Day: 5 July 2014

Radio Shropshire held a fascinating debate on flooding at the Shrewsbury Conference centre yesterday evening. It was certainly worth giving up a Friday night to listen and take part. On the panel were: Alistair Moseley, Civil Engineer, Honorary Vice President of the Chartered Institute of Water Management Anthony Perry, Environment Agency Flood Risk Manager for Shropshire Mary Dhonau, Flood campaigner Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Environment and MP for North Shropshire. Alistair emphasised the importance of modelling weather, water flows and flood risk. Anthony said that the best way of alleviating flooding is a whole catchment approach, that acknowledges that alleviating flooding upstream will increase risks downstream. Mary called for small-scale practical solutions, including one-way air bricks. Owen Paterson emphasised that there is no single solution. He spoke of Leeds and Lincolnshire but seemed a stranger to Shropshire and its local needs. I spoke of flood risk from new housing development in Ludlow and said that sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) are not enough. We need extreme SuDS. The best single idea of the debate was the proposal from the audience for a flood champion for each county. The debate was recorded live. It will be broadcast on BBC Radio…

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Shropshire Council is consulting on future polling stations, but it has already made the decision to move the Ludlow North polling station out of the town library. The problem is that Shropshire Council has moved staff from Stone House into the former exhibition space at the Library. A decision was made in February that the Library is no longer suitable for voting. It seems that council staff are planning to move the polling station to the Bishop Mascall Centre on Lower Galdeford. I am unconvinced that Bishop Mascall will be a suitable station for Ludlow North. The Library is central and has good parking. It is easily accessible by bus and on foot. The Bishop Mascall is on one edge of the Ludlow North division. It has a limited 722 bus service. It has good car parking but is steeply downhill from the town centre which is far from ideal for pedestrians. I think turnout will drop if Bishop Mascall becomes the central polling station for Ludlow North. A better location might be the Women’s Centre or Oscars at the Assembly Rooms, though neither has ideal parking during the day. Shropshire Council is conducting a review of polling districts and…

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