Category: Covid-19

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.

We are in the middle of a health and economic emergency. What does Shropshire Council do? Send traffic wardens into Ludlow #coronavirus

There was no market in Ludlow today. The image on this bog was from better times. There never is a market on a Tuesday outside December. Anyways, we have no markets at all now. The town centre is quiet. It is like that everywhere. Shropshire Council’s reaction to this has been to send in traffic wardens today to slap yellow tickets on vehicles breaching the confusing rules for parking in our town centre. I asked today council leaders why they were doing this. The response was civil enforcement officers (CEOs) are there “to enforce law and order”. To which was added a statement that CEOs are “working out our cycling walking avenues as instructed by our government.” Ludlow is not lawless or disorderly. Details of the cycling and walking plans would be important. But from what I read, there are no plans to promote cycling and walking in Ludlow. Shropshire…

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Mortimer Forest car parks must reopen from Wednesday – letter to Forestry England #coronavirus

The closure of the visitor car parks serving the Mortimer Forest has been contentious from the outset. Forestry England has stood firm on this restriction despite protests from local people and myself. We did not accept that restricting access to a huge area of forest walking made any sense during a lockdown during which people were encouraged to exercise. Social distancing is the norm in the Mortimer Forest in the best of weathers. But the car parks were closed. After Boris Johnson’s address to the nation tonight, we must now quickly reopen the huge recreational area of the Mortimer Forest. We need it to promote the physical and mental health of everyone who lives in south Shropshire and north Herefordshire. I have written to Forestry England asking for the car parks to reopened from Wednesday.

Shropshire Council leader calls for government funding for “jam and cream” town and parish councils #coronavirus

Last Friday, Shropshire Council leader Peter Nutting wrote to Robert Jenrick, the minister for local government, asking for support for town and parish councils because their finances have become stretched during the Covid-19 emergency. But Nutting refused to pass on any government money to parish councils. This is not the first time Shropshire Council has hijacked money destined to be used to support parishes. The language of Nutting’s letter is extraordinary. He declares that Shropshire Council is “my council”. Peter, the council is not yours. It’s ours. Councils are democratically elected bodies not sole ownership businesses. The letter gets more bizarre. Nutting declares: “To me I see that parish councils are the ones that add the jam and the cream to the cake we principle councils bake.” That is a sentence of florid prose on par with “it was a dark and stormy night”. I have never seen expressions like…

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Household Recycling Centres reopen at 9am tomorrow morning, including Craven Arms – expect queues #coronavirus

Household Recycling Centres (HRCs), colloquially known to us as tips, reopen in Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin tomorrow morning at 9am. This is a welcome move as it is inevitable the longer they are closed, the more fly-tipping we will see. Most fly-tipping is on private land so is not reported to the council. Like everything these days, the HRCs will be subject to social distancing. They will be open 9am-5pm, seven days a week. No vans allowed. Expect long queues, especially in the first few days of reopening and over the bank holiday weekend. Normal bin days this week. Collections will be one day later next week.

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