Month: November 2021

After the preview last night, many of us were back for the official opening by Councillors  Viv Parry and Imogen Liddle at 8.30am this morning. We were not alone and around 100 people were queuing by the time the store opened its doors. The video of Viv Parry’s speech is below. The other highlight of the morning was the awards to three children from Ludlow Primary School on Sandpits Road. They had submitted designs for the hessian bags that are de rigueur for any retail outlet these days. The winner was five year old Lottie with a great sketch of Ludlow Castle.

Sainsbury’s opens tomorrow morning – preview

Along with fellow councillors and other representatives, I took a tour of the new Sainsbury’s supermarket at Rocks Green this evening. Our visit took place as staff and contractors were completing last minute jobs. The shelves are stacked, except for last minute goods such as fresh bread. The store is bright and brash and it looks like, you guessed it, a Sainsbury’s supermarket. It is ready to go. Sainsbury’s has taken on 99 “colleagues”, nearly all from the local area, or from as far away as Craven Arms and Cleobury Mortimer if you think our near neighbours are not local. We have a lot to learn about how this store will affect our town. Many people I have spoken to are looking forward to it. It is bigger than the other supermarkets in town and from what I could see on the tour has a good range of fresh produce, as least as much as Tesco, and lots of tempting food, as well as household goods. I began to salivate when I spotted the deep fried sweet potato strips but, alas, I can’t buy those until tomorrow.

Next Tuesday, 30 November, Edinburgh based Locogen Consulting will be holding drop in session in Bitterley Village Hall from 2:00pm to 6:30pm. The company aims to build a solar farm on the opposite side of Squirrel Lane from the existing solar farm. This consultation comes ahead of a planning application, at which point members of the public will be able to submit formal comments. Locogen has confirmed that no hedges will be lost and it has every intention of improving biodiversity. That will be an issue to be discussed further at the drop in session. Another issue will be construction traffic. Although there was a ban during the construction of the existing solar farm on traffic using Squirrel Lane between Sheet Road and Ledwyche Bridge, some construction traffic ignored that instruction. One HGV did significant damage to the historic bridge at the time the solar farm was being constructed.

Covid Watch 168: Omicron, face masks, new testing advice and peaking cases

Our country has been battered by Storm Arwen. Could it also be about to be battered by Variant Omicron? The new Covid variant has twice as many mutations as Delta, which is currently the dominant variant worldwide. That’s why many scientists and politicians are so concerned about it, even if we have little scientific evidence at this early stage about its transmissibility, the extent to which it can infect vaccinated people, whether it causes serious illness and whether it can compete with Delta. Face masks will be compulsory in shops and on buses and trains from Monday. New arrivals to the UK must take PCR tests not lateral flow. Infection rates have been increasing across Shropshire. The infection rate in the unitary area recently peaked in the seven days to 19 November at an all-time high of 571 identified cases per 100,000 people. A few days later, the infection rate reached 617 in Telford & Wrekin, though that is not quite as high as the rate a month earlier of 637. In the last few days, the infection rate has been falling across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin, England and the UK. It is too early to say whether this is…

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Helen Morgan has been selected as the Lib Dem candidate in the North Shropshire by-election, which was called after the resignation of Conservative Owen Paterson amid allegations of sleaze. The campaign in North Shropshire has been underway for a week-and-a-half. Last Saturday Sarah Cooper, who was elected as MP for Chesham and Amersham in June, opened our campaign HQ near Wem in North Shropshire. Helen said this morning her top campaigning priority will be to demand a better deal for the constituency’s local health services, which have been taken for granted by the Conservatives for years. It comes with the closure of both of North Shropshire’s ambulance stations, GP services in crisis and A&E wait times on the rise. Helen is also passionate about getting a fair deal for Shropshire’s farmers who are at risk as the Conservatives continue to let them down with disappointing trade deals. You can donate to the campaign here.

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