Shropshire Local expands to support rural communities
Shropshire Local is expanding its services to rural communities across Shropshire and in the south of the county by launching two further pilot schemes.
Shropshire Local Ludlow will be launching on Monday 13 September at Ludlow Library, and Shropshire Local Mobile will follow on.
Both schemes are aimed to make the council more accessible to people and make it easier for those in rural communities to find out more about local support services and how best to access them.
Our friendly and experienced team will be on hand to provide a listening ear, advice and information to residents. Staff will talk to people about how they can access the services they need from the council and other organisations and can also demonstrate how to access these online.
Shropshire Local Mobile will utilise the existing mobile library bus routes and will stop at specific rural locations across the county. The intention is to provide access to more remote and rural parts of the county without libraries or similar facilities, where residents may otherwise struggle to connect to council services.
Shropshire is a large and rural county, the second largest inland county in England, with a population density of just 1 person per hectare. As of 2019 around 57% of Shropshire’s population of 323,136 people live in villages, hamlets and dwellings dispersed throughout the countryside.
This can be a challenge for those who live in the county’s most rural areas in terms of access to information and support from the local authority.
Cecilia Motley, Cabinet Member for Communities, Place, Tourism and Transport said:
“We know it’s so important for us to be as accessible as possible to our most rural communities. To respond to this challenge, we will be extending our Shropshire Local service by having Shropshire Local advisors at our Ludlow Library and on our mobile library vans in due course, to offer advice and information to those living in rural areas across the county.
“Shropshire Local will be visiting rural locations each week and will help put the council at the heart of our communities and helps us engage with more people.
“This will be a trial scheme and it’s hoped this will help the council reach more local people, make it easier for people to find out more about services provided by the council and its partners, and support them to access these.”
“As we develop the Shropshire Local programme we will look to include more locations in the next phase of our plans, and consider how we expand the service for wider reach into communities across the county. At a time when public sector finances are exceptionally stretched, our pilot stage will allow us to test the benefits of this approach, and how best to structure, equip and staff it, before taking it further. We therefore very much welcome customer views on the service as it develops.”
Shropshire Local Ludlow opening hours will be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9.30am – 5pm. You can view the walk-through video here.
Both schemes will run for 3 months after which Shropshire Council will review their use.
To find out more about Shropshire Local Ludlow, visit our website here.