Oswestry and Shrewsbury get most of Shropshire Council’s investment cash – Ludlow gets a few crumbs

Numbers dug out by a Bridgnorth resident reveal that the north of the county gets the lion’s share of Shropshire Council’s capital investment. The spend per head in Shrewsbury, Oswestry and Market Drayton is ten times as high as in Ludlow. We get barely more than a quarter of the money that goes to Bridgnorth. Ludlow has gained just 1% of the capital spend across the county.

This is not for want of trying. In May, us unitary councillors submitted a proposal for investment in Ludlow to Shropshire Council leader Peter Nutting. Three months later he has still not found time to come to our town to discuss it.

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Ludlow is shafted by the Mayor of Shrewsbury on parking charge hikes

The Mayor of Ludlow and I held a meeting with Shropshire Council’s portfolio holder for transport, Steve Davenport, on Monday to discuss proposed increases in parking charges.

We were not told by Councillor Davenport that the final cabinet papers on charges had been agreed more than three hours before he arrived in Ludlow. Those papers say that proposed charges in Ellesmere, which Davenport represents, will not go ahead. They give concessions on charges in Shrewsbury, as demanded by Peter Nutting, leader of Shropshire Council. Coincidentally, Councillor Nutting is also the Mayor of Shrewsbury.

Ludlow has been shafted. Utterly shafted.

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Social mobility in Shropshire is in free fall – we are failing young people

It is not a surprise that the remaining members of the government’s Social Mobility Commission have resigned this weekend.[1] Anger has been growing for months that the government has been distracted from improving individual lives by the demands of Brexit.

Shropshire is one of the worst areas in England for young people to get out of the trap of struggling households and poor education. Last week, the county was ranked the 237th worst out of 324 local authorities for social mobility.[2] Just a year before, we were at rank 185. We have skidded downwards.

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What is the future for our county? The big plan debate. Ludlow, 30 November 2017

The Ludlow and Clee Local Joint Committee (LJC) is to hold a special meeting on 30 November to discuss Shropshire Council’s draft local plan. This sets out ambitious policies to expand housing and employment across the county.

Ludlow councillor Andy Boddington is chairman of the LJC, says:

“This opportunity to debate our ideas about the future of the county. Shropshire Council’s new plans aim for economic growth and building nearly 1,500 homes a year across the county. Much of this will be in the north and east of the county but we also need to work out what is best for the more rural areas, including Ludlow.”

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Ludlow still faces rates hikes despite lower bills after MP’s intervention and appeals

After effective negotiations and some successful appeals, the overall business rates bill for Ludlow has gone down. The town had been facing above average increases after the revaluation of properties last year. It is still facing above average increases but more than seventy businesses have had their rates bills reduced since the increases were announced.[1] One in nine Ludlow businesses will see a reduction in rateable value and the changes have moved three local businesses out of the business rate regime altogether. The reduction in rateable values for those businesses that pay rates under the current rules amounts to £120,000. That’s a 10.4% reduction and good news for local companies and traders.

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