Ludlow town buses – our community room on wheels – are to keep going

We live in era of draconian cuts to local public services. Cuts to bus routes have always been on the agenda of Shropshire Council. Many councillors see them primarily as a cost to the public purse. These are councillors that almost never catch buses.

Here in Ludlow, our town services are social service, keeping people active and independent. The good news is that both the 701 and the 722 will be continue to be subsidised by Shropshire Council for the time being. I reckon that’s for a year at least.

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Government must remove “squeeze in the middle” for retailers facing business rate hikes

Yesterday, the communities and local government minister, Sajid Javid, made a Commons statement on business rates. He defended the changes in rateable values being introduced on 1 April. These rises have led to protests across the country, including here in Ludlow. Our town has featured in the national media several times in recent weeks.

The government must grasp the opportunity to address the “squeeze in the middle”. This squeeeze threatens the future of independent shops and pubs, here in Ludlow and across the country.

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Measures to support schools, reduce energy use and calm traffic rejected by Shropshire Council 

A full council meeting took place today. The biggest item on the agenda was the council’s financial strategy through to 2020. An attempt by Lib Dem councillors to deliver more support for schools, reduce the energy used by streetlights and provide more funds for traffic calming was rejected by the Conservative majority.

I am sorry that this amendment to council’s financial strategy did not go through. It would have helped schoolchildren, communities and the environment.

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Crime and safety to feature at Ludlow and Clee meeting on 2 March

There will be an opportunity to asks questions and express concerns about crime and safety at a public meeting in Ludlow on 2 March.

The main guest of the evening will be West Mercia’s Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Tracey Onslow. She will talk about how the commissioner’s office and West Mercia Police work to reduce crime and fear of crime. The meeting will also discuss antisocial behaviour and continuing problems with young people racing around the town centre and other streets.

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Controversial plans for three houses on the Linney run into trouble over flooding and trees

The new application for three houses at Linney House is proving somewhat troubled (17/00230/FUL). Both the Environment Agency and Shropshire Council’s tree service have objected. They join local objectors, the town council and myself. The tree officer said the application is “retrograde” and is not sustainable. It is also outside the Ludlow’s development boundary as defined in the local plan, SAMDev.

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