Author: andybodders

Barclays in Ludlow to close on August 26 leaving more than 250 customers without a local bank (updated)

Customers of Barclays have received a letter today (20 May) stating that Barclays on King St Ludlow is to close on August 26 at 12:00pm. This bank doesn’t just serve Ludlow. It caters for a very broad hinterland. Having banks is one of the things that makes Ludlow town centre tick. People come to bank and then they shop. We have already seen the loss of HSBC, which is being converted into Specsavers. With the loss of Barclays, we will be down to three banks. Lloyds, Nationwide and NatWest. How long will those survive? Banks that close their branches say people should do their transactions online. Many people, particularly older people, are not comfortable with digital technology. There are also many businesses in Ludlow that deal with cash. Barclays says cash can be paid in at the Post Office. But the Post Office service in Ludlow is very poor. The Post Office counters in our two One Stop shops, part of the Tesco Group, often closed due to lack of staff. The closure of Barclays is yet another nail in the coffin of our high streets. Ludlow town centre is resilient. It has survived the trend towards shopping online. It…

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Shropshire Council’s increase in car parking charges will hit Ludlow

Everyone is feeling the squeeze of rising food and fuel costs. The cost of electricity, gas and heating oil has soared and without action from the government, will soar further in October leading to a cold and miserable winter for many people. The Bank of England says that inflation could hit 10% this year. Yet Shropshire Council wants to increase car parking charges at the very point when people have less to spend on our high streets. Shropshire Council argues that costs must increase with inflation. I don’t buy that argument. The council has not made a case for additional funding for the car parks and the team that supports them. The largely automated system of charging for parking on streets and in car parks has reduced costs. The council should be cutting its budget not heaping more costs on shoppers, tourists and workers. Our retail and visitor economies were hit hard during the pandemic. Ludlow is bouncing back. The last thing we need is a hike in car parking charges. Shropshire Council’s consultation on the hike in charges ends this Friday, 20 May. You can comment here.

Final plans for EV charging points on Mill Street confirmed

Over the last year or so, there has been more than a little controversy over plans for two EV charging points in Mill Street. An early lack of consultation, the locations for the points being marked in the wrong place and a general resistance to parking spaces being used for visitors rather than residents all contributed to the fuss. Electrically powered cars are now commonplace. From 2030, petrol and diesel vehicles will no longer be sold in the UK, though hybrids can be sold until 2035. All new cars and vans be fully zero emission at the tailpipe from 2035. The car market is gearing up for this transition, despite short term difficulties in supply caused by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. Progress is somewhat slower in installing EV charging points. The attitude that our town centre residential streets should not have EV charging points and they should only be in car parks for now cannot be sustained. With just eight years to go before petrol and diesel vehicles stop being sold, we need to get on with installing EV charging across the town. On the streets and in car parks. And in new developments where properties do…

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Two councillors needed for Ludlow Town Council

Ludlow Town Council has a second vacancy for a councillor after I stepped down for health reasons. I actually feel quite fit. It’s just that my legs don’t agree with that assessment. When I joined the council a year ago, I could walk fairly well. But the neuropathy in legs has got worse and I must use a stick for support when I walk, sometimes two. This is often worse in the evenings and sitting in a low chair (which is a compulsory torture in council meetings) makes it worse. Despite generous offers of lifts from other councillors, it was becoming increasing difficult for me to attend evening meetings. I decided it was better that I stood down and someone else took up the role. I will however remain a Shropshire Councillor. I want to emphasise this as there has been some confusion on Facebook. I will still represent Ludlow North and I will still devote most of my time to being a councillor.

The Bull Ring is the most polluted street in Ludlow

Modelling data has recently been made available for air pollution across the UK. It allows us to map pollution around Ludlow. The modelling in many respects tells us what we already know. That the air pollution hot spots in Ludlow are on Corve Street, the Bull Ring, Old Street and much of the town centre. But it provides numbers on the estimated level of pollution, data that we can use to use in planning the transport future of the town. The data come from the Central Office of Public interest (COPI), which describes itself as a “creative industry alliance running the national awareness campaigns government should be running.” COPI has created a website at addresspollution.org where everyone can look up the estimated air pollution at their home, workplace or play area. I have used this site to compile a map of air pollution in Ludlow.

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