Month: February 2017

Stop groaning about slow speeds, concentrate on safety on Shropshire’s roads

A joint post from Kate King, Lib Dem candidate for Burnell in the May Shropshire Council elections, and Andy Boddington, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow North. Local representatives are calling for a greater priority for safety on the roads of a county where traffic speeds are above the national average. New government statistics show that only eight council areas in England achieved faster speeds on A roads than Shropshire in 2015. In 2015 also, statistics reveal that more than half the injuries on the county’s roads were on A roads (423 of 796 injuries). Kate and Andy are calling for improvements to safety on the A49. They think that we don’t need to drive any faster, we should concentrate on reducing deaths and cutting injuries.

We live in era of draconian cuts to local public services. Cuts to bus routes have always been on the agenda of Shropshire Council. Many councillors see them primarily as a cost to the public purse. These are councillors that almost never catch buses. Here in Ludlow, our town services are social service, keeping people active and independent. The good news is that both the 701 and the 722 will be continue to be subsidised by Shropshire Council for the time being. I reckon that’s for a year at least.

Yesterday, the communities and local government minister, Sajid Javid, made a Commons statement on business rates. He defended the changes in rateable values being introduced on 1 April. These rises have led to protests across the country, including here in Ludlow. Our town has featured in the national media several times in recent weeks. The government must grasp the opportunity to address the “squeeze in the middle”. This squeeeze threatens the future of independent shops and pubs, here in Ludlow and across the country.

A full council meeting took place today. The biggest item on the agenda was the council’s financial strategy through to 2020. An attempt by Lib Dem councillors to deliver more support for schools, reduce the energy used by streetlights and provide more funds for traffic calming was rejected by the Conservative majority. I am sorry that this amendment to council’s financial strategy did not go through. It would have helped schoolchildren, communities and the environment.

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