Author: andybodders

Covid Watch 147: Ludlow testing centre move and continued King Street closure

The government has decided that Coronavirus restrictions will not be lifted from tomorrow. That means that social distancing measures across Shropshire will remain in place for another month, or until Boris Johnson lifts the restrictions. In Ludlow this applies to King Street which will be closed during the middle of the day on Fridays and Saturdays. Local infections remain very low. The full scale testing site has been dismantled and Ludlow will now be served by a mobile testing unit based at the Eco Park.

Chesham & Amersham Lib Dem victory: What it means for Ludlow

Yesterday Lib Dems were in a state of high excitement have won the Chesham and Amersham by-election by a mile and a half. Although I don’t often publish national political stuff on this blog, the result was game changer. It would be remiss of me if I didn’t mention it. And the comments made by the defeated Tory candidate show how of touch the Tories have become. How arrogant they have become. There was a 25% swing to the Lib Dems in Chesham and Amersham on Thursday. That is huge. Ludlow constituency has been Lib Dem in the past. We would need a swing of 23.5%. That now look achievable. A big challenge. But achievable.

Covid Watch 146: Cases still low but rising as Delta variant spreads

We are all tired of the epidemic. We all want life to get back to normal. But there is growing doubt that we will see a full relaxation of restrictions on 21 June. There is a notable growth in cases in England. In Scotland also but not in Wales where restrictions have been stricter for longer. Case levels in England are relatively low, averaging around 6,000 cases a day so far this month. Over the equivalent period in January at the peak of the second wave, we were witnessing 47,000 cases a day. But positive tests are increasing and again growing here in Shropshire. There are no reported cases here in Ludlow and south west Shropshire. But there are a rising number of cases in the Church Stretton and Much Wenlock areas, further north in Shrewsbury and around Baschurch. And in Telford & Wrekin. Though the number of cases is low, the trend is up and that is what is worrying health professionals.

Want to know where your Shropshire Councillor lives? Shush! It’s now an council secret

Out of the blue, Shropshire Council has decided that it will no longer publish councillors’ home addresses. Anyone wishing to send letters, will need to send them to Shirehall where the overstretched secretariat will redirect them to councillors. As far as a I can see, this was a decision taken in secret by an increasingly secret council. I certainly wasn’t consulted. Current rules would allow a resident in Oswestry to stand for a Shropshire Council seat in Ludlow. But now you are not now allowed to know where a councillor lives. This is just the latest step in the Conservatives erosion of democracy on Shropshire Council. They talk democratic language while undermining democracy at every step. Excepting where there is an identified risk to a councillor, the public have a right to know where their councillors live. Public figures should expect and accept that.

Parliamentary constituency boundary changes for Shropshire make sense including a new Ludlow and Bridgnorth constituency

It has been a long journey and for many areas of the country it may not be over yet. The Boundary Commission for England has made its latest “final” proposals for changing the boundaries of parliamentary constituencies, including those in Shropshire. Although the government had long abandoned plans to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600, it is pressing up to even up the size of constituencies. The Ludlow constituency, for now represented by Philip Dunne, is proposed to expand north to the edge of Shrewsbury taking in Dorrington and Cressage and adopting a new name of Ludlow and Bridgnorth. Shrewsbury and Atcham will lose Atcham and become plain Shrewsbury. Hinstock and Hodnet will be transferred out of North Shropshire into an expanded constituency, which could be called Newport and Wellington. These changes make sense to me.

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