Resilient Ludlow: We are embarking on an ambitious new project for young people next week

The countdown is on.

From April Fool’s Day 2017, Shropshire Council is predicting that it will no longer be able to fund youth services in the county. Even if it can find money, it will not be enough to fund youth support at the level we are used to or that we need.

The future of Ludlow Youth Centre remains uncertain. We want it to be transferred to community ownership to keep it safe for future generations. But we worry that Shropshire Council is planning to move yet move staff into the building, making it more of an office and less of a youth hub. We need the squatters out so that it can become a dedicated youth centre again.

Money and bricks and mortar are not the only issues we face.

Continue reading “Resilient Ludlow: We are embarking on an ambitious new project for young people next week”

Young people growing up in Shropshire don’t get the life chances they might get elsewhere – we are going to tackle this in Ludlow

We aren’t giving young people in Shropshire the best chance in life, according to new data published by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission. We are about to launch a resilient communities project in Ludlow to tackle this.

Let’s have a look at the data first.

The commission’s social mobility index looks at the chances people have of doing well in life dependant on where they live. It is no surprise that children in Westminster have the greatest social mobility, though many unfamiliar with West Somerset might not guess it is the least socially mobile district in England. If I had been asked to guess where we perform as a county, I would have said “middling, about midway”.

The Social Mobility Index puts Shropshire just below midway in social mobility, 185th among 324 local authority districts.

This headline score disguises our rather poor position on social mobility of youth.

Continue reading “Young people growing up in Shropshire don’t get the life chances they might get elsewhere – we are going to tackle this in Ludlow”

Community safety and crime to top agenda at Ludlow and Clee meeting on Thursday

Following a spate of burglaries in the area, the next meeting of the Ludlow and Clee Local Joint Committee (LJC) next Thursday, 22 October is to debate community safety. The meeting will be attended by Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner Barrie Sheldon and Inspector Rob Thomas from West Mercia police.

Councillor Andy Boddington, chair of the LJC says:

“In recent months there has been a spate of burglaries of households and business premises in the Ludlow area. This has added to the feeling of many residents that it’s not safe to be out and about at night, or to leave their property unattended.

We’ve been asking residents in Ludlow and the surrounding villages how safe they feel. Continue reading “Community safety and crime to top agenda at Ludlow and Clee meeting on Thursday”

Ludlow youth services at verge of collapse as commissioning fails

We’ve been working hard to commission new youth services for Ludlow after Shropshire Council decided to make its youth staff redundant to save money. We’ve been allocated just £10,850 a year for services and even that is not guaranteed beyond March 2017.

We’ve never been happy with the commissioning process, which has been too centralised and bureaucratic, with ridiculously high overheads. But we have worked hard to ensure that we get something in place for September for the sake of the young people of this town.

Our invitation to tender has received no bids at all and there is every prospect of having no youth services in Ludlow from September onwards. Tracey Huffer and I are so concerned about the problems with the commissioning process, we have referred the matter to the council’s auditors.

Continue reading “Ludlow youth services at verge of collapse as commissioning fails”

Sharp fall in unemployed young people in Ludlow area

There has been a welcome drop in unemployment in the Ludlow area. The number of people in the Ludlow parliamentary constituency claiming Jobseekers Allowance, or not in work and claiming Universal Credit, has dropped from 432 in April to 408 in May (6% fall). Nearly all of the fall has been in youth unemployment which has dropped sharply from 105 people to 85 (19% fall). Continue reading “Sharp fall in unemployed young people in Ludlow area”