Letter: North of county has long faced cuts to emergency services

I write in response to recent articles concerning the police and other emergency service cuts, changes, call it what the authorities will. I would declare an interest being a retired police officer of 30 years service, over 20 in North Shropshire.

We can all note that for years it is always Shrewsbury that matters. Ever noticed in the spring the thousands of flowers around Shrewsbury then look at the other towns?

I mention this to indicate now how resources although paid by the whole county are mostly enjoyed by the residents of Shrewsbury so it is and will be with the emergency services.

A book I read of the history of the county police concentrates on Shrewsbury – always Shrewsbury. The towns and villages of North Shropshire hardly had a mention and Whitchurch two lines, when officers went to a riot at Shrewsbury Flower Show in the 1800s. This caused me to research and eventually, start to write a book covering North Shropshire, I may call it “Policing the Forgotten People”.

I had occasion to contact the local police when I found a wallet which contained identifiable items. I called at the police station. I discovered the front door was locked. I saw two officers inside standing at a window.

I banged the door, the officers looked outside and pointed to a telephone now positioned by the front door. I picked this up and a voice answered stating it was the police at Shrewsbury. I told the person the reason for my visit. She informed me there was no civilian on duty and when I asked why the officers didn’t answer the door she told they didn’t answer the door. I told her I would put the wallet through the letter box they could do what they liked with it.

I pointed out that I had worked in this police station for over 20 years. She replied “things have changed since your day” and ended the call.

With these cuts of police stations and other emergency service closing, north of Shropshire will be even more a forgotten place that it already is.

To councillors who have access to the authorities and to the people who have access to the councillors I send this message. We are losing our ambulances and police and you are doing nothing.

I see officers are now being sent to Warwickshire.

For those thinking of moving to Shrewsbury, a word of caution. With the demise of North Shropshire they may well eventually find when they ring for the police they may get told: “We will send someone when the people of Worcestershire and Warwickshire can spare one.”

Bill Williams


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Comments for: "Letter: North of county has long faced cuts to emergency services"


Unlike Shrewsbury, Ludlow, Oswestry and Bridgenorth Whitchurch never set up a town police force. So Whitchurch did not come under the influence of a police force before the County Police force was formed in 1836. The county force was formed because criminals in the towns with their forces were migrating to the smaller towns and country areas which effectively un-policed. The borough police forces remained in place until they were merged into the County Force some time back in the 1960's. Of course that was later merged with Herefordshire and Worcestershire to form the current West Mercia Force.

This tendency to merge and centralise has been going on for decades in all forms of administration and probably has had a bigger detrimental effect on Shrewsbury as the County Town than most places. This is because it is never the place selected to centralise on. As demonstrated recently with the loss of the police control room. Next time you lift that phone outside Whitchurch police station you may well be answered in Worcester or even Warwick. If there is a police station or phone at all which looks unlikely.

It all reflects the ultimate London Centric style of the country which is for ever sucking power and resources to the centre ie London. That is the main reason why the political solutions being produced fit London and not us. I'm afraid localism is not in fashion these days and that means not only are services lost but so are the jobs that provide them.


The Police like all other public services have become too expensive to afford hence the minor budget cuts, I believe far more cuts to are needed to reduce public expenditure.

Police officers who retired under the 30 year service rules could retire after only 30 years service as early as age 48 and receive a pension of two thirds of final salary index linked, a pension that is so generous that it is unaffordable by anyone who has to pay for their own pension.


i adgee with the letter above the old shropshire county council and the new shropshire council think that shropshire ends at montfobridge i have been fighting the lose of services in north shropshire for the last 20 years and have got know where only been told half truths the last one was went to a meeting at whitchurch civic center on march 14 about how the wmas make ready was doing in north shropshire and the-panel add to admit that the service was failing for north shropshire yet in oswestry advertizer march 26 michelle brotherton general mananger for west mercia area-wmas is telling us how well the service is doing in north shropshire- who is telling the truth-

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