“After this people will have no trust in public consultation.” That’s the view of Councillor Tracey Huffer after the Clinical Commissioning Groups decided to downgrade Shropshire’s rural maternity units. The plan, still subject to confirmation, is that only prenatal and postnatal services will be offered at Ludlow, Bridgnorth and Oswestry maternity units. Babies will have to be born somewhere else. As we have seen in Ludlow, that will sometimes be at home without medical support. This downgrading of rural services has been described by one medical professional as “a real and exciting opportunity”.
Plans for 200 homes south of Rocks Green have met significant objections. Highways England has ordered that the scheme is not approved for at least three months while its concerns over analysis of traffic impacts are addressed. Shropshire Council’s conservation team has objected to the plans, which it describes as “disappointing”. The council’s ecologists have recommended that the development is refused unless more information on the impact on protected species is provided.
Last night, the power cables to the lights on the Christmas tree in the market square were cut. They will be repaired tonight (Friday) by Ludlow Town Council after the market is cleared of stallholders. The lights switch on is tomorrow. This is not the first time this has happened. Last year, 60 bulbs from the Christmas light display were smashed.
Vandalism on the market area is not new but it is a problem. Young people hang out around the stalls at night. A very small number of them engage in antisocial behaviour.
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. 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.
Pickstock Homes has submitted a planning application for 200 homes behind the Nelson Inn. The application is a so-called hybrid application. It is in outline for the full site and a full planning application for 68 of the homes. The site is allocated for housing in the local plan, SAMDev. The scheme is essentially the same as that presented to the town council and Ludford parish council last summer. It is expected to take six years to build.