Day: 30 April 2014

The excitement in Ludlow cannot be missed on an evening night this. This is not just a warm late April evening when people stroll the streets and take time to chat. It’s the night the May Fair arrives. Getting the fair rides into town is a major feat and scores of people gather around the Buttercross to watch the trucks squeeze into town. The biggest crowds of watchers are for the huge “Oxygen” truck, which has to negotiate the chicane between Bodenhams store and the Buttercross.   The driver must avoid knocking the portico of the Grade I listed market off its stilts. He has to ensure he does not clip the genteel upper stories of the Grade II* listed Bodenhams, which hang lazily outwards over King Street. This means the driver must reverse back onto the pavement outside Barclays and shuffle back and forth a few feet at a time. The driver gets a resounding cheer from the crowd when after more than twenty minutes, he pulls his trailer through the gap with the historic buildings of Ludlow unscathed. The May Fair attracts controversy. It seems bigger and noisier every year. That’s a problem for our historic streets and…

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Shropshire Council’s Youth Services scrutiny committee met today and I am sorry to report not much was said. The newspaper hacks sat at the back hoping that an announcement would be made on the future of youth services across the county. Alas, they slipped away without a headline. We heard from Tim Smith who told us that 1,000 people responded to the recent consultation. Four in five of these we’re aged ten to nineteen. Although the analysis of responses is not complete, it is clear that the option to create youth boards to commission local youth services is deeply unpopular. Young people simply don’t want to be subsumed into a mesh of bureaucracy. What is not so clear is that the council is going to drop the youth board idea, which many suspect  is it’s favoured option. The future of Shropshire Youth Association remains uncertain. It’s got funding for a year, after which it will have to bid under the new commissioning regime. We’ll not know more until the scrutiny committee meets again on 18 June.

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