Justin Welby will be visiting Ludlow and holding a gathering St Laurence’s church on Tuesday 15 October. A road closure notice has been put in place at short notice for King Street between 9.15am and 10.30am. The closure could be in place for longer if necessary for public safety. Town workers should arrive early as the Broadgate is also scheduled to be closed that day (though I have asked for that to be lifted). Hundreds of cars are expected so there may be traffic jams, along with crowded park and ride buses.
Shropshire Council is conducting a review of its local plan. Last December, it consulted on sites for future employment and housing developments. On Monday, it launched a new consultation on three huge sites is wants to see developed, and one site it is uncertain about. Two of the sites, RAF Cosford and Tern Hill Barracks, are being promoted by the Ministry of Defence. A third is the now redundant Ironbridge Power Station. The fourth site, on green belt land beside the M54 at Tong, has been put forward by Bradford Estates.
The proposals for Cosford and Tong would remove 550 hectares of land from the green belt. This is top of more than 120 hectares of land the council is already proposing to de-designate as green belt land east of Bridgnorth and Shifnal. In all, 670 hectares of green belt land could be lost, equivalent to half the land area of Ludlow.
Everyone is furious. Spencer Manufacturing in Ludlow has felled several trees this morning. There was no necessity for this. A beautiful cherry tree now lies in chunks.
I am not suggesting that the site owners or the landscape company have acted illegally. But we must stop stripping the green out of our environment. We will become extinct if the bugs and beasties that support the ecosystem have nowhere to live. Trees are a fundamental part of our contract with the natural world. They absorb the greenhouse gas CO2 and give us life maintaining oxygen in return.
We lose trees because they age. We lose trees because we need to build. We should never lose trees unnecessarily as we have today.
I have been to some odd meetings in my time but this was one of the oddest. Last night, unitary, town and parish councillors met with a phalanx of Shropshire Council officers to debate infrastructure priorities for the Ludlow area. But the meeting proved to be more like a crowdfunded proofreading than a structured discussion about the future of this area of the county.
Discussion of the most controversial infrastructure proposals, combining both GP surgeries and community health services on a single site, was blocked by the chair.
Just after 10am this morning, a Shropshire Council vehicle blocked two disabled bays on Mill Street. We have had a lot of problems in this area. Not much with parking. But with civil enforcement officers challenging businesses going about their daily work.
This photo is of a civil enforcement officer emptying cash from a parking machine. He decided that he could break all rules by parking in the highway and blocking two disabled spaces.