'Fill it with shops' - readers react as council abandons shopping centre HQ plans

Shropshire Council's announcement that it no longer plans to convert Shrewsbury's Pride Hill Shopping Centre into a 'Shirehall' base for staff has led to strong reaction from Shropshire Star readers online.

The Pride Hill centre is now empty and closed
The Pride Hill centre is now empty and closed

The latest developments in the proposal saw hundreds of people adding their own views on the issue on Facebook, while opposition councillors have been left dismayed at the U-turn.

They have included a host of suggestions for the site ranging from a new centre to look after the homeless in the town to re-opening... as a shopping centre.

"Fill it with shops with affordable rates," said Sue Powell.

Mandy Jones said: "I always thought this with the Riverside shopping centre would become a lovely new swimming/fitness centre."

Another reader, Christopher Robert Hanmer suggested letting the NHS use it for "outpatient clinics and appointments", while Jonathan Upton said: "Not one of Shropshire Council's best ideas, this. Perhaps it could be converted into homeless accommodation, with healthcare facilities and workshops for people to make things and sell them to make money.

"Solve the housing and unemployment crises, and prevent an empty set of buildings from decay."

Others commended the council on their decision to abandon the plan, but more are concerned about the upcoming meeting being held behind closed doors.

Sue Charlton commented: "Hardly surprising is it? The days of people needing to be in work at a desk every day are long gone. With home working, going ahead with this plan would have been ludicrous. A wise move from Shropshire Council in my opinion."

Karen Pearce said: "The discussion on this major faux pas should be fully open and transparent at the meeting. Too easy to claim confidentiality and hide behind this. Why isn’t the centre suitable and was it ever going to be in the first place?

"Needs a proper independent investigation starting now. What on earth do these so called Scrutiny Committees do or is someone really good at pulling the wool over everyone’s ears? Don’t let SC try and ‘plan’ any more projects any time soon please can they just get on with their day job and support the real needs of people across the whole county."

Steve Western asked: "Why is the meeting to be so secretive? It’s our town and our money they’re supposed to be managing. It’s Shropshire Council not the USSR Politburo!"

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