this it was an inaccessible void under the footway and carriageway (it appears to have been inaccessible for in excess of 100 years) and Shropshire Council as the local highways authority has no knowledge of it.

Because of this it falls within the remit of the Highways Act 1980, which at sections 179 and 180 contains a number of provisions relating to cellars, and the council has a wider duty to maintain a safe and stable highway.

Extensive discussions have been held between Shropshire Council’s historic environment officers and highway structures engineers about a finding a solution which would minimise the impact on the cellar. However, because of the particular characteristics of the cellar as outlined above, the acceptable and readily affordable engineering options are limited.

Shropshire Council’s preferred option is therefore to fill the cellar after it has been fully archaeologically recorded. The former wall of the gate tower could be shuttered out to preserve it.

Alternatively, the option remains open to Mr Fox to accept ownership of the cellar, in which case it will be a matter for him to find an acceptable engineering solution. Under the provisions of the Highways Act he will, however, be liable for the costs of any works.

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Categories: Shropshire

News from our partners: Dr Lucy Andrew, Ripperologist, to appear on episodes of Murder Maps

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Tue, 01/14/2020 - 10:16

News from our partners University Centre Shrewsbury

Johnny Depp first sparked Dr Lucy Andrew’s interest in serial killers. Dr Andrew is Head of University Centre Shrewsbury’s English Department.

As a teen, she was drawn to the 2001 film about Jack the Ripper, From Hell, for Depp’s portrayal of Inspector Frederick Abberline. While Depp was enjoyable and the film a well-done gruesome murder mystery loosely based on the graphic novel of the same name, Dr Andrew was intrigued by the fact that the Ripper’s identity has never been revealed. Since that viewing, serial killers and criminal fiction have become a thread through Dr Andrew’s education and career.

Dr Andrew said:-

“It is remarkable that 132 years after the brutal murders of at least five women, we are still fascinated by the real man responsible for the deaths. Perhaps if his identity had been known he would have passed out of history and our collective conscience.”

As a Ripperologist – someone who studies the crimes and stories of Jack the Ripper – Dr Andrew appears on the first two episodes of the latest television series of Murder Maps, the first of which aired on Sunday 12 January 2020 and the second this coming Sunday 19 January.

This season, the television show focuses on the Ripper – re-examining his crimes and how the sensationalist press of 1888 shaped the story we know today. Dr Andrew will be joined on the show with fellow Ripperologists, Hallie Rubenhold, who wrote the acclaimed biography of Ripper’s five canonical victims, The Five, and Donald Rumbelow, a former London Metropolitan policeman, who wrote the classic, The Complete Jack the Ripper, which is considered to be the definitive examination of Ripper’s crimes.

Dr Andrew combined her interest in crime with her love of literature, particularly children’s and young adult literature, in her academic studies. Her Masters of Research dissertation was on “Representations of Child Criminals in Contemporary Children’s Literature”. For her PhD, she moved from the depiction of criminals in literature to those investigating them in her book, The Boy Detective in Early British Children’s Literature (Palgrave, 2017).

Dr Andrew is also co-editor of Crime Fiction in the City: Capital Crimes (University of Wales Press, 2013) and co-organiser of the Short Story Network.

Testament to the enduring allure of Ripper mythology, Dr Andrew presented a public lecture on the 130th anniversary of the Ripper killings to a full house, offering a whistle-stop tour of the Ripper in popular culture, exploring why and how we are still fascinated by the killer and questioning whether we should be.

Dr Andrew said:-

“From his earliest origins in print, Jack the Ripper has been a sensational figure – a Gothic monster to terrorise and titillate the masses in equal measure. In the absence of a flesh-and-blood killer, we have created an enduring myth.”

As part of the BA (Hons) English degree programme at UCS, Dr Andrew offers a module on Criminal Fictions. The module traces the origins and development of crime fiction in Britain and America through the changing representation of criminal figures, as well as the evolving relationship between the construction of criminal figures in narratives and real-life social, cultural and political anxieties in society. The module covers a broad swathe of crime narrative forms, including ballads, media reports, short stories, novels, film and television, board games and crime tourism. In addition to Jack the Ripper, the module covers a range of well-known criminal figures, from iconic literary and film figures such as Professor Moriarty, Norman Bates and Hannibal Lecter, to real-life murderers, including Aileen Wuornos and Ted Kaczynski.

Dr Andrew said:-

“Crime fiction is an enduring and pervasive presence in popular culture. Today there is a Jack the Ripper Museum and Ripper walking tours in London and The Joker is a current Oscar and BAFTA contender. Criminal fiction is more prevalent than ever and continues to reflect the fears and fascinations of a conflicted society.”

Dr Andrew recently visited the archives at Bishopsgate Library in London to research Jack the Ripper fiction, as well as factual accounts of the murders. She is currently writing up her findings.

The fifth season of Murder Maps can be viewed Sunday at 7pm on the Yesterday channel, or you can catch up on UKTV play.


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Categories: Shropshire

£2.2million scheme launched to help Marches businesses expand

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Tue, 01/14/2020 - 10:00

News from our partners Marches Growth Hub

A £2.2million scheme to help businesses across the Marches expand and create new jobs has been launched today (Tuesday 14 January 2020).

The new Marches Building Investment Grant (MBIG) programme will help growing companies meet up to £150,000 of the cost of building new premises, or extending and reconfiguring their existing ones, to help them grow.

The scheme – part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and supported by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership and Marches Growth Hub – is an extension of the hugely-successful MBIG programme which will have created 268 jobs by 2025.

Programme manager Caroline Cattle said the maximum grant had been increased by £50,000 under the new MBIG scheme which could also now cover the purchase of some new equipment.

She said the scheme, delivered by Herefordshire Council and projected to create more than 80 jobs, would make a huge difference to the expansion plans of companies across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

Caroline Cattle said;-

“This extension is fantastic news for the whole of the Marches region and means that we can carry on helping companies realise their growth plans, create new jobs and provide the economic success on which the region depends.

“The grant, which is dependent on new jobs or products being created, meets half the cost of successful applications meaning that projects costing up to £300,000 are now eligible. The scheme covers B2B businesses and does not include retail or agricultural companies.

“This is a real opportunity for businesses to invest in innovation, growth and a successful future. An independent report into the original scheme praised its effectiveness and said it will have added an extra £30 million of value (GVA) to the Marches economy by 2025. We are convinced the new extension can bring even more benefits to our region.”


Paul Hinkins, chair of the Marches Growth Hub, urged businesses to make the most of the new scheme – part of the £10million Growth Challenge the hub has set the region:-

“The original MBIG scheme was a huge success for the whole of the Marches, creating jobs, wealth and prosperity. The new extension will help us continue that good work and build an economy which is successful for all.”


Councillor Trish Marsh, Herefordshire Council Cabinet Member for Environment, Economy and Skills, said:

“One of the key objectives of Herefordshire Council is to help our regional economy to grow and flourish. The Marches Building Investment Grant has already helped many businesses reach their potential and supported the creation of hundreds of jobs, and this further funding will continue that great work.”

Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Council Cabinet member for assets, economic growth and regeneration, said:

“This is great news for businesses in Shropshire and across the Marches. The funding will help them to expand and create jobs, providing a real boost to local people and to the local economy.

“I urge businesses to contact the growth hubs to find out more and to apply.”

Councillor Lee Carter, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for the Borough Economy, said:

“We have always positioned ourselves as a business winning, business support council and have worked hard to encourage inward investment as well as supporting existing businesses to expand.

“This scheme can only help us to achieve that and is a welcome boost for the borough’s economy.”

Herefordshire Council is the accountable body for the MBIG scheme. Full details are available from Caroline Cattle and Alison Rogers on or by calling 01432 260662.

The Marches Growth Hub Herefordshire can be contacted on 01432 261758 or email

The Marches Growth Hub Shropshire can be contacted on 01743 250526 or email

The Marches Growth Hub Telford & Wrekin can be contacted on 01952 567589 or email

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Categories: Shropshire

High Sheriff to reward our outstanding young citizens

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Mon, 01/13/2020 - 15:40

News from our partners Telford College

The search is on for young people across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin who are dedicated to helping their local community, to be recognised at a prestigious awards ceremony.

The High Sheriff’s annual Outstanding Young Citizen Awards will be held at Telford College on Wednesday 4 March 2020.

Entries are now open, and organisers are calling on schools and colleges from across the county to nominate anyone they believe stands out from the crowd.

Dr Josh Dixey, High Sheriff

High Sheriff Dr Josh Dixey said:

“This prestigious event has been running for a number of years, and the awards are given in recognition of excellence and outstanding attitudes and actions among young people aged 18 or under.

“I hope that all schools and colleges will be able to select candidates who have made a significant difference to their local community outside the school curriculum.”

As well as hosting the awards ceremony this year, Telford College is also joint organiser.

Principal and chief executive Graham Guest said:

“This is a wonderful way to highlight and celebrate the many endeavours carried out by young people in our communities.

“Whether it’s voluntary work and community activities such as fundraising, youth work and mentoring, or environmental projects like conservations and recycling, caring for a family member or being involved in a youth council, there are all kinds of reasons why young people deserve to be recognised.

“At Telford College, we are constantly championing young people and the positive role they play in our local communities, so this awards scheme fits perfectly with our ongoing aims and objectives.”

As well as individual winners, there will also be an overall champion for the education authorities of both Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

Parents, guardians and teachers will join the shortlisted nominees at the evening celebration, and winners will receive personalised certificates, presented by the High Sheriff.

Nomination forms have been sent to all primary schools, secondary schools and further education colleges in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

If you know of a young person who has contributed to their local community, they can be nominated through their school. The closing date for entries is Monday 10 February 2020.

For further information, contact Charlotte Lewis at Telford College on 01952 642513 or email

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Categories: Shropshire

New place plans identify needs of Shropshire’s local communities

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Fri, 01/10/2020 - 10:26


A series of plans that aim to identify and deliver local infrastructure needs in communities across Shropshire have been published.

The 18 ‘place plans’ have been developed following conversations across the county with town and parish councils, councillors, and external infrastructure providers. The place plans bring together information about what type of infrastructure – such as utilities, play areas, street lights, schools, broadband, and open spaces – is needed in each area.

The plans enable Shropshire Council and its external infrastructure partners, working closely with local councillors and town and parish councils, to develop a clear understanding of the needs of each place plan area, and to begin to identify how infrastructure projects in those areas could be funded and delivered.

The place plans are an important part of the development of the new Local Plan as they provide information on the types of infrastructure communities feel are needed to support the growth of their areas.

Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for communities, place planning, and regulatory services, said:

“This is really good news for communities across Shropshire. After a lot of consultation and hard work we now have 18 place plans covering the whole of the county, which will help us to deliver the infrastructure that each community needs.

“We want our place plans to be useful, up to date, easy to understand, and the first port of call for infrastructure planning and delivery in each place plan area.

“We expect them to develop and change over the coming months as we get further feedback, but we know that the plans are already being used and referenced by our partners and by local communities.”

Place plans were originally established in 2011/12 as part of the Local Plan development process. The newly published versions contain updated information, and have been produced following conversations with elected members, town and parish councils, Shropshire Council’s infrastructure officers, and external infrastructure providers such as utilities companies, Highways England, the Environment Agency, and more.

For more information about the place plans, and to view the documents, please go to

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Woodlands Special School vows to improve following Ofsted inspection

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Fri, 01/10/2020 - 09:00

The senior leadership team, staff and governors at Woodlands Special School for pupils with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs say they are determined to rapidly improve after Ofsted inspectors rated the school as ‘inadequate’ following an inspection in November [2019].

At their previous inspection in April 2015 the school was rated as ‘good’.

The report following November’s inspection is due to be published today, 10 January 2020.

The school – which has sites in Oswestry, Bishop’s Castle and Wem – says that they want to become ‘good’ again as soon as possible, and have already begun work to address the areas for improvement identified by Ofsted inspectors. Inspectors recognised that the school’s newly appointed leadership team have the capacity to deliver the improvements necessary and they are now working closely with education advisers from Shropshire Council to ensure that the measures needed to bring about the improvements are put in place.

Inspectors found that at the settings for primary school-aged pupils, Acorn Bishops Castle and Acorn Oswestry, “staff have created a calm environment for pupils to learn and thrive. Pupils are respectful and follow the rules. Subject leaders quickly identify the learning needs of pupils. They set challenging and engaging work. This helps pupils to make progress academically, emotionally and socially. In Acorns, pupils feel happy and feel safe”

Inspectors identified weaknesses in the secondary provision and found that whilst leaders wanted pupils to do well “often learning is disrupted by poor behaviour and not all pupils are happy in school. Additionally, pupils do not make the progress they are capable of because staff do not manage behaviour in lessons well. They do not take into account the pupils’ special needs. The work set often lacks challenge and does not build on what pupils already know”.

The inspection team reported that pupils say they enjoy their college experience and that the careers programme is well thought out and provides information about pupils’ next steps. The report says that “the school provides individualised support for pupils for example, through music therapy. They also use external agencies such as the police to support pupils to stay safe”.

Julia Taylor, headteacher, said:

“Whilst we are disappointed with the outcome of the inspection, the inspectors recognised we were already aware of the improvements needed to meet the increased expectations of the new inspection framework which was introduced in September. Significant work has taken place since September, and following the inspection, to address the concerns raised by the team and deliver on the recommendations for improvement identified in the report.
We had already begun to address the safeguarding issues identified, specifically related to our checks on off-site provision, and are confident that our plans have the urgency required to meet the necessary standards.

“We are working closely with our colleagues in the local authority, and our school improvement partners, to carefully plan the next steps to ensure we take the effective action to bring about the improvement necessary to enable us to be judged as good again.”

Karen Bradshaw, director of children’s services with Shropshire Council, said:

“Shropshire Council wants our children to receive the best possible education. We’re pleased that the headteacher, staff and governors have already begun work to address the priorities for improvements in the Ofsted report and we will continue to support the school to ensure that pupils have consistently good opportunities to learn and to fulfil their potential.”

The two-day inspection took place on 12 and 13 November 2019. Inspectors observed lessons, held discussions with the headteacher, deputy headteacher, teaching staff, and pupils, and reviewed a range of documentation.

Inspectors focused on reading, writing, English, maths and humanities and scrutinised pupils’ work. They visited all three sites in Oswestry, Bishop’s Castle and Wem as well as alternative providers used by the school to support some of its key stage 4 pupils.

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Categories: Shropshire

Discover your inner-artist with abstract painting workshop

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Wed, 01/08/2020 - 10:59

Join the winner of the Wilfred Owen Art Competition, Di Purser, for a fun-filled abstract art workshop that will trigger your imagination.

The workshop will be hosted at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery (SM&AG) on Saturday 8 February, 2020 from 10.30am to 3.30pm.

During the workshop you will have the opportunity to create your very own piece of abstract art inspired by the museum collections.

Di will guide you through the process of transforming a lifelike drawing into an abstract painting using inks, paints and acrylic mixes.

You will explore different techniques, draw from exhibits in the museum galleries and have the chance to get messy and turn your drawings into paintings.

The workshop is running in conjunction with Di’s stunning exhibition at SM&AG – Di Purser: The New Works.

After winning the Wilfred Owen Open Art Competition, Di was invited to create a series of new paintings which will be displayed on the museum balcony.

‘Pro patria mori’ by Di Purser

Di has created over ten stunning new paintings, several of which reflect the collections on display at SM&AG. Her work uses acrylic paint mixes, inks and illustrative features to overlap the past and the present making her the perfect tutor for you in this workshop.

The workshop costs £55 to attend and spaces are limited. To book your place, call 01743 258881 or email

To find out more about Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, visit the website.

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery is owned and managed by Shropshire Council.

About Di Purser

Di was born in Walsall, West Midlands, but spent much of her childhood in Ludlow.

She completed a BA (hons) in Textiles at Loughborough University in 1971 and has had a varied career as both a lecturer, teacher and practitioner.

Di has exhibited widely in the Midlands and Welsh Borders including themed group exhibitions and one man shows. She has interests in Art History, townscapes, landscapes and hill and mountain walking, which is reflected in her work.

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Categories: Shropshire

News from our partners: Hints and tips from health managers on how to fight the common cold

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Tue, 01/07/2020 - 14:19

News from our partners NHS Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

Health managers at NHS Shropshire CCG are advising residents that they do not need to see a GP with symptoms of a common cold.

You can usually treat a cold at home or speak to your local pharmacist for advice on over-the-counter medications, with no appointment necessary. These can be purchased at low cost from pharmacies, supermarkets, the high street, and local stores.

Common cold infographic

To further aid residents during the winter months, a top tips guide and poster have been designed to share useful health information about the common cold, such as identifying its symptoms, effective treatment, and tips on preventing colds from spreading.

Common cold poster

Elizabeth Walker, pharmacist and Head of Medicines Management at Shropshire CCG, said:

“Most of us are likely to catch a cold at some point, and they spread quickly and easily, so it is a good idea to stock up on treatments in your medicine cabinet ready for when those first sniffles start.

“Symptoms of the common cold can include a runny or blocked nose, coughing, sneezing, a sore throat and a raised temperature. There is plenty you can do to help ease the symptoms, like visiting your local pharmacist for advice on treatments, and buying low-price remedies.

“You don’t even need to buy the more recognised brands as these are often the more expensive. As long as the active ingredients within the medicine are the same you will experience the same effect.

“In most cases you do not need to see your GP with the common cold. Rest and sleep, as well as drinking plenty of water and gargling salt water to soothe a sore throat can all relieve symptoms.

“However if you have experienced cold symptoms for more than three weeks without any marked improvement, we would advise making an appointment with your GP.”


For further information and advice on common colds, pop into your nearest pharmacy or visit:

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Categories: Shropshire

Charlie Adlard exhibition attracts thousands to Shrewsbury Museum

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Mon, 01/06/2020 - 16:48

The Drawn of the Dead exhibition proved to be a success at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery (SM&AG), attracting over 10,000 people.

The figures make Drawn of the Dead one of the most visited exhibitions to be hosted at SM&AG.

Comic art of Charlie Adlard

Drawn of the Dead celebrated the work of the comic artist behind The Walking Dead, Charlie Adlard.

Drawn of the Dead showcased more than 80 of Charlie’s artworks from the Walking Dead, cult French comic Vampire State Building, Code Flesh and White Death as well as his life drawing.

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

We’re thrilled to have had the opportunity to celebrate Charlie’s stunning work in the Drawn of the Dead exhibition and are pleased with its success.

While a large proportion of visitors to this exhibition were families, we were also hoping that this exhibition would help us attract new audiences to the Museum and this has proved to be a success which we are particularly pleased about.

I’d like to thank Charlie for allowing SM&AG to showcase his work and I hope everyone who visited the exhibition thoroughly enjoyed it.

Charlie Adlard, said:

It’s been an absolute honour to have an exhibition on this scale in my home town. I’ve been overjoyed with how it’s turned out and I cannot thank SM&AG enough for all the work they put in to make it a success.

A reduced version of the Drawn of the Dead exhibition will be on display at the Shropshire Museums Collections Centre in Ludlow in February 2020.

Discover more about SM&AG on the website or on social media.

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery is owned and managed by Shropshire Council.

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Categories: Shropshire

Are you a landlord? Do you own or manage a rental property?

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Mon, 01/06/2020 - 14:07

Shropshire Council is still running a public consultation asking for feedback from landlords in the area.

The aim of the consultation is to collect information that will allow the development of a private rental scheme designed to assist households who have approached the council for housing assistance, and benefit landlords who let a property to people referred by the council.

Laura Fisher, housing services manager, said:-

“It is necessary to engage local landlords in the promotion of successful tenancies which benefit people who need rental housing as well as those who provide this important service. Working with our partners to create and maintain affordable rental homes is a priority area, if we are to reduce the number of people in temporary accommodation and provide families with good quality long term sustainable housing.  I would encourage all landlords and property managers with rental property in Shropshire to complete the survey, which addresses barriers, obstacles and opportunities of working together.”

The consultation is now extended, and closes on Friday 31 January 2020. You can take part online by clicking here.  Paper copies are also available on request: please email

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Categories: Shropshire

Change a child’s life in 2020: become a foster carer

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Mon, 01/06/2020 - 13:58

Shropshire Fostering, the fostering service of Shropshire Council, are calling on local people to think how they could change a child’s life for the better in 2020 by becoming a foster carer.

Shropshire Fostering are holding a drop-in coffee morning at stop. Coffee, which is inside Shrewsbury Art Gallery & Museum on Friday 17 January 2020 between 11am and 1.30pm.

At any one time there is an estimated 60,000 children being looked after by foster carers nationally. There is a need for around 7,220 new foster carers in England and 550 in Wales this year.  Locally, Shropshire Fostering are looking to find five new foster carers each month to really support children and provide a temporary, stable and loving home at a time when children may not be able to live with their own birth family.

Ed Potter, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children’s services, said:

“There is no need to register in advance for the event, just drop in for a coffee and a chat anytime between 11am and 1.30pm. The team be there to talk you through the process and answer any questions that you may have about fostering.”

“There are lots of different types of fostering, it’s not all 24/7! We’ll be able to talk you through which style of fostering could fit in with your lifestyle and commitments at the drop-in event.”


Shropshire Fostering will be in stop. Coffee at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, The Square, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY1 1LH. (17 January 2020 between 11am & 1.30pm).

For more information about fostering in this region see or call 0800 783 8798. 

National statistics provided by CoramBAAF.

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Categories: Shropshire

Shropshire Council issues final view on 75 BT payphones proposed for removal

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Mon, 01/06/2020 - 13:46

Shropshire Council has issued its final view and Final Notice for the 75 payphones in the Shropshire area that BT proposed to permanently remove from service.

BT had an obligation to consult with Shropshire Council with regard to the proposed removals. The formal 90-day consultation period, as set out by Ofcom, concluded on 19 December 2019.

A red payphone box in Shropshire

The final notice listing was submitted to the Secretary of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and to BT, on 18 December 2019. This was in order to ensure that it was received by BT before 19h December 2019, as per agreement with BT on timescales for so doing, and that DCMS had a copy of the final decision reached by the Council on each payphone, as per Ofcom guidance.

The listing is available at

Where the council did not hear back from a local community, following Newsroom stories, contact with the local parish council or town council, and publicity through the Shropshire Voluntary and Community Sector Assembly, we reached a decision on behalf of the local community. This was based on: analysis of previous call usage and previous concerns noted, including operability of telephony; assessment of the location eg rural isolated spot, eg known to attract numbers of visitors, eg in an area of social need; and continuing concerns for the council over mobile phone coverage issues in our large rural county.

This sits alongside our default position of objecting to removal of the telephony in order to seek to ensure continuation of the service for residents and visitors alike.

Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for communities, place planning and regulatory services, said:

“I would like to say a very sincere thank you on behalf of the council to all those who took the time to respond to us with regard to these 75 payphones. We are enormously grateful to have received such a range of feedback over the course of the public consultation, not only from parish councils and town councils but also from the public and local Shropshire Councillors.

“This has helped us to reach a final decision for each of the 75 payphones, whether that is for adoption of the kiosk, where several areas wish to turn them into defibrillator storage points, removal of the payphone where it is no longer seen as necessary, or retention of the service, where it is seen as continuing to fulfil a social and community need.

“BT have acknowledged receipt of the information, and have asked for us to send them the details of the parish councils and town councils who indicated that they wanted to adopt their kiosks, in order for these applications to then proceed. They have said that this is duly noted and summarised as 14 agreements, 49 objections and 12 adoptions. We will continue to liaise with them accordingly. In the meantime, thank you again to all those who responded.” 

Further information

Shropshire Council, in accordance with section 49(4) of the Communications Act 2003 (’the Act’), made a final decision in each case in response to the proposal by BT for the removal of the 75 public call boxes. Section 50(1)(b) of the Act requires Shropshire Council to send to the Secretary of State a copy of every notification published under section 49(4) of the Act. A copy of the Final Notification was enclosed accordingly along with a formal letter.

During the formal 90 day consultation period, the task of the council as the Local Planning Authority was to seek views from local town and parish councils and to include any views from local councillors, residents, policing teams, and so forth, in order to help in reaching a decision in each case as to whether to consent to removal of the service and kiosk; Object in order to keep the service operational, or consent to removal of the telephony and retention of the kiosk itself where the local parish or town council wish to adopt.

The initial views, known as the First Notification, were copied to the relevant Government department on 14 November 2019 in line with the formal direction from Ofcom. The minimum one month consultation period, for any further comments on the draft view, then took us up to 4pm on the 16 December 2019. The final deadline was Thursday 19 December 2019.

The number for which the council’s final view is to consent to removal of the service and the kiosk stands at 14, with a further 12 where the local community wishes to adopt the kiosk. This is an update on the provisional view, in which the council declared that the number for which we were minded to give consent to removal altogether stood at two, and that the number where the local community wished to adopt stood at 10.

The stated starting position of Shropshire Council, as a predominantly rural county with a dispersed population, remains to Object to removal of telephony at kiosks unless local feedback suggests otherwise, due to concerns over things like emergency access, physical access where the next nearest payphone may be some distance away for those with mobility problems, and concerns over consistency and quality of mobile phone coverage.

Equally, the council will always look to consider factors in favour of removal of the payphone where the views of the local community are that its use is no longer warranted, or that adoption would be a better option in that area, perhaps for defibrillator storage, or because there has been repeated vandalism or misuse of the kiosk.

For more details, please click the link to see the final listing and other resources on the website at

The listing is also going to clerks for all town and parish councils and to members of the Shropshire Voluntary and Community Sector Assembly.

Online resources include details about what to do if a local parish council or town council wants to think about adopting the kiosk for a use such as a defibrillator store. Individuals are not permitted to adopt kiosks, but they can also be adopted by community organisations.

There is also advice from the historic environment team about what can or cannot be done if the kiosk is a listed structure, and how to ask if there are queries about conservation considerations.


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Categories: Shropshire