Shropshire Council throws out plans for a community lottery – it is obsessed with major building schemes and is leaving rural communities behind

Shropshire Council has rejected the idea of a community lottery for our county. The idea, which I proposed in December 2017, was to create a county wide lottery framework to allow small organisations such as village halls to sell lottery tickets. Although the council’s deputy leader claimed then that the council was already looking at a scheme, it is only now that we have the council’s view a lottery is not on.

I don’t buy its reasons for rejection – that it will divert money from other causes and that it will encourage gambling. The real reason is that it will not generate an income stream for the council and the council is not going to help communities unless it can make a profit. Shropshire Council has become obsessed with major building and investment schemes in the north of the county and has left rural communities behind.

Continue reading “Shropshire Council throws out plans for a community lottery – it is obsessed with major building schemes and is leaving rural communities behind”

Here is the first look at the redevelopment plans for Budgens on Upper Galdeford – shops, apartments, no beer and maybe knickers (updated)

Morris Properties have teamed up with local architect Trevor Hewett to produce a scheme for redevelopment of the former Budgens (Co-op, Summerfield) site on Upper Galdeford. This scheme is now at pre-application stage. That means that the developer is seeking views from the town council, conservation committee, Shropshire Council planners and members of the public on the scheme prior to submission of a full planning application which is expected in the autumn.

The scheme is designed to fit in with the streetscape of Tower Street and Upper Galdeford along the approved redevelopment of One Stop. The treatment is modern at the back where the development faces onto the Library.

Continue reading “Here is the first look at the redevelopment plans for Budgens on Upper Galdeford – shops, apartments, no beer and maybe knickers (updated)”

Ludlow gridlocked for the morning and not a moment’s work during Severn Trent Water’s blockade of Corve Street

Welcome to Shropshire in 2019. Severn Trent Water arrived without notice to block off the Bullring at the top of Corve Street just after 9am this morning. The work was declared an emergency so no notice was given to Shropshire Council or anyone else. But it was only a leaky stopcock. Buses stopped. People missed their trains. I learnt that the only way that one bit of Shropshire Highways can contact another bit of Shropshire Highways is to ring the customer call centre and wait for up to forty minutes to get connected. You couldn’t make it up.

After two-and-a-half hours the blockade was lifted. Despite the disruption. no work had been done whatsoever. Things can only get better. But I am not holding my breath.

Continue reading “Ludlow gridlocked for the morning and not a moment’s work during Severn Trent Water’s blockade of Corve Street”

FIT strategy for Shropshire buses published as mood changes against bus cuts

The mood is changing on buses. For many years, rural bus services have been cut back. They are threatened with more cuts as council finances dwindle. Now Shropshire Council has said it will roll back some of the planned bus cuts after a consultation produced an unprecedented response from bus users. But the council still lacks an up to date bus strategy and a plan for long term investment in the bus network.

Bus campaigners are stepping into the gap. At the end of last month, the Foundation for Integrated Transport (FIT) has published a report on Shropshire Rural Buses. The author, Professor John Whitelegg says failure is embedded in the current system and change is now necessary. His report concludes:

“It is in fact very easy indeed to provide high quality rural public transport in a way that supports vibrant, healthy, economically successful rural communities and contributes to keeping young people in those communities.”

That’s ambitious. But why shouldn’t we be ambitious for the future of buses? It is time to halt the endless cutbacks and invest in the county’s bus networks.

Continue reading “FIT strategy for Shropshire buses published as mood changes against bus cuts”

Vandalism destroys artwork on Ludlow phone kiosk – I’m fuming at this attack on local street artists

Chatter across social media led me to me getting an early and nervous bus journey to town this morning. I discovered to my horror that the phone box in the Market Square painted with artwork in recent days had been crudely painted white.

That act is criminal damage and a listed building offence. The K6 Kiosk is Grade II listed.

This is also an attack on local artists. No application was made to Historic England for either the original artwork or its destruction. But BT have given permission for the now destroyed artwork to remain for a short period. Regardless, some mindless idiot decided to destroy it. I’m fuming.

Continue reading “Vandalism destroys artwork on Ludlow phone kiosk – I’m fuming at this attack on local street artists”