Day: 20 September 2015

Ludlow bus fare rise is not fair – but typical of the secretive way Shropshire Council works

Tomorrow, 21 September, the fares on the 722 bus service in Ludlow will be hiked upwards by up to 25%. This sudden price leap astounds and angers me. Have fuel costs gone up by 25% in the last year? The cost of fuel is down. On 31 March 2014, diesel was 136p a litre. A year later it was 119p. Currently it is lower. Are drivers’ wages being raised? No, they are being cut by the operator. Have passengers fallen? Not that I can see and I use the 722 most days. Has the Shropshire Council subsidy been cut? The projected costs of subsidising the service this financial year is £85,175 against £91,271 last year.

We are a #RefugeesWelcome town and county – update on the refugee crisis

The response to my last newsletter and online posts on the refugee crisis has been overwhelming positive. Most people want Shropshire and Ludlow to provide a safe haven for refugees. There have of course been those that do not agree. They say we should look after ourselves before others. They say the refugee crisis is a problem for other countries, not ours. These people I can number on one hand. Many more people want to help and are already helping. It has been is a heartfelt and encouraging reaction. Across Ludlow, Shropshire and the entire country people are organising collections, offering accommodation and suggesting ways they can support refugees. Shropshire Council has set up a working party to look at what it can do. No one is suggesting that a large number of refugees should arrive in our county. We have been talking about maybe ten families, though I think we could take more. Ten families will increase the number households in Shropshire by 0.00008%. It is just a one in thirteen thousand increase in households.[1] To put this statistic in perspective, we have around 1,500 long-term empty homes in Shropshire. Ludlow action #RefugeesWelcome meeting: 1 October. A public meeting…

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Dismay as Shropshire Council ends arts grant funding

See update: Shropshire Council backtracks – for now – on arts funding cuts. Shropshire Council is to end its funding for arts organisations, venues and festivals through its Revenue Client Grant Scheme. The Community Arts and Festivals Service is being disbanded and only one part-time arts development officer will remain. The grant scheme was used by many organisations in the county as a seed corn funding to leverage larger grants out of the Arts Council and lottery. Thirty-two arts organisations and festivals were supported through the Revenue Client Grant Scheme in 2014/15, levering in at least £100,000 from grants and earned income. The loss of the scheme will make it much harder for smaller arts organisations and festivals in the country to survive and thrive.

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