Month: October 2021

Covid Watch 165: Relief and caution as reported infections begin to fall

The infection rate in Ludlow halved during the week to 24 October. But, with 456 infections per 100,000 people, the rate remained high. Looking further afield, Shropshire had a infection rate last Friday of 325; Telford & Wrekin 470; and England 360. These rates are down on the previous week during which Telford & Wrekin reached its highest infection rate to date. There could have been some distortion in the data due a rush for testing before the half term holiday and a reduction of testing during the holiday itself. The recent falls in rates could be affected by this. However, the decrease in infection rates in Ludlow and south west Shropshire is looking optimistic.

Connexus, the social housing association which absorbed South Shropshire Housing, is about to start a major refurbishment of housing on Sandpits Avenue. In all, 77 homes will be refurbished with new flooring, insulation and heating. Tracey Huffer, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East says: “It is great news that this work is getting underway at last. These houses are far behind modern standards but they are sound enough to last several decades once they have been refurbished. “The work will be disruptive but it will be worth the inconvenience to bring these aging properties up to modern standards. The properties will be far more energy efficient and the problems of damp will be got rid of. “The gardens will be undisturbed and that will be good news for residents who have worked hard to create lovely gardens. Several of the houses have aviaries and these will not be disturbed during construction.”

New solar farm bid for Ledwyche on the outskirts of Ludlow

Edinburgh based Locogen Consulting is in the initial stages of a planning application for a second solar farm on Squirrel Lane. The 21-hectare scheme will generate around 12Mw of electricity and on conventional calculations, that will supply around 2,800 homes and avoid around 5,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year. If approved, it will be located opposite the current scheme on good quality agricultural land. It could also destroy 0.5km of biodiverse hedgerow. It is early days on this proposal. Locogen has taken advice from  Shropshire planners on the scheme. It is currently asking whether an environmental impact statement (EIA) is required (21/04904/SCR). The company says and EIA is not required but that will be a decision for council planners. Locogen is in discussions with Shropshire Council about providing EV charging points on the scheme. Presumably, these will be for contactor vehicles. There will no opportunity for public comment until a planning application is lodged.

Ludlow hospital building to be sold – we need a plan for Ludlow’s health estate

Ludlow Community Hospital has been under various degrees of threat over the last decade. Despite local protests, the maternity unit was closed. Births are now only supported at the main hospitals or at home. Or community hospital provides pre- and post-natal care in the more modern buildings, some of which are not used. That has left the long neglected former infirmary building empty – that’s the red brick building ahead as you enter the top car park. The building has been in poor repair for many years and needs substantial investment to make it fit for any purpose. The former infirmary building at the community hospital is now to be sold by the NHS, with half the proceeds invested in the local NHS estate. That’s fine as far as it goes but we should be cautious about reducing the size of the health estate in Ludlow until we have agreed plans for community health provision in the town.

Covid Watch 164: Ludlow infection rates at all time high

The infection rate, the number of cases per 100,000 people over seven days, reached 885 in Ludlow in the week to 17 October. That was more double the infection rate for England (388) and Shropshire (485) and considerably higher than for Telford & Wrekin (593). Although rates are now beginning to fall, they still remain at an all time high for our town. It may be that Shropshire and Ludlow are playing catch up. The unitary area and our town had lower infection rates than much of the country during 2020. That could have led to a lower community immunity. With schools having been back and social mixing restrictions all but abandoned, infection has been growing in our community. Most clinically vulnerable people will by now have had two doses of vaccine and many have received their third dose. Most children tend to shake off Covid-19. But they can be very poorly. They can spread infection among their friends and family and a small number can suffer long term health damage. There is significant concern that flu will be more severe this winter. We have been living in relative isolation in our local and national islands during lockdowns, restrictions on…

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