Shropshire

Journey through history in LEGO® at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Mon, 01/15/2018 - 15:16

2018 is set to get off to a thrilling start at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery with the arrival of Lego: Brick History in February.

Opening on Friday 9 February 2018, Lego: Brick History takes you on a journey through pivotal moments in world history, modelled in Lego® bricks.

Brick History opens 9 February 2018

Experience historical moments and periods from Mozart to Martin Luther King, scientific discoveries from the Big Bang to DNA and recent history from mobile phones to the moon landings.

Here is a sneak preview of Lego: Brick History brought to life…

www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNrssMoVbpw

This exhibition has something for people of all ages. From tiny recreations of Concorde and Titanic that would sit in your hand, to a 1.5m square castle bustling with activity in periods of both piece and war, there is something for all to be amazed by and to admire.

Children and adults alike are sure to be inspired by this exhibition and eager to build their own LEGO® models.

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

“LEGO was a hugely popular exhibition when it visited in 2015 with over 14,000 people visiting the museum during its five week stay, so it’s fantastic that it is returning.

“Brick History has something that people of all ages can enjoy. Young and old will have an affinity with LEGO bricks, whether it be those who enjoy building with them now, or those who have fond memories of building the most epic of models back in the day. I can’t wait for this incredibly exciting exhibition to open.”

Warren Ellsmore, creator of Brick History, said:

“We’re all very excited here to be coming back to Shrewsbury after the success of Brick City. Brick History is one of our brand new exhibitions and has proved to be hugely popular since it opened in Newcastle just last year. Trying to reflect the whole history of the world in LEGO bricks was a challenge, especially as we decided to focus on perhaps some of lesser known heroes and landmarks of the past – some of which are still very close to Shrewsbury!”

Bringing a sense of community into Lego: Brick History, this exhibition will feature the models created by our 3 ‘Build your own model’ competition winners!

LEGO: Brick History will be at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery from 9 February – 15 April 2018.

To find out more about Warren Elsmore and his touring LEGO© bricks exhibitions, visit http://warrenelsmore.com/brickhistory/.

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Categories: Shropshire

Family stargazing night at Severn Valley Country Park on Saturday 17 February 2018

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 15:27

Shropshire Council’s outdoor partnerships team are delighted to be welcoming renowned photographer of the night sky, Peter Williamson, to Severn Valley Country Park for a magical evening of stargazing in the clear skies of the Severn Valley, on Saturday 17 February 2018 at 6.30pm-8.30pm.

Peter is the BBC Radio Shropshire astronomy correspondent. The evening will begin with Peter giving a slide show of his amazing images of the night sky. He will also show people the different constellations that are visible during the winter months.

Stargazing photo (courtesy Peter Williamson)

Other members of Shropshire Astronomy Group will also be present with a number of telescopes. Weather permitting, there will be opportunity to take a look at the stars and planets overhead with expert supervision. The visitor centre at Severn Valley Country Park benefits from panoramic views over the Severn Valley and dark skies.

Severn Valley Country Park

The event is suitable for all ages (including children, over 8 years old). Adults £8, Children under 16 £6, Family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) £25. Included in the ticket price is soup and a roll. Members of the Shropshire Great Outdoors membership scheme get a 10% discount.

To book a place, please call the park on 01746 781192 or email edward.andrews@shropshire.gov.uk

 

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Have your say in Shropshire Council’s budget consultation

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 14:08

Shropshire Council is seeking the views of residents and organisations on its budget for 2018/19, which runs from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.

Launched on Wednesday 10 January 2018, the budget consultation provides local people and organisations with the opportunity to tell the council what they think about the specific proposals outlined in the Financial Strategy for 2018/19.

Council tax rise infographic

These proposals aim to help address the difference between the limited funding the council receives, and the increasing cost of providing services up until 2020/21.

Use of reserves infographic

David Minnery, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for finance, said:

“As a result of substantial Government funding reductions, we need to significantly reduce our budget and make unprecedented changes to our services.

“Over the next five years Shropshire Council is facing a budget shortfall of around £59.3m. Putting it simply, our income has fallen due to Government cuts, whilst demand for our vital services that protect some of our most vulnerable has increased.

“We’ve identified many solutions for next year, including investing in capital projects, like the purchasing of the three shopping centres in Shrewsbury, which generate a return on investment.

“Please take a few minutes to find out more about our proposed savings, and let us know what you think.”

To get involved in the budget consultation click here. The deadline for responses is 21 February 2018.

The results of the consultation will be presented to Council and help inform councillors when they meet to set the council’s budget for 2018/19 on Thursday 22 February 2018.

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Proposed new parking strategy to be considered by Cabinet

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Fri, 01/12/2018 - 09:34

Shropshire Council’s parking strategy determines the way that the council manages and runs its car parks and on-street parking, including how and what it charges for parking. The current strategy was introduced in 2012 and needs to be replaced.

A 12-week public consultation on a proposed new parking strategy was launched on 22 July 2017 and closed on 17 October 2017 – a total of 2,486 responses and many additional individual comments were received, with more than 22,000 individual comments received in total.

A report to be considered by Shropshire Council’s Cabinet on 17 January 2018 outlines the findings of the consultation, the resulting conclusions and the recommendations to Cabinet.

We’ve produced a briefing note that summarises the recommendations that will be considered by Cabinet, and the revised proposals that have been put forward following the consultation. To read the briefing note, click here.

To read the full Cabinet report and appendices, click here.

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Decisions made by Cabinet on Wednesday 10 January 2018 – plus video of meeting

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 16:43

The following decisions were made by Shropshire Council’s Cabinet at its meeting yesterday (Wednesday 10 January 2018).

To see the full agenda and papers, click here.

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

  • Financial Strategy 2018/19 to 2022/23
  • Shropshire schools funding formula 2018/19
  • Fire safety policy and improvement plan
  • Consultation on the proposed amendments to Fire and Rescue Authority combination schemes established under sections 2 and 4 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 in England
  • Library Services Strategy for Shropshire 2018 to 2023

Video of the meeting:-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=8h6gz3-xO-A

 

To find out more about what Cabinet is, what it does and who its members are, click here.

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Applications going to Central planning committee on 18 January 2018

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 10:13

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

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

  • Land between Preston Street and London Road, Shrewsbury (17/01612/OUT) Hybrid planning application for a residential development of up to 600 dwellings, access, footpath/cycleways, public open space, landscaping and associated drainage and development infrastructure: comprising FULL application for 353 dwellings, access from Preston Street, access from London Road and spine road, footpaths/cycleways, public open space, landscaping, demolition of existing buildings and associated infrastructure; and OUTLINE submission for (up to) 247 dwellings, footpath/cycleways, public open space, landscaping and associated development infrastructure (amended description).
  • Proposed concierge glamping site at Hencote Farm, Cross Hill, Shrewsbury (17/04363/FUL) Creation of a concierge 10 unit glamping site for tourism and leisure operation (using previously approved vehicular access); formation of car parking area.

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

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Shrewsbury Library invite local creatives to share sketchbooks and journals

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 11:07

Local creatives are invited by Shropshire libraries to create sketchbooks and journals, no bigger than A4 size, to a loose theme. These pieces of work will be available for other locals with a Shropshire Libraries card to borrow, or simply peruse within the historic setting that is Shrewsbury Library.

Sketchbooks and journals are usually private; a place to make mistakes, work out ideas. We are very grateful to those who have already agreed to share their work in this form, with the county.

Donation days are called Sketchbook and Journal Collection Drives, and will take place at Shrewsbury Library.

The first Collection Drive will take place Saturday 20 January 2018, 11am-4pm.  The work generated for the first Collection Drive will be submitted under the theme/brief of ‘Collections’.

There will be also the opportunity to create your own book on 20 January, with Shrewsbury-based artist Emily Wilkinson, (suggested donation £5) https://embodyartsyoga.uk

This window into local creatives’ working processes is an exciting opportunity for the donators as well as the borrowers. This free service is another way for image-makers, writers, fine artists, commercial artists, community artists, writers, graphic designers, animators, illustrators, ceramists, bloggers, artists who use photography etc to communicate and develop their practice. This is a chance for other creatives and those interested in various art forms to engage with donators’ thoughts, sketches, troubleshooting processes, resources and inspirations in sketchbook and journal form.

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

This Sketchbook Collection is a great initiative which will be available in Shrewsbury Library. It is a unique way for local artists to interact with their audience and a great way for the public to access original artwork and potentially unlock and add to the creative talent already in Shrewsbury and Shropshire.”

This inspiring process encourages further positive social engagement within the wider community, the museum service, and the library service and opens up the channels to create new creative networks. Shropshire has a vibrant artistic community and this is another way for them to engage with the world.

The collection of sketchbooks and journals created by Shropshire artists will be housed in the Old School Room, 2nd floor of Shrewsbury Library, Castle Gates, SY1 2AS.

Books within this project will be on loan for up to three weeks.

This project is open to Shropshire-based artists.

Donators must be over 16 years.

To request an artist policy and submission form, email jamilawalker47@hotmail.com

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Consultation on reining in prescriptions for ‘over the counter’ products

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 11:03

News from our partners NHS England

NHS England is further publicising a public consultation on proposals to rein in prescriptions for some ‘over the counter’ products such as dandruff shampoo and drops for tired eyes, freeing-up up to £136 million to expand other treatments for major conditions such as cancer and mental health problems.

Ending routine prescribing for minor, short-term conditions, many of which will cure themselves or cause no long term effect on health, would free up NHS funds for frontline care.

The consultation does not affect prescribing of items for longer term or more complex conditions, or where minor illnesses are symptomatic or a side effect of something more serious.

Over-the-counter products currently prescribed include remedies for dandruff, indigestion, mouth ulcers and travel sickness. The NHS each year spends:

  • £4.5 million on dandruff shampoos – enough to fund a further 4,700 cataract operations or 1,200 hip replacements every year.
  • £7.5 million on indigestion and heartburn – enough to fund nearly 300 community nurses.
  • £5.5 million on mouth ulcers – enough to fund around 1,500 hip replacements.

If patients were to self-care for these three conditions alone, it would save the NHS £17.5 million allowing funds to be diverted to other areas.

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens, said:

“To do the best for our patients and for taxpayers it’s vital the NHS uses its funding well. This consultation gives the public the opportunity to help family doctors decide how best to deploy precious NHS resources, freeing-up money from the drugs bill to reinvest in modern treatments for major conditions such as cancer, mental health and emergency care.”

Dr Graham Jackson, GP, co-chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners and clinical chair of Aylesbury Vale CCG, said:

“It is important that we have an honest conversation with the public, patients and clinicians about what the NHS should and can provide with the constrained funds it has available. As a part of that, it is right that we review what is currently offered on NHS prescription that is also available over-the-counter so that we can prioritise our spending on those products that are the most clinically effective and provide the best outcomes for patients. This consultation is an important part of the ongoing work we are doing on behalf of local clinical commissioning groups alongside NHS England to ensure the NHS budget is spent effectively to deliver the best possible patient care.

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said:

“Where patients can afford to buy medication over the counter, we would certainly encourage them to do so. There are also many minor, self-limiting conditions for which patients don’t often need to seek medical assistance, or prescribed medication, and can dealt with through self-care.

“What remains imperative – and we will be making this clear in our consultation response – is that no blanket bans are imposed, and GPs will retain the right to make clinical decisions about prescribing appropriately for our patients based on the unique physical, psychological and social factors potentially impacting on their health.”

Some of the products currently can be purchased over the counter at a lower cost than that which would be incurred by the NHS – for example, a pack of 12 anti-sickness tablets can be purchased for £2.18 from a pharmacy whereas the cost to the NHS is over £3 after including dispensing fees, and over £35 when you include GP consultation and other administration costs. Similarly some common tablets are on average four times more expensive when provided on prescription by the NHS.

The over the counter medicines proposals for consultation include stopping the routine prescribing of products that:

  • Have low clinical value and where there is a lack of robust evidence for clinical effectiveness, such as probiotics, vitamins and minerals.
  • Treat a condition that is considered to be self-limiting, so does not need treatment as it will heal/be cured of its own accord, such as sore throat or coughs and colds.
  • Treat a condition which could be managed by self-care, i.e. that the person does not need to seek medical care or could visit a pharmacist, such as indigestion, mouth ulcers and pain relief.

NHS England and NHS Clinical Commissioners have worked closely with GPs, pharmacists and patient groups to develop and refine the list of conditions for which prescribing could be restricted, as well as where exceptions may apply. The Board of NHS England approved the launch of a public consultation on these proposals at its public meeting on 30 November.

Some over the counter products currently prescribed are quickly and easily available in community pharmacies where the public can also ask for an NHS consultation with a pharmacist if they are unsure about what treatment they need for minor illnesses and need clinical advice.

Local pharmacies provide NHS services in the same way as GP practices – and pharmacists train for five years in the use of medicines before they qualify as clinical health professionals.

A pharmacist will assess symptoms and consider any long-term conditions, and the medicines that the person is taking, before providing a recommendation. They will either:

  • Support/advise in the decision to self-care.
  • Sell an OTC medicine (which doesn’t need a prescription or visit to a GP) that will help relieve symptoms and make the person more comfortable.
  • Signpost to the right medical care if the pharmacist considers the condition is serious enough to warrant further medical help.

These savings form a key building block of the NHS’s 10 point efficiency plan contained in the Next Steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View, published in March 2017, and support the ambition to ensure greater value from the NHS’s £17.4 billion medicines bill, through improving health outcomes; reducing waste, over-prescribing and over-treatment; and addressing excessive price inflation by drug companies.

The consultation and guidance document is available here: www.engage.england.nhs.uk/consultation/over-the-counter-items-not-routinely-prescribed/

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New funding available for heating and insulation improvements

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 16:24

News from our partners, Keep Shropshire Warm

New heating and insulation funding is available for householders and landlords across Shropshire, thanks to the latest round of government funding.

Householders who were previously ineligible, such as those not receiving benefits or park home residents, may now be eligible after the eligibility criteria was widened.

Keep Shropshire Warm, Shropshire Council’s energy advice scheme, can provide information and support to those who may qualify and can refer households on to accredited installers to undertake works. A number of households in the county have already accessed funding for new heating systems.

Keep Shropshire Warm are particularly keen to hear from owner occupiers and private tenants who are off the mains gas network and have old, inefficient or broken boilers or heating systems. Any householders who still require loft or cavity wall insulation should also qualify for funding. For the first time, old electric storage heaters are also eligible for upgrades.

Shropshire Council has widened the criteria for funding by taking part in the government’s new ECO ‘Flexible Eligibility’ initiative, in the hope that more local householders will benefit.

Oliver Rothwell, Project Manager at Keep Shropshire Warm said:

“This new criteria offers a great opportunity for residents in Shropshire to access financial help with heating replacements and insulation upgrades. I would encourage any households who are struggling with old and inefficient heating systems to call Keep Shropshire Warm without delay, even if you have previously been turned down for support.”

Funding is available to households on a low income with household members who have a health condition, are over the age of 60 or have children under five living at the property. If you are on a low income and not in one of these categories, you may still qualify if you spend a lot of money on heating your home.

Residents can get more information and check their eligibility by contacting the Keep Shropshire Warm team on 0800 112 3743 or by emailing advice@mea.org.uk.

For those that are eligible, funding rates will be calculated on the energy savings that any improvement works brings, following an initial survey. The level of funding is likely to be between half and all of the cost of the measures installed.

Keep Shropshire Warm is a partnership between Shropshire Council and Shrewsbury-based charity Marches Energy Agency. Free and impartial advice and support on any energy related topic is available year round via the service.

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Ballet for the over 55s

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 15:52

News from our partners Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin

Local charity Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin will be offering weekly adult ballet sessions as a new activity to complement their Living Well programme for older people.

The first session will take place on Wednesday 24 January 11am -12.30pm at The Morris Hall in Shrewsbury. It is suitable for mixed abilities and costs £5.

The class, tailored for over 55s, will be led by dance teacher Philippa Price, who spent most of her career as a family doctor. Philippa knows all too well the health benefits that dance and meeting new people can bring to people’s health and well-being.

She said:

“It’s good exercise, but you won’t be expected to do a perfect pirouette or anything unsuitable for your body. It will be fun and a great opportunity to meet new people. I am delighted to get involved with Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin –  I thoroughly enjoy teaching ballet to an older mixed age group because I can see the positive impact it has to people’s fitness and health.”

Philippa will be sharing her passion for dance and the health benefits during the weekly ballet sessions starting at the end of January, and stresses it’s an all ability class with both men and women welcome. Whether you are a complete beginner or used to dance when you were younger, all abilities are welcome to come along to the class.

If you would like to try something different for the new year or perhaps reignite a passion for ballet you had as a child, then call Susan Stefuik at Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin on 01743 233123 or visit their website www.ageuk.org.uk/shropshireandtelford

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Applications going to South planning committee on 16 January 2018

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 14:34

The following planning applications will be considered by Shropshire Council’s South planning committee at its meeting at Shirehall, Shrewsbury on Tuesday 16 January 2018 at 2pm.

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

  • The Leasowes, Sandford Avenue, Church Stretton, SY6 7AE (16/02491/REM)Approval of reserved matters (appearance, landscaping, layout and scale) pursuant to planning permission 14/01173/OUT for residential development (up to 52 dwellings) to include access.
  • 11 Greenfields Road, Bridgnorth, WV16 4JG (17/03114/CPE) Application for Lawful Development Certificate to confirm that the existing works of loft conversion, erection of porch with pitched roof and pitched roof over garage, installation of bow window to front elevation, creation of hardstanding to front garden, dropped kerb and erection of garden wall were within permitted development or have been completed for more than four years.
  • Brand Oak House, 19 Rosemount Gardens, Ackleton, Bridgnorth (17/04037/FUL) Erection of 2 storey side extension.

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

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Shropshire’s best architecture and building conservation to be recognised

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 12:24

Shropshire’s best architecture, urban design and building conservation will be recognised this week when the first-ever Shropshire Council Design and Conservation Awards are presented in an event at Shirehall in Shrewsbury on Friday 12 January (2018).

The awards were launched at the start of 2017 and aim to promote, encourage and recognise inclusive, sustainable and high quality developments across the county.

The redeveloped visitor facilities at Attingham Park, near Shrewsbury (photo courtesy National Trust)

More than thirty schemes were submitted during the year and were assessed according to a range of criteria including design quality, context, craftsmanship and sustainability.

Judging took place in September and October 2017 in two phases, which included an internal assessment, followed by a design review with external judges Harriet Devlin and James Handley.

The schemes receiving recognition this week in the form of an award, commendation or special mention are:

  • Shrewsbury High School dining rooms and kitchen, by Baart Harries Newall architects
  • The Angel, Broad Street Ludlow, by James Wareham and Batch Valley Design
  • Greenspace, Whixall eco village conceptual masterplan, by Greenspace architects
  • Radbrook Village, by AHR architects
  • Attingham Park redeveloped visitor facilities, by BHB
  • Shrewsbury Cathedral access works, by Arrol and Snell Architects
  • The Buttercross, Ludlow, by P Belchere architect
  • Old Cottage, Burley, by Trevor Hewitt Architects
  • Myndtown Church, by Arrol and Snell Architects
  • Chatri Design Centre, Shrewsbury School, by Baart Harries Newall architects
  • Fort Pendlestone, Bridgnorth, by BASE architects
  • Leafy Nook, Oswestry, by K-E design

Ian Kilby, Shropshire Council’s planning services manager, said:

“These awards are the first in a series of initiatives to encourage and recognise sustainable and high quality design within developments which promote investment in the county’s environment, whilst protecting and enhancing the historic and natural features which make it distinctive.

“I congratulate all of our winners, and thank our judges for their time and support.”

Further information

About the external judges

Harriet Devlin currently runs a postgraduate course in Conservation of the Historic Environment at Birmingham City University and leads practical conservation courses on the understanding of traditional building materials such as lime, timber and brick.   Harriet lives in Shropshire and has been a passionate advocate of ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ and preventative maintenance for many years.  Harriet has long experience of fund raising for projects and was awarded an MBE in 2014 for her services to the Historic Environment.

James Handley is retired from general architectural practice and lives in Shrewsbury. He has worked extensively in the Middle East resident in Iran (75-79) and Bahrain (82-86). He joined the Shrewsbury office of AHR in 1979, serving as UK Chairman between 1999-2008 of the renamed practice, Aedas Architects, when he was responsible for the UK/Europe/Middle East operations.  He has been active within the Shrewsbury BID since its inception and currently sits on the Board, he is especially interested in design quality within the town and its future within the West Midlands community.

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Ground investigation works at Castle Walk Footbridge, Shrewsbury from 16 January 2018

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 09:42

Ground investigation works are to be carried out in the vicinity of Castle Walk Footbridge, Shrewsbury. This is a follow up to investigation works conducted in October 2016. Pedestrian access will be maintained during the works, which are planned between Tuesday 16 January 2018 and Friday 19 January 2018.

The extreme end of Dorset Street, Castlefields will not be available for parking, and pedestrians will be conducted through the works when coming from the footpath that connects to Burton Street.

Access will not be possible up the steps immediately downstream of the bridge from the towpath. However, nearby access to and from the towpath is available at Severn Street.

Vehicular access to Severn Bank will not be possible between 16 January and 19 January, but pedestrians will be conducted through the works.

The work involves a borehole on the town side, and plate-bearing tests on the Monkmoor side alongside the walkway – all of which will be fenced off from the public.

Access for pedestrians and dismounted cyclists will remain available at the bridge throughout the works.

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

“Shropshire Council apologise for any inconvenience that these investigations will cause over the short term, but I hope people will bear with us as it is essential we have a full picture on which to base any future discussions about the maintenance of this well-used bridge.”

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Shropshire’s foster carers recognised for their life-changing contributions

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 13:56

The life-changing contributions of some of Shopshire’s longest-serving foster carers were celebrated at a special celebration last month (Wednesday 6 December 2017).

The event, held at The Corbet Arms in Uffington near Shrewsbury, saw awards being presented to the county’s foster carers – with Shropshire Council saying a heartfelt “thank you” for providing loving, caring homes to hundreds of youngsters over the last 20 years and more.

(l-to-r) Karen Bradshaw, Shropshire Council’s director of children’s services; Carrie Fernihough, one of the winners of the Resilience Award; Nick Bardsley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children’s services and education.

Categories included:

  • Aspirational Award
  • Connected Carer Award
  • Inspirational Award
  • Recognition Award
  • Resilience Award
  • SFCA Award
  • Training Award
  • Longstanding Service
  • Outstanding Contribution Award

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

“I am delighted to recognise the commitment and incredibly important role that foster carers play in children’s lives. These are people from all walks of life who quietly get on with what is one of the most important roles any of us can play in life: giving a child a good start in life. The difference is, they are prepared to open up their homes and hearts to someone else’s child.”

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

“While it’s a hugely rewarding role, knowing that you are positively changing the lives of those they care for, it can also present significant challenges. This event was our opportunity to show our thanks for their dedication, and for the massive contribution that our foster carers make to our community.”

At the same time, Shropshire Council is looking to recruit more foster carers and is appealing for people to come forward if they are interested or would like to find out more.

Lisa Preston, Shropshire Council’s service manager for adoption, fostering and residential services, said:

“At any one time we typically have some 160 children in foster care placements within Shropshire, and a further number of children are placed with external foster carers. Ideally we need to recruit another 20 new foster carers.

“A placement can be as short as an overnight stay, or sometimes it can last years – it all depends on the circumstances. And while some carers prefer babies or toddlers, others bring skills and life experience to offer older children and teenagers positive experiences of family life.

“Many people think that they don’t fit the ‘profile’ or that they aren’t sure what it involves. But there is no typical profile: we have single carers, married couples, working couples, unemployed couples and single-sex couples. We need people from every walk of life like our children and young people. The one thing all our carers have in common is space in their home and room in their lives.

“So if you’re interested to learn more, get in touch. You’ll be trained, supported and financially rewarded. But above all, you’ll be there for someone who really needs you.”

To discover more about fostering, call 0800 783 8798 or go to shropshire.gov.uk/fostering.

 

 

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Boost for north Shropshire’s bees thanks to Shropshire Council’s new countryside membership scheme

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 09:06

North Shropshire’s bees are set for a brighter future thanks to money raised from Shropshire Council’s new countryside membership scheme.

The ‘Shropshire’s Great Outdoors’ scheme was launched in December 2016 with all membership fees put towards the maintenance of Shropshire Council’s countryside parks and sites.

Now, the money raised in the first year of the scheme is to be used to improve and enhance the Bee Metropolis that sits alongside The Mere at Ellesmere and provides a home to solitary bees and other invertebrates. (see notes)

The Bee Metropolis at The Mere in Ellesmere

The planned work includes enhanced wildflower beds and new information boards showing types of British bees and the food plants they require to survive.

It will be carried out in early summer 2018, and the start of work will be marked with a special bee-themed day of events and activities at the site, including a bee safari run by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. Further details will be announced shortly.

Meanwhile, the Shropshire’s Great Outdoors scheme has been developed for its second year to appeal to a greater range of people, and the list of member benefits has also been revised and improved.

The scheme now offers joint and family membership, in addition to the existing individual membership.

As well as free parking at Shropshire Council’s countryside sites, members of the scheme can now benefit from discounts at The Boathouse in Ellesmere, and The Severn Valley County Park café, and on room bookings at the Warden’s Bungalow in Ellesmere – plus 10% discount on many events at Theatre Severn and the Old Market Hall in Shrewsbury, and 10% discounts on events being held at Severn Valley Country Park.

Members also get a 10% discount at Dave Mellor Cycles in Shrewsbury, 10% discount on all pony trekking adventures at The Long Mountain between Welshpool and Shrewsbury, and 10% off on clothing and equipment at High Sports in Shrewsbury.

It’s hoped that the list of member benefits will continue to grow in the coming year.

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

“In the first year some 50 people have joined the Great Outdoors Scheme, raising around £1300 which will now be used to enhance the Bee Metropolis and give our bees a brighter future.

“We’re really pleased with the response the scheme has had in its first year, but we want the scheme to appeal to a greater and wider range of people so I’m delighted that we can now offer joint and family memberships, and that we can offer a greater and more attractive range of discounts and benefits to members.

“The more people that join, the more money we will raise to help manage and develop our valuable countryside sites and parks – so if people sign up both they and our sites really will benefit.”

Shaun Burkey, country parks and sites officer with Shropshire Council, said:

“The Bee Metropolis was created for our bees which, as we know, are suffering terribly due to a number of factors including pesticides and a lack of nectar-rich flowering plants. When three beech trees became diseased and had to be felled we decided to create the Bee Metropolis. Deadwood is great for insects providing food for birds and mammals. Hundreds of holes have also been drilled into the deadwood, and these are used by solitary bees as nest chambers.

“Nectar-rich cornfield flower-beds have been planted around the Bee Metropolis and we hope visitors will be inspired to plant bee-friendly plants in their gardens to give our bees a chance for their and our futures.”

The  Mere country park is managed and maintained by Shropshire Council.

For more information about the Shropshire’s Great Outdoors scheme, and to join, visit www.shropshiresgreatoutdoors.co.uk.

Further information

The Bee Metropolis

Constructed by local artist Caroline Lowe in 2015, the Bee Metropolis is sited at the sunny centre of an area of Cremorne Gardens that was previously overgrown and unmanaged, but which is now extensively covered with wildflower meadows and new trees selected for their colour and form.

It was built from three beech trees that were diseased and need to be felled at this spot. This has been stacked in a way and drilled with hundreds of holes that will give a home to solitary bees and a whole array of other invertebrates.

The Great Outdoors scheme

Membership categories and prices are:

  • Individual- £36/year, plus card for one vehicle.
  • Joint- £46 year. Two people at the same address, plus cards for two vehicles.
  • Family- £50/year. Two adults plus up to three children under 16 years of age, and cards for two vehicles.

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Categories: Shropshire

Cold weather alert for Shropshire – Advice and information at hand to help you stay safe and well this winter

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Fri, 01/05/2018 - 15:19

With cold weather conditions being forecast from this weekend (Saturday 6 to Tuesday 9 January), health teams across Shropshire are urging residents across the county to stay safe and well during the cold spell as well as throughout the remaining winter months.

Severe cold weather can be dangerous, and keeping yourself warm throughout the winter months is essential to staying healthy, especially for the very young, older people or those with a chronic condition such as heart disease and asthma.

Stay well this winter

Stay safe and well this winter website

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

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

  • Stay well this winter, NHS advice – to help those people who are most at risk of illness during winter to take steps to stay well, including make sure you get your flu jab. Pharmacies offer flu vaccinations in Shropshire, can be found
  • Keep well and warm– Government advice on staying well in cold weather, covering issues such as financial help, healthy lifestyle and heating.
  • Road gritting– updates on where and when gritters are out in Shropshire.
  • Get Ready for Winter– Met Office advice and information of the dangers posed by winter weather and provide tips and advice on how to minimise its impact.
  • Winter advice for older people– advice and information from Age UK.
  • Shropshire Newsroom– news and updates from Shropshire Council.
  • Travel updates– travel updates from Highways England.
  • School closures– updates of any school closures in Shropshire.

Flu jab campaign

 

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

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

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

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

Consult a pharmacist

 

Winter Advice

Winter can be seriously bad for our health but there a number of things you can do to keep you and your family well this winter.

Top tips to stay safe and well include:-
  • Get your flu jab!Cold weather can be very harmful, especially for people aged 65 or older: it weakens the immune system, increases blood pressure, thickens the blood and lowers body temperature, increasing risks of high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and chest infections.
  • Keep warm!It is important to keep warm in winter – both inside and outdoors as it can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems, such as heart attacks, strokes pneumonia and depression. Heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F), if you can, you might prefer your living room to be slightly warmer. Try and keep active when you’re indoors, get up and move about and try not to sit still for longer than an hour at a time. Also, try and wear several layers of light clothes, as they trap warm air better.
  • Feeling unwell. If you start to feel unwell, even if it is just a cough or cold, don’t wait until it gets more serious, get help from your pharmacist. Pharmacists are fully qualified to advise you on the best course of action, and the sooner you get advice from them, the better. They can also advise on the best medicines to have in medicines cabinet to help get you and your family through the winter. The sooner you get advice the better – pharmacists are here to help you stay well this winter.
  • Don’t forget your prescription!If you’ve been prescribed medication, don’t forget to pick up your prescription in plenty of time.
  • NHS 111  – Call NHS 111 for the right medical attention when you urgently need it. NHS 111 is free to call and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. NHS 111 is much more than a helpline – if you’re worried about an urgent medical concern, call and speak to an advisor who can help. Depending on the situation, the NHS 111 team can access a nurse, emergency dentist, or even a GP and if they think you need it, they’re able to arrange face-to-face appointments. The team can assess if you need if an ambulance, and if you do, one will be sent immediately.
  • Look out for other people– We can all do with a little bit of extra help and support at different times. If someone you know is feeling unwell or may need some support during the cold weather ask to see if they need any practical help.  For advice and information on how to stay safe and well this winter visit: https://shropshire.gov.uk/stay-safe-and-well-this-winter/.

Heat your home to at least 18C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Latest winter health news

For up-to-date news on keeping well in winter follow @shropcouncil.

Visit Stay safe and well this winter

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Categories: Shropshire

Shropshire Council welcomes planned improvements to busy Oswestry junction

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Fri, 01/05/2018 - 12:00

Shropshire Council has welcomed proposals from Highways England that are set to improve road safety at the A483/Maesbury Road junction, just outside Oswestry.

The junction links the Maesbury Road industrial estate and the A483.

Highways England plans to install traffic lights at the junction, which will make it safer and mean it can handle more traffic.

It follows a number of accidents, injuries and fatalities at the junction in recent years.

It’s hoped that work will be carried out in June this year.

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

“We have been working with Highways England to improve safety at the Maesbury Road junction and I’m delighted that these improvements are to be made.

“Improvements have been needed at this junction for many years. The A483 is a major route connecting north and south Wales with a small section running through Shropshire. There is also a lot of heavy goods traffic that turns out of and into the industrial estate and the current staggered junction is not the best option.”

Joyce Barrow, Shropshire Councillor for St Oswald, said:

“Maesbury Road junction has claimed a number of lives over the years since it was first put in place.  Oswestry Rural Parish Council along with myself have campaigned for changes to be made to this junction and I am delighted that Highways England have come forward with this proposed scheme.”

As part of the scheme, a small amount of work will take place on neighbouring roads, that are the responsibility of Shropshire Council.

This includes:

  • Revising the bell mouth into Weston Road to improve access from the south. This is being carried out in order to maximise the development area south-west of the main A483 junction.
  • The slight widening of Maesbury Road, to allow the provision of a two-lane approach to the new traffic lights. This will involve the relocation of the existing kerb line, associated drainage, one street lighting column and a length of new footway.

Highways England say that the work will result in a much more effective and efficient junction.

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Categories: Shropshire

Cabinet to consider revised Library Service Strategy following public consultation

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 10:16

A strategy which sets out the future vision for library services in Shropshire will be presented to Cabinet for approval on Wednesday 10 January 2018.

The Library Services Strategy for Shropshire, 2018 to 2023, outlines the vision, objectives and priorities to help libraries across the county remain as the cornerstones of their communities.

The strategy sets out a hierarchy of library services provision, which have been categorised based on factors such as need, population, demand, travelling time and demographics, and describes how the council can meet its statutory requirements* to provide a ‘comprehensive and efficient library service for all persons’.

Initial proposals included having six static library hubs located at urban centres and larger market towns (Tier 1), seven community libraries located in smaller market towns around the county (Tier 2) and eight community libraries located in other smaller market towns (Tier 3). Proposals also included reducing the number of mobile library stops from 354 to 277. The strategy also looks at developing library’s digital offer which includes 24-hour access, e-lending, e-resources and developing the community directory. Over the past few years Shropshire’s library service has seen a 300% rise in its digital services.

Over 700 responses were received following the recent public consultation which asked residents and organisations their views and comments about the proposals. Results showed that 89% of those who took part in the library service consultation agreed or agreed to some extent, to the vision, objectives and principles, whilst 86% agreed or agreed to some extent, with the categorisation or hierarchy of provision set out in the draft strategy.

As a result of residents’ feedback and comments, several changes have also been made to the proposals which include:

  • Bringing one of the libraries (Wem) from Tier 3 up to Tier 2 status.
  • Increasing the timeline for those libraries under Tier 2 to become cost neutral from 3 years to 5 years.
  • Increasing the timeline for those libraries under Tier 3 to become cost neutral from 1 year to 3 years.
  • Increasing the proposed number of stops from 277 up to 281. This includes includes reinstating the stops at Clive (Station Road) and Brockton, and introducing new stops at Chorley Homelands and Marton Grange.

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

“We know that libraries are well loved and highly regarded by local communities and play a vital role in the well-being, education and health for people of all ages.

“The Library Services Strategy for Shropshire, 2018 to 2023, reflects the council’s ambition and commitment not only to ensure library services continue to flourish, but also to unlock the huge potential that library services have to impact positively on individuals’ lives.

“I am really heartened by the constructive comments received by our local communities and I would sincerely like to thank everyone who took time to take part in the consultation. We have taken these on board and as a result made changes to our strategy.”

To view the Cabinet report click here.

Further information

*Local authorities have a statutory duty under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 ‘to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service for all persons’ in the area that want to make use of it.

Proposed hierarchy of library services provision being considered at Cabinet on Wednesday 10 January 2018.

 

Library Financial Support Number of Libraries Library Description Statutory Library Provision Tier 1 Library Hubs Ongoing revenue support 7 Shrewsbury (Main library & Library at the Lantern)

Oswestry

Market Drayton

Whitchurch

Ludlow

Bridgnorth Tier 2 Community Libraries Cost neutral to the Council by the end of 2022/23 7 Cleobury Mortimer

Church Stretton

Bishop’s Castle

Ellesmere

Pontesbury

Albrighton

Wem Mobile Libraries Ongoing revenue support 281 stops Tier 3 Community Libraries Cost neutral to the Council by the end of 2020/21 7 Broseley

Shifnal

Highley

Craven Arms

Much Wenlock

Gobowen

Bayston Hill

 

Feedback from public consultation

A public consultation was carried out between 26 July 2017 and 13 October 2017. Within the consultation, we sought responses to specific proposals to reduce the number of mobile library stops from 354 to 277.

Over 700 responses were received to the consultation. 37% of respondents agreed with the vision, mission, objectives and principles set out within the draft strategy, and 52% agreed to some extent. 35% of respondents agreed with the hierarchy of provision set out within the draft strategy, and 51% agreed to some extent.

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Categories: Shropshire

Superfast wireless broadband rollout underway in rural Shropshire

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 16:05

News from our Connecting Shropshire partners Airband

Airband transmitters are located to have far-reaching views, providing superfast broadband access to as many properties as possible.

Connecting Shropshire and Airband have announced the live launch of the first transmitter site, serving over 300 homes and businesses. The transmitter provides superfast broadband connectivity of 30Mbps to parts of Sheriffhales and Shifnal parishes, and other communities further east, such as Tong.

Airband’s deployment of fixed wireless broadband works by sending a radio signal from a transmitter site to a small receiver attached to the property. A cable is then run into the building allowing the end-user to access the internet in the same way as any other broadband connection.

View from Airband transmitter

The project, part of the UK Government’s superfast broadband rollout and supported by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership, is boosting coverage in the Shropshire Council area up to 2020 and will provide superfast broadband to over 14,000 homes and businesses across some of the most rural parts of Shropshire, with areas going live incrementally as the rollout continues.

Dave Lloyd, Project Manager at Airband, said:-

“We are really excited to be announcing the first live site for this important community-based project – it highlights the progress we’re making to help connect rural residents across Shropshire. We’re planning to get several more sites live in the next few weeks and plan to keep up the pace for the duration of the project.”

Nic Laurens, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for broadband, said:

“This is a great, positive step forward for the work Shropshire Council is doing to enhance the quality of life for residents across the county. Superfast broadband enables people living, working and visiting Shropshire to benefit from all that a fast, reliable broadband connection can offer, ultimately boosting the prosperity of the economy.”

The project to deliver more superfast connectivity to Shropshire is supported by the Marches LEP, which secured more than £8m of Growth Deal funding specifically to improve access to high speed broadband in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin.

Graham Wynn, Chairman of the Marches LEP, said:

“It’s great to see this rollout under way in Shropshire, giving people and businesses a chance to experience the benefits of a superfast broadband connection.” “We know that a lack of connectivity hinders business growth and we’re delighted that the £5.02m of funding via the LEP for Connecting Shropshire is already making a difference to communities in the county.”

To find out if you’re in Airband’s current or planned coverage area, please enter your postcode at: https://home.airband.co.uk/coverage/

 

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Categories: Shropshire

‘Paul Hurst Way’ sign on Meole Brace roundabout in Shrewsbury

BBC Shropshire News Feed - Tue, 01/02/2018 - 13:50

A makeshift ‘Paul Hurst Way’ sign has appeared on Meole Brace roundabout in Shrewsbury, in tribute to the Shrewsbury Town manager (see Shropshire Star story).

It’s brilliant to see Shrewsbury Town doing so well this season and this sign is a great response to how well the team is doing. Though it’s not an official sign we’re very happy for it to remain in place until the end of the season, when we hope Shrewsbury will be celebrating promotion.

If anyone would like to officially name a street or section of footpath after Paul Hurst, we encourage them to contact the  council’s street naming and numbering team by email on snn@shropshire.gov.uk.

You can find more information about street naming on the Shropshire Council website.

 

 

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