Month: April 2018

This winter weather didn’t help but the eruption of potholes this Spring is also down to Shropshire Council’s neglect of highway maintenance

It has been bad winter but not exceptional. But the last few months have proved near fatal for the county’s roads. After years of neglect, it doesn’t take much bad weather for Shropshire’s roads and pavements to fall apart. The Shropshire Council cabinet member for potholes, Steve Davenport, says he has “never known things to be so bad.” The council’s new highways contractor, Keir, is working “flat out” to repair potholes using central government cash. It has done repair work here in Ludlow in recent days. That is welcome and long overdue. But Shropshire Council has slashed its road budgets by £5 million this month and will axe another £5 million next April. And patching roads is only a short term fix to long term neglect.

A big change is coming to 999 ambulance services in Ludlow – response times will grow

From the end of May, ambulances and paramedics will no longer work out of Ludlow. We don’t have a formal ambulance station here but staff are based at Ludlow Community Hospital between call-outs. Even then, only 28% of top priority calls get a 999 team arriving within eight minutes in the SY7 area. The response time is 18 minutes on average. Sometimes it takes an hour. Quick response times are crucial in saving lives and preserving the quality of life. Several minutes will be added to response times when the 999 crews move to Craven Arms.

Ludlow Town Council launches Community Led Plan survey – have your say today

Now is the time to have your say on Ludlow’s future. Ludlow Town Council is leading work on a community led plan for the town and its environs. The idea is to involve the whole community so that becomes our perspective on Ludlow’s future, not just the council’s view. A questionnaire is being delivered to every home in Ludlow. You can also complete the questionnaire online. This is way to take part if you live outside the Ludlow council area, for example in Rocks Green or Ludford. Online responses will also save time for the volunteers working on the plan. If you do go down the paper route, there are nearly 30 collection points around the town. The deadline is 21 May. Responses will be anonymous.

Our town centre must thrive but it can be hard to balance the needs of commerce, events and residents

I was in Port Sunlight on the Wirral a couple of weeks ago. On its nearest high street in New Ferry, one in two shops were shuttered up. I have also been to Eccles and several other centres in a similar state of collapse. Those experiences have brought home to me how lucky we are to have a thriving town centre in Ludlow. But sometimes the needs of residents are hard to reconcile with town centre life.

Today at Shropshire Council we were challenged by our peers, overshadowed by Orwellian telescreens

We are on day two a four day peer challenge at Shropshire Council. After two meetings with the peers today, I have gained some confidence in the process. But I was amazed by the Orwellian propaganda installed in the last few days in Shirehall. We have the Chief Executive and others broadcasting messages about the council on large telescreens around Shirehall. Huge posters in the main committee rooms. Stickers on the lift doors. I am sure that it was just a coincidence that these all appeared as the peer challengers arrived. Despite this 1984 scenario, I hope that the review will change Shropshire Council for the better.

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