Ring the bells. Bang the drums. March the bands. The green space at the bottom of Charlton Rise has been saved! Social housing provider Connexus has told Ludlow Town Council that it will not proceed with its proposal for five bungalows on the green space on Sidney Road at the bottom of Charlton Rise. We must now move to protect this green space and its trees in perpetuity by getting it declared a town green. We should also plant a Norway Maple to replace the one that was felled three years ago.
Representatives from Ludford town centre and Ludlow Town Council, along with Viv Parry and myself, met with Crest Nicholson on Monday to discuss temporary construction access to the Foldgate Lane development for a period of up to two months. There are three competing proposals. The developer favours access along and across Foldgate Lane. Ludford parish council wants access from the A49 through an underpass. Viv Parry and I have suggested moving the proposed T-Junction further south on the A49 to make it easier to build. Ours is a more complex proposal but it would be a more satisfactory long term solution. However, the developer does not wish to engage again with Highways England which has proved to be a difficult organisation to deal with. The Ludford proposal makes a lot of sense.
The CCTV system in Ludlow’s town centre has long needed an upgrade. Dating back to 2003, the current cameras are low resolution. Faces cannot be recognised on the recordings. Discussions have been underway for a while about replacement cameras. Now Ludlow Town Council is ready to go ahead. First, the scheme needs planning permission and an application has now been lodged with Shropshire Council (19/04207/FUL). This is a like for like replacement meaning there will be no impact on the town centre’s historic landscape.
Ludlow town centre is a low crime area compared to the centres of Shrewsbury and Oswestry. But it is not crime free. Last May, 42 crimes in the town centre were reported to the police. Fifteen of these were classed as “violence or sexual offences”. An upgrade of the town centre’s CCTV is overdue and welcome. It will help keep Ludlow a low crime town.
South Shropshire could benefit from extra funding under the umbrella of a new National Landscapes Service if recommendations of a report to the government published yesterday are accepted. There will be new national parks but not in Shropshire. My proposal last year to create a Shropshire Hills National Park failed to gain widespread support. A government commissioned review is calling for a new national park in the Chilterns and says that the government should also consider creating national parks in the Cotswolds and Dorset. I would not be surprised if other areas of outstanding natural beauty unilaterally declare themselves to be national parks. They will be following the footsteps of the Broads and London in doing so. Maybe we should do the same in Shropshire.
I have written about events at yesterday’s meeting of Shropshire Council, including the walkout by Tory councillors who could not stomach listening to an Extinction Rebellion protest. That’s ironic. The Tories walked out because they did not want to listen to a protest about the climate emergency. They were more concerned with getting on with the business of building motorways in Shropshire.
The Conservative walkout was just ahead of the protests by millions of people around the world today at the lack of progress by our politicians on tackling the climate emergency. Many, but not all, politicians accept the threat of climate change. They just don’t understand the word emergency. Shropshire Council is a microcosm of the world’s approach to climate change. Do as little as possible as late as possible.
Richard Davies from Shrewsbury Extinction Rebellion was thrown out of the council meeting by the speaker who asked members to: “Treat [these people] with the contempt they deserve.” The Tories had a fixed look of contempt as they left.
Today Richard has provided a copy of his intended statement. You can read it below. I hope all members of Shropshire Council and town and parish councillors read it.