An update from David Turner

Covid-19

The pandemic that has dominated our lives for most of 2020 seems likely to be with us into 2021 despite the welcome news that a vaccine has been developed and that rollout and mass testing may follow. The impact of the virus has been felt in many ways in Much Wenlock and the surrounding villages, and I’d like to pay tribute to those many selfless volunteers who, over the months, have given freely of their time to run errands and to offer support to the vulnerable and lonely. It would be remiss of me not to mention also the dedication shown by health professionals locally, and throughout the NHS and other organisations.

These local support groups have in turn been able to look for advice to Shropshire Council, which quickly set up Community Reassurance Teams, comprising council officers redeployed into new and, in some cases, unfamiliar duties. What is not unfamiliar is the efforts that all these staff invest in supporting communities and individuals across Shropshire.

For local advice and support during the pandemic (especially if you are self-isolating), call Shropshire Council’s COVID-19 Helpline on 0345 678 9028 (lines open on the weekend on Saturday from 9am-4pm and Sunday 9am-12pm) or visit the website at www.shropshire.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Shropshire Council’s Local Plan Review

Shropshire Council’s Cabinet decision on the Local Plan Review which includes site allocations at Buildwas, Bridgnorth, Cressage, Much Wenlock and Shifnal has been delayed until 7th December. I suspect this is because of the high volume of responses to the recent consultation. The meeting is held in public and you can listen in on Shropshire Council’s website: https://tinyurl.com/SCCabinet or on YouTube afterwards.

Planning

Shropshire Council consults widely on planning applications that it receives, and also advertises them. Nonetheless, a frequent complaint I receive is that people living close to proposed development sites feel that they have not been given adequate opportunity to comment – either in support or objection. Shropshire Council is now inviting your views on its draft Statement of Community Involvement. It sets out how it intends to engage communities and organisations on planning issues. It provides information on how people can get involved in the preparation of planning policies and plan-making process and details how people can comment on individual planning applications. To make your voice heard on this, click on the “Get Involved” button on the Council’s website, or go to https://tinyurl.com/SCSCIconsultation.

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