Category: Services

Bromfield Post Office and Village Shop to close from the end of August – we need to think of alternative provision

Ludlow Farmshop has announced that Bromfield Post Office & Village Shop will close permanently on 31 August 2020. This is a big loss to Bromfield parish, whose residents have benefited from the convenience of a local store, along with postal and banking facilities. But the operation has been loss making for several years. Those losses, funded by the Earl of Plymouth trustees, have increased. Covid-19 has been the final blow. With the temporary closure of The Clive and Ludlow Kitchen, and reduced trade on these reopening, no more losses can be sustained. It is expected that post office staff will be transferred to other parts of the business. I don’t think we should give up on a post office service in Bromfield. The parish has an elderly population and many rely on the shop for newspapers and groceries, as well as post office services. Commenting as Shropshire Councillor for the parish and chair of the parish council, I think we should explore options for a post office service for at least a few hours a week in Bromfield.

Tomorrow and Tuesday are black bin days in Ludlow. Veolia operatives wear gloves and won’t come into skin contact with recyclables or residual black bin waste. However, Public Health England has issued specific advice on waste if you are self-isolating, regardless of whether you have a diagnosis of Covid-19 or not. Shropshire Council has confirmed that it will operate waste and recycling operations in accordance with these guidelines. You might also want to ensure your bin handles are cleaned before collection. In these unusual times, we should be both good and careful and follow guidelines as they are issued.

BT plans to remove well used phone box outside former Budgens store

BT is progressively removing little or unused phone kiosks around the country. The number of calls from phone boxes has fallen. Some have not been used in the last year, even longer. Some have been vandalised. The result is that several Ludlow phone kiosks have been removed in recent years. Now, BT wants to remove the phone box on Upper Galdeford outside the former Budgens store. This is wrong. The box was used for 435 calls in the year up to September 2019. That’s not huge. I am sure it is not profitable for BT. But the phone kiosk is still in active use and should be maintained.

Shropshire Council is consulting on the future of its library services – I fear for mobile library services

Shropshire Council’s Library services were reviewed two years ago. The conclusion of that review was that three tiers of library would be established: Tier 1 Library Hubs in Shrewsbury and larger market towns, including Ludlow; Tier 2 Community Libraries in the smaller market towns such as Church Stretton; and Tier 3 Community Libraries in smaller market towns such as Craven Arms. Rural areas would be served by mobile libraries with 281 stops in all. The new library strategy was to last for five years. But just two years into its implementation, Shropshire Council has announced another review. The council does not give a straightforward reason for the review. Rather, it says “we identified the need for a refreshed strategy that offers a robust vision with clear priorities for the library service of the future.” Given how stretched staff are within the council, and how stretched its finances are, it is inevitable that people are wondering whether the review presages another round of cuts. Otherwise why allocate so much staff time? The council says it is committed to retaining the three tier library structure. But it hasn’t said it is committed to keeping mobile libraries. There will be a drop in…

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Shropshire Council budget: Cuts are targeted at the health of our county and planet

Shropshire Council has cut £48 million from its budget over the last three years under pressure of government cuts. It will need to cut, or in its words “save”, £18.5m next year. The council has now set out details of the proposed cuts and is asking for public comments. Under the proposals, recycling will get more difficult and households will pay twice over for garden waste. This is bound to cut the proportion of waste that is recycled, a proportion that is already falling. The council is also proposing cuts to the planning team, along with culture and leisure services.

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