Day: 9 August 2015

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.

Clarifying planning permission for Ludlow Hospital

At the public meeting on 30 July, it was suggested that the current hospital site has planning permission for 47 homes. This is not the case. In July 2013, the site was accepted for 47 homes during consultations on SAMDev – the local plan for development sites. The hospital site had been put forward by the Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust (CHT) on the assumption the site would become vacant when the new hospital was built on the Eco Park. Of course, the new hospital was never built. The East Hamlet site was dropped from SAMDev because there was no prospect it would become available. It is still designated as employment land. The CHT did not at any point submit a planning application. Should Ludlow Hospital close – and none of us want that – the site will be treated as a windfall brownfield development. The CHT, or more likely NHS Property Services, will need to apply for planning permission in the usual way. Under current government rules, change of use from employment to housing is unlikely to be a barrier to planning permission.

Shropshire Council advice on organising street parties is confused but it’s really all very simple

If there is one thing that Ludlow does well, its organising a party. But the rules for organising in our county a street party are somewhat confused. I’m trying to get them clarified and have issued a simplified application form in the meantime. I know a number of people are thinking of organising a street party, either in this glorious summer (!) or for HM Queen’s 90th birthday on Sunday 12 June next year.

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