AN UNDER-THREAT group of Shropshire Council officers have been championed as an example of how the whole authority should work.

It was revealed last week that funding for the Community Enablement Team (CET) will be withdrawn from April 2019.

But Councillor Lezley Picton, portfolio holder for Culture and Leisure, has voiced her concerns at their loss.

Speaking at Monday's joint meeting of Loton, Longden Ford & Rea Valley, and Tern & Severn Valley Local Joint Committees (LJCs), Cllr Picton said: “I was very concerned [to learn] that we were going to lose the skills and, far more, the way that the CET work as a way the whole of the council should work.

“They know no boundaries, no silos; they do what they have to do to get things done.

“They are a brilliant example of how community working should be.”

Cllr Joyce Barrow, portfolio holder for Communities, told members last week that the loss of funding for the team was “necessary”.

But she said the council is looking at alternatives and it is expected they will continue in a reduced form with a “newly-defined purpose”.

Cllr Picton confirmed workshops will be taking place over the summer with councillors and officers, and a report is expected in the autumn.

The team works closely with organisations, charities and local councils, and are also the leads for Shropshire’s 22 LJCs which are also under review.

A task and finish group has been established to look at the committees with a view to basing them on place plan areas.

That report will come back to the Communities Overview Committee in November.

Cllr Picton said: “Community enablement officers are absolutely vital in that role.”

Cllr Ed Potter, who chaired last night’s meeting, added: “The support we receive from these officers is invaluable.”