Shropshire Council agrees to buy a shopping centre, build a road, refurbish its offices but not build council housing

Yesterday, Shropshire Council agreed in private session to buy the Darwin, Pride Hill and Riverside shopping centres. BBC Radio Shropshire is suggesting that the purchase price is £60 million. The day before, the cabinet agreed to spend £300,000 on consultancy fees to examine refurbishing Shirehall at the cost of more than £18 million. If the government approves the North West Relief Road around Shrewsbury, the council will chip in £21 million and pay for any overspend. In the same breath, it is aiming to raise £1.2 million a year by imposing contributions to council tax on some of the poorest in our county.

This cruel imbalance in spending and taxation partly arises from political ambitions and dogma. It also arises from spending cuts and the obscurity of local government accounting rules that prevent us spending capital receipts on services.

Continue reading “Shropshire Council agrees to buy a shopping centre, build a road, refurbish its offices but not build council housing”

How to be cruel in one effective blow – fining the poor for being poor is Shropshire Council’s latest proposal (updated)

That’s what Shropshire Council is planning to do. Unable to balance its budget, and that is the fault of the government as well as this Conservative led council, it plans to tax some of the poorest people in our county. Yesterday, 14 December, the council votes in favour of making some of the poorest and most vulnerable in Shropshire pay 20% of their council tax bill. One member argued: “It is only fair that everyone shares the burden.” I disagreed saying: “It is not fair that the poor share the burden.”

Surely our job as a council is to protect vulnerable people, not tax them?

Continue reading “How to be cruel in one effective blow – fining the poor for being poor is Shropshire Council’s latest proposal (updated)”

Severn Trent to replace water pipes along A49 between Ludlow & Bromfield in January (updated)

The company is planning to replace two kilometres of water pipes between Ludlow Food Centre and finish near Felton Farm. The work will start on 9 January and continue for 5 months. A drop-in session will take place in the Board Room at The Clive near Ludlow Food Centre on Wednesday 13 December between 3pm and 7pm.

Continue reading “Severn Trent to replace water pipes along A49 between Ludlow & Bromfield in January (updated)”

Snow and ice update – Ludlow returns to normal. Wednesday (updated 12.00pm) #ludlowisopen

Morning and it’s a better one. Ludlow is returning to normal today and we are expecting all services to be open. The market is back in operation and pavements in the town centre have been cleared. Buses are expected to operate near normally. Ludlow schools are open. Some rural schools are closed or on limited hours. Snow and ice will remain on side streets and pavements, where it may still be very slippery. Car parks have yet to be cleared. Some cold temperatures between 7am and 9am and around teatime may lead to refreezing. There is a possibility of sleet this evening.

Continue reading “Snow and ice update – Ludlow returns to normal. Wednesday (updated 12.00pm) #ludlowisopen”

Snow and ice update for Ludlow – roads, schools, buses and more. Tuesday (updated 11.00am)

The weather is expected to improve. I’ll provide updates tomorrow but we are expecting just about everything to be operating normally. But beware early morning ice from the half melted snow.

Morning. It’s been a bitterly cold night with temperatures expected to plummet to as low as -12C by 8am. All schools in the area remain closed. Roads and pavements are often hazardous. Buses will try to serve as many areas as they can but both the 701 and 722 are having difficulties accessing some streets. Side streets are gradually being cleared by gritters and tractors. Shropshire Council teams will work on town centre paths today. More updates as they come in and let me know if you have information the public needs to know. Take care but enjoy the snow if you can.

Continue reading “Snow and ice update for Ludlow – roads, schools, buses and more. Tuesday (updated 11.00am)”