Month: October 2020

Covid Watch 87: Shropshire is heading towards Tier 2 in days but that action may be overtaken by a lockdown across all England

When I started this article yesterday, the message was to be that the Shropshire unitary area might well join Telford and Wrekin in Tier 2 (high alert) next weekend. A meeting will be held on Monday to discuss this, though the final decision will lie with the Department of Health midweek. The way numbers are going are going all of Shropshire will be in Tier 2 by Saturday. It would have made more sense to stepped up a tier with Telford and Wrekin today. But this morning’s media reports that Boris Johnson is to give way to his scientific advisers and will announce a nationwide lockdown. England will join Wales, France, Germany and Belgium in a second wave ‘circuit breaker’. It he announces that on Monday, it will make any decision in Shropshire irrelevant.

Roadworks on New Road and Sandpits will break for Christmas and resume in the New Year

The £1.3 million plus scheme to replace the sewerage pipes on New Road and Sandpits Road is will not be complete this year. However, work on New Road will be suspended on 9 November until the second week of January. The road will be returned to two-way traffic when the works are suspended. In the New Year, Seven Trent Water’s contractor, Amey will mole drill under Gravel Hill to connect the New Road pipe with the work on Sandpits. Work on replacing utility services on Sandpits Road will continue beyond 9 November but will be suspended for the holiday season.

Covid Watch 86: Telford and Wrekin to move to Tier 2 at 12:01am Saturday – Shropshire unitary still at Tier 1

The government has ruled that Telford and Wrekin will move to Tier 2 (high alert) restrictions from one minute into Saturday morning. The main impact will be on those socialising indoors and businesses that rely on people socialising indoors. We are fighting a disease of that dies with loneliness. Until we get a major rollout of a vaccine, we must distance ourselves further from each other. If you are in Telford and Wrekin from the end of tomorrow, you will not be allowed to pop into the pub for a drink with your mates after work. Unless, that is, your friends are in the same household or support bubble. The restrictions apply to almost any indoor venue, with some exceptions. Outdoors, the Rule of Six applies in Telford and Wrekin as it does here in Shropshire.

Covid Watch 85: As Telford and Wrekin moves towards Tier 2, we must ask how decisions are being made

Update: Telford and Wrekin moves into Tier 2 at 12:01am Saturday 31 October.  Media reports, including from BBC Radio Shropshire, today suggest that a decision on whether Telford and Wrekin will move up to Tier 2 will be made today or tomorrow. The main impact of Tier 2 will be that friends and family members who are not in the same household must not meet indoors. Be that meeting in a pub, restaurant or a cosy family home. While we await the decision on Telford and Wrekin, I have been asking how these decisions on Tiers are made. Is a change of tier a diktat from central government or is there a local voice? How does the Shropshire unitary area keep in step with our sibling council in Telford and Wrekin?

Covid Watch 84: Shropshire businesses step in after our county’s MPs shamefully vote against proving free school meals in holidays

Earlier this week, all five Shropshire MPs voted against giving children from poorer families school meals during school holidays. The MPs, who seem not to know what it is like to be on the poverty line, think families can thrive on Universal Credit. It was their “let them eat cake moment”. The MPs include Philip Dunne who has recently taken on a part-time job alongside his supposedly fulltime job as Ludlow’s MP. Fortunately, cafes, restaurants and businesses around the county have stepped in and are offering food to families with children who qualify for free school meals. Our communities are stepping up just as our MPs step down from their responsibilities.

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