Month: December 2018

Shropshire Council to is planning to halve its face to face customer services in Ludlow

We’re told we live in an internet age. The need to meet people face to face to get advice and solve problems is not as important as it once was. The growing views is that everything can be done by telephone or online. That means that in an age when money is tight, councils can rely on call centres and computers to steer people though the sometimes labyrinthym procedures for benefits, permits and payments. That’s the thinking behind Shropshire Council’s plan to reduce the opening hours of its drop-in service in Ludlow Library from four days to two days a week. If the plans go through, the Ludlow customer service point, as the service is known, will only open between 9.30am and 5.00pm on Tuesdays and Fridays. This is yet another cut as Shropshire Council runs out of cash for many services.

Housing development on Bromfield Road is set to create a polluted neighbourhood of poor doors

The principle of housing development between Bromfield Road and the A49 was approved at a public inquiry and cannot now be challenged. However, the details of the scheme are very much up for debate and negotiation. One of my main concerns about this 213-home development is its treatment of affordable housing. Thirteen of the 28 affordable homes planned are squeezed into triangle between the railway, Bromfield Road and the A49. These homes will be blighted by noise and pollution. “Poor doors”, developments where social housing is distinctively different and with reduced access to amenity, have been common in major cities. It now seems that this practice, which the prime minister Theresa May has said should be outlawed looks set to spread to Ludlow.

Going to the bottle bank this Christmas? It could be your last chance before they are closed

Shropshire Council wants to close all its recycling bring banks across the county, including the six in Ludlow. The council says that usage has fallen and that people can use kerbside recycling. Usage has fallen but only by 17% over five years. Each bring bank collects more than 22 tonnes of recyclables every year. That’s around 6% of household dry recyclables collected by Veolia. The council complains about contamination of recyclables and fly-tipping at bring banks but says it has no information on how often this happens. People use bring banks for a reason. Those that live in apartments often don’t have anywhere to store the recyclables. Other households don’t have enough space to store the aftermath of a jolly good party. Some people will be going on holiday and want to ensure everything is in the system first. The real reason that Shropshire Council wants to scrap bring banks is to save £230,000 a year.

Highways disputes and mediocre plans for trees delay progress on 340 Ludlow homes

Delays continue in getting final planning approval for the housing developments at Foldgate Lane and Bromfield Road. Trees and highways are the main issues. Network Rail has also warned about the potential for a future increase in noise from trains affecting the Bromfield Road site.   Delays are not unusual in planning matters though approval Foldgate Lane, which has received a third “stop notice” from Highways England, is rather dragging on.

A new approach to youth services in Ludlow starts next year – we are going to tackle the big issue of mental health

Mental health services are being cut back. It can take weeks, even months, for a young person to get a mental health referral. Often, they must go to Shrewsbury for a consultation. Many youngsters can’t or won’t do that. Ludlow Youth Partnership wants to tackle this. We have partnered with the Children’s Society which runs the Beam emotional wellbeing service in Shrewsbury and Wellington. Our new drop in service launches in February. It is supported by a lot of organisations and is the first independent commissioning of the Children’s Society to provide emotional wellbeing services for young people in Shropshire.

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