“It’s frustrating but there is not much we can do about it.” That’s the message from Tracey Huffer, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East after an essential road safety scheme outside Ludlow Primary School on Sandpits Road was been delayed by several months. The delay is likely to last several months but there is some good news.
It is not a surprise that the remaining members of the government’s Social Mobility Commission have resigned this weekend. Anger has been growing for months that the government has been distracted from improving individual lives by the demands of Brexit.
Shropshire is one of the worst areas in England for young people to get out of the trap of struggling households and poor education. Last week, the county was ranked the 237th worst out of 324 local authorities for social mobility. Just a year before, we were at rank 185. We have skidded downwards.
A full council meeting took place today. The biggest item on the agenda was the council’s financial strategy through to 2020. An attempt by Lib Dem councillors to deliver more support for schools, reduce the energy used by streetlights and provide more funds for traffic calming was rejected by the Conservative majority.
I am sorry that this amendment to council’s financial strategy did not go through. It would have helped schoolchildren, communities and the environment.
I see in the Ludlow Advertiser Philip Dunne is welcoming the increase in young people applying to go university. He fails to mention that his own constituency is performing worse than much of England. Ludlow used to be ahead of the game but is now trailing behind.
The data released by UCAS earlier this month are really quite shocking. All of Shropshire is falling behind the rest of England in university admissions. We would have more than 200 extra students applying to go to university every year if we achieved the national average.
Ludlow slides down higher education league tables
When Philip Dunne was elected as our MP ten years ago, just 181 of the 533 constituencies in England had a higher rate of university applications than Ludlow. In 2016, 301 constituencies do better than Ludlow. That’s not a good track record.
There’s a plan to build a new education centre on the Teme at Dinham. It’s really exciting.
When I first heard of these plans, I wasn’t certain how this scheme would work. We don’t have much space available at Dinham and, instinctively, it is not a place to be putting up more buildings. After meeting Mike Morris, deputy director of the Severn Rivers Trust on site last week, I am thrilled by the idea. This could be a new tourist attraction as well as an education centre.
The idea is to build an education centre on the west bank of the Teme near Dinham weir. This site is currently an unmanaged field. It has a degree of biodiversity but is otherwise rough vegetation.