THE leader of Shropshire Council has emphatically dismissed any suggestions the authority will be forced to merge with Telford & Wrekin Council.

Speculation has been rife in recent weeks that the two councils would rejoin after becoming separate unitary authorities in 2009, but Shrewsbury & Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski believes Telford &Wrekin Council should be abolished.

Last week, Mr Kawczynski reportedly stated he was meeting legal experts on whether he could have the council abolished, leading to a public spat with Telford MP Lucy Allan.

But Peter Nutting, leader of Shropshire Council, took the unusual step of releasing a statement to confirm to Shropshire residents that he would block all attempts to merge the two councils together once more.

“Following recent press reports I would like to clarify that Shropshire Council has absolutely no intention of seeking any amalgamation with Telford & Wrekin Council,” he said.

“Shropshire Council is a very busy council with a great record of providing top level adult and children’s social services and has a variety of capital projects in the pipeline.

“The council is working hard to ensure that economic development is a priority in the county so as to maintain the high levels of employment currently enjoyed.

“Shropshire is unique, with huge amounts of green open space and many delightful market towns, but it has very little in common with the Telford area.

“Telford has its own character but it is different to Shropshire and there seems little logic in trying to join the two areas under one umbrella.

“The two councils do work together behind the scenes providing some joint services, including fire and rescue, but the current arrangements work extremely well and there is no intention to extend that relationship in any way.

“There are some areas of disagreement, including the future of health and hospital services, but I can see no benefit in trying to force the two councils together.

“Shropshire Council will resist any attempt to encourage them to join with Telford & Wrekin Council.”

Last week, Mr Kawczynski said: “As long as there is a Conservative government I will do whatever I can to ensure it is abolished because it is now having a serious detrimental impact on healthcare for Shropshire.”

Writing on Twitter he added: “Seeking legal, financial and constitutional advice from key local and national stake-holders as to how we present an iron-clad business case to government for the abolition of Telford Council.”

Mr Kawczynski also tabled six questions in the House of Commons on Monday relating to the subject, but is still awaiting answers.