ALMOST a fifth of people believe improving local shops is the most urgent issue in North Shropshire, according to a survey.

A survey by the think tank Demos asked 20,000 adults in parliamentary constituencies across Great Britain to choose which one of nine issues most urgently needs improving in their local area.

In North Shropshire, 19 per cent of residents chose good local shops.

This was followed by good transport services (18 per cent), and premises to support local jobs (14 per cent).

This mirrored the national picture, with the same three issues also the most pressing across Britain.

In North Shropshire, an estimated 27 per cent of residents think that the provision of facilities they consider most important is nearer to 'bad' than 'good' – compared to the national average of 25 per cent.

Demos said prioritising retailers was particularly prevalent in more built-up areas, while rural communities were more likely to see a lack of quality transport as a problem.

The think-tank has urged the government to reflect on its research as it considers how best to spend the £4.8 billion earmarked for a levelling-up fund to reduce inequality across the UK.