2017 – It’s been another hectic and controversial year in town and on my blog

Controversy is never far away in Ludlow. Men dressed as nurses, oak trees being felled, shop closures, business rate hikes and threats to Ludlow Maternity Unit were just a few of the controversies that engaged our town. It was a year of decent heat and the Millennium Green turned into a lido. Later it turned bitterly cold and snowed, creating a toboggan run on Gallows Bank but also lethal ice on the pavements.

This year I managed to write 200 posts for my blog and send 26 email newsletters. There were more than 95,000 page views of my blog posts on andybodders.co.uk. Many more people read the summaries posted on Facebook.

I am hoping for a quieter 2018 – but I am not expecting it.

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“Do not approve” – Shropshire Council highways consultants join those opposing Rocks Green housing plans

“Recommendation – do not approve.” That’s the view of the highways consultants retained by Shropshire Council to examine the traffic impacts of plans for 200 homes south of Rocks Green. They join conservationists, ecologists and Highways England have also objected to the current scheme for the site.

There is little doubt that homes will be built on this site at some point. At the moment though, it is looking like the submitted plans might not get approval. The developers might have to radically revise them or withdraw the application and submit a new set of plans.

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The pavements in Ludlow have been lethal. Is it time to set up a snow warden scheme?

The pavements in Ludlow, and across much of the county, have been lethal in the last few days. The snow partially melted on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. It then refroze. Pedestrians were at great risk. Several slipped over and I was among them.

There will be a review of gritting priorities in Ludlow early in the New Year. But this will not change the reality that Shropshire Council doesn’t have enough resources to clear every road and path in this huge county.

We need to think about we work together as a community to get the paths clear. I think it is time to look at a neighbourhood snow warden scheme. Many councils have schemes in place, including neighbouring Telford and Wrekin.

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Charade of a review will close Ludlow Maternity Unit for live births – this makes a mockery of public consultation

“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”.

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Highways, conservation and ecology objections delay approval of 200 homes at Rocks Green (updated)

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.

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