Sudden death of much loved BBC Radio Shropshire’s Vicki Archer reminds us how vital local radio is in our lives

Like so many listeners to BBC Radio Shropshire, I am shaken to hear of the sudden death of Vicki Archer at the age of 41. She would normally be broadcasting to our county as I type this. Tributes are pouring out on social media and on air. They are richly deserved.

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A planning inspector has thrown out plans for two large houses on the Linney. But the fight may not be over yet

The plans for two large executive-style homes on the Linney have been thrown out by a planning inspector. This is a precious green space that provides a beautiful view from the Linney towards the Bringewood. It is right that these houses have been rejected. We have no need for more large homes in Ludlow. There are plenty of other places to build and what we need most is smaller homes for young people and families.

This is also an important victory for protection of Ludlow’s conservation area and the town’s historic character.

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Here we go again – another consultation on parking – this time for off-street parking in Ludlow

Here is the fourth and penultimate of the consultations on the new parking regime which is expected to come into force in September. It is a mixed bag of changes. There will be free parking on Sundays but the council has reneged on its promise to only apply charges from 9am in the morning. Charges will apply from 8am to 6pm. Users can stay for as long as they want subject to a maximum charge of eight hours.

Castle Street car park will cost £1 an hour, half price on Sundays. The top deck of Upper Galdeford will cost £0.50 an hour, free on Sundays. The lower levels of Upper Galdeford and Smithfield will cost £0.30 an hour, free on Sundays.

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I want to tell you about Joe from the Windrush Generation – he helped shape my life

I was seven years old. I was a sicky child. In the proudest moment of my life up to that point, an ambulance drew up outside our council house. Instead of being the undoubted weakling on the street, kids rushed to wonder at my sudden importance. I was taken to somewhere that seemed so far away. There I made my first black friend, a friendship that endured for years and widened my perspectives. Joe came on a boat from Jamaica. The Windrush Generation.

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Shropshire Council throws £51 million at Shrewsbury shopping centres – it is the wrong investment

Late last month, Shropshire Council concluded its controversial deal to purchase three Shrewsbury shopping centres from an offshore trust. The price was £51 million. The Shropshire Star called the deal “an extraordinary and historic purchase” and described the council as “brave”. Bravery is one thing but I suspect this purchase to be unwise. If I had £51 million in my pocket, I wouldn’t invest it in shopping centres. I’d use the money to improve the social fabric of our county by building council housing.

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