Shirehall is in poor condition. Few people doubt that it must be refurbished. But the cost will be more than £25 million. On inflation adjusted prices, that’s not far short of what it cost to build this unloved building in the 1960s. Is it worth it? I have my doubts we need to spend so much. I would like to see cheaper options. But a council discussion on the costs of the scheme has been cancelled twice.
Are you surprised by this headline? I certainly am.
In 2017/18, Shropshire Council took nearly £640,000 from Ludlow’s car parks and on-street parking machines. That’s three per cent down on the year before, probably due to bad weather over the winter. The ‘profit’ after operating costs was £373,000. Most of the profit is spent on subsidising buses. And, in what may come as a surprise to many people, those hated yellow screen stickers lose money. A loss of around £10 a ticket across Shropshire.
Councillors met in Shirehall yesterday for business that lasted more than three hours. There were good moments in this meeting but also the ugliest moment I have witnessed in my time as a councillor, or before. It was political, it was nasty and it was totally unnecessary.
In mid-August Shropshire Council launched yet another consultation on the new parking regime. As is normal these days, the council decided not to announce the consultation, just put it on a back page of its website.
The council’s plans to double the cost of a resident parking permit to £100 a year. Each household will only be allowed one permit.
The council customer service point in Ludlow Library is open four days a week. But plans are afoot to reduce its opening to two days a week, Tuesday and Friday. This will mean that vulnerable people will find it harder to access support and get referrals to the food bank. Age Concern told the Shropshire Star that the countywide cuts will be a serious blow for the elderly.
Other cuts to community support are on the way. Shropshire Council is no longer interested in supporting the rural communities in our county.