The wind has been blowing hard since yesterday afternoon. Today is recycling day for parts of Ludlow and many other areas. And once again, we are seeing the all too familiar scene of plastics and tins being blown from the recycling boxes and littering the streets. What is Shropshire Council planning to do about this? Absolutely nothing.
On Thursday, Shropshire Council rejected plans to invest in upgraded LED streetlights. There is a danger that many streetlights will go out as old sodium lamps fail. The rejection by Conservative councillors also means that street lighting will cost taxpayers more in the long run. The Conservatives also rejected proposals to work with parish councils on environmental improvements.
The Forestry Commission has published plans for “new opportunities” in the Mortimer Forest to the south of the town. It promises “benefits for day and overnight visitors, including new and improved paths, trails, natural play, habitat enhancement and a viewpoint for all to enjoy.” That will include 68 holiday chalets in the heart of the forest and a £2.8 million boost to the local economy. The case for the development is overstated.
Fly-tipping in Shropshire was down a little last year but the overall trend is no change. Over the last five years, reported incidents have averaged 1,400 a year, mostly on the highways and mostly domestic rubbish. Over the same period, Shropshire Council spend £500,000 cleaning up and taking action. There were only two prosecutions and twelve fixed penalty notices. More than 300 warning letters were issued. Thousands of perpetrators went unidentified or didn’t face action.
I am not convinced that the official data records anywhere near the number of incidents that occur on private land, especially agricultural land.
The closure of the Co-op on Foldgate Lane for more than eight hours yesterday after a burglary shows how desperately we need a second petrol filling station Ludlow. The nearest alternatives are at Craven Arms and Leominster. But a second filling station for our town cannot come at any cost.
Plans for a petrol filling station on Bromfield Road, along with a convenience store, have split opinion. I only gave my support for the project after an assurance that the fuel tanks would be above ground to minimise damage from any leakage. But now the Environment Agency has withdrawn its objections to the scheme. That’s makes it all but certain the development will go ahead with fuel tanks sunk into the water table.