Council Leaders agree to continue working together where there is benefit to Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin communities
The Leaders of Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council met last month (June 2017) following the recent local and national elections. It was recognised that there is already a great deal of co-operation between the two councils on a range of services where this enables high quality and efficiency at low cost. The two Leaders agreed that this should continue where there is benefit and advantage to our communities.
The Leaders agreed that there is no prospect of the two councils merging. They recognised that each council is working with a completely different set of circumstances. Telford and Wrekin has a mainly urban population with a large and growing urban core, which contrasts with Shropshire which is extremely rural.
Peter Nutting, Leader of Shropshire Council, said:
“The two councils have very different challenges and different political control, yet there are a number of areas in which we work together very productively. Although we may not agree politically, we must be pragmatic and co-operate when it is reasonable and possible to do so. I see no advantage in spending time and effort pursuing a merger of the two councils when there are much more important issues to tackle, including growing our economies, which are much more likely to deliver outcomes for our communities and improve the finances of each council.”
Shaun Davies, Leader of Telford and Wrekin Council, said:
“We both recognise the differences between our councils, the areas and populations we serve.
“However, there will continue to be opportunities to co-operate very closely, because this is the right thing to do to ensure that we deliver the best and most effective services possible for our residents.
“Just as in Shropshire, we have absolutely no appetite for merger with any other council.
“The progress that Telford and Wrekin Council has made in attracting investment and growing its economy since it was formed 19 years ago is proof of how a single voice for our area and its needs is vital.”