Month: December 2018

How will the new local plan affect Ludlow? Come to a Shropshire Council meeting on 14 January to find out

We are midway through updating planning policy in Ludlow and Shropshire. The current stage of the local plan review is looking at where houses and employment areas might be built. The council’s site allocation consultation runs until 31 January. A meeting will be held to discuss the council’s proposals on 14 January at 6pm in Elim Church Hall, Ludlow.

My submission to the government’s review of national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty

In recent months we have been discussing the idea of creating a national park in South Shropshire, perhaps extending into Herefordshire to embrace the Mortimer Forest and into Telford and Wrekin to include Ironbridge. There has been a pretty cool reception to this idea from policy makers but a warmer reception from business and members of the public. I have always emphasised that the government is not at this stage proposing to create new national parks. It is reviewing the way that national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty operate and the scope for extending them or creating new designated areas. The review is led by Julian Glover. This is my written submission to the review – which has now closed.

Shropshire Council plans to cut back on recycling banks just as recycling rates in the county fall

Recycling rates in Shropshire have fallen slightly for the first time since the years during which cardboard collection was suspended. The latest government statistics come just as Shropshire Council launches a consultation to reduce the number of bring bank recycling sites in the county. And the news is well timed for the government’s long-awaited national waste strategy which will be launched this week. The council is planning to close all bring banks to save around £230,000 a year. Shropshire is still one of the best councils for recycling and bring banks are part of that success story. They are very well used in Ludlow. The council has yet to make a case for closing them.

Shropshire Council has been flirting with plans to licence every A-Board in the county. Those ideas didn’t get through the Place Overview Committee yesterday. Everyone agreed that a licencing and charging scheme was the wrong approach. Instead, the committee asked officers to work with local councillors and communities to draw up clearer guidance on where A-Boards can be placed to ensure safety of pavement users, including those with limited mobility and visual impairment. We agreed it would more effective for responsibility for “policing” of A-Boards should be devolved from Shropshire Council to town councils. This is good news. Shropshire Council should not overregulate and we should manage the day-to-day business of the town ourselves.

Councillors unanimously agree that Shropshire Council should put more effort into tackling its contribution to climate change

Shropshire Council held an unusually good-tempered meeting today in Shirehall. It was a lengthy session with more than four hours in the chamber (we had a break for mince pies and carols). As the meeting neared its end, councillors turned their attention to climate change. A cross-party motion proposed by Green Party councillor Julian Dean, and supported by me along with several other councillors, called for the council to increase its efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. An amended version of the motion was passed unanimously. I am very pleased with this. It is important that all of us contribute to reducing carbon emissions for the sake of the generations that follow us.

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