Author: andybodders

The legals at Shropshire Council have accepted my complaint that manifesto commitments must not be announced during council meetings. That is a long standing rule but the Tories decided to announce their manifesto commitment to highways at the Place Overview Committee on Tuesday. There was a bit of argy-bargy with the Chief Monitoring Officer who initially supported the statement by deputy leader Steve Charmley as being nothing more than a contribution to the debate. No one agreed with that position. Today we councillors got a correction and instructions that this must not happen again. This not a Tory council. It is Shropshire’s council. More on Tory trousers and adjustments thereof below.

It’s census time again – help is available – what are your stories of census days of old?

There are many ways of measuring how old you are. The number of censuses you have completed is one of them. You should by now have received your invitation to take part in the 2021 Census. It’s online but you request paper and there is support for completing the questionnaire from Shropshire Libraries. I said it’s an invitation. It is not. It’s compulsory. But is one of the most important surveys we complete in our lifetimes. Please complete it. Please don’t be Jedi. And share you experiences of censuses of old in the comments section below.

Why is Shropshire Council so against businesses getting on with their job in Ludlow?

Yet again it happened yesterday. Tuesday. A quiet day. Few people out and about in the town centre. But the traffic warden was out and about and he pounced. Businesses are struggling in Ludlow. Some have already closed for ever. Others are making do. Trying to survive. The Buttery is one of those businesses aiming to come out bouncing from the horrors of lockdown. But like so many other businesses it was fined for parking two minutes longer than permitted by the wardens. This was yet another example of how Shropshire Council is anti-business in market towns. It makes money from parking fines at the expense of our local businesses fighting for survival.

Why are the Tories running so scared on highways that they need to leak their own manifesto? But that was what happened in a scrutiny committee today. In breach of every understanding of how ‘independent’ scrutiny committees work, the deputy leader of the council launched the Tory manifesto for highways mid meeting. We are of course gearing up for elections in May. But manifestos are not council business. The Conservatives don’t understand that. Today was appalling and at least two formal complaints have been lodged. But why are the Tories so scared they needed to launch their highways manifesto in a fairly obscure meeting?

Covid Watch: Infection rates are dropping slowly locally but they have increased in Ludlow

The fall in infection rates is continuing, though not in Ludlow where cases have reached their highest level. In the week to last Sunday, there were 27 positive tests for Covid-19 among Ludlow residents. Before this, the seven day rate of cases briefly hit 30. These are the highest rates we have seen and are due to localised outbreaks. Only Market Drayton has a higher rate in Shropshire, seven day infection rate of 341 per 100,000 people compared to a rate of 246 in Ludlow. We understand this is due to localised outbreaks and that all those who have tested positive in Ludlow are expected to recover. It doesn’t need saying but please stay safe and follow the social distancing rules. We are not out of this yet. It will be weeks before we can relax.

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