Shropshire's Green councillors have described the council's draft economic strategy as "falling short of meeting the crises in our local economy".
Speaking on behalf of the group, Cllr. Julian Dean said 'What's the point in an economic strategy that doesn't mention the market failure in social care shortage, the acute shortage in home installation and retrofit installers who can reduce people's energy bills, and the challenge of a heating climate and deteriorating soil that faces our agriculture? What's the point in an economic strategy that doesn't mention any sector specific challenges, or even name any of our market towns? We need a strategy that is mission focused".
The green group has proposed that the strategy needs to include specific targets in all these areas. They point to existing targets drawn up by Zero Carbon Shropshire that call for 20,000 homes per year to be insulated to a high standard, for 8000 acres of marginal land per year to be used for nature recovery and tree planting, for a shift towards public transport, walking and cycling and for the expansion of renewable energy generation in the county, especially solar farms. Duncan Kerr, group leader, said "we need to transform our economy so that it is resilient and sustainable. The draft economic strategy looks more like 'business-as-usual'. It simply does not rise to the challenges we face. Yet these all these challenges are also opportunity for quality jobs and local wealth creation. None of this will be easy, but that's why we need a robust and mission focused strategy".
The response is available to download here.