Whittington Level Crossing Upgrade Work

Information from Network Rail

Overview of the work

As the current level crossing surface is life expired, we plan to replace the crossing with a much harder wearing rubber material which will reduce noise when traffic passes over it and will be easier for cyclists to cross.

Dates and times of the work

From 22.30 on Friday 30th August until 07:30 on Monday 9th September, the road at Whittington Level Crossing will be fully closed to road vehicles whilst we undertake this essential work. However, we will only be working at the crossing when trains aren’t running.

·         Preparation work

This will take place overnight on Wednesday 28th, Thursday 29th and Friday 30th August. Materials and machinery will be transported from Gobowen Yard, adjacent to Gobowen Station, down to Whittington Level Crossing.

·         Core work

This will take place:

Ø  from 23.55 on Saturday 31st August until 05:15 on Monday 2nd September

Ø  each night from Monday 2nd September to Friday 6th September (inclusive)

Ø  from 23.55 on Saturday 7th September until 05.15 on Monday 9th September

To carry out this essential work safely and effectively, we need to keep the road closed for the full nine days. Pedestrian access will be maintained across the level crossing when we are not actively working on it. 

We have developed a diversionary route in conjunction with Shropshire Council which will divert traffic via the B5009 south to Wootton. The route will be fully signposted throughout the road closure. We understand that closing the road for this length of time is inconvenient and we would like to thank the local community in advance for bearing with us during this time. Our advice to road users is to plan ahead and allow additional time for travelling.

Changes to rail services

On Sunday 1st September and Sunday 8th September, we need unrestricted access to the level crossing. During this time trains will not be running between Shrewsbury and Wrexham and there will be a rail replacement bus service in operation between the two stations. We advise all passengers to check www.nationalrail.co.uk before travelling.

Further information

I would like to invite you to a drop-in event we are holding on Tuesday 30th July between 3pm and 7pm in The Senior Citizens Hall, Whittington, Oswestry, SY11 4BW. Members of the project team will be on hand to answer any questions – no appointment is necessary. I hope to see you there.

Review of Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations Consultation


Shropshire Council is conducting a review of polling districts and polling places in accordance with the Representation of the People Act 1983 (as amended by the Electoral Administration Act 2006).
The Returning Officer for Shropshire Council will make comments on existing arrangements and suggested amendments.
In addition, representations are invited from other relevant sources such as the electors within the Ludlow, North Shropshire and Shrewsbury and Atcham Parliamentary constituencies, elected members, local political parties and organisations that have expertise in relation to access to premises for people with different forms of disability. Persons or bodies making representations about specific polling station venues should give alternative places that may be used as polling places.
This consultation period will commence on 1st July and needs to be completed in sufficient time to enable the Elections Office to make any alterations necessary to the register of electors when it is next fully revised on 1st December 2019. Therefore, all comments should be received by 12th August.
The postal address, email address and website address at which relevant information and documents can be inspected and representations made are as follows:
Postal address: Elections Office
Shropshire Council
The Shirehall
Abbey Foregate
Email address: registration@shropshire.gov.uk
Website address: http://www.shropshire.gov.uk
Please telephone 0345 678 9015 if you require further information about this review.
Claire Porter, Returning Officer, Shropshire Council

Accounts for year end 31.03.19 – Notice of Public Rights




Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 Sections 26 and 27

The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/234)

1. Date of announcement         16th June 2019 (a)
2. Each year the smaller authority’s Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) needs to be reviewed by an external auditor appointed by Smaller Authorities’ Audit Appointments Ltd.  The unaudited AGAR has been published with this notice. As it has yet to be reviewed by the appointed auditor, it is subject to change as a result of that review. Any person interested has the right to inspect and make copies of the accounting records for the financial year to which the audit relates and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, receipts and other documents relating to those records must be made available for inspection by any person interested. For the year ended 31 March 2019, these documents will be available on reasonable notice by application to:   (b)   Amy Jones, Parish Clerk and RFO to Whittington Parish Council   Hawthorn Cottage, Porthywaen, Oswestry, SY10 8LX T: 01691 829571 E: clerk@whittingtonpc.com   commencing on (c) Monday 17 June 2019     and ending on (d) Friday 26 July 2019  

3. Local government electors and their representatives also have:   The opportunity to question the appointed auditor about the accounting records; andThe right to make an objection which concerns a matter in respect of which the appointed auditor could either make a public interest report or apply to the court for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful. Written notice of an objection must first be given to the auditor and a copy sent to the smaller authority.   The appointed auditor can be contacted at the address in paragraph 4 below for this purpose between the above dates only.

4. The smaller authority’s AGAR is subject to review by the appointed auditor under the provisions of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 and the NAO’s Code of Audit Practice 2015.  The appointed auditor is:   PKF Littlejohn LLP (Ref: SBA Team) 1 Westferry Circus Canary Wharf London E14 4HD (sba@pkf-littlejohn.com)   5. This announcement is made by (e) Mrs Amy Jones, Parish Clerk & RFO  


Please note that this summary applies to all relevant smaller authorities, including local councils, internal drainage boards and ‘other’ smaller authorities.

The basic position

The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 (the Act) governs the work of auditors appointed to smaller authorities. This summary explains the provisions contained in Sections 26 and 27 of the Act. The Act and the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 also cover the duties, responsibilities and rights of smaller authorities, other organisations and the public concerning the accounts being audited.

As a local elector, or an interested person, you have certain legal rights in respect of the accounting records of smaller authorities. As an interested person you can inspect accounting records and related documents. If you are a local government elector for the area to which the accounts relate you can also ask questions about the accounts and object to them. You do not have to pay directly for exercising your rights. However, any resulting costs incurred by the smaller authority form part of its running costs. Therefore, indirectly, local residents pay for the cost of you exercising your rights through their council tax.

The right to inspect the accounting records

Any interested person can inspect the accounting records, which includes but is not limited to local electors. You can inspect the accounting records for the financial year to which the audit relates and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, receipts and other documents relating to those records. You can copy all, or part, of these records or documents. Your inspection must be about the accounts, or relate to an item in the accounts. You cannot, for example, inspect or copy documents unrelated to the accounts, or that include personal information (Section 26 (6) – (10) of the Act explains what is meant by personal information). You cannot inspect information which is protected by commercial confidentiality. This is information which would prejudice commercial confidentiality if it was released to the public and there is not, set against this, a very strong reason in the public interest why it should nevertheless be disclosed.

When smaller authorities have finished preparing accounts for the financial year and approved them, they must publish them (including on a website). There must be a 30 working day period, called the ‘period for the exercise of public rights’, during which you can exercise your statutory right to inspect the accounting records. Smaller authorities must tell the public, including advertising this on their website, that the accounting records and related documents are available to inspect. By arrangement you will then have 30 working days to inspect and make copies of the accounting records. You may have to pay a copying charge. The 30 working day period must include a common period of inspection during which all smaller authorities’ accounting records are available to inspect. This will be 1-12 July 2019 for 2018/19 accounts. The advertisement must set out the dates of the period for the exercise of public rights, how you can communicate to the smaller authority that you wish to inspect the accounting records and related documents, the name and address of the auditor, and the relevant legislation that governs the inspection of accounts and objections.

The right to ask the auditor questions about the accounting records

You should first ask your smaller authority about the accounting records, since they hold all the details. If you are a local elector, your right to ask questions of the external auditor is enshrined in law. However, while the auditor will answer your questions where possible, they are not always obliged to do so. For example, the question might be better answered by another organisation, require investigation beyond the auditor’s remit, or involve disproportionate cost (which is borne by the local taxpayer). Give your smaller authority the opportunity first to explain anything in the accounting records that you are unsure about. If you are not satisfied with their explanation, you can question the external auditor about the accounting records.

The law limits the time available for you formally to ask questions. This must be done in the period for the exercise of public rights, so let the external auditor know your concern as soon as possible. The advertisement or notice that tells you the accounting records are available to inspect will also give the period for the exercise of public rights during which you may ask the auditor questions, which here means formally asking questions under the Act. You can ask someone to represent you when asking the external auditor questions.

Before you ask the external auditor any questions, inspect the accounting records fully, so you know what they contain. Please remember that you cannot formally ask questions, under the Act, after the end of the period for the exercise of public rights. You may ask your smaller authority other questions about their accounts for any year, at any time. But these are not questions under the Act.

You can ask the external auditor questions about an item in the accounting records for the financial year being audited. However, your right to ask the external auditor questions is limited. The external auditor can only answer ‘what’ questions, not ‘why’ questions. The external auditor cannot answer questions about policies, finances, procedures or anything else unless it is directly relevant to an item in the accounting records. Remember that your questions must always be about facts, not opinions. To avoid misunderstanding, we recommend that you always put your questions in writing.

The right to make objections at audit

You have inspected the accounting records and asked your questions of the smaller authority. Now you may wish to object to the accounts on the basis that an item in them is in your view unlawful or there are matters of wider concern arising from the smaller authority’s finances. A local government elector can ask the external auditor to apply to the High Court for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful, or to issue a report on matters which are in the public interest. You must tell the external auditor which specific item in the accounts you object to and why you think the item is unlawful, or why you think that a public interest report should be made about it. You must provide the external auditor with the evidence you have to support your objection. Disagreeing with income or spending does not make it unlawful. To object to the accounts you must write to the external auditor stating you want to make an objection, including the information and evidence below and you must send a copy to the smaller authority. The notice must include:

  • confirmation that you are an elector in the smaller authority’s area;
  • why you are objecting to the accounts and the facts on which you rely;
  • details of any item in the accounts that you think is unlawful; and
  • details of any matter about which you think the external auditor should make a public interest report.

Other than it must be in writing, there is no set format for objecting. You can only ask the external auditor to act within the powers available under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.

A final word

You may not use this ‘right to object’ to make a personal complaint or claim against your smaller authority.  You should take such complaints to your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau, local Law Centre or to your solicitor. Smaller authorities, and so local taxpayers, meet the costs of dealing with questions and objections.  In deciding whether to take your objection forward, one of a series of factors the auditor must take into account is the cost that will be involved, they will only continue with the objection if it is in the public interest to do so. They may also decide not to consider an objection if they think that it is frivolous or vexatious, or if it repeats an objection already considered. If you appeal to the courts against an auditor’s decision not to apply to the courts for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful, you will have to pay for the action yourself.

For more detailed guidance on public rights and the special powers of auditors, copies of the publication Local authority accounts: A guide to your rights are available from the NAO website.   If you wish to contact your authority’s appointed external auditor please write to the address in paragraph 4 of the Notice of Public Rights and Publication of Unaudited Annual Governance & Accountability Return.  

Roads Focus – road safety campaign

Shropshire Council and the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) John Campion are running a joint campaign from 8-12 July to improve road safety in Shropshire.

As part of the ‘Roads Focus’ campaign drop-in sessions will be held in Ludlow, Market Drayton, Oswestry and Bridgnorth to enable people to put comments, concerns and questions about road safety issues to Shropshire Council, the PCC, Safer Roads Partnership, the police, and local councillors. Shropshire Council’s road safety education team will also be on hand to talk about the road safety education and cycle training available to schools. People will also be able to find out more about work being done across the county to improve road safety.

The drop-in sessions will be held as follows:

  • Monday 8 July – Ludlow, Mascall Centre: 5pm to 7pm
  • Tuesday 9 July – Market Drayton, Festival Drayton Centre: 3pm to 5pm
  • Wednesday 10 July – Oswestry, The Qube:  2.30pm to 4.30pm
  • Thursday 11 July – Bridgnorth, Castle Hall: 5pm to 7pm

On Friday 12 July there’s an opportunity for people to attend a ‘driver awareness course’ in Shrewsbury free of charge. The driver awareness course – run in conjunction with TTC – will be held from 2pm to 4pm, at The Lantern in Shrewsbury.

All comments and suggestions raised as part of the campaign will be considered by the relevant organisation and, where appropriate, action will be taken.

For more information please email opcc@westmercia.pnn.police.uk.

Campaign aims to improve road safety in Shropshire

The Police and Crime Commissioner and Shropshire Council are working together on a joint campaign to improve road safety in the county – including a chance to join a free driver awareness course.

The ‘Roads Focus’ campaign will run from 8 to 12 July (2019), with a series of events across the county. Drop-in sessions will be held in Ludlow, Market Drayton, Oswestry and Bridgnorth to enable people to put comments, concerns and questions about road safety issues to the PCC, Shropshire Council, Safer Roads Partnership, the police and the local town or parish council.

Shropshire Council’s road safety education team will also be on hand to talk about the road safety education and cycle training available to schools. People will also be able to find out more about work being done across the county to improve road safety.

At the end of the week there will also be an opportunity for people to attend a ‘driver awareness course’ in Shrewsbury free of charge.

The drop-in sessions will be held as follows:
Monday 8 July – Ludlow, Mascall Centre: 5pm to 7pm
Tuesday 9 July – Market Drayton, Festival Drayton Centre: 3pm to 5pm
Wednesday 10 July – Oswestry, The Qube: 2.30pm to 4.30pm
Thursday 11 July – Bridgnorth, Castle Hall: 5pm to 7pm

The driver awareness course, run in conjunction with TTC, will be held on Friday 12 July, from 2pm to 4pm, at The Lantern in Shrewsbury.

About the driver awareness course
This is a great opportunity to become a better driver and brush-up on your driving knowledge. Can you remember what every sign means? Can you tell what the speed limits are without signs? Can you spot hazards? Do you know how many people die on Shropshire roads every year?

During this session you will get the opportunity to refresh your driver knowledge and learn about distractions. You will also listen to an officer from the West Mercia Roads Policing team, as they give you an insight into how you can prevent yourself from becoming a statistic in West Mercia’s road traffic collisions.

To register your interest, please visit the West Mercia PCC Facebook page or email opcc@westmercia.pnn.police.uk.

Rural crime question and answer session hosted by the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner

Have Your Say on Rural Crime

Would you like to see more police in rural areas? What crime issues are important to you? What would make your community safer?
Rural Crime will be the focus of a live question and answer session hosted by the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner.
The meeting will be streamed live on the PCC’s facebook page (@WestMerciaPCC), from 7pm on Monday 24th June 2019. The public are invited to ask the questions which the Commissioner and his Deputy Tracey Onslow will put to West Mercia Police Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, and Deputy Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman.
The meeting is the third to be broadcast live, and is part of a series of regular meetings, focusing on key priorities raised by communities.
Commissioner John Campion said “Building safer, more secure rural communities is something that, I and the Chief Constable are committed to. I get clear feedback that this priority is shared by our communities.
I’d encourage people to take advantage of this opportunity, to have a voice at the highest level. Any questions you have about rural policing, funding to tackle rural crime or particular crime types affecting you and your communities, can be addressed in the most open and transparent way.”
Questions are invited live during the broadcast, or can be submitted in advance as part of a series of summer roadshows, via a Facebook comment or private message, or via email to getinvolved@westmercia.pnn.police.uk..
For more information about how you can take part visit: https://www.westmercia-pcc.gov.uk/get-involved/questions
For more information on the Summer Roadshows visit https://www.westmercia-pcc.gov.uk/west-mercia-pcc-announces-summer-roadshow-date/

Essential works to affect Shrewsbury MLU

Inpatient services at Shrewsbury Midwife Led Unit (MLU) are to be temporarily suspended for up to six months from 10 June due to essential remedial works.

Part of the Copthorne Building at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH), where the MLU is housed, is to undergo the works to rectify a number of historic issues uncovered during a recent refurbishment.

It means that inpatient services – births and postnatal care – will have to be suspended for the duration of the work to ensure that booked in mums-to-be, new mums and babies are not disturbed, and to ensure their experience at this important time is not impacted.

In the first five months of 2019, there have been 29 births at Shrewsbury MLU.

As work progresses, we will also need to relocate outpatient services. We are currently in the process of identifying alternative accommodation at RSH for these services to minimise the disruption to our mums.

Dave Thomas, Acting Associate Director of Estates at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) which runs the RSH, said: “When we carried out the recent refurbishment of the building, it uncovered a number of historic issues. These are due to the age of the building and include fire regulation works, which need to be addressed as soon as possible as they currently do not meet today’s standards.

“Unfortunately, the work being undertaken may be noisy and disruptive, and at times it may compromise the privacy of some of our patients, so we have made the decision to temporarily close this area of our hospital.

“We are working closely with Shropshire Council Local Authority Building Control to ensure that all works are done in accordance with regulations.”

All women booked to give birth at Shrewsbury MLU during the temporary suspension of services will be offered a birth at Wrekin MLU or the Consultant-led unit at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford. Home births are not affected.

Women due to give birth in the next month who will be affected by the suspension of services are being contacted and will receive a follow-up letter. Other women potentially affected by the suspension will also receive a letter soon.

Anthea Gregory-Page, Deputy Head of Midwifery at SaTH, said: “It is important that we maintain the care and dignity of our mums and babies at all times. This is not a decision that has been made lightly but they are our absolute priority. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause.”

Any mums-to-be affected by the changes, who have any questions, can contact their midwife.

A495 Whittington Level Crossing – Network Rail Planned Works

Major works, planned by Network Rail at the Whittington Level Crossing, will be undertaken later this year. This will mean that the main A495 through Whittington will be closed to through traffic for the duration of the works.

The works are to take place between the 30th August and the 9th September 2019, access will be maintained for pedestrians through the crossing during the week but there will be a full closure to all at weekends.

The scope of works is to renew the level crossing surfaces at various locations, these require the following work to be undertaken:

·         Remove existing crossing surface panels and cill beams.

·         Installation of new cill beams

·         Installation of a new crossing panels.

·         Resurface of road to stop lines on both approaches

·         Reinstatement of road markings throughout the whole crossing – All lines to be of highways standard

An overview of the works required is as detailed below –

  1. Plane off the approaches
  2. Remove level crossing panels/cill beams
  3. Excavate for the cill beam foundations
  4. Set up concrete pump
  5. Pour concrete
  6. Pour mortar bedding
  7. Lay Cill Beams
  8. Installation of crossing panels
  9. Lay tarmac approaches
  10. reinstate road markings

Road Closure:  A495 Station Road, Whittington Level Crossing

Start Date: 30th August 2019

End Date: 9th September 2019

Purpose: Complete renewal of the Level Crossing – This level crossing will be closed continuously from 30.08.19 – 09.09.19 – no vehicle or pedestrian access during both weekends from 22:00 on the Friday until 07:30 on the Monday for the core works

Help is at the touch of a button this Bank Holiday Monday – Just call NHS 111

Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is reminding patients that GP practices will be closed over the May Bank Holiday weekend but that help and advice is still available via NHS 111 and local pharmacies.

GP practices across Shropshire will be closed on Bank Holiday Monday (27 May); however there will be some appointments available under the extended access service for pre-bookable routine GP appointments. Patients can book one of these appointments through their local practice but the appointment may be at another nearby surgery.

Pharmacies across Shropshire will also be operating on a rota over the May Bank Holiday Weekend, with full details available on the CCG’s website (www.shropshireccg.nhs.net).

NHS 111 is also available – it is free to call from any landline or mobile and is open 24/7. Trained advisors will direct you to the help and care you need, including what to do if you need to see a doctor when your practice is closed as well as where your nearest pharmacy is located.

Dr Julian Povey, Chair of Shropshire CCG, said: “GP practices will be closed over this Bank Holiday Weekend, but the NHS 111 service is available to everyone 24/7. The service directs patients to help and advice if they are unable to wait until the practices reopen.”

Whittington Housing Needs Survey


Right Home, Right Place is a Shropshire Council-led initiative to help identify current and future housing needs across Shropshire.

Our role is to build a clear picture of what’s needed in your parish – whether it’s more affordable housing for young professionals, larger properties for families, smaller properties for homeowners looking to downsize, or whether no new housing is presently needed.

Throughout the year, we meet with parish clerks and councillors and send out questionnaires to each household in your area. The information we receive enables us to share accurate insights with Shropshire Council’s housing team, so they can provide support where it’s needed most.

In June / July 2019, we’ll be running a questionnaire in your parish, and we’d like to encourage all households to take part. These surveys are invaluable, not just for our local authority but for residents and parish councillors too.

For residents, it’s a chance to tell us whether the housing in your area meets your requirements; for parish councillors, it’s an opportunity to gain a deeper insight into the demographics and needs of your area.

So don’t lose your chance to have a say in the housing needs of your parish – look out for your questionnaire in the post or complete it online at www.righthomerightplace.co.uk

The Right Home, Right Place team, Shropshire Council