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 new is well timed for the government’s long-awaited national waste strategy which will be launched this week.

The council is not yet giving any details about which of the county’s 120 bring banks will be closed, though it must have an idea as it expects to save around £230,000 though the closure programme.

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.

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Councillors reject charges for A-Boards and call for local enforcement of pavement hazards

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.

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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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Ludlow is a town of one hundred A-Boards – should we make retailers pay for using the pavement like Liverpool?

A-Boards can be a hazard to the blind and partially sighted. They can be a problem for families with child buggies. But they are also essential for local businesses, many of which are on side alleys or not immediately in sight.

For the best part of a decade, we have endured a debate between “Love A-Boards” and “Hate A-Boards” in Ludlow. That debate could be moving towards an end after a Shropshire Council meeting next Friday.

I walked around the town centre yesterday and counted 98 A-Boards – 74 were on the public highway and 24 on private land. The debate is now on whether this is right for our town. The urgency of the debate is driven by Shropshire Council’s wish to regulate all A-Boards in the county and to charge retailers for the privilege of putting the signs on the highway. What the council is proposing comes across as overregulation.

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New development sites for Shropshire – housing proposals for Ludlow, Ludford and the area

Shropshire Council expects to build 28,750 new homes between 2016 and 2036. Of these, 1,175 will be built in Ludlow (including Ludford), Clee and Burford. After existing permissions and site allocations are considered, we are looking at finding space for another 268 homes by 2036.

But there is a caveat to that. If any of the existing permissions and allocations is not built, we will have to find extra sites. Or we could find we have sites imposed on us by the planning inspectorate.

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