'BROXIT'! Furious town threatens to jump from Shropshire Council to Telford & Wrekin
The town of Broseley is threatening to jump across a border – by ditching Shropshire in favour of Telford & Wrekin.
Broseley may perform a ‘Broxit’ in a row over funding.
The town’s mayor, Councillor Michael Burton, said the council will discuss the proposition next week.
He said the council is “disgusted” at its treatment over access to hundreds of thousands of pounds of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding - money which has come from developers who have built homes and projects in Broseley.
Any move from Shropshire to Telford would mean responsibility for roads and schools in the town changing hands. Council tax bills would also transfer.
Telford & Wrekin Council leader Shaun Davies appeared to welcome the move when he tweeted: “You’ve heard of Brexit. How about BroExit – Broseley Town Council considering joining Telford & Wrekin Council.”
If Broseley decided to proceed it would represent a radical departure, with council tax payers’ money going to the Labour-run Telford & Wrekin Council instead of the Conservative Shropshire authority.
Councillor Burton said the town wanted access to £460,000 of money in the town’s local CIL fun. Shropshire Council has said the money must first be used for ‘critical infrastructure’.
It says the policy is in line with the ‘council’s statutory functions’, and that the policy has been place since 2015.
Broseley councillors have insisted they were never told that was the policy and may not have approved building projects if they knew the money would not be available to them.
Councillor Burton said: “We had items in the town plan for the CIL money to be spent on that we have agreed and we have had no response from Shropshire Council and now it has issued a statement saying we are only going to get money for an extension for the cemetery and nothing else.
“We are disgusted with the way we have been treated. We have been led up the garden path in my opinion.”
Fellow Broseley town councillor Mark Garbett said: “I had it put in the agenda and the reason I asked is because I believe as a representative of the people of Broseley we should always be proactive in having the ability to look after what is best for the people of Broseley.
"I used to live in Telford and paid council tax in Telford and I understand what we got for our money there and what benefits and services we had, and I am realising that Broseley does not get a great deal from Shropshire Council.
“We are a big contributor and I feel we should get a better deal.
“We have the sixth or seventh biggest CIL pot in the county – bigger than Bridgnorth.
“But we seem to be getting a rough deal and it is being made difficult for us to get the money.
“We would like to see all of the money in our local fund being spent in Broseley because our infrastructure over the last 30 years has been overlooked.
“That £460,000 is massively important to Broseley to bring it on par with other towns.”
Both Shropshire Council and Telford & Wrekin Council have been approached for comment.