Month: August 2019

Welcome changes to timetable for Ludlow to Leominster and Hereford bus service from Monday 2 September

Doom and gloom have surrounded the rural bus network for many years as services are relentlessly cut back or axed altogether. But every now and again, there a glimmer of hope. With thanks to work by Bus Users Shropshire, Lugg Valley Motors will be introducing an improved 490 bus service between Ludlow and Leominster and onwards to Hereford from next Monday, 2 September. The service calls at Overton Touring Park, Richard’s Castle, Orleton and Luston. The new timetable adds additional services to and from Ludlow on weekdays and Saturdays, and the bus will call at Ludlow School on schooldays. The service is subsidised by Herefordshire Council. Shropshire Council does not contribute.

Should 5G come to Ludlow and Shropshire? Should we be in the modern world or scared of it? Should we listen to pseudo-science?

It is one of the stark choices of modern life. Should we embrace new technology or stop its advance? All my life there has been a debate about this. Much of this has centred around radiation. More formally, the electromagnetic spectrum. But maybe it is time to decide. Is the future so dangerous we should withdraw from it? I am inspired to write about this having learnt that there is a forthcoming meeting in Ludlow. Titled “5G is it safe?” and screaming that 5G is “weapons grade technology”, the leaflets say that wifi and mobile use has led to an increase in a huge number of health conditions. Everything from dementia, tumours, self-harm, and all sorts of cancers. We don’t need this trash science. We do need all the communications bandwidth we can get in rural areas to compensate for the endless withdrawal services. And allow everyone, especially children, participate in the ever changing modern world.

Guidance on how Shropshire planning committees work and how to take part

I have had questions recently about how to speak at Shropshire Council planning committees and I thought I provide an update on how the system works. Objectors and supporters should understand that planning decisions are a formal process and committee must follow the rulebooks, or risk having their decision overturned at appeal or even in the high court. The dryness, even dullness of planning committee meetings is a testimony of their importance and the seriousness that councillors bring to their duties. Having sat on several committees in my five years plus as councillor, planning is certainly the most arduous duty outside full council. We might spend five minutes discussing one application or it make take an hour, on some occasions longer. Then we are immediately on to the next, usually without a break. But it is also rewarding for councillors on the committee. We spend a lot of time preparing for meetings and recognise that even small applications could have a major impact on people’s lives.

Ludlow Town Council calls for Castle Street tree to be felled and replaced – I agree

The council’s Representational Committee discussed the application by Shropshire Council to fell a tree in Castle Street car park last night. Agreeing with revised advice from its tree warden, the town council said that the tree could not be rescued as the base of the trunk had begun to rot after water penetrated through the split fork, which is close to the ground. Strapping the tree or selectively cutting its limbs would not therefore work. The council accepts the tree must be felled. But the tree warden and the council want the roots grubbed out and a semi-mature native species tree planted to replace the Norway Maple. Having received independent advice, I completely agree with this approach. This is a change from my previous position of wanting the tree managed and saved. The biggest challenge will be ensuring the replacement tree is well maintained throughout its life.

I have recieved several complaints from town centre residents who cannot obtain on-street parking permits for the zone in which they live. Residents ring MiPermit, the Shropshire Council contractor to deliver parking charges. They are then told their property is not on the database and they are denied a permit. This hasn’t happened before. Residents would simply contact the council, supply proof they lived at a property, pay a fee and the permit was in the post. But if you live in some addresses on Broad Street, Corve Street, Lower Galdeford, Market Street and other streets you are now denied a permit.

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