Year: 2021

Covid Watch: Infection rates are dropping slowly locally but they have increased in Ludlow

The fall in infection rates is continuing, though not in Ludlow where cases have reached their highest level. In the week to last Sunday, there were 27 positive tests for Covid-19 among Ludlow residents. Before this, the seven day rate of cases briefly hit 30. These are the highest rates we have seen and are due to localised outbreaks. Only Market Drayton has a higher rate in Shropshire, seven day infection rate of 341 per 100,000 people compared to a rate of 246 in Ludlow. We understand this is due to localised outbreaks and that all those who have tested positive in Ludlow are expected to recover. It doesn’t need saying but please stay safe and follow the social distancing rules. We are not out of this yet. It will be weeks before we can relax.

Shropshire Conservatives refuse to support the Climate and Ecology (CEE) Bill but set up a committee to tell them how to think

Why should you do something today when you can do it tomorrow, even if you should have done it yesterday? That is the attitude of Shropshire Council’s Conservative members when it comes to tackling climate change. Why should they rush to deal with an emergency when they can take a gentle stroll?   The Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill is currently languishing parliament. But support for the bill, which sets out what priorities the UK needs in place to meet its climate change targets and tackle the ecological crisis, is strong. That’s why a cross-party motion to give an expression of support the bill was tabled at Shropshire Council yesterday. But the council’s portfolio holder for climate change kicked the motion into the long grass, supported by a fellow Conservative who complained about the potential costs to the council of the bill. How much does an expression of support cost? Failure to tackle the climate and ecological emergencies will cost us our planet.

Council tax in Ludlow to go up 4% for a Band D property in Ludlow from 1 April but Ludford still gets a cheap deal

It’s that time of the year again. This morning, Shropshire Council agreed to council tax rises for the next financial year. Band D households in Ludlow will pay £2,030.25, up from £1,945.34 this year – a rise of 4.4%. Council tax has four components. By far the largest is Shropshire Council’s charge, which is 74% of your council tax bill. The police commissioner takes 12%, Ludlow Town Council 9% and fire and rescue 5%. Most of Ludlow’s expansion will be in Ludford parish which charges just £32.78 as its parish precept. The Ludford Question can only be resolved by merging Ludford and Ludlow into a single council. That could lead to an additional £90,000 income a year from the combined parish precept once the planned new housing is built.

Shropshire councillors must support the Climate and Ecological Emergency bill tomorrow

Shropshire Council has given a commitment to tackle the climate emergency. In parliament, a private members bill is moving towards its second reading next month. It aims to strengthen the government’s resolve and actions to tackle the growing climate emergency and the devasting loss of biodiversity. A motion tomorrow will ask the council to support the bill. It will be a test of Shropshire Council’s resolve. Is it up to the mark on tackling the climate and ecological emergencies? Will the whipped Tory majority reject it? Council leader Peter Nutting is in the camp that wants to fudge climate change commitments. But his portfolio holder Dean Carroll has a stronger belief in the need for change. It is over to Dean to deliver tomorrow.

Food on a budget in south west Shropshire – Healthwatch Shropshire wants to know your views

Food banks in south west Shropshire have never been busier. Ludlow Food Bank alone gave out 560 food parcels in 2020, up from 471 the year before. Bishop’s Castle food bank has also been busy. Now Healthwatch Shropshire is conducting research aimed at understanding food insecurity in south west Shropshire. It wants to hear from those who are struggling to get enough affordable and nutritious food.

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