Criminals are exploiting children and vulnerable adults in Shropshire and Ludlow – we have ten county lines

County lines extend drug dealing from the cities into smaller towns, including to Shropshire. Ludlow is one of the seven towns police identify as vulnerable to county line activity. Two people have recently been jailed for taking over a Ludlow house for drug dealing – cuckooing.

County lines controlled from Merseyside, Manchester and the Midlands are only part of the issue.

Every year in Shropshire, police, medical practitioners and councils monitor around 150 young people vulnerable to child sexual exploitation – CSE.

This part of a nationwide problem of exploitation of children and vulnerable adults by criminals.

Shropshire and Ludlow are low crime areas but we have many vulnerable people who are being exploited by criminals. There is good work underway to tackle the problem but it remains one of the most complex challenges for the public sector.

If you have concerns about anyone, ring 101 or talk anonymously to Crimestoppers online or on 0800 555 111. For an immediate threat ring 999.

Continue reading “Criminals are exploiting children and vulnerable adults in Shropshire and Ludlow – we have ten county lines”

Our Youth Centre has been Dunne in – we must save it and provide the services young people need

A post by Councillor Tracey Huffer, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East.

In 2014, Philip Dunne gave an awkward lecture to young people at Ludlow Youth Centre. He attempted to explain why he was backing Shropshire Council’s move to convert half of Ludlow Youth Centre into offices. It was a rare intervention by Dunne in Shropshire Council’s politics. It was disastrous for Ludlow’s young people.

Since then, we have struggled. We no longer have the space and privacy in the Youth Centre we need for projects like Ludlow Young Health. Our budgets have been cut. From next April, we will be almost entirely on our own. The only services Shropshire Council is expecting to provide is outreach. Contacting young people on the streets. We already fund Ludlow Young Health locally. We will have to fund the junior youth club locally. We will probably have to pay for the Youth Centre.

We must reverse the trajectory backed by Dunne that has led to a catastrophic collapse of our youth services in Ludlow. We must transfer our Youth Centre into our control.

Continue reading “Our Youth Centre has been Dunne in – we must save it and provide the services young people need”

A new approach to youth services in Ludlow starts next year – we are going to tackle the big issue of mental health

Mental health services are being cut back. It can take weeks, even months, for a young person to get a mental health referral. Often, they must go to Shrewsbury for a consultation. Many youngsters can’t or won’t do that.

Ludlow Youth Partnership wants to tackle this. We have partnered with the Children’s Society which runs the Beam emotional wellbeing service in Shrewsbury and Wellington. Our new drop in service launches in February. It is supported by a lot of organisations and is the first independent commissioning of the Children’s Society to provide emotional wellbeing services for young people in Shropshire.

Continue reading “A new approach to youth services in Ludlow starts next year – we are going to tackle the big issue of mental health”

Join us in Ludlow for the national park debate tomorrow, Thursday 29 November

Tomorrow night, Thursday, the Ludlow and Clee Local Joint Committee will be holding a public debate on the idea of seeking national park status at 7pm, Thursday 29 November. Please join us at Elim Church Hall, just off Smithfield car park in Ludlow.

We will also be announcing an innovative project on tackling mental health issues among young people.

Please join us.

More on the national park concept: It’s time for South Shropshire be designated a national park? Should we part of a national park?

Council leader should apologise for using vulnerable refugee children to justify council’s financial black hole

A rather unpleasant row has blown up over comments made by Shropshire Council leader Peter Nutting on BBC Radio Shropshire earlier in the week. Speaking on why the council is struggling to balance its budget, he said that ten child refugees had been taken into care, claiming they have cost the council £1 million. He identified the nationality of the children. This was careless talk that could turn public attitudes against supporting vulnerable young people. It was also dangerous talk that could threaten the youngsters themselves.

Continue reading “Council leader should apologise for using vulnerable refugee children to justify council’s financial black hole”