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.

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Third time lucky for Stone House? New plans for 44 retirement apartments submitted but are they right for Ludlow? – updated

Update 25 June 2016

This application will be considered by the South Planning Committee on 19 July.

Main article 19 May 2016

It’s taking some time to get this application right. This often happens in significant planning applications and my view is that it is always worth taking the time to get an application right. Housing built today will still be around in a hundred years’ time and we need to get it right.

The first application for this site didn’t find favour with planners and conservations. It was revised but still failed to convince the town council, neighbours and myself. Now we have a third scheme. The application is for 44 retirement apartments and conversion of the stable block into four one bed affordable flats (16/02033/FUL).

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Ludlow Foyer – which does so much to help young people – is threatened with closure as cuts bite

The Ludlow Foyer is highly regarded for its work with young people. It provides a secure and supported pathway from a difficult childhood into work and independent accommodation. But it could well close as local and national spending cuts bite.

The Foyer provides low cost rented flats for fifteen young people (aged 16-25) who are continuing education, starting training or a job. The level of rent, currently £212 a week, means that many residents rely on benefits to secure their accommodation. The cost is worth it. Young people at the Foyer are supported by key workers. They sign up to a training plan and are supported into work. Young people arrive in difficulty and leave with greater confidence. In money terms alone, this will lead to lower social costs later in life. But most importantly, young people will have been given a boost that will improve their life chances and wellbeing.

The Foyer has been helping young people since 2000. But it is now facing the threat of closure because the finances no longer stack up in a period of cuts.

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