I am putting in place a stricter comments policy immediately

Way back in the late 1980s we were running a very early version of social media at the Open University. One Friday night, I was alerted to an abusive conversation going on about how much debate it would take to hang all the homosexuals in Britain. I shut down the debate immediately. I suspended the officer from all university computing (ergo, he would use lose his job), went to his 21st birthday party and floored him in my office first thing Monday morning. It is rumoured that everyone stopped work in the corridor as I made the man (young and foolish) justify his case to to get back online.

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Shropshire in crisis: Don’t spend £25 million on Shirehall, council staff should work around the county

Shropshire Council is one of the largest employers in our county. Yet it has concentrated most of his staff in Shrewsbury. That sucks jobs and expenditure from the rest of the county. It also means that its view of Shropshire is dominated by Shrewsbury and rural areas barely get a look in.

There is a different model. Back office operations could be devolved around the county to give the rest of the county would get an economic and democratic boost. Shirehall should be knocked down and replaced with a mix of offices and homes.

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Should we part of a national park? Join us for a debate on 29 November

I have been promoting the idea of South Shropshire becoming a national park. I hear more support for this idea than I hear opposition. A recent straw poll in the Shropshire Star was 70/30 in favour. There is a lot of debate to be had. A lot of work to do.

The start the ball rolling, the Ludlow and Clee Local Joint Committee will be holding a public debate on the idea on 29 November. Please join us.

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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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