It's your letter's from Wednesday September 9...

Shirehall building belongs to us all and must be preserved for future?

To THE surprise of many people, Shropshire Council has ‘quietly’ applied to stop our Shirehall becoming a listed building.

A group who appreciate the proud Shropshire Shirehall and its striking yet considerate architecture have formed ‘Save Our Shirehall’ .

We want to ensure the building continues to serve local needs for public and staff as it has done so well for 54 years.

For both staff and public the Shirehall has the potential to safely accommodate the office part of the new home/office work balance influenced by the Covid-19 risk.

If the council’s application of July 20 is successful it means Shropshire’s Shirehall cannot be listed for a period of five years.

This would mean that our council could sell the Shirehall or demolish it for redevelopment.

We appreciate that modern architecture is ‘Marmite’ to some tastes but the Shirehall, besides being Shropshire’s civic centre, is a very fine example of post war modern architecture and should be protected by listing by Historic England.

Many staff express their pleasure working collectively in teams in well designed spacious and light offices.

Architectural styles come and go and in future years the Shirehall could be seen as a much-treasured example of late twentieth century architecture.

Shropshire Council has stated publicly its ambition to be a more commercial organisation and our Shirehall is one county asset at risk.

The Royal Institute of British Architects editor Hugh Pearman has said ‘we are at moment now when to demolish a perfectly good and refurbish-able large building is highly irresponsible.’

Rule number one: don’t throw good buildings away.

We understand that council Shirehall staff, whose offices are on the first two floors, have been instructed to clear their work spaces before September 12.

The council’s actions are far too hasty at a time when all office based work should be sensitively assessed to see what balance can be brought between solitary home working and safe office working.

We fear the council’s hasty directions to staff are causing significant upset among some staff who are already suffering from isolation from solitary working and their lack of human contact with their work colleagues.

Shropshire Council’s process leading to its application to Historic England for a ‘Certificate of Immunity’ is opaque at best and invisible at worst.

The council should withdraw its application and provide an open process through which councillors, Shropshire people and interested bodies can debate the future of this significant modern building which really belongs to the people of Shropshire.

John Crowe,

Save Our Shirehall

Great to have our local cinema back and congratulations to hosts

On SUNDAY I went to the Kinokulture Cinema to see Kinky Boots

I had a most enjoyable afternoon and would like to congratulate Ian, Ruth and all their helpers for the superb job they have done to reopen the cinema.

I felt safe and comfortable and their arrangements for Covid were spot on and did not spoil the atmosphere.

Well done, thank you and welcome back Kinokulture – we have missed you.

Chris Hughes,


An open letter to Owen Paterson MP

Dear Mr Paterson,

I’m writing to you in response to the announcement overnight that the government will seek to renege on the European Union Withdrawal Agreement that it negotiated and signed only a year ago.

I’m frankly astounded that any responsible government would consider a course of action that would damage the international reputation of the United Kingdom so badly.

In particularly at a time when we will be urgently seeking to negotiate trade deals across the globe.

An Englishman’s word should be his bond.

Indeed our international reputation in modern times has been built upon our proud history of ‘doing the right thing’ under desperate circumstances.

Boris Johnson’s inability to keep his word is an embarrassment to all of us.

He certainly does not represent my values of honesty and fair-play.

More seriously, the ramifications of reneging on international agreements, negotiated freely and in good faith, are profound.

No other country could be expected to trust the signature of the UK Prime Minister in future.

This has the potential to affect not just negotiation of trade deals, but destroy our ability to hold foreign powers to account.

We will be truly diminished.

Inevitably we must also turn to the issue of Brexit.

I’m sure no-one needs reminding that almost exactly a year ago, Mr Johnson told the Irish Taoiseach that No Deal would ‘be a failure’.

Michael Gove told the National Farmers Union that No Deal will ‘severely disrupt’ the UK farming industry.

As the Road Haulage Association warns of chaos at our ports, we find the government is planning for power cuts, water rationing, and food and medicine shortages.

Boris Johnson won a Conservative majority in the General Election campaign of only nine months ago, by asking the electorate to approve the Withdrawal Agreement and insisting that a Brexit deal was ‘oven-ready’.

Evidently it was just another set of lies, but there is simply no mandate to ignore the electorate on this issue.

I urge you to consider the promises you made during your campaign to be re-elected in December, and the impact of the proposed legislation on the lives of your constituents, and to vote against it when it is presented to Parliament.

Helen Morgan

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for North Shropshire