The vote on Sainsbury’s – most of you want it built but a third think it will be bad for Ludlow

On 24 July, I launched a straw poll on whether Sainsbury’s will be welcome in Ludlow. The poll was busy, with 813 votes being cast. The winning result was 480 votes in favour (59%). A sizeable group, but well short of a majority, thought a Sainsbury’s at Rocks Green would be bad for the town – 296 votes, 36%. A small number aren’t bothered whether Sainsbury’s comes to town or not – 37 votes, 5%. Although this is an informal poll, it reflects what I hear around the town and read on social media. A majority of people are in favour of Sainsbury’s coming to Ludlow. But there remains strong opposition.

Good news for Ludlow with increased bus services and park and ride on Friday and Saturdays during August

From Friday 7 August, Minsterley Motors will be running more frequent bus services across Ludlow. Town services had been reduced to a single bus running hourly during lockdown. Now as lockdown eases, more people are going out to shop. Visitors are coming to Ludlow. Ludlow’s 722 park and ride service from the Eco Park will be running every half an hour on Fridays and Saturdays during August. The first bus from the Eco Park will be 8.15am. The last bus from the town centre will leave The Compasses at 5pm. On Fridays and Saturdays also, the 701 town service serving the north of the town will run half hourly between 8.15am and 5pm.

Approval of Church Walk balcony undermines Ludlow’s historic environment – it’s a bad undemocratic decision

The third storey roof terrace overlooking St Laurence’s Church and the Reader’s House has been approved. It is an appalling decision. The town council objected. Ludlow’s conservation committee objected. Ludlow Civic Society objected. I asked for the decision to be made by the planning committee. All this was to no avail. Planning officers approved the scheme yesterday.   This decision, which in my opinion ignores court rulings about protecting the setting of historic buildings, was made after a secretive meeting by planning officers and the chair and vice chair of the Southern Planning Committee. That meeting decided to delegate the decision to officers who immediately approved the scheme. Did the chair and vice chair visit the site before they made that decision? We don’t know because the process is shrouded in secrecy but I doubt they did so. Shropshire Council’s planning system must be overhauled to give greater respect to local representations and the historic environment.

Post Office consults on “temporary” Bromfield post office closure – parish council exploring options

Post Office Limited has launched a consultation on the closure of Bromfield Post Office which is to close on Monday 31 August. The Post Office is being closed because it is loss making at a time of dwindling margins due to the Covid-19 epidemic. The Post Office would not fund moving the facility into the Food Centre. The consultation letter (FAQ) insists that the closure is temporary but gives no information on what moves the Post Office is making to ensure continuity or reinstate services at Bromfield. The consultation closes on 31 August. Email: comments@postoffice.co.uk A working group set up by Bromfield Parish Council is making enquiries about setting up an outreach service to serve residents for a few hours a week.

No coronavirus cases in Ludlow for nine weeks – peak over but signs of a county uptick in cases

Yesterday I wrote on deaths from Covid-19 in Ludlow and across Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin. This article looks at how many people have tested positive for Covid-19 locally, in the region and across England. The good news, and there has been little of that during this epidemic, is that there have been no Covid-19 in Ludlow for nine weeks. Previously, 31 people had tested positive for Covid-19. Sadly, eight died. We do not know whether Covid-19 was the cause of death, a contributory factor, or made no difference to a person’s survival. This epidemic is not over. Yesterday, Shropshire Council confirmed 21 cases of Covid-19 within a traveller community on the edge of Craven Arms. More cases are expected but there is no indication that Covid-19 has spread beyond the caravan park. A testing centre has been set up in the town for anyone with symptoms. We need to be confident when out and about but we also need to continue to take care.

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