The big Ludlow health and services debate is tomorrow at 7 o’clock – please join us

Tomorrow night at 7pm, we are expecting a huge crowd at Ludlow School for a public meeting on the future of health and council services in Ludlow and Shropshire.

The headline act is Philip Dunne, MP for Ludlow and Health Minister in Theresa May’s government. Philip is due to speak first, after which he will take questions.

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MP Philip Dunne to join debate on local health facilities and services

Health service and council budgets are under unprecedented pressure. Ludlow Town Council and the Ludlow and Clee Local Joint Committee (LJC) will be hosting a public debate on 29 September on health and public services.

Health minister and Ludlow MP Philip Dunne will join a panel for a debate on the future of services in the south of the county. He’ll be joined by Cecilia Motley, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for rural services, and George Candler, the council’s director of place and enterprise.

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Welcome news as health minister Philip Dunne says Ludlow Community Hospital “will remain a hospital"

Last night, our local MP Philip Dunne, who is the new Health Minister, gave a categorical assurance that Ludlow Hospital will not close. He told a crowded meeting of the hospital League of Friends that the hospital “is going to remain a hospital”.

Speaking after Philip, David Evans from the Clinical Commissioning Group confirmed that closure is not an option:

“Ludlow is not under threat of closure. Let me be absolutely clear about that.”

David thought there could be more services offered from Ludlow Hospital and for it to become a health and wellbeing centre, as well as a community hospital. But he also made it clear that, in his personal view, we might lose the midwifery-led unit.

The news that the hospital looks set to survive is very welcome. But although we have a political and policy commitment to keep Ludlow Hospital but I am not yet convinced the story stacks up. We had that level of political commitment with the ill-fated Eco Park hospital project.

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Brilliant result as Friends of Ludlow Museum get £250K in Budget to catalogue geological collection

It was an inspirational move by John Cherry, a former curator at the British Museum and a member of the Friends of Ludlow Museum. It led to an award for £250,000 to catalogue the precious geological collection in our Museum Resource Centre.

After the major banks were discovered to be rigging inter-bank lending rates (Libor) in 2012, regulators imposed fines of more than £450 million. George Osborne decided that this money should neither remain with the regulators or the government’s coffers. It would pay for good causes. Continue reading “Brilliant result as Friends of Ludlow Museum get £250K in Budget to catalogue geological collection”

Philip Dunne triumphs on a bad night for the Lib Dems

I am not going to pretend this has been a good night for the Liberal Democrats, not nationally or locally. But first let me congratulate Philip Dunne for winning a third term of office with an increased majority.

Philip Dunne          Conservative Party           54%       26,093

David Kelly            UK Independence Party   15%       7,164

Charlotte Barnes     Liberal Democrats            13%       6,469

Simon Slater           Labour Party                    12%       5,902

Janet Phillips          Green Party                      5%         2,435

As I type this at 4 in the morning, the Lib Dems seem to be getting the blame for everything that went wrong in the coalition and no credit for things that have gone right. Good, hardworking Lib Dem MPs are losing their seats.

It’s a cruel cull – but that’s politics.

It hasn’t been good here in Ludlow. Charlotte threw everything into a gutsy campaign but she was swimming against the national tide that drowned so many prominent Lib Dems. I take my hat off to her for her energy, enthusiasm and endless ability to burst out laughing on the doorstep.

I can’t disguise that it grates to come third behind UKIP. I am a liberal through and through, and to come third behind an anti-liberal party hurts.

It’s a cruel result – but that’s politics.

There is a lot of reflecting to do after this morning’s results. I would have liked to have seen rainbow coalition – a structure that would have changed politics for ever. But at this hour of the morning, I think seeing my bed might be more achievable.