Will Shropshire Council support the Local Electricity Bill?

Local Energy Bill: Solar Panels, Solar Farm

Campaigner for renewable energy Nick Saxby asks Shropshire Council to join the chorus of councils supporting community energy in the Local Electricity Bill.

Mr Saxby wrote to Shropshire Council, putting a question to the cabinet meeting next Monday: “Will Shropshire Council support the Local Electricity Bill?”.

Mr Saxby is part of a renewable energy development project in Shropshire. He says: “I have seen the great potential that our region has for becoming a substantial hub for green energy development. I am strongly in favour of this bill. I believe that it will bring about great opportunity for local renewable energy projects and increase their positive impact for local communities”.

The Local Electricity Bill had its first reading in the House of Commons on Wednesday of this week (June 10th 2020) and passed. According to the ‘Power for People’ campaign; the bill seeks to amend regulations in the energy sector which currently prohibit renewable energy producers to sell directly to local consumers. Current arrangements favour large energy companies, and stifle small scale renewable energy production. If the bill passes, it will make local green energy projects financially viable by lowering the barriers to entry to the energy market.

43 county councils in the U.K. have signed up in support of the bill, but as of yet Shropshire Council has not. “Shropshire Council has been vocal about its commitment to tackling the climate emergency, but has been slow to act” says Nick. “I was very curious as to why the council had not endorsed this bill. Given its significant potential to improve both the clean energy provision in the United Kingdom and the empowerment of local communities, I would be perplexed why they would not”.

Several parish and town councils in Shropshire have joined the list of over 200 councils in passing motions to support the bill. Saxby, based in Whitchurch says: “I have also written to my own town’s council in Whitchurch to ask for their support”.

He also comments that; “only 1 of our region’s MPs have joined the coalition of 176 who support the bill in parliament: This makes me wonder about their commitment to this issue too”.

I look forward to hearing the council’s response next week. Hopefully, they will show their support for green energy development and more resilient local communities”.

Contact us if you would like to know more

Local Energy Bill: Solar Panels, Solar Farm
Will Shropshire Council support the Local Electricity Bill?

‘Power for People’ campaign
Draft copy of the bill
Transcript of the bill’s motion in the Commons, read by Peter Aldous MP


Press Coverage of Nick’s question to Cabinet:

Shropshire Star: Campaigner urges Shropshire Council to support Local Energy Bill

Shropshire Council Lib Dems call for Highways Cabinet Member to resign

Conservative-run Shropshire Council isn't working as it should

Shropshire Councillors are calling for the resignation of Cllr Steve Davenport who is the Cabinet Member responsible for a failing Highways Department unable to deal with the County’s growing pothole problem.

Councillors from the Opposition Liberal Democrat Group on Shropshire Council will submit a question to the next Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 12th February demanding that Councillor Steve Davenport resign.

“We’ve had enough,” said Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Cllr Roger Evans. “Councillors in my Group have raised issues at many meetings but the assurances they are given rarely result in any improvements. Someone has to take responsibility for this failure.”

“During the whole of 2019 Liberal Democrat Councillors were raising issues about the growing number of potholes and the general failure of Shropshire Highways and its contractors Kier and WSP to deal with the problem. Despite these assurances, many from Cllr Davenport himself, the Council felt the need to appoint a consultant to tell them what was going wrong. Clearly whatever action Cllr Davenport had taken over the past year was not working. He should resign.”

When asked at last year’s July Council Meeting for an update by Cllr Chris Mellings, Cllr Davenport said that “the performance of both Kier and WSP is actively managed by officers and that I take a personal interest in that process.” He said that there had been challenges but Cllr Davenport concluded that “meaningful progress is being made and our focus is on providing as good a service as is possible across the whole of Shropshire.”

In September 2019, Cllr David Vasmer put a motion to a full Council meeting demanding that Shropshire review its £21m contract with Kier – it does most of Shropshire Highways work on the ground.

In October a whistle-blower contacted Cllr David Vasmer accusing Shropshire of not authorising payments to Kier properly. At a meeting of Place Overview in November, Cllr Vasmer and Cllr Roger Evans asked a series of questions but received assurances that there was nothing to worry about.

At the December Council Meeting Cllr Davenport finally acknowledged that there had been problems with the Kier contract which he said were being tackled. He said “we do have concerns over the quality of some work undertaken by Kier and we are working with them to address this”

“Cllr Davenport at this stage was still unaware of the level of dissatisfaction with the Highways Department,” commented Councillor Vasmer. “It was only the Chief Executive’s intervention in the New Year that resulted in any real action being taken, despite repeated assurances

“In a recent email to all Councillors, this is what Cllr Davenport admitted ‘We/I had to make drastic changes to improve….this service, I totally support Clive’s ( the Chief Executive’s) intervention here as he (is) leading from the front, I have no power as a cabinet member to make changes that had to be made.’ By his own admission his interventions have failed, he is powerless and should resign.”

 

Llynclys Crossroads accident blackspot needs urgent action

Clive Geary, a Driving Instructor from Weston Rhyn, says: "New Maesbury road junction is dangerous"

Today, Wednesday 7th August 2019 there has been yet another collision on the A483 Llynclys Crossroads.

Seven people hurt, a boy and a girl having to be airlifted to hospital.

The junction closed for several hours… again.

Llynclys Crossroads is a known accident black spot and has been an ongoing problem for years. Yet nothing is happening to fix the clear and present danger at this busy junction.

Contrast and compare this to the Maesbury Road junction.

On Wednesday, October 17th, 2018, the Advertizer published an article by Gerraint Jones featuring local driving instructor, Clive Geary, about the confusing layout of the junction and traffic lights at the Maesbury Road/Oswestry industrial estate on the A483.

It would have been far better to have built a new roundabout and saved on the confusing configuration of the traffic lights.

There have been several collisions at this junction as drivers become confused with which traffic light is for their destination.

So why did the council/Highway authority find it necessary to spend a large amount of tax payers money on the Maesbury Road junction with traffic lights when a roundabout would have been far better,safer, more cost effective, along with easier access for HGV’s leaving and arriving at the industrial estate.

This money would have been far better spent at the Llynclys Crossroads on traffic lights at this location. Making the whole junction safer for everyone, be they local people or traffic passing through the area.

I still do not understand the council/Highway authority reasoning for their decisions around these two junctions.

Clive Geary – local driving Instructor and Lib Dem campaigner