Protest on Ludlow parking charge hike confirmed for 6pm Tuesday on Castle Square – please join us

Ludlow Chamber of Commerce has confirmed that there will be a public protest on Castle Square next Tuesday evening against Shropshire Council’s plans to hike parking charges in Ludlow. Please come along and support the case for changes to parking charges that will damage our town centre. Shrewsbury has got concessions, so why shouldn’t Ludlow get them?

Details of the protest are here.

The morning after the protest, I will be at Shropshire Council cabinet arguing for changes to the proposed regime.

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Ludlow is shafted by the Mayor of Shrewsbury on parking charge hikes

The Mayor of Ludlow and I held a meeting with Shropshire Council’s portfolio holder for transport, Steve Davenport, on Monday to discuss proposed increases in parking charges.

We were not told by Councillor Davenport that the final cabinet papers on charges had been agreed more than three hours before he arrived in Ludlow. Those papers say that proposed charges in Ellesmere, which Davenport represents, will not go ahead. They give concessions on charges in Shrewsbury, as demanded by Peter Nutting, leader of Shropshire Council. Coincidentally, Councillor Nutting is also the Mayor of Shrewsbury.

Ludlow has been shafted. Utterly shafted.

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Another night of damage at Ludlow’s Eco Park. Enough is enough. Shropshire Council must act

Last night, young racers caused significant damage to the surface of the Eco Park park and ride site. There was also much spinning of vehicles on the Eco Park over the weekend. This is not new. But neither the police of Shropshire Council seem interested in tackling the problem.

In Ludlow, we have a long term problem with young racers. The police seem to prefer them to be at the Eco Park where they do not disturb town centre residents. We had a clampdown on young racers last year but this now seems to be off the police’s radar. Viv Parry and I have received several complaints in recent days. We are both appalled by the continual damage, littering and fly-tipping.

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SaTH launches a consultation to “temporarily” close rural maternity units permanently

Today Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust launched a six week consultation on the future of rural maternity services. It has kept this very quiet. The review follows the extended closure of MLUs in Ludlow, Bridgnorth and Oswestry.

Tracey Huffer, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East, says: “It’s almost a joke. It is so typical of the way that SaTH is working.”

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Tracey continues:

The midwife led maternity units have been closed for births for weeks. Now SaTH has launched a consultation intended to make the closure for births permanent.

SaTH may try to pretend that the closure of MLUs for births is temporary. The reality is that it will be permanent. It may blame a shortage of staff. The reality is that SaTH itself has created that shortage. SaTH may plead that women are “preferring” to give birth in Shrewsbury or Telford. The reality is that rural mothers have had no choice where to give birth because SaTH has constantly closed the rural midwifery led units at short notice.

I am lost for words. We have been here before. We have been backwards and forwards time and time again on closures and consultations.

But SaTH has not listened to anything said so far. Rural mothers around the county have shouted loud that they want to give birth locally. They have organised protest marches. But the health trust has not listened to anything the mothers who love the maternity units in Ludlow, Bridgnorth and Oswestry.

Families in rural areas deserve first class local maternity services. We have had that service until just a few years ago. The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust now wants to withdraw midwifery led maternity services from rural areas.

The time is long overdue for SaTH to recognise that it is also the Shropshire hospital trust. It must serve us all, not just Shrewsbury and Telford.

It will be a huge blow to rural life if mothers are permanently banned from giving birth in our community hospitals.