Shropshire Council is planning to raid the tills of Ludlow charities with business rate hikes – it’s an immoral tax on volunteers

We have more from the Directorate of Very Bad News at Shropshire Council. The council is planning to cancel all discretionary business rate relief for charities, sports clubs, youth clubs and a lot of other social enterprises across the county. In Ludlow, and voluntary and social enterprises could face an annual bill of more than £20,000 from next April.

This is nothing other than a tax on our volunteer community. It is a disgusting raid on the funding of good causes.

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How to be cruel in one effective blow – fining the poor for being poor is Shropshire Council’s latest proposal (updated)

That’s what Shropshire Council is planning to do. Unable to balance its budget, and that is the fault of the government as well as this Conservative led council, it plans to tax some of the poorest people in our county. Yesterday, 14 December, the council voted in favour of making some of the poorest and most vulnerable in Shropshire pay 20% of their council tax bill. One member argued: “It is only fair that everyone shares the burden.” I disagreed saying: “It is not fair that the poor share the burden.”

Surely our job as a council is to protect vulnerable people, not tax them?

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Social mobility in Shropshire is in free fall – we are failing young people

It is not a surprise that the remaining members of the government’s Social Mobility Commission have resigned this weekend.[1] Anger has been growing for months that the government has been distracted from improving individual lives by the demands of Brexit.

Shropshire is one of the worst areas in England for young people to get out of the trap of struggling households and poor education. Last week, the county was ranked the 237th worst out of 324 local authorities for social mobility.[2] Just a year before, we were at rank 185. We have skidded downwards.

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Vital campaign to save Ludlow Foyer launches on #StartsAtHome Day

Today is a national day of action. #StartsAtHome aims to highlight the importance of supported social housing, including projects like the Ludlow Foyer. Young people have been out in the Market Square today, explaining how the Foyer is helping them get from a crisis into work, education and training. They are telling people that funding for the Foyer is under threat from national and local budget cuts. There is every danger that, despite its groundbreaking work, the Foyer will close in 2018.

Closing Ludlow Foyer would be crazy. It would mean that young people would end up on the streets and would not get the help they need to get a good start in adult life.

Please sign the petition urging Shropshire Council to protect funding for the Foyer.

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Look at this photograph of a great pub in Ludlow – Do you see what I saw?

I was walking back from a council meeting in the Guildhall. As always I was taking snapshots to build up my picture library.

The Rose and Crown reopens on 18 July at 11am. It will be run by Gary and Carlos. I am convinced it will be great pub. The hanging sign is up. This evening I took a photo for a future blog post. I have every intention of being the first in the queue when the pub reopens – though council duties may sadly get in the way.

But back to the photograph. Here it is. Do you see what I saw when I tapped the shutter button on my mobile phone?

rose_crown_signage_homeless

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