Talks underway to discuss maintenance of Shropshire town's roundabouts

Talks are underway between two councils on making sure that a south Shropshire town's roundabouts will continue to be maintained to a high standard.

An advert on a roundabout
An advert on a roundabout

It emerged last week that a long standing agreement between Shropshire Council and Bridgnorth Town Council to allow the town council to maintain the area's roundabouts and for it to run an advertising sponsorship scheme had come to an end.

The town council was highly praised at a Shropshire Council planning meeting last week for the standard of maintenance it has carried out for the last 20 years. Councillors at that meeting deferred the question of Shropshire Council taking taking over the running of the roundabouts.

The roundabouts under discussion are A442 Bandon Roundabout, A454 Hermitage Roundabout, A458 Ludlow Roundabout and A442 Kidderminster Roundabout.

Roads chief Councillor Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council's cabinet member for highways said: “We want to reassure residents that retaining the quality and level of maintenance currently delivered is our priority and won’t be jeopardised in any way.

“Shropshire Council has been extremely pleased with the Bridgnorth Town Council’s level of maintenance across the four roundabouts in the Bridgnorth area. We are proposing to continue funding the same service moving forwards and are currently in discussions with the Town Council to ensure that this is achieved."

As part of a countywide advertising scheme managed by C P Media on Shropshire Council’s behalf the council are in discussions with Bridgnorth Town Council.

Bridgnorth's mayor, Councillor Karen Sawbridge, said she would want to see how much it would cost the council before committing to continue with maintaining the roundabouts.

"If we would be running them at a loss, if it is costing us money, then I say no to taking it back on," she said.

Ron Whittle, a former three times mayor of Bridgnorth, said the town council had been given a right to place adverts on most of its roundabouts.

Mr Whittle, who is now a leading light in the town twinning association, said the roundabouts being kept in a good condition gives a better impression of a town. But he added that his attitude would be the same as the current mayor who has an eye on the income side of the balance sheet.

Shropshire Council revealed last year that it thought it could bring in nearly £400,000 a year from selling advertising space on roundabouts.

But Councillor Richard Marshall, speaking at a recent meeting of the Southern Planning Committee, was worried that Shropshire Council would end up losing money because the cost of maintaining the roundabout would be more than they could get through sponsorship.

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