Tory councillors demand retribution after I expose their options for Ludlow Assembly Rooms

It was always going to happen. The Tories that dominate Shropshire Council can’t take a word of criticism. Now, Councillors Steven Charmley, Peter Nutting and Lezley Picton have lodged a formal complaint against me for having “published information which had been obtained from a report to Cabinet that was exempt from publication”. This shows just how far Shropshire Council fails to understand that an open and challenging democracy is fundamental to way our country works. But in Shropshire, criticise the leadership and you are threatened with retraining, suspension or worse. The council leadership want to silence me. They want me to delete articles from my blog. No way. Never. Never. We are an open and challenging democracy. That is never easy. It is more often difficult. But it is the way our country works.

Back to the future at Linney House as new application and threat lodged for four suburban detached houses

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. The attempt to build houses in the grounds of Linney House has become something of a saga. Initially plans were submitted for four detached suburban homes on this sensitive site back in 2012. That was reduced to three houses under pressure from council planners. That scheme gained permission in 2014 from a council under pressure from the government to approve housing. Three dwellings weren’t enough for the developer. In came a scheme for eight houses of a modern design in 2019. The design was good but the application ran into trouble from ecologists and conservationists. Now, plans have been submitted for four detached homes. They retain the modern design of the first 2019 application (19/05519/FUL).

Peter Nutting says he has “no intention” of selling Ludlow Assembly Rooms – we need better guarantees than that

It is always worth listening to what politicians say. And listening to it twice. This morning, Shropshire Council leader Peter Nutting was questioned by Eric Smith on BBC Radio Shropshire. He said that reports of Shropshire Council selling Ludlow Assembly Rooms (LAR) were “tosh”. There is no intention of selling. Fair enough and good news. But “no intention” is not a guarantee. Shropshire Council has backed itself into a corner over LAR. It has only two options that will not cost it more money. Flogging the premises or allowing Ludlow to run South Shropshire’s premier cultural centre as agreed.

Ludlow Brewery is planning a veranda and balcony at the front of the building

It’s not the best view in the world. It overlooks the brewery car park, Aldi’s car park and the station car park. But there is little doubt that a balcony and a veranda with a servery at the front of the Ludlow Brewery, a former railway shed, will add to the capacity and functionality of one of Ludlow’s prime venues. The planning application (19/05500/FUL) needs to be looked at in detail. We need more information on how often and at what hours the balcony will be used. We need to consider the noise impact on nearby residences.

Two Ludlow Town Council councillors resign and Ludlow Town Council advertises for replacements

If you want to become a Ludlow Town Councillor, you have until 22 January to apply. This follows the resignations of Councillors Tony Mahalski and Nicola Paton. Their departures have created vacancies in two wards, Whitcliffe and Clee View. The rules for the applications are set out on the town council’s website. Ludlow Town Council achieves a lot for our town. It’s a voice for the people who live here. It makes grants to community groups. It maintains some of the town’s open spaces and play areas. It runs the market. It works hard to ensure that Ludlow’s voice is heard across Shropshire and beyond. Toilets and much more.

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