Month: November 2015

Local planning is dead in Shropshire after 215 houses and controversial footbridge are approved in Ludlow

I have long believed that the Bromfield Meadows housing scheme by Tesni homes would be approved. It seemed obvious from the moment the planning inspector opened the public inquiry into the plans that he would push the scheme through. That has proved to be the case. In allowing the developer’s appeal against refusal of planning permission, the inspector said: “[The scheme] would amount to a logical extension to the town and is to be regarded as sustainable development. Although controversial… the pedestrian and cycle accessibility of the appeal development would be further enhanced by the proposed Fishmore View bridge.”

Dangerous sign removed from Eco Park

It’s been a windy couple of weeks. The weekend before last we had vicious gales overnight on Friday. The winds brought down part of an oak tree on the NHS site. It was a tree that had been partly damaged by a fire in its trunk some while ago. The gales also further damaged an advertising hoarding overlooking the A49. This sign has not been in use for years and was already looking unsafe. After the overnight gales, it had developed a lean and looked ready to fall. The nails holding the hoarding to the posts were also working their way out of the woodwork.

The Barrow Era (3): Auditors of leader’s personal tax return got ip&e contract says standards report

On Tuesday afternoon, without fanfare or a press release, Shropshire Council published the full report into the alleged breach of conduct by Keith Barrow, leader of Shropshire Council. The report is the result of a thorough and proper investigation by Olwen Dutton of legal firm Bevan Brittan into allegations of a breach of conduct by Barrow. After the investigation, Shropshire Council’s standards board ordered that the council leader apologise for the breach and undertake training in standards. Barrow has also resigned as chairman and director of his flagship council company, ip&e. The report by Olwen Dutton is revealing. It is not a good report for ip&e, which shows its procedures in its early days to be lax. It also shows that someone with a long experience as a councillor, such as Keith Barrow, can still be unsure when standards procedures apply. (Numbers in brackets below refer to paragraphs in Olwen Dutton’s report.) The sorry story of Keith Barrow and ip&e’s auditors…

Will Shropshire Council’s Big Conversation on cuts become the Big Con?

Shropshire Council’s leadership has launched “The Big Conversation”, a five-year long consultation on the future of council services. This is an important survey and it is important that people take part in it. But I have my doubts about how much difference it will make to what the council leadership does. I hope to be proved wrong but the track record of this leadership is not good. It has ignored the outcomes of previous consultations and shown that it neither listens nor learns. Here in Ludlow, the council conducted two consultations over the Coder Road recycling and waste centre. Both received a unanimous response against the closure so the cabinet closed the facility anyway. The consultation on using converting half of our Youth Centre into offices was a sham. The builders moved in well before the consultation closed and Shropshire Council staff moved just one a day after the consultation formally ended. This pattern has been repeated with consultations across the county. Shropshire Council’s leaders say the Big Conversation will be different. I hope so. The Big Conversation must be more than a repackaging of what the council has been doing for years. It must be more than a public…

Read more…
Back to top