Month: March 2015

Ludlow town bus services to go out to tender before we have fully tested new timetable

We have just about got the Ludlow town services settled down but now they are to go out to tender. The 701 and 722 are running around town giving a good service. They are usually on time after recent changes to the timetable for the 722 bus that serves the park and ride. The buses are new, with low floor access and friendly, helpful drivers. Ludlow residents will remember how bad the service used to be not much more than a year ago. Buses broke down regularly, ran late or when it was icy, just didn’t turn up. Often there was no low floor service, excluding disabled people from public transport.

General election: Are you registered to vote?

The voting registration system has changed and the head of the household can no longer register other members. That’s likely to mean that a number of teenage first time voters will have failed to register. You can check whether you’re registered to vote by calling Shropshire Council on 0345 678 9015 or by emailing elections@shropshire.gov.uk. It might also be worth checking you are still registered if you have recently moved house. It is now easy to register online: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. You will need your National Insurance number. The deadline for registering to vote in the May general election is 20 April. The following day is the deadline for registering for a postal vote. If you want someone to vote on your behalf, a proxy vote, the registration deadline is 28 April.

General election: We’re off!

Campaigning, of course, has been going on for some while. But just after midnight last night parliament was prorogued and with that we are into the general election campaign proper. I’m backing my excellent fellow councillor Charlotte Barnes who is standing for the Lib Dems in the Ludlow constituency. You can find out more about Charlotte on her blog.

New plans for two solar installations near Ludlow – updated

Update: 19 June 2015 Fishmore Farm. The rooftop scheme was approved under delegated powers on 7 May 2015. Whitton. On Tuesday, the South Planning Committee unanimously rejected plans for a 4.3MW, 13,000-panel solar farm at Whitton in Cayman parish a few miles from Ludlow. Officers had recommended approval but committee members were not convinced by the arguments in the officer report. After a lengthy and lively debate, I proposed refusal, seconded by Robert Tindall, councillor for Brown Clee. Officers resisted us citing loss of best and most versatile agricultural land as a reason for refusal. Through the debate, the case officer had argued that the grading of the land is unaffected by solar installations, citing appeal cases. In my view these cases were selective and Councillor Tindall and I stuck to our guns on including loss of best and most versatile land as a ground for refusal. The committee backed us and voted unanimously to reject the scheme on the following grounds: The development site is in close proximity to the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and would have a detrimental and visual impact upon the environment, character and landscape of the area and would result in the…

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Shropshire Council consults on underspending support schemes for needy

Two years ago, further responsibility for discretionary payments to people in need was transferred from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to local councils. That was a perfectly sensible decision as local councils are better placed to determine local needs than a central government department. But since then, Shropshire has underspent the allocated budgets for Discretionary Housing Payments and the Local Support and Prevention Fund. The Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) scheme gives financial support towards housing costs over and above housing benefit. The Local Support and Prevention Fund (LSPF) provides support payments and crisis funds, known as prevention payments. Now Shropshire Council is consulting on how it should allocate the money in future years. The deadline for responses is 23 April. With my limited knowledge, the criteria it is proposing for allocating funds look about right. But I do think it needs to beef up its communication strategy so that people in need know that these schemes exist.

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