No lifts in Ludlow station upgrade. No fully accessible taxi in town. We should stop treating the disabled as second class

Major works are underway at Ludlow station. The scheme is to put a temporary footbridge in place while the old footbridge is repaired along with the steps leading up to it. There are no plans to install lifts for those who are disabled or have limited mobility. A couple of weeks before, Shropshire Council refused a licence for the only fully disabled access taxi in Ludlow because it did not meet the Euro 5 standard. You can’t get into a Ludlow Town Council meeting if you have severe mobility problems.

In Shropshire, the disabled remain second-class citizens. We must change this.

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Social mobility in Shropshire is in free fall – we are failing young people

It is not a surprise that the remaining members of the government’s Social Mobility Commission have resigned this weekend.[1] Anger has been growing for months that the government has been distracted from improving individual lives by the demands of Brexit.

Shropshire is one of the worst areas in England for young people to get out of the trap of struggling households and poor education. Last week, the county was ranked the 237th worst out of 324 local authorities for social mobility.[2] Just a year before, we were at rank 185. We have skidded downwards.

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New report on Ludlow in a time of cuts says: “The situation is getting critical”

In a packed Methodist Church on Thursday night, Churches Together Around Ludlow launched their latest report on troubles facing Ludlow. The report gives great credit to the community volunteers who are working hard to mitigate the impact of cuts, but offered no support for Shropshire Council’s approach in hard times.

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“Surely there are no poor people in Ludlow?” Oh, yes there are!

It was a private meeting so I can’t name the Tory councillor that asked: “Surely there are no poor people in Ludlow?” I suspect that she had never been beyond Mill Street [1]. Those of us that know this town intimately recognise that affluent people live cheek by jowl with people who struggle to make ends meet. That’s part of the character of the town. It’s a place where we have the wealth to keep our historic buildings in good order but also need to run a food bank. The seventh most deprived area in Shropshire is here in Ludlow, but other areas are rated as among the least deprived anywhere in England.

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