Category: Covid-19

Ludlow as a socially distanced town – new signage to be discussed with Shropshire Council next week #coronavirus

We must get our town back into business. It’s going to be tough. We must move into unknown territory as a socially distanced town. Every business will need to adjust the way they work. We must allow cafes and pubs to spill into our streets. Allow businesses to sell their wares from tables on their frontage. Some streets should be closed at weekends and public holidays. The market must reopen. A lot of decisions need to be made. First up will be new signage. A street meeting of officers and councillors on Tuesday afternoon will look at locations for up to 155 new signs around the town ordering people to keep apart. That is a huge number of signs for Ludlow. It is a lot of clutter. It could feel intimidating in a town known for its friendliness. A better model would be gateway signs, with a small number of…

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It has taken a little while to get new systems in place to pay government grant money to local businesses. But matters seem to have been resolved. Except the biggest issue. More than 1,500 businesses have not yet applied for the money. A minority of these may not be eligible for grants under EU rules. But it is still puzzling that one in five Shropshire businesses had not made a claim by last Wednesday. Up the road in Telford and Wrekin, almost all businesses have received the money they are due. That is an extraordinary difference. I can’t explain it. Shropshire Council needs now to go into overdrive to ensure that all businesses eligible for funding get the money they are due.

Vans can now take permitted waste to recycling and waste centres in Shropshire #coronavirus

After a period of closure, Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin household recycling centres reopened for domestic waste two weeks ago. But vans, even those with household permits, were barred. From tomorrow morning, Tuesday 19 May, vans with household permits can take non-commercial waste to Craven Arms and the other recycling centres across Shropshire. But not from Shropshire into Telford and Wrekin. But the good news is that if you have that knackered mattress from a bed you have just refurbished (guilty as charged) or if you need to dump the plaster that has just fallen from your living room wall – I won’t mention any names – you can take it to the tip in van.

Grants for the self-employed available from this morning #coronavirus

The economy of Ludlow and Shropshire is dominated by small businesses. Many people work in micro-businesses, those with less than ten employees. At the last count, there were 14,355 micro-businesses in our council area. That’s 91% of all our enterprises in Shropshire. Many working in these businesses are self-employed. They were initially ignored by the government but a £9bn support scheme is now in place. It has strict rules and will not help those businesses that did not submit a tax return in 2018-19 because they had just been established. I have received a lot of desperate pleas from local micro businesses. I hope this scheme will help. Let me know how it works out.

Hurrah! Mortimer Forest car parks have reopened from today #coronavirus

Forestry England have announced that the car parks serving the Mortimer Forest have reopened this morning. The closure was always controversial and has been the subject of much debate on this blog. However, that is now behind us and we can more easily use one of the most import outdoor resources for South Shropshire and North Herefordshire. Social distancing will of course apply. Sixty-eight Forestry England car parks around the country remain closed today, including Haughmond Hill and Wyre Forest. It is great that the Mortimer Forest car parks are now open. Enjoy the space. Use it to the full and stay safe.

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