Category: Arts and Culture

Peter Nutting says he has “no intention” of selling Ludlow Assembly Rooms – we need better guarantees than that

It is always worth listening to what politicians say. And listening to it twice. This morning, Shropshire Council leader Peter Nutting was questioned by Eric Smith on BBC Radio Shropshire. He said that reports of Shropshire Council selling Ludlow Assembly Rooms (LAR) were “tosh”. There is no intention of selling. Fair enough and good news. But “no intention” is not a guarantee. Shropshire Council has backed itself into a corner over LAR. It has only two options that will not cost it more money. Flogging the premises or allowing Ludlow to run South Shropshire’s premier cultural centre as agreed.

Ludlow Art Mural coming to the end of its life

The Ludlow Art Mural Project was an amazing initiative. The idea of a mural was born in a chat over a beer. A deal to paint the boards on the former Budgens was agreed in a shake of the hand when I met Robin Morris the developer. Morris Property paid for the scaffolding and paint. Shropshire Council provided youth support. The entire project went from first thoughts to completion in five weeks. Sometimes the discussion was stormy. That’s art and artists for you. Now with plans for new retail units and apartments submitted, the mural’s days are numbered.

Ludlow Assembly Rooms gets an extra £1.3m but Shropshire Council reserves the rights to sell it 2023 and demand Ludlow pays the money back

It is no surprise that the price of renovations to Ludlow Assembly Rooms has soared over budget. Costs have hit the ceiling requiring an extra £1.3m from Shropshire Council. That funding is welcome. In a private session before Christmas, the council’s cabinet reluctantly agreed the extra money. Cabinet members also decided that the agreed transfer for the Assembly Rooms to Ludlow’s community will be reduced from a period of 125 years to just three years. This will allow Shropshire Council take over the facility in 2023. It can then flog it if wants to. The council is also to negotiate repayment of some or all the £1.3m from Ludlow & District Community Association (LDCA). Unsurprisingly, the council has not made this information public.

Street artists get inspired in Ludlow but when is graffiti art and not vandalism or criminal damage? Let me know

“Love Ludlow.” That’s the message as you walk under the railway between Sheet Road and Sandpits. A more recent expression of artistic talent on Market Square is “I’m making a call”. Should you want to see a female ‘brother’ – drop down to Friars Walk. All these illegal artworks send messages. All are graffiti. All could be described as vandalism or even criminal damage. But aren’t they art? Don’t they brighten up our town? Do they create talking points? Let me know you views.

Shropshire Councillor leader Peter Nutting soft pedals on charity business rate rise but doesn’t put on the brake

Speaking on BBC Radio Shropshire this morning Shropshire Council’s leader partially backtracked on threats to remove discretionary business rate relief from charities contained in a recent letter. But he still wants to charge some charities. He said current media and councillor coverage of this is “scaremongering”. And, in one of the doublethink moments that some politicians excel in, he said that Shropshire Council had a “no blame” culture but “words would be had” with the officer who had sent the offending letter. So that’s no blame for anyone then.

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