On the death of Simon Lissauer – A Ludlow homeless man who was lost in life but had many friends

Simon Lissauer was a homeless man who had slept in a garage in Ludlow for at least ten years. He died Wednesday night in a hotel provided by Shropshire Council to give him shelter during the second lockdown and because he had complained of being unwell. The death of Simon has affected many people. His friends here in Ludlow and beyond. The team of council officers who had been working so hard to help him. There is a sense of failure amongst us. Simon could be difficult to deal with at times. But we were getting closer to get him into permanent accommodation when his body gave way.

Ludlow Tesco complains people are using its car park without shopping and wants stricter parking controls and in-store spend

There is a lack of car parking for the town’s supermarkets of Station Drive. That’s almost impossible to solve. Some people park in Tesco to shop there. Others shop in Aldi or the town centre without visiting Tesco. The car park is free, as is the Aldi car park. Charges apply in the council owned Galdeford car park. Its lowest deck, nearest to Tesco, is often full of vehicles owned by town centre workers and train travellers by first thing in the morning. Tesco is concerned that its car park is being used by people who spend no money at all in its store. And that those people are reducing turnover in the car park and turnover in the store. It has applied to introduce a new scheme with 30 minutes free and up to two hours free if £5 is spent in the store.

Covid Watch: Now we know – Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin are in Tier 2 – this is bad news for our the visitor and hospitality economy

Now we know. Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin which entered the second lockdown in Tier 1 are to emerge in Tier 2 with stricter restrictions. It feels like we are being punished for having dealt with the infection risk effectively. It’s particularly galling for Ludlow where the infection rate is around 60 per 100,000 people. On the Isle of Sheppey, the infection rate is above 1,100. We have no choice on this. The government will review our tier status on 16 December. By then, the damage to local retail and hospitality businesses will be significant. If we are promoted down to Tier 1, we are likely to get a rush before Christmas and that could bring its own dangers.   It is disappointing that Shropshire entered lockdown in Tier 1 and will emerge from it in Tier 2. When we entered lockdown, two weeks too late in my view, cases were rising rapidly in Shropshire. But we got that under control. It now feels like we are being punished for getting things right. I’m deflated. Ludlow relies heavily on hospitality. We have some of the best pubs, restaurants and cafes in the country. We are safe. We experienced a recent…

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Covid Watch: It’s decision day on tiers for Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and all of England – will we be one of the few areas in Tier 1?

Tier 1 or Tier 2? That is today’s question. There are other questions. Will the government apply tiers across entire regions? Or will they be imposed at local authority level? Will Shropshire’s unitary area and Telford and Wrekin be treated as one unit because we have a common health system. I am not going to speculate but I am hoping for Tier 1 status for Shropshire and Ludlow. That will be better for business and better for mental health. That will help our town’s recovery. The Ludlow Town Centre Recovery Working Group meets first thing tomorrow morning to consider the implications of whatever tier is imposed.

Covid Watch: Call to Shropshire businesses: have you applied for your lockdown grants yet?

Shropshire Council is now running two grant schemes for businesses affected by Covid-19. The Local Restrictions Support Grant allocates money based on rateable value to non-essential retail, hospitality and personal care businesses that have been forced to close. The grant also is also available to leisure and community venues, along with sports facilities. A second grant scheme was launched yesterday. Businesses that have not been forced to close but have been severely impacted by COVID-19 can apply for a Discretionary Additional Restrictions Grant.

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