Month: January 2021

Ultrafast gigabyte broadband to come to Ludlow but telegraph poles are needed in some areas

Ludlow is to be upgraded over the next couple of years to Fibre to the Premises (FTTP). That replaces the copper cable between the green cabinet and your house or business (FFTC) with fibre all the way. That will increase potential broadband speeds from 30Mb to 40Mb to up to 1Gb. The entire town should have ultrafast gigabyte broadband within two years. It will not just be faster. It will be more reliable. But there are some drawbacks. Some streets do not have telecoms ducting. The current plan is to erect telegraph poles in these areas and run cables overhead. The alternative would be to dig up the roads, people’s drives and sometimes gardens to install the new fibre cables. That will be much more expensive and could lead to the work being delayed.

Covid Watch 126: There are reasons to be cheerful but careful as infection rates fall and locally nationally

In the last week we have seen clear confirmation that infection rates have fallen here in south west Shropshire and across the county. We are not out of danger yet. Infection rates in south east Shropshire around Bridgnorth are high and those in north east Shropshire around Hinstock and Hodnet are among the highest in the country. We can be hopeful that the third lockdown and the growing pace of vaccination are now turning the tide. I am always cautious interpreting the data because of problems in reporting test results and the ability of this virus to resurge when it mutates. That means the need for caution remains.

A fixed penalty notice has been issued against one of the smaller pub type venues in Ludlow town centre. There has been a stream of complaints about this venue using dodges to get around the social distancing and subsequent lockdown rules. The legals at Shropshire Council say the business cannot be named and I cannot comment. The council’s press release and my legal advice are below. But it is not one of my locals. The locals I so miss. It is not one of our historic or anchor venues. I must say no more.

Covid Watch 124: Today is V Day for over 80s in south west Shropshire – here’s what we know about transport arrangements

Vaccination in our care homes is complete. Many front line staff have been vaccinated. From today, it is the turn of the over 80s. Some will be vaccinated at their local GP or a centre run by their GP. People who are housebound will get vaccinated at their homes. But a lot of people across south west Shropshire will need to go to Church Stretton. From next week, Ludlow Racecourse will open. Local taxis are giving deals. Shropshire Council has set up a free dial-a-ride service. Minsterley buses will divert to both sites. Parking is free at all vaccination sites.

Covid Watch 123: Local and national infection rates fall more but Storm Christoph may have distorted the data

This is just a quick update on the data. I’ll do a more detailed analysis as soon as I can find the space. Covid-19 rates are falling in the county and across England. That’s good news but there is concern that Storm Christoph will have cut the number of tests nationally and in north Shropshire. The snow will also have an impact and the NHS has had IT problems. That will reduce the number of reported cases. Locally around 12 tests in 100 are positive.

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