Vision and ambition
Shropshire County is the largest in-land county in England, and with its 17 market towns and patchwork of villages it represents one on the country's most rural areas. Situated on the border with Wales, the county's primary and secondary health care services also provide support to the towns and villages of Powys. Serving such a rural county provides significant opportunities and challenges in terms of commissioning high quality, accessible services to our dispersed communities. Shropshire is a fantastic place in which to live, work and visit, with a clean and beautiful natural environment, communities who look out for each other, whether in our rural areas or within one of our historic market towns, excellent schools, low crime and opportunity for everyone.
Shropshire Council’s vision for our communities is to continue the ‘Shropshire way’ tradition of having self-reliant communities who support one another and have access to good schools, leisure opportunities and cultural experiences. Our vision to have the healthiest population in the country starts with local people themselves. We need people to want to be more healthy, aware and incentivised to take proper care of their health, and for this to come from them rather than from us. Our role therefore involves supporting people to take responsibility to look after themselves, increasing their quality of life as well as their length of life, and reducing ill health to minimise demand and dependency on public services.
Shropshire is a Conservative run authority with 43 of the 74 Elected Members being Conservative. There are 9 Labour councillors, 14 Liberal Democrats, 4 Green and 4 Independents.
Shropshire Council was established following the abolition of five former District Councils and a County Council in 2009. Shropshire also has 153 Town and Parish Councils. Shrewsbury Town Council is one of the largest Town Council’s in the UK, however, there are many Parish Councils covering just a few hundred households. Consequently, there is a vast difference in the ambition and capability of Town and Parish Councils due to the disparity in population, geographic scale and resources each Council serves. This is considered to be a virtue and we recognise that ‘one size does not fit all’.
Our council plan (attached) is entitled Innovate to thrive.
This Corporate Plan for Shropshire Council is about visibly demonstrating that we understand that economic growth is unlikely to be achieved without support for our communities, including the right homes and schools and healthcare. Our communities equally are unlikely to survive and thrive in the long-term without the right transport and digital infrastructure being put in place at local, regional and national level to support economic growth, and the education and employment opportunities being created that they need, to skill them for life and through life. People also need and deserve a quality of life whereby they have access to fresh air and green spaces, benefit from a clean environment, and can contribute to preserving the natural and historic environment in which we live and work here in the beautiful rural county of Shropshire.
More people with a suitable home - The Council are working with developers to shape the housing market to ensure the development of housing to meet local need. We are managing our Housing Stock through appropriate vehicles and working with partners to improve and ensure the availability of social housing.
Care for those in need at any age - The Council will ensure that children and young people are safe and fulfil their potential in their future lives. We are harnessing innovation in technology to help people to be as independent as they can be and live and take part in their communities. We will work with partners and providers to ensure that the right care is available in the right place at the right time.
A good place to do business - The Council will work with businesses and developers to identify and pursue appropriate opportunities for investment that will grow Shropshire’s economy. We will work with partners in business, training and education to create employment and career opportunities in Shropshire for all.
A healthy environment - The Council will ensure that its infrastructure and assets are as efficient and environmentally sensitive as they can be to reduce environmental pollution. We will work with partners to maintain Shropshire’s landscapes, culture and heritage to support good health, communities and growth of the economy. Contributing to positive lifestyle choices and in doing so provide information, advice and opportunities for health and well-being.
Sustainable places and communities - The Council will continue to encourage communities to support each other and find local solutions. We will work with Town and Parish Councils to identify opportunities and develop local economies across Shropshire, centred on the market towns.
Embrace our rurality - The Council will continue to influence improvement in mobile and digital connectivity across all areas, for all age groups, and homes and businesses. We will continue to work with partners from across the West Midlands and into Mid-Wales to improve physical connectivity to the benefit of all those who live, study and work in Shropshire. Continue to work across the business sectors which operate in rural areas to facilitate economic growth and appropriate housing for rural communities.