Hospitality in Ludlow reopens this weekend – enjoy a cake and a beer (and take care) #ludlowisopen

Ludlow is at its best when the pubs throng with customer and the tables in its cafes and restaurants are full. When there is a crowd on King Street and a crush on the market. Being close to strangers has long been part of our national experience.  Shambling along the streets. Jostling at the bar in the pubs. Crowding into the markets. At pop concerts. Less pleasantly, on trains and queuing for toilets. From today, we can go to cafes and pubs. From Wednesday, Ludlow Market is expected to have more stalls. Being closer that one metre has been banned. Along with shaking hands and hugging friends. It won’t be Ludlow as normal. It will be close encounters and a strange kind. But life will begin to come back to our town centre. People should, of course, take care. Media headlines have concentrated abuse of lockdown rules. But most people in Ludlow have shown common sense during lockdown and I am sure they will continue to do so.  

Bromfield Post Office and Village Shop to close from the end of August – we need to think of alternative provision

Ludlow Farmshop has announced that Bromfield Post Office & Village Shop will close permanently on 31 August 2020. This is a big loss to Bromfield parish, whose residents have benefited from the convenience of a local store, along with postal and banking facilities. But the operation has been loss making for several years. Those losses, funded by the Earl of Plymouth trustees, have increased. Covid-19 has been the final blow. With the temporary closure of The Clive and Ludlow Kitchen, and reduced trade on these reopening, no more losses can be sustained. It is expected that post office staff will be transferred to other parts of the business. I don’t think we should give up on a post office service in Bromfield. The parish has an elderly population and many rely on the shop for newspapers and groceries, as well as post office services. Commenting as Shropshire Councillor for the parish and chair of the parish council, I think we should explore options for a post office service for at least a few hours a week in Bromfield.

Local radio has excelled during #coronavirus but BBC axes Clare from the Eric and Clare breakfast

Our local media has served our community well during the Covid-19 crisis and lockdown. National news provided us with the big picture but what we have needed most is the local picture. Our local newspapers and local radio have given us that. We are coming out of the emergency in a better position than we might have done because of the strength of our local media. Despite this success, the BBC today has announced cuts amounting to £25m in regional broadcasting, including to Inside Out and local radio. BBC Radio Shropshire has fronted its breakfast programme with two presenters for nearly a decade. Eric and Clare. It proved a successful format for a programme aired when the news is at its busiest and the number of listeners is at its peak. Today, the two presenter format has been abolished by BBC managers. Although no announcement has been made, the future for now will be breakfast with Eric Smith but without Clare Ashford as a co-presenter.

Ludlow Town Council set to increase the number of market stalls and pitches from 20 to 30 #recovery

Ludlow Town Council meets on Monday night to discuss, among other matters, expansion of the number of trading pitches on the market in the light of the government’s decision to reduce social distancing from two metres to one metre. Hopefully this, along with the reopening of pubs and cafes, will bring the town centre back into life – though we must all act with caution and safety and its will be a very long while before we witness the crushes of old on King Street and on the market. If the town council agree the plans on Monday, the new arrangements will be in place from Wednesday 8 July.

Ludlow’s broken park and ride site is an embarrassment to our town – it’s time it was fixed

The parking surface is rubbish and unsafe. The bus shelter is a mess. Disabled parking bay signs have been knocked over. Almost every morning sees litter strewn everywhere. Nitrous Oxide canisters, condoms, booze tins. Young racers spin their cars around and perform handbrake turns. This is Ludlow’s park and ride site. A major gateway to our town. The Eco Park site has been neglected by its owner, Shropshire Council, for more than a decade. Councillors have been complaining about the state of the facility for years but Shropshire Council’s answer is always, “We’ll sort it out when we can”. We are calling time on Shropshire Council. We are telling it to get the park and ride fixed. Get it fixed now. Today, myself, Vivienne Parry, Tracey Huffer and Richard Huffer are launching a consultation on the state of the park and ride site, and on what we see the priorities for improvement. We want to hear your views.

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