WEM councillors have taken Shropshire Council leader Lezley Picton to task about the town 'being left out' when it comes to opportunities for development.

Councillor Picton is touring councils around the county and she appeared at Wem Town Council on Thursday, July 28, where she was told that her 'levelling up agenda' did not include Wem.

Cllr Mandy Meakin highlighted growth opportunities being given to other north Shropshire towns, such as Oswestry, Market Drayton and nearby Whitchurch, and highlighted how Wem was missing out.

She said: "Anything which goes out goes to Oswestry, Market Drayton and Whitchurch.

"Wem seems to get left out.

"Aston Street is a minefield.

"The road markings need doing.

"I am concerned about levelling up, the high street is suffering."

However, Cllr Picton told gathered councillors that market towns are a priority for the unitary authority.

The leader of Shropshire Council said: "Market towns are my priority.

"We walked in the town, I don't disagree.

"There is a finite amount of money, if you were to have me another time you would hear about how Bridgnorth gets nothing.

"Cllr Ed Potter the deputy leader and portfolio holder for economic growth, regeneration and planning is looking at a taskforce for Wem.

"I will go back and ask about Aston Street."

Wem mayor, Cllr Geoff Soul, said the town council wanted to work closely with the unitary authority but added there has been difficulty communicating.

He said: "We want to work with Shropshire Council, we have our frustrations of not being listened to.

"It has been very difficult getting responses to emails.

"We had the Wem Sports and Social Club which was condemned.

"We are determined to get what we can for the town."

Cllr Picton also responded a question from Cllr Peter Broomhall, who is also a Shropshire councillor, about the North-West Relief Road plan which he saw as a benefit.

She said Shropshire Council realise people want the road to be built but she added there is opposition from the Environment Agency and concerns over the cost.

She added: "The difficulty is we have got outstanding objections from the Environment Agency.

"The Environment Agency is something we have to work through if we get planning permission.

"The biggest worry I have is the increase in construction costs.

"We are working closely with Balfour Beattie, prices are fluctuating so badly.

"I know how much people want it, they have made it clear they want the North-West Relief Road."