Shropshire

Shropshire Council plans to reduce capital projects

Spending on some projects in Shropshire may not go ahead as the council attempts to save £39.7m following government funding cuts.

Schemes proposed to be removed from the current spending plan include upgrade work at Shrewsbury Crematorium and a "transport hub" in Ludlow.

Another suggestion is to cancel work to improve access at Rowley's House museum in Shrewsbury.

The new capital strategy will be considered at a meeting on Tuesday.

The council's capital spending will amount to almost £95m in the 2010/11 financial year, and just over £171m from 2011/12 to 2014/15.

A council spokesman said other schemes were proposed to still go ahead.

'Severe reductions'

Council leader Keith Barrow said the spending was a clear indication of the council's commitment to investing in the local economy, despite "severe reductions" in government funding.

The proposed spending for the next four years has been reduced by £39.7m from original proposals set out in 2010.

The schemes proposed to go ahead include the refurbishment of Shrewsbury Music Hall refurbishment, work to build the Market Drayton inner relief road and improvements to broadband provision.

Councillor Barrow said: "The capital schemes being undertaken by the council represent a real investment in Shropshire.

"Although we are having to remove some projects from the strategy due to cuts in government funding, I think the fact we are investing £171.4m over the next four years is fantastic news for residents and businesses."

He added one of the reasons they were proposing to remove some schemes was because a large proportion of them were going to be funded by prudential borrowing.

He said the interest on that borrowing would ultimately be paid by council tax payers, and he thought it would be "irresponsible" for the council to spend over and above its means during "tough economic times".

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