Month: April 2015

Happy birthday to BBC Radio Shropshire – thirty years old today

I love local radio and love Radio Shropshire. It’s my station of choice. It’s more than that – it’s a friend. And it has the highest local audience of all local BBC stations. TV and national radio get successful by creating celebrities. The sort of people you’d take a selfie with. Local radio is different. Local radio is at its most successful when it builds a bond of friendship with local communities. The presenters who excel in local radio are those that listen to their audiences as well as talking to them. They craft their broadcasts not just around their own personalities but also their changing communities. They constantly reinvent local broadcasting without betraying the air of familiarity that makes BBC local radio feel so much like a treasured friend.

It’s shocking and wrong that so many people rely on food banks – but you can help

It’s an ugly truth of our sometimes ugly age. Acccording to the Trussell Trust, the number of people making use of its 400 food banks has topped one million (but see this cricisim of the 1 million figure, its perhaps only half a million people a year). I can’t find any data on the total number of food banks in the UK. A lot are run by voluntary organisations, including here in Ludlow. So the number of people in desperate need of food is well over half a million. And yet, the IMF says we are the fifth largest economy in the world. Five years ago, none of us would have expected the need for food banks to have grown so quickly.

I agree with Philip Dunne that election posters shouldn’t be defaced – but neither should he deface our town’s heritage

The Conservative candidate for Ludlow is creating a bit of a stink in the media today. He says that his election posters around South Shropshire are being defaced and that’s anti-democratic. I agree. But Philip Dunne can’t take a moral high ground on this matter. His banners in Ludlow have wrecked a thousand tourist photos. Anyone cares about the area they might represent would put them where they don’t damage the landscape. That is not what Dunne does. He has wrecked one of the finest views in Ludlow of the Horseshoe Weir by hanging two huge posters above it. He has damaged this great view in pursuit of his own political interests.

Updated: Ludlow water fountain restoration splutters to a halt – will town council take action itself?

Update 2 May 2015 At the Annual Town (Residents) Meeting last Monday, Town Mayor Paul Draper gave an explanation on why discussions had broken down with the Civic Society on repairing the water fountain in Castle Gardens. He said that unfortunately the processes and the need for meetings and for the council to ask questions had meant the council had “fell out of time with the civic society”. Castle Gardens is now scheduled monument and the need for permission from Heritage England added to the delays. The Civic Society had unfortunately made a decision not to proceed. He had asked the society to reconsider. He told the audience town council will be reviewing all the town’s assets as part of the review of town plan. Should the water fountain need an urgent response or something needs to be done for safety reasons, the work would be done by the council. Paul said he was fully appreciative of the work of the Civic Society and hoped the discussions could be restarted. A member of the audience cried: “It should have all been done by now.” Main Post

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