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The legals at Shropshire Council have accepted my complaint that manifesto commitments must not be announced during council meetings. That is a long standing rule but the Tories decided to announce their manifesto commitment to highways at the Place Overview Committee on Tuesday. There was a bit of argy-bargy with the Chief Monitoring Officer who initially supported the statement by deputy leader Steve Charmley as being nothing more than a contribution to the debate. No one agreed with that position. Today we councillors got a correction and instructions that this must not happen again. This not a Tory council. It is Shropshire’s council. More on Tory trousers and adjustments thereof below.

It’s census time again – help is available – what are your stories of census days of old?

There are many ways of measuring how old you are. The number of censuses you have completed is one of them. You should by now have received your invitation to take part in the 2021 Census. It’s online but you request paper and there is support for completing the questionnaire from Shropshire Libraries. I said it’s an invitation. It is not. It’s compulsory. But is one of the most important surveys we complete in our lifetimes. Please complete it. Please don’t be Jedi. And share you experiences of censuses of old in the comments section below.

GPs have confirmed that vaccination for the over 80s will at last begin next Thursday, 28 January. We are behind in vaccination in south west Shropshire. We hope to catch up in just a few days. Residents of registered with GPs Ludlow, Church Stretton, Craven Arms, Clun and Bishops Castle who are over 80 will receive letters or calls inviting them to attend the Mayfair Centre on Easthope Road in Church Stretton. Clinics are expected run 12 hours a day, including through next weekend. Discussions are underway with bus and taxi companies about transport. Those that are housebound or cannot travel to Church Stretton will be offered vaccination in the coming weeks. Please don’t ring your GP about your vaccination appointment. Switchboards have been overwhelmed. GPs are saying: “Don’t call us. We’ll call you.” Ring 119 if you think you might be ill with Covid-19 or want a test. Ring your GP if you have concerns about other illnesses.

It’s coming up to New Year. It is normally a time for partying and what self-respecting party doesn’t drag everyone out into the cold for the firework display? The problem, coronavirus restrictions aside, is not the fireworks. It is that they have become noisier over the years. They scare the hell out of some people and traumatise a nation of pets. My dog hides under the bed in a panic, despite being an ex-farm dog used to guns. My cat is well frit for hours. It is not just animals. Many people with autism, tinnitus and other conditions also suffer. Shropshire Council has twice debated fireworks in the last year. On both occasions it agreed to provide advice and it has done so. But the council cabinet member overseeing regulation was meant to lobby government but has not acted. We need national action by MPs, not just debates in hallowed chambers.

Obituary for Simon Mark Lissauer whose funeral was last Monday at St Laurence’s Church

Simon was well known in our town. He died on 25 November aged 61 years. Thanks to the generosity of St Laurence’s Church and Victoria Allen, and financial support from Shropshire Council, Simon’s funeral was graceful and moving. Wild Edric filmed the service and the video is here. It is well worth listening to Tom Elwin beautiful singing of Panis Angelicus at 30 minutes in. The eulogy was read by Catherine Beaumont on behalf of Simon’s friend since schooldays, Floyd Moody. It is reproduced below.

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