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.

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

The scandal over the TNS grant is not just a problem with administration, it’s a political issue: The Barrow Affair (8)

Yesterday reports into yet another scandal from the Keith Barrow era at Shropshire Council were released. The auditors’ reports soft pedal on criticism and fail to answer key questions. The focus is entirely on the administrative processes. Yet the main failure was in political leadership not in administration.

This was a £3.5million Shropshire Council programme. Just £80k went to TNS. I have heard no complaints about any other funding under this programme. But TNS is based in Oswestry, it is Keith Barrow’s favourite football team, and the grant – which is claimed to have been a loan – was awarded in unusual circumstances.

TNS denies any wrongdoing and yesterday its owner demanded an apology from the council.

Continue reading “The scandal over the TNS grant is not just a problem with administration, it’s a political issue: The Barrow Affair (8)”

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.

Continue reading “Ludlow is shafted by the Mayor of Shrewsbury on parking charge hikes”

The Barrow Affair (7): Shropshire Council threatens police action against councillors – I’d welcome being arrested

Shropshire Council has threatened Shropshire councillors with police action if we reveal details of a potentially illegal payment to a football club. That is too much for me to stomach. I want to know why a former councillor leader approved a grant to his favourite football team. I want to know why repayments of that “grant” were cancelled on his watch. I want to know why, when he was forced to resign from Shropshire Council, he was immediately employed by the owner of the football team.

The growing scandal about TNS, an Oswestry football club, cannot be ignored. If I knew enough to make the evidence public, I would publish it. I would welcome being reported to the police. I would volunteer for it. That means the police would see paperwork we councillors can’t see. They will have to look at the main issue.

Continue reading “The Barrow Affair (7): Shropshire Council threatens police action against councillors – I’d welcome being arrested”

Philip Dunne’s intervention in the Commons on Mortimer Forest cabins could kill the scheme

The row over the proposed development of 68 holiday cabins in the Mortimer Forest shows no sign of going away. A planning application was expected in June but we have yet to see it.

I wasn’t planning to write on this again until that application was submitted. But the intervention yesterday of our MP, Philip Dunne, is worth sharing. In response a question, from Philip, Thérèse Coffey, minister for woods and trees, said the government wasn’t at all happy with the cosy commercial arrangement between commercial cabin builder Forest Holidays and the publicly owned Forestry Commission.

I doubt this will kill the scheme but I hope it will.

Continue reading “Philip Dunne’s intervention in the Commons on Mortimer Forest cabins could kill the scheme”