Shropshire Council

Shropshire Council is the local authority of Shropshire (excluding Telford and Wrekin) in England. It is a unitary authority, having the powers of a non-metropolitan county and district council combined.

It replaced the former two-tier local government structure in the non-metropolitan county of Shropshire on 1 April 2009, which involved its immediate predecessor, Shropshire County Council, and five non-metropolitan district councilsBridgnorth District Council, North Shropshire District Council, Oswestry Borough Council, Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council and South Shropshire District Council. These districts and their councils were abolished in the reorganisation.[3]

The area covered by Shropshire Council is 3,197 square kilometres, or 1,234 square miles. This is 91.7% of the ceremonial county of Shropshire, with the remainder being covered by the other unitary authority in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Council, which was established as a unitary authority in 1998. Shropshire is located in the West Midlands region of England, on the border with Wales.

The council's seat is at Shirehall in Shrewsbury, the largest town (with a population of 70,600) in the unitary authority's area and historic county town of Shropshire. The council, however, has numerous offices across the county and area committees meet in the former district headquarters at Oswestry, Wem, Ludlow and Bridgnorth. The area covered by Shropshire Council is rural, with the second largest town being Oswestry with a population of just 16,600. Prior to the 2009 reorganisation, Shropshire was the least populated two-tier area in England.

Shropshire Council
Arms of Shropshire Council
Coat of arms
Shropshire Council logo
Council logo
Type
Type
History
Founded1 April 2009
Preceded byShropshire County Council
Leadership
Chair of the Council
Ann Hartley[1], Conservative
since 18 May 2017
Leader of the Council
Cllr Peter Nutting[2], Conservative
since 15 May 2017
Chief executive
Clive Wright
Structure
Seats74 councillors
Shropshire Council composition
Political groups
Administration
     Conservative (49)

Other parties

     Liberal Democrat (12)
     Labour (8)
     Independent (4)
     Green (1)
Elections
First past the post
Last election
4 May 2017
Next election
6 May 2021
Motto
Floreat Salopia
(May Shropshire Flourish)
Meeting place
Council Chamber, Shire Hall, Shrewsbury - geograph.org.uk - 1236320
Shirehall, Shrewsbury
Website
www.shropshire.gov.uk

History

Shropshire Council came into being when the area for which Shropshire County Council was previously responsible for converted to unitary status. The replacement of the two-tier system, which had been established in 1974, of five district councils and one county council, was part of the 2009 structural changes to local government in England. The county council became the continuing authority, though the change to unitary status led to the council dropping the word "County" from its title. Similar conversions occurred in 2009 in Cornwall, Wiltshire, County Durham and Northumberland.

The logo for Shropshire Council is the former county council coat of arms with "Shropshire Council" written to the side, in white and blue.[4]

Background

New Shropshire Ceremonial Numbered
The ceremonial county and unitary authorities from 1 April 2009; the larger "Shropshire" unitary authority (1) and Telford and Wrekin (2)

In 2006 a local government white paper supported proposals for new unitary authorities to be set up in England in certain areas. Existing non-metropolitan counties with small populations, such as Cornwall, Northumberland and Shropshire, were favoured by the government to be covered by unitary authorities in one form or another (the county either becoming a single unitary authority, or be broken into a number of unitary authorities). For the counties in the 2009 reorganisation, existing unitary authority areas within the counties' ceremonial boundaries (such as Telford and Wrekin) were not to be affected and no boundary changes were planned.

Shropshire County Council, supported by South Shropshire District Council and Oswestry Borough Council, proposed to the government that the non-metropolitan county of Shropshire become a single unitary authority. This was opposed by the other 3 districts in the county, with Shrewsbury & Atcham Borough Council taking their objection to the High Court in a judicial review.

The proposal to create a Shropshire unitary authority, covering the area of the existing non-metropolitan county, was supported by the DCLG and 1 April 2009 was set as the date for the re-organisation to take place. The first elections to Shropshire Council did not take place however until 4 June 2009 (the councillors of Shropshire County Council became the councillors of the new Shropshire Council in the interim period).

The new council inherited almost all of the properties and assets of the former district councils and county council (some assets were handed to the newly established Shrewsbury Town Council).

The council

The council, which is elected in full every four years, consists of 74 councillors from 53 single-member electoral divisions, nine 2-member divisions and one 3-member electoral division. In most instances the electoral division boundaries follow civil parish boundary lines, with the main exceptions being in the larger towns, where the parish contains more than one electoral division. Shrewsbury for example, which was parished in 2008 as part of the change in local governance, contains 16 electoral divisions, one of which is the sole 3-member division that also encompasses the parish of Bayston Hill.

Main positions

The council has three major positions to which councillors may be appointed:

  • Chairman – the ceremonial head of the council
  • Speaker – who chairs full council meetings
  • Leader – the leader of the controlling political group

The Leader and nine additional portfolio holders form the Cabinet. This is effectively the executive branch of the authority.

Elections

The 2017 election resulted in the election of 49 Conservative, 12 Liberal Democrat, 8 Labour and 5 others giving a Conservative majority of 24.[5]

Shropshire Council election, 2017
Party Seats Gains Losses Net gain/loss Seats % Votes % Votes +/−
  Conservative 49 3 2 +1 48.8 51,215
  Liberal Democrat 12 - 20.1 21,078
  Labour 8 -1 16.3 17,083
  Green 1 1 0 +1 7.5 7,850
  Independent 3 -1 5.2 5,426
  Health Concern 1 1.2 1,311
  UKIP 0 0.9 994
Federalist Party of the United Kingdom 0.1 79
  Total 104,986

Administration

The permanent head of the administration of the council is the chief executive – currently Clive Wright. The employees of the council are structured within services, which are themselves structured as part of directorates, each of which is headed by a permanent member of staff. There are two corporate directors – that for people and another for places, with a further three area directors, for the county's geographical subdivisions. Beneath director level there are a number of group managers, who oversee the councils individual service managers. It is the service managers who then oversee much of the council's day to day administrative functions and, with the help of their officers, provide its frontline services. Currently the service managers at Shropshire Council have responsibility for policy areas such as Shared Services, Planning and Education.

The council employs around 6,500 staff, of which around 900 are based at their main Shirehall site. Further sites used by the council are spread across the county and include, amongst others, the Guildhall in Shrewsbury and former district council properties in lesser market towns such as Bridgnorth, Wem, Oswestry and Ludlow. With major reductions in staff numbers in recent years, a re-organisation is taking place, which will see the eventual closure of the Shirehall and other local moves including planning staff moved from Ludlow to Craven Arms. The former offices of South Shropshire District Council in Ludlow (Stone House on Corve Street) closed in 2014.

Sub-divisions

Shropshire Council UK ward map 2010 (blank)
The 63 electoral divisions of Shropshire, principally used for the electing of councillors.

The area covered by the unitary authority is sub-divided into 63 electoral divisions, which are equivalent to wards. Shropshire Council established three area planning committees which deal with town and country planning matters. Originally other functions were planned to be dealt with by the committees, including licensing, but these plans never came to fruition. The area planning committees cover a geographical area based on the former (pre-2009 reform) districts of Shropshire and which consist of electoral divisions with a combined representation of 24 or 25 councillors. The councillors who represent an area's electoral divisions then form the area planning committee for that area.

The area planning committee setup is similar to the arrangements at the neighbouring Powys County Council, where the area covered is sub-divided into three areas, which were the previous (pre-merger) administrative divisions. The areas also correspond to the Westminster Parliament constituencies of Shropshire, with the North and Central areas being exactly coextensive with constituencies.

Sub-divisions of Shropshire Council
Area planning committee Former districts Meeting locations Land area (km²) Population (2007 est.) Electoral divisions Number of councillors Parliamentary constituencies
North North Shropshire and Oswestry Oswestry and Wem 935.25 100400 20 divisions 25 North Shropshire
Central Shrewsbury and Atcham Shrewsbury 601.63 96200 23 divisions 25 Shrewsbury and Atcham
South Bridgnorth and South Shropshire Bridgnorth and Ludlow 1660.43 94300 20 divisions 24 Ludlow and The Wrekin (part)

Committee meetings in the North and South areas did rotate between two meeting places in each of these areas, which were the headquarters of the former district councils, from 2009 to 2013. The Central area had just one meeting location, Shirehall, though some staff are at The Guildhall in Shrewsbury, which was the headquarters of the former borough council. Since 2013 all meetings take place at Shrewsbury's Shirehall.

The county is entirely parished, with the formerly unparished area of Shrewsbury having been parished in 2008, with a single parish covering the town. Most parishes have a parish council, with the towns having a town council (with a mayor chairing), and some less populated parishes having parish meetings instead of a council.

28 "local joint committees" exist, which consist of councillors from both Shropshire Council and the parish council(s) for the locality they cover (often a market town and its hinterland, or a part of Shrewsbury). These committees deal with a variety of very local matters.[6]

See also

References

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ Shropshire (Structural Change) Order 2008
  4. ^ "County's new logo design chosen". BBC News. 10 September 2008. Retrieved 6 July 2009.
  5. ^ "Unitary results - May 4 2017". Shropshire Council. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  6. ^ Shropshire Local Joint Committees official website

External links

2001 Shropshire County Council election

The 2001 elections to Shropshire County Council took place on 7 June 2001.

The Labour party increased its number of councillors at the expense of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. The council remained no overall control however.No boundary changes had occurred since the 1997 elections.

2005 Shropshire County Council election

The 2005 elections to Shropshire County Council (the final elections to the county council, before Shropshire became a unitary authority in 2009) took place on 5 May 2005, alongside the 2005 general election across the entire United Kingdom.

48 councillors were elected from 46 electoral divisions. The Conservatives had 6 net gains and took control of the council, which had previously been no overall control, with a majority of just 2. The Liberal Democrats also gained seats, whilst Labour lost seats, resulting in the Liberal Democrats becoming the second party. Three independent candidates were elected as councillors.

Boundary changes had occurred since the 2001 elections; the number of seats increased from 44 to 48.

2009 Shropshire Council election

Elections to Shropshire Council in England were held on 4 June 2009. These were the first elections to the new unitary body, which replaced Shropshire County Council and the district councils of Bridgnorth, North Shropshire, Oswestry, Shrewsbury and Atcham and South Shropshire on 1 April as part of the 2009 local government restructuring across England.The vote was moved from 7 May to coincide with the European Parliament elections that year.

Counting took place on 5 June at the Sundorne Sports Village in north Shrewsbury. The count was delayed by around 5 hours, resulting in Shropshire being the last local council to declare results in the 2009 local elections.In total, 74 councillors were elected from 63 newly formed electoral divisions (53 single member divisions, nine 2-member divisions and one 3-member electoral division). The Conservatives won overall control, with 54 councillors elected resulting in a substantial majority of 34. The Liberal Democrats came second with 11 councillors elected, and Labour third with 7 councillors. In addition, the Independent Community and Health Concern candidate in Cleobury Mortimer and one independent candidate were also elected.Average voter turnout was 42.5% across Shropshire.Because of the council's unitary status, all divisions are up for election at once, every four years. The next Shropshire Council election took place on 2 May 2013.

2013 Shropshire Council election

Elections to Shropshire Council were held on 2 May 2013 as part of the 2013 United Kingdom local elections. These were the second elections to the unitary authority created as part of local government restructuring in Shropshire, following on from the previous elections in 2009. All 74 seats in the 63 electoral divisions (consisting of 53 single member divisions, nine 2-member divisions and one 3-member electoral division) were up for election across Shropshire. At the same time, all town and parish council contested elections took place, most notably including Shrewsbury Town Council.The Conservative party retained control of the Council, though with a slightly reduced majority, with 3 fewer seats compared to just prior to the election.

All locally registered electors (British, Irish, Commonwealth and European Union citizens) who were aged 18 or over on Thursday 2 May 2013 were entitled to vote in the local elections. Those who were temporarily away from their ordinary address (for example, away working, on holiday, in student accommodation or in hospital) were also entitled to vote in the local elections.

2017 Shropshire Council election

The 2017 Shropshire Council election took place on 4 May 2017 as part of the 2017 local elections in the United Kingdom. All 74 councillors were elected from 63 electoral divisions which return either one, two or three councillors each by first-past-the-post voting for a four-year term of office.

Bridgnorth District Council elections

Bridgnorth was a non-metropolitan district in Shropshire, England. It was abolished on 1 April 2009 and replaced by Shropshire Council.

Church Stretton School

Church Stretton School is an 11–16 mixed secondary school with academy status in Church Stretton, Shropshire, England.Previously a community school administered by Shropshire Council, Church Stretton School converted to academy status in April 2013. The school is now part of the South Shropshire Academy Trust, along with Stokesay Primary School in Craven Arms. However both schools continue to coordinate with Shropshire Council for admissions.

Grade II* listed buildings in Shropshire

The county of Shropshire in England is divided into two unitary authorities: Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire Council. As there are 361 Grade II* listed buildings in the county they have been split into separate lists for unitary authority.

Grade II* listed buildings in Shropshire Council (A–G)

Grade II* listed buildings in Shropshire Council (H–Z)

Grade II* listed buildings in Telford and Wrekin

Lacon Childe School

Lacon Childe School is a mixed secondary school located in Cleobury Mortimer in the English county of Shropshire.Previously a community school administered by Shropshire Council, Lacon Childe School converted to academy status in October 2014. However the school continues to coordinate with Shropshire Council for admissions.

Lacon Childe School offers GCSEs, Cambridge Nationals, NVQs and ASDAN awards as programmes of study for pupils.

Lakelands Academy

Lakelands Academy (formerly The Lakelands School) is a coeducational secondary school located in Ellesmere in the English county of Shropshire.Previously a community school administered by Shropshire Council, The Lakelands School converted to academy status in December 2012. However the school continues to coordinate with Shropshire Council for admissions.

Lakelands Academy offers GCSEs and BTECs as programmes of study for pupils. In addition the school offers some vocational courses in conjunction with Walford and North Shropshire College. Pupils at Lakelands Academy also have the option to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award programme.

North Shropshire District Council elections

North Shropshire was a non-metropolitan district in Shropshire, England. It was abolished on 1 April 2009 and replaced by Shropshire Council.

Oswestry Borough Council elections

Oswestry was a non-metropolitan district in Shropshire, England. It was abolished on 1 April 2009 and replaced by Shropshire Council.

Parliamentary constituencies in Shropshire

The ceremonial county of Shropshire, England (which comprises the local/unitary authorities of Shropshire Council and Telford and Wrekin) is divided into 5 Parliamentary constituencies – 1 Borough constituency and 4 County constituencies. As per all constituencies for the House of Commons in the modern age, each constituency elects one Member of Parliament by the First Past The Post system.

Shropshire Council elections

Shropshire Council (prior to 1 April 2009, Shropshire County Council) is elected in full every four years.

The previous county council was the top-tier of local authorities in the non-metropolitan county of Shropshire, England. The new unitary authority (since 2009) is now the principal local authority of the non-metropolitan county. The county is entirely parished and elections to the town and parish councils also take place every four years – these have (as from 2013) all been aligned to coincide with the Shropshire Council elections.

In 1998, the district of Telford and Wrekin was removed from the non-metropolitan county of Shropshire, reducing the area covered and electorate of Shropshire (County) Council.

Since the last boundary changes in 2009, 74 councillors are elected from 63 electoral divisions (53 single member divisions, nine 2-member divisions and one 3-member electoral division).

South Shropshire District Council elections

South Shropshire was a non-metropolitan district in Shropshire, England. It was abolished on 1 April 2009 and replaced by Shropshire Council.

Telford and Wrekin

Telford and Wrekin is a unitary district with borough status in the West Midlands region of England. The district was created in 1974 as The Wrekin, then a non-metropolitan district of Shropshire. In 1998 the district became a unitary authority and was renamed Telford and Wrekin. It remains part of the Shropshire ceremonial county and shares institutions such as the Fire and Rescue Service and Community Health with the rest of Shropshire.

The borough's major settlement is Telford, a new town designated in the 1960s incorporating the existing towns of Dawley, Madeley, Oakengates and Wellington. The next largest population centre is Newport, a market town to the north of Telford.

The borough borders Staffordshire, but is mostly surrounded by the non-metropolitan county of Shropshire, whose unitary authority is Shropshire Council. For Eurostat purposes it is a NUTS 3 region (code UKG21) and is one of four authority areas that comprise the "Shropshire and Staffordshire" NUTS 2 region.

University Centre Shrewsbury

University Centre Shrewsbury is a Higher Education Institution in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

Established by Shropshire Council and the University of Chester, University Centre Shrewsbury opened in autumn 2014. Postgraduate students started courses in autumn 2014 and undergraduate students began degree programmes from autumn 2015.

Wem

Wem is a small market town in Shropshire, England. It is the administrative centre for the northern area committee of Shropshire Council, which has its headquarters at Edinburgh House in the centre of Wem. Wem lies nine miles to the north of Shropshire's county town of Shrewsbury and sits on the rail line between that town and Crewe in Cheshire.

Wem's civil parish is named Wem Urban. A separate civil parish in the surrounding countryside is named Wem Rural.

William Brookes School

William Brookes School is a mixed secondary school and sixth form located in Much Wenlock in the English county of Shropshire. The school is named after William Penny Brookes, a surgeon, magistrate, botanist, and educationalist from Much Wenlock especially known for inspiring the modern Olympic Games with the Wenlock Olympian Games. William Brookes School is one of 50 schools worldwide and the only school in the United Kingdom to be a Coubertin School. The school serves a community of small villages as well as the larger town of Broseley.

Previously a community school administered by Shropshire Council, William Brookes School converted to academy status in June 2013. However the school continues to coordinate with Shropshire Council for admissions. The school offers GCSEs, BTECs and vocational courses as programmes of study for pupils, while students in the sixth form have the option to study from a range of A-levels.The Edge Arts Centre is also located at William Brookes School, The centre offers cinema, theatre, dance, music, comedy, literature performances for the local community, as well as student productions.

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