Year: 2015

When I started this blog way back in November 2012, I wasn’t certain where it would go. For the first part, I wasn’t then a Shropshire Councillor. That didn’t happen until March 2013. For the second part, I didn’t know whether the good folk of Ludlow would be much bothered to read the posts I wanted to write. I certainly had no idea how many people would drop by. This year, 2015, has given some answers to those questions. It isn’t easy to work out how many people dropped by to read the 180 plus posts I published this year. But I know from your comments that many of you look at the blog every day or two to find out if there is anything new. Thanks to these regular visitors and many other people, my blog posts totted up 68,000 page views across the year.[1] I do not have comparable statistics but this is a small town blog about the struggles of Ludlow to maintain its own identity. And we live in in what is by national standards a quiet county. I’d have been amazed if I had got 30,000 views, so I feel 68,000 is rather grand. Thank…

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Ludlow Registrar Office cutback decision delayed – it’s time to rethink how we deliver the service

A decision on cutting back the hours of Ludlow’s registrar service was due to have been made today, Monday 14 December. The cabinet member, Karen Calder, was also set to approve changes to registrar services across the county, including extended hours at Oswestry. The decision would have been made at one of Shropshire Council’s secretive portfolio holder sessions from which the press and public are excluded. Today’s meeting has been cancelled after I protested on Friday that the paperwork was incomplete.[1] In particular, the detailed responses to the consultation were missing. These responses would have shown in detail how strongly we were opposed to the proposed changes of hours in Ludlow. I asked that the meeting to be deferred. Karen Calder, the portfolio holder for health, responded quickly and agreed that the decision-making session should not go ahead.

Rocks Green supermarket bid delayed again as Highways England complains it was not consulted – we need a decision soon

The Shropshire Star reports today that Highways England has placed a three-month hold on plans for a store and petrol station at Rocks Green. The big surprise is not that Highways England has taken such an uncompromising stance. It’s that its action has come nearly a year after the application was submitted. I would have thought that they would have been consulted at the outset given that the planned retail development is adjacent to the A49.

Beware of rogue traders at night in Ludlow

Our local policing team are investigating reports of men with backpacks knocking on doors at night. Older and more vulnerable residents in particular find these callers very unsettling. There are reports of the men being verbally aggressive. It is thought they are selling overpriced household goods. It is possible they are also looking for opportunities for a bit of light-fingered work. Please ensure that your cars and sheds are locked. Do not open the door at night if you are in anyway uncertain who is outside. Please report any incidents on 101 or email

The Barrow Era (6): Investigation into Barrow costs more than £12K and Shropshire Council is to pay

Shropshire Council has revealed some of the costs of investigating whether former council leader Keith Barrow breached the council’s code of conduct. In answer to a question from Lib Dem group leader, Councillor Roger Evans, deputy leader Steve Charmley said: The final cost of the investigation undertaken has not yet been calculated. External costs to date, however, total £9,782.80 excluding VAT. This investigation was instigated by Shropshire Council and there are no plans to invoice ip&e Limited for this. Officer time is not routinely recorded for individual pieces of work such as this (PDF).

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