At today’s budget setting meeting, Cllr. Duncan Kerr, leader of the Green Party Group, said “it’s time to unlock the potential of all our councillors and move to a modern committee system”,
instead of “locking out” 90% of councillors from getting to grips with decisions. Most councillors have very little input into the budget making process, and today’s budget ideas have only been considered by one of the council’s five scrutiny committees.
Cllr. Kerr pointed to the ideas proposed by the Green Group, which have been ‘kicked in to the long grass’. These included; “proposals to tackle the disgrace of running a Council that produces more household waste per head of population than any other Council in the country bar one,” and “resolving some clear and obvious inequities in our car parking charges” in order to raise “much needed funds for our buses, maybe even taking a leaf out of Oswestry Town Council’s approach by creating some free bus routes”.
The Greens criticised years of Conservative rule which failed to “fix the roof in the good times, for example by investing in prevention and early help in Children services”.
Cllr. Kerr called for the cancellation of the North West Relief Road, and suggested that “it would be ironic indeed if the Council was stopped from wasting yet more money on a road that neither it, nor the world can afford, by its own mismanagement of its resources”.
The Green Group are also pressing for more action on homes upgrades to reduce bills and energy use. “We have a very brief opportunity to retrofit Shropshire’s poorly insulated housing stock and use this to generate green jobs and green investment into our county, but another year goes by without any significant stepping up of our programmes.”