Year: 2017

Just a bit of New Year’s fun. Please add your own humorous predictions in the comments section 🙂 January. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agrees a job swap with President Trump. After Donald Trump complains his tweets are being censored by the North Korean military, the entire world celebrates. Kim Jong-un imposes a strict dress code on Washington. Department stores run out of pyjamas. February. The Pope announces that Barak Obama is to be fast tracked to sainthood. Jeremy Corbyn complains he was overlooked for the role.

2017 – It’s been another hectic and controversial year in town and on my blog

Controversy is never far away in Ludlow. Men dressed as nurses, oak trees being felled, shop closures, business rate hikes and threats to Ludlow Maternity Unit were just a few of the controversies that engaged our town. It was a year of decent heat and the Millennium Green turned into a lido. Later it turned bitterly cold and snowed, creating a toboggan run on Gallows Bank but also lethal ice on the pavements. This year I managed to write 200 posts for my blog and send 26 email newsletters. There were more than 95,000 page views of my blog posts on andybodders.co.uk. Many more people read the summaries posted on Facebook. I am hoping for a quieter 2018 – but I am not expecting it.

Our gritting crews worked themselves into exhaustion – from Ludlow Advertiser

The cold snap delivered snow up to 20cm deep in South Shropshire towns, deeper in many rural areas. Schools closed. Parents took time off work. Kids skidded and sledded around. On Gallows Bank, children had great fun and it was free. Let it snow, let it snow… There is another side to this. Snow, and the ice that follows it, traps vulnerable and older people in their homes. Buses can’t access many side roads. Many of the pavements in Ludlow were lethal on Wednesday and Thursday after packed snow partially thawed and refroze.

Council tax bills set to rise next year as everyone passes the buck on who funds services

We don’t yet know how much council tax will rise next year. That will be decided in February but we have some early clues. Shropshire Council’s financial plan assumes a rise of 3.99%, though it may be tempted to take advantage of a government offer made just before Christmas to add an extra 1% to the bill. The Police and Crime Commissioner is proposing an increase of 4%, though the government has since said he would be allowed to raise half as much again. The Fire Service and Ludlow Town Council have yet to declare their plans.

Should we ban vehicles parking on pavements? I support a national call to end to this hazard

It is time to bring in a nationwide ban on parking on pavements. I am supporting a call by four national organisations to ban pavement parking. Over Christmas, as throughout the year, pavements around this town and many others have been partially or totally blocked by cars and vans. Yet the roads alongside the pavements have had plenty of room for parking and in most cases, there has not been a parking restriction in sight. This is selfish parking by motorists who seem to have forgotten that pavements are for pedestrians, children on cycles, people in wheelchairs and on mobility scooters, and parents pushing children in buggies. Pavement users face being forced out into the road because some inconsiderate drivers think that it is better to block the pavement than use a road designed for vehicles to park on.

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