This is a step too far from council

Readers' letters | Published:

Shropshire Council is relinquishing many of its services in our small market towns and expecting the town and parish councils to pick up the bills.

Enterprise House in Bishop's Castle. Photo: Google StreetView.

Many of them will have reached the limit of what they can afford. Bishop’s Castle has striven valiantly to fund these abandoned services. It has the highest council tax in Shropshire – five times that of Shrewsbury.

Now we are faced with the closure of Enterprise House. The ‘tapered ‘ withdrawal of support for the library has already been announced and the axing of the funding of the Community Information Function. There is no way that Enterprise House can continue to provide its numerous services.

Shropshire Council knows very well that, while its bureaucratic departments operate in isolation, at the receiving end, the staff at Enterprise House – 11 jobs – NOT divisible! There is no telling, when someone walks through the door, whether he or she is coming for IT advice, computer use, the library, to buy a SpArC Theatre ticket, tourist advice or whatever.

ESWS’s core operation is business support and economic development. That will fall, with everything else, if the proposed cuts go through. The company will close within a year.

In 2016 Enterprise House won a civic award from the town council. This year, the SpArC Theatre staff, also managed by Enterprise House, has won the same. This is how highly the company is valued. In a typical 12 months, 140 businesses have received one-to-one advice from EH. My own company numbers among them.

The remoteness of Bishop’s Castle was a key argument in the successful case for retaining the SpArC centre. Equal strength applies to the services provided by ESWS. EH is the support hub for both much-needed business as well as social life. One hopes that Shropshire Council will see this as a step too far.

Rita Baker, Lydbury English Centre

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