Business rate relief good news for Ludlow and Shropshire’s market towns

Chancellor Philip Hammond yesterday afternoon announced a significant but temporary reduction in business rates for smaller retail businesses.

This is good news for market towns like Ludlow. For the next two years, the Chancellor’s statement will reduce crippling business rate bills by around £500,000 over the next two years in Ludlow. We are a town with more than 70 independent retailers. That money will help local businesses survive. It will be pumped back into Ludlow’s economy.

The news of a tax on digital retailers is also good news. Our high streets are not in competition with the internet giants but they should not be left at a disadvantage because of the business rate burden they face.

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Tesco bashes Ludlow town centre on way from Bridgend to Pontefract to deliver cakes

The damage to the historic fabric of Ludlow is almost as old as the buildings themselves. The damage has got worse over the years as permitted lengths and weights for HGVs have increased. But if you want to get Cakes to Pontefract, a current Tesco slogan, the best way to do it is through the centre of Ludlow. That moving advert for Tesco has slightly damaged a bollard with more significant damage to the truck.

I am lost for words here. Tesco has been a world leader in gathering computerising information on customer habits. It ensures its shelves are restocked the moment they empty. But it seems they don’t know where their stores are. Satnav anyone? A paper map? Or perhaps a Tesco mobile phone will help.

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Former Budgens store in Ludlow is now an eyesore

The former Budgens Store on Upper Galdeford has been for sale for several months. In the last couple of days, it has been boarded up with OSB sheets. The contractors tell me there are no plans to paint the boarding. It is an utter eyesore and makes this part for the town centre look like a rundown inner city district. The boarding is also an open invitation to fly-posting and graffiti.

If it is to remain boarded up, it should be painted as a giant mural.

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Revised proposals for signage and lighting at the Wheatsheaf are a great improvement

Last July, Marstons submitted a planning application to spruce up the outside of the Wheatsheaf on Lower Broad Street. At the time, I said the plans “do not suit historic Ludlow and will damage the historic character of Lower Broad Street.” New plans have now been submitted. They remove a large sign one the west wall by the Broadgate. Plans to replace the pub name panel on the front of the pub have also been dropped. These plans are a great improvement and I think they are now fit for approval (17/03335/ADV).

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Live updates on snow disruption in Ludlow, Saturday 3 March

Updated at 14.30pm. I’ll be back in the morning with an update on the trains.

We had a couple of inches of extra snow in Ludlow overnight. Many side roads are still snowed up.

Main roads are looking good for careful drivers. Many side roads need to wait for the thaw which has begun.

Below are the updates on buses, trains and services in Ludlow.

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