Day: 30 October 2014

Shropshire Council’s planning officers approved an extension to Ludlow’s Portcullis surgery today. That’s excellent news. The approval has gone through in near record time. That’s particularly good because the project is dependent on funding from NHS England and the work must be completed by the end of the financial year. This will be a great improvement to health services in the centre of Ludlow. It will give patients better facilities, including more privacy at reception. And the GPs will be able to expand the ranges of services they provide.

I get differing reports about Ludlow residents’ experience of Halloween. Many people love it. Others find trick and treating disturbing. Guy Fawkes night has faded somewhat here and few people burn a guy anyone. Festivities have moved towards Halloween. A few years back, I used to love being in Los Angeles at Halloween. Kids and adults created incredible displays in their gardens, full of witches, warlocks and ghouls. Trick and treat was strictly controlled and pre-booked, but after all, this was Los Angeles. In Ludlow, I get reports about trick and treat being aggressive. I know people who don’t open their doors on Halloween night. Some leave chocolates outside. Others grow frustrated at the repeated knocking and banging. The tradition of bumming treats or a bit of cash is not new to our culture. In my boyhood we collected “a penny for the guy”. And yes, it was always me with my unkempt hair that was dressed up in rags to play the guy as I was wheeled around the streets of Northampton in a barrow. To take a different tack on this, Lib Dem care and support minister Norman Lamb says today that “schizo-patient” Halloween costumes are stigmatising people…

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