Two good news stories this weekend. Infection rates in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and across England have fallen rapidly. There were seven cases in Ludlow in the seven days to 28 February, down for a peak of 30 cases a week a few weeks before.

Vaccination rates are increasing with 95% of Ludlow residents over 65 years of age now vaccinated. Restrictions haven’t been lifted and our behaviour can’t change but we are at last looking towards the end of rules that have kept some people largely confined to their homes for a year.

More than 21 million first doses of vaccine have already been given in England and letters requesting people aged 50 to 59 to book jabs will arrive in the next few days. After a hesitant start, especially here in south west Shropshire, the efforts of health professionals, council officers and volunteers have organised what is perhaps the greatest campaign in peacetime history.

What a shame then that the reward health service workers will get is a measly 1% pay rise. That is only just above the rate of inflation and can better be described as kick in the teeth than as a reward.

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