Ludlow is a town of one hundred A-Boards – should we make retailers pay for using the pavement like Liverpool?

A-Boards can be a hazard to the blind and partially sighted. They can be a problem for families with child buggies. But they are also essential for local businesses, many of which are on side alleys or not immediately in sight.

For the best part of a decade, we have endured a debate between “Love A-Boards” and “Hate A-Boards” in Ludlow. That debate could be moving towards an end after a Shropshire Council meeting next Friday.

I walked around the town centre yesterday and counted 98 A-Boards – 74 were on the public highway and 24 on private land. The debate is now on whether this is right for our town. The urgency of the debate is driven by Shropshire Council’s wish to regulate all A-Boards in the county and to charge retailers for the privilege of putting the signs on the highway. What the council is proposing comes across as overregulation.

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New development sites for Shropshire – housing proposals for Ludlow, Ludford and the area

Shropshire Council expects to build 28,750 new homes between 2016 and 2036. Of these, 1,175 will be built in Ludlow (including Ludford), Clee and Burford. After existing permissions and site allocations are considered, we are looking at space for another 268 homes by 2036.

But there is a caveat to that. If any of the existing permissions and allocations is not built, we will have to find extra sites. Or we could find sites imposed on us by the planning inspectorate.

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New development sites for Shropshire – the local plan consultation

Shropshire Council is consulting on where new housing and employment units should be built over the next 20 years. Its plans are ambitious and wants the county to grow faster than it would from demographic change alone. The process of writing the new plan is only part way through. This article explains where we are now.

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Tackling climate change is urgent – that’s why we have put it on Shropshire Council’s agenda

Next Thursday’s Shropshire Council meeting is dominated by financial matters. But even though the council is struggling to make enough cuts to balance its budget, we can’t lose sight of longer-term issues like climate change. Shropshire Council is a major employer and has a major carbon footprint. But it rarely ever thinks about its role in reducing carbon emissions.

That’s why a cross-part groups of councillors have tabled a motion on climate change and the need for the council to act to reduce its impact on the environment.

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The housing scandal Shropshire Council is hiding – it gives most the money it gets for struggling people back to Whitehall

Shropshire Council received more than half a million pounds in funding from the ministry of housing last year. The funding was for Discretionary Housing Payments, which help those struggling to meet housing costs, including advance rent and removal bills and  people that need a top up to ensure benefits cover the rent charged.

What did the council do with its £531,974 grant? It sent more than half of the money back to Whitehall.

I’ll pass that by you again. Shropshire Council thinks that there is so little need for short term housing support in our county it thinks it has the luxury of sending money back to the government. It gave back £300,000 last year. Only six out of more than 300 councils in England and Wales give back a higher proportion of their grant. This scandal is hurting people in Shropshire who struggle with housing costs. Yet you won’t find any information about it on the council website.

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