The Green Group on Shropshire Council have today published their own budget proposals for the financial year starting April 2023.
Leader of the Green Group, Cllr Duncan Kerr explained:
“Years of Government under-funding of local Coucils, combined with poor investments and intransigence by the leadership of Shropshire Council has left the Council finances in a precarious state. However, even now it is still possible to make better choices which will give more help to those in need in Shropshire, boost our economy and reduce carbon emissions. Our proposals include:
Abandoning the expensive and out-dated North West Relief Road and investing in sustainable and public transport instead.
The flat refusal of the leadership to accept the need to minimise household waste means we now collect more rubbish from each household than every Council in the country bar one! Transporting all this waste uses a lot of costly and carbon intensive diesel fuel and their dogmatic approach means we now have little option other than to charge for garden waste. Based on data from other authorities this could save £2 million a year. We will support this provided the proceeds are used to promote home composting and provide a network of free bus journeys between our major towns building on the free bus services already funded by Green-controlled Oswestry Town Council.
Over the past few years the bus service in Shropshire has been decimated and more cuts are coming. At the same time two of the main car parks in Shrewsbury (Frankwell and Abbey Foregate) cost less to park in than some of the Shropshire Council owned car parks in its smaller towns. This cannot be right so we would re-band these car parks generating at least £300,000, which would enable us to guarantee the future of the route 20 bus and many other routes as well.
We have an urgent need to insulate the county’s leaky houses and to provide more accommodation for homeless people who are currently being put in unsuitable and costly bed and breakfast accommodation. We would establish a self-funding scheme to buy as well as build homes, insulate them and then rent them out to families in need.
Domestic abuse continues to wreck many lives in Shropshire, indeed across the UK two women every week are killed. Shropshire has seen a near doubling of children being brought into care and domestic abuse is a key factor in this. If we are to break the cycle, we need children who have been traumatised by domestic abuse to receive the appropriate therapy. A recent Ofsted inspection tells us this is not happening. We would commit £150,000 to make this happen.
The budget will soon need to be approved by the Council but we hope that the Conservative leadership will now abandon short-termism and adopt our positive and effective proposals which are designed to bring lasting benefits to our communities in these difficult times. They have a choice.”
Alternative budget proposals are to be considered at the next meeting of the Performance Management Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday, 11th January 2023 at 10:00am.