The temporary library in Whitchurch Library’s garage will close on Thursday 17 April 2014 at 4pm to allow the staff to move resources back into the main library.
Due to building work it will be necessary for the library to close for a temporary period from Thursday 17 April 2014 until the week commencing Monday 28 April 2014 – exact reopening date to be confirmed.
Return items can be left in Whitchurch Heritage Centre whilst the library is closed.
We apologise for any inconvenience which is caused by this essential building work.
Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for leisure, libraries and culture, said:
“We wish to thank our customers for their understanding whilst this building work is being completed.”
Shropshire Council’s public protection service has revealed that two retailers have failed to improve on their recent poor performance, when tested for the second time in recent weeks to determine whether they would sell alcohol to under 18s.
Visits were made to a number of shops that had made illegal sales in February 2014. Of the four that were revisited, two again sold alcohol in the form of cans of lager and cider to a 16-year-old boy. The retailers who sold were in Shrewsbury and Whitchurch. In both cases, the young person was served, without any challenge, by the owner and licence holder of the shops concerned; as a result, they may now face the possibility of losing their licence to sell alcohol.
A further sale was made at a recently-opened off-licence in Albrighton. This premises was targeted following a tip-off from police. On this occasion the owner and licence holder even offered to sell the volunteer a greater quantity of alcohol, as the lager he had chosen was on special offer.
Frances Darling, Shropshire Council’s service manager for safer and stronger communities within the public protection service, said:
“We are alarmed by the significant failures made by the owners and premises licence holders who directly made the sales to our volunteer. Whilst two of the original sellers appear to have learned from their experiences in the last round of test-purchases, the fact that neither of the other two venues that were revisited applied the most basic of checks for identification suggests that they may be unwilling, or unable, to undertake their duties responsibly. For that reason we are investigating the circumstances that have led to these sales and they may find that their licence to sell alcohol is reviewed and potentially suspended, amended or even revoked.
“To also find that a further retailer engaged with our volunteer as he queued to pay for his alcohol and actually offered him twice as much for a bargain price, instead of checking that he was of a legal age to make his purchase, is just quite astonishing. Along with the other licensees who sold to our volunteer, he has been issued with a fixed penalty notice by our police colleagues from the Safer Neighbourhood Teams and warned about his conduct. I cannot stress enough the importance of introducing and implementing systems of work that contribute to and support the key aims and objectives of the Licensing Act 2003, such as the simple task of asking for ID to check the age of any young person who appears to be under the age of 25; the vast majority of retailers are able to do this as a matter of course, and this needs to be delivered 100% across the board. Whilst we are always willing to work with and advise Shropshire businesses to help them trade within the law, there does come a point when an advisory approach is not sufficient, and we have to take a more robust enforcement line to drive home the message that selling alcohol to children is simply not acceptable.”
Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member responsible for public protection, said:
“Holding a premises licence is a privilege, and not an automatic right that is granted just because you are an owner or a manager of a retail premises. The grant of a premises licence carries with it a range of responsibilities, including preventing crime and disorder and protecting children from harm. Both of these core aims are seriously undermined by selling alcohol to children who can become a danger to themselves and others as well as potentially contributing to the anti-social behaviour that harms the quality of life that Shropshire residents are entitled to expect. If retailers cannot be trusted to sell alcohol responsibly, then it is absolutely right that our public protection service should challenge those retailers and their privilege to hold a premises licence to sell alcohol, and to present to councillors the options available to them through licence reviews, including revocation, as a mechanism to prevent sales of alcohol to our children.”
Shropshire Council encourages individuals to contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06 if they have any suspicions that offences may be being committed. Information can be given anonymously and will always be treated in line with the council’s information governance policies.
Shropshire-based traders who wish to seek further advice on their consumer protection legal obligations or who wish to report any suspicions that offences may be being committed by other businesses can do so by contacting public protection’s business support and locality working team on 0345 678 9000; general business advice and support can be found on the council’s website at http://shropshire.gov.uk/business/.
People will be able to use their mobile phone to pay for parking at some Shrewsbury car parks under a new scheme being trialled by Shropshire Council.
The cashless payment system is available at the short stay car parks in Bridge Street, St Austin’s and The Tannery, and in the Frankwell Main long stay car park.
Details on how to register to pay using a mobile phone, or Internet-enabled tablet, has been displayed on information signs in each of the car parks from Monday 7 April 2014.
To start using the service, drivers need to register their vehicle’s registration number, location code of the car park and payment details - it is then very quick and easy to pay using the same details in future.
A service charge of 10 pence is added to the parking charge for customers wishing to pay in this way, which is normal practice where the cashless payment system is used elsewhere in the country.
Claire Wild, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for highways and transport, said:
“We are trialling this system in response to requests from businesses to make car parking as flexible and easy as possible, so we hope it will prove popular.
“The 10 pence service charge does not go to the council, it is an administrative charge made by the service provider, and is very common where this system is used in other parts of the country.
“Ultimately, this is about giving people more choice about how to pay for parking, so if you don’t always have the right amount of change available, you can still park and visit the wonderful shops and attractions that Shrewsbury has to offer.
“We will be monitoring how much the cashless payment system is used during the trial to see if it should be introduced on a permanent basis, and potentially at more car parks. We would welcome feedback from anyone who uses the service, and comments can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The trial started on Monday 7 April 2014 and will run for 12 months.
Shropshire’s first ever neighbourhood plan referendum will take place in Much Wenlock on Thursday 22 May 2014.
Poll cards are being sent to about 2,300 electors in the Much Wenlock parish, giving them the right to vote on whether the neighbourhood plan should be formally adopted as planning policy or not.
The question being posed in the referendum is: “Do you want Shropshire Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Much Wenlock to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area.”
Supporting information can be viewed on the Shropshire Council website at: http://shropshire.gov.uk/democracy/voting-and-elections/much-wenlock-neighbourhood-plan-referendum/
The information is also available at the following places:
Claire Porter, counting officer for the referendum, said:
“We would urge everyone to use their democratic right and take the opportunity to vote. But in order to vote, you need to be on the Register of Electors, so if you are not registered you won’t be able to have your say.
“The deadline for registering to vote is Tuesday 6 May 2014, and you can contact the Shropshire Council elections team on 0345 678 9015 if you are unsure whether you are registered or not.
“People can also apply for a postal vote up until 5pm on 7 May 2014, and the deadline for applying for a proxy vote is 5pm on 14 May 2014.”
For more information email email@example.com or call 0345 678 9015.
The Much Wenlock Neighbourhood Plan referendum takes place on the same day as the European election, which is being held in the UK on Thursday 22 May 2014.
Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm across Shropshire, with people living in the Much Wenlock parish being able to vote in the neighbourhood plan referendum as well as the European election.
Shropshire, along with 29 other council areas which make up the West Midlands region, is due to elect seven MEPs to represent the region.
For more information about the European election, visit the Shropshire Council website here: http://shropshire.gov.uk/democracy/voting-and-elections/european-election-2014/
Plans are progressing to develop a new university for Shropshire as partners look at the best ways to create a Higher Education Institution that will provide unprecedented opportunities for students and the county.
The University of Chester has worked with Shropshire Council and ip&e, the Shropshire Council owned company, to develop a compelling vision for a university for Shropshire.
The institution will be created through support and guidance from the University of Chester in its early days, but it will, in time, seek its own self-governing status and ultimately become a free-standing university.
Shropshire Council and the University of Chester have held an extremely constructive planning event (early April 2014) to discuss a variety of practical elements relating to the establishment of the university.
The first meeting of the project’s Advisory Board has also taken place, with members including prominent members of the community.
Keith Barrow, Leader of Shropshire Council, said:
“It’s great to see these exciting plans progressing. What came through foremost at this week’s planning event was the enthusiasm and commitment from everyone working together on the development of this new Higher Education Institution for Shropshire.
“Our vision is for a university for Shropshire, with a high-quality research, teaching and learning environment, enabling us to retain talent in Shropshire, that will act as a catalyst for economic growth.”
Keith added that as the business case develops, partners were progressing and evaluating options for several sites in the Shrewsbury town centre area with accessible buildings and facilities, which would incorporate an ‘Education Quarter,’ including the council-owned Rowley’s House and Tannery building, to provide the range of functions required by students.
“This is a significant investment for the future of Shropshire and over the next few months there will be a lot of activity to look at all the options available to create an exceptional Higher Education Institution that will be highly differentiated nationally and internationally, with an identity reflecting the values and ambitions of Shropshire.”
Professor Tim Wheeler, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Chester, added:
“This forward-thinking collaborative project has been highlighted by David Willetts, the Universities Minister, as an example of best practice for areas where higher education provision could be expanded.
“The curriculum will complement what is currently provided in Shropshire, will be linked to key industrial and commercial sectors in the county, and will equip graduates with the skills to succeed in the workplace of the future, whatever career path they follow, by stimulating and inspiring entrepreneurial behaviour.”
Shropshire Council last year exchanged the freehold for the Wakeman School site in Shrewsbury for the freehold title of the former Shrewsbury Sixth Form College’s Study Centre on St Austin’s Street (the Tannery) and part of the adjacent Tannery car park.
Shropshire Council’s leisure services team has launched a new opportunity for women to play rounders in a ‘just-for-fun’ environment. Women are encouraged to turn up and have a go regardless of age, experience or fitness levels.
With funding from Rounders England, people are able to enjoy these sessions every Thursday evening throughout the summer at Oswestry Cricket Club, Morda Road, from 6.30pm – 7.30pm. The first session will be on Thursday 15 May 2014.
There will also be an opportunity for ladies that attend the first session to take part in some golf activity provided by Oswestry Golf Club, as part of the National Golf Month campaign “Get Golfing – May 2014″.
For more information please contact Emma Tomkins in leisure services: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01743 255095.
The success of an initiative to help people with learning disabilities find work is being celebrated – and more employers are being encouraged to get involved.
Enable is part of Shropshire Council, and works with employers to support adults with learning disabilities find meaningful employment.
The service held a celebration of achievement and recognition on Thursday 3 April 2014 at The Shrewsbury Club to mark the achievements of the people it has worked with over the past year.
Team members who support people with learning disabilities into employment wanted to celebrate their clients’ achievements and also thank the employers who have worked with them.
Lee Chapman, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult services – transformation and safeguarding, said Enable was an important service.
“The event was a great success and was attended by a range of employers from across Shropshire. It was good to see some new employers coming along wanting to get involved, and I would urge all employers to find out more about this excellent scheme.
“The Shrewsbury Club, where the event was held, is one of Enable’s employer partners and their staff member, James Nightingale, loves working there. James was one of Enable’s clients who gave a short presentation outlining his journey to employment.”
Tracey Newell, from Enable, added:
“We hope this event will encourage more employers to work with us. Without the support from our employer partners, our clients would not have made the progress they have made. We have worked with some great teams from organisations across Shropshire who have gone out of their way to help our clients learn their role and progress.”
If any employers are interested in working with Enable, call 01743 276900 for more information.
Shropshire Council’s public protection service has been taking action to target rogue traders as part of a week-long national enforcement and awareness initiative.
Operation Rogue Trader is an annual week of activity co-ordinated by Operation Liberal, the national distraction burglary intelligence unit, the Trading Standards Institute (TSI) and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).
Rogue traders are individuals or groups of people who cold-call householders, often targeting vulnerable residents, claiming to be a bona fide business and purporting to offer services, most commonly buildings maintenance and repair.
The offenders charge excessive fees for the work, yet the work that is carried out is either substandard or not carried out at all.
Across the UK, police forces, trading standards officials and partner agencies have undertaken a wide range of work to identify and arrest rogue traders, to disrupt the activity of rogue trading and to make communities aware of this type of crime.
That includes everything from carrying out works vehicle checks and inspecting local employers, to recovering property and delivering crime prevention messages.
So far this week (Monday 7 April 2014 to Friday 11 April 2014) public protection officers and West Mercia Police have carried out a series of neighbourhood patrols across the county and taken part in a multi-agency vehicle check. In Shrewsbury, a local man known to public protection officers and with convictions for doorstep selling and fraud offences was stopped by police en route to a job. The van he was using had no insurance or tax and was seized by police, and the man will be reported for motoring offences.
Elsewhere, checks have been carried out on dozens of traders stopped during the patrols and at a multi-agency roadside check in Craven Arms. Whilst most have proved to be legitimate traders, others have been warned as to their trading practices and advised how to trade within the law.
As well as the patrols and trader checks, training materials have been given to banks, to help raise awareness of the issue and to assist them to identify potential victims of doorstep crime.
Frances Darling, service manager for public protection’s safer and stronger communities, said:
“This is another example of the excellent partnership work that public protection officers, West Mercia Police and other agencies do to disrupt and deter rogue traders from targeting Shropshire residents. Sadly, some traders will still prey on the vulnerable. Remember, doorstep crime is not only restricted to driveway work, gardening, roofing and guttering scams, these criminals will also make a telephone call first to make appointments to sell other products or services, including overpriced mobility aids, beds, alarm systems, solar panels and more.”
Public protection’s advice to consumers is always:-
Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member responsible for public protection, said:
“Tackling rogue traders is a priority for our public protection team; unscrupulous rogues and distraction burglars can have a devastating impact on people’s lives, and their activities are often linked to a vast network of crime. Partnership working is an integral part of tackling the scourge of rogue traders – work that is carried out relentlessly by numerous agencies throughout the year. Initiatives like Operation Rogue Trader provide an important opportunity to raise awareness and to empower consumers to say no to cold-callers.”
Steve Playle, the Trading Standards Institute’s lead officer for doorstep crime, said:
“Operation Rogue Trader is a fantastic initiative that brings together trading standards officers and police officers in order to tackle the menace of criminals who cause enormous emotional distress and massive financial detriment to so many householders across the country. The activities of cold-calling home maintenance rogues are often linked to the activities of distraction burglars and all the evidence shows that it is the elderly and vulnerable who are deliberately targeted by this crime. The simple message from trading standards is to always say ‘no’ to any traders offering to carry out work who unexpectedly turn up on your doorstep.”
Deputy Chief Constable Peter Goodman, strategic director of Operation Liberal, said:
“I’m delighted that West Mercia Police has been participating in Operation Rogue Trader this week. The operation has become a well-established week of partnership activity, co-ordinated by Operation Liberal and the Trading Standards Institute.
“Rogue trading is a pattern of offending which deliberately targets the most vulnerable members of our communities, and most often the elderly. Rogue traders can often travel considerable distances and between force areas to carry out their crimes.
“Offenders can be both plausible and intimidating in order to convince their victims to pay prices which are often well above what should normally be charged and certainly does not reflect the work that is carried out, if it is carried out at all.
“We need to get crime prevention messages about rogue trading not just to householders, but to whole communities as well as to relatives and friends, particularly of elderly residents. The golden rule is that if you are not sure who is at the door, don’t open it. If you have any suspicions at all about cold-callers or traders operating in your community, please call your police force on 101.”
* Calls to 101 cost 15p for the entire call from both mobile phones and landlines
** Please note some mobile phone service providers may charge for this call.
Trading Standards Institute (TSI)
TSI is a training and membership organisation that has represented the interests of the trading standards profession since 1881 nationally and internationally. They aim to raise the profile of the profession while working towards fairer, better informed and safer consumer and business communities.
TSI’s members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in councils and in businesses. www.tradingstandards.gov.uk
All forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are members of Operation Liberal. Operation Liberal supports national investigations into distraction burglaries and doorstep crime, and associated travelling criminality (please note that this should not be confused with the traveller community).
The unit identifies and analyse crime series and monitors intelligence on criminals and organised crime groups who travel throughout the UK to commit these crime types.
This collaborative approach solves more crimes and sends a message to the criminals who commit this type of crime that they will face a nationally co-ordinated investigation and as a result they can expect significant sentences.
Operation Liberal works with many partner agencies including Water UK, Energy UK, Trading Standards, Crimestoppers and the Home Office.
Victims of distraction burglary and rogue trading tend to be elderly and vulnerable and can suffer terribly both emotionally and physically after an offence.