Category: Politics

Shropshire Conservatives refuse to support the Climate and Ecology (CEE) Bill but set up a committee to tell them how to think

Why should you do something today when you can do it tomorrow, even if you should have done it yesterday? That is the attitude of Shropshire Council’s Conservative members when it comes to tackling climate change. Why should they rush to deal with an emergency when they can take a gentle stroll?   The Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill is currently languishing parliament. But support for the bill, which sets out what priorities the UK needs in place to meet its climate change targets and tackle the ecological crisis, is strong. That’s why a cross-party motion to give an expression of support the bill was tabled at Shropshire Council yesterday. But the council’s portfolio holder for climate change kicked the motion into the long grass, supported by a fellow Conservative who complained about the potential costs to the council of the bill. How much does an expression of support cost? Failure to tackle the climate and ecological emergencies will cost us our planet.

Local elections to go ahead in May come what may the government says – time to go postal

We’re off! The government yesterday announced yesterday that the next local elections will be held in three months’ time on 6 May. There has been discussion for months on whether they would be held. Whether they should be held before the pandemic is at its end. I am concerned that many people will think it is not safe to vote. That will weaken democracy. The government should ensure that all voters are asked to apply for a postal vote by sending a letter to every household. It should allow people to register for a postal vote online. In the longer term, we must look at online voting.  

Covid Watch 119: Church Stretton, Dunne question and our struggles to get vaccinated

When do we want vax? Now! But everyone is getting frustrated that in south west Shropshire “now” is slipping away into the future. Philip Dunne asked a question of the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock today about the problems of vaccination in south west Shropshire. He got a promise of an answer and we await that. The complexity of the NHS has not helped vaccine rollout. We have top down vaccination centres and local GP delivery. If only it was as simple as that. Frankly, it is a mess. The urgent health priorities are becoming overwhelmed by the bureaucracy of the NHS. What worries me most is that consensus on how to go forward and how to provide information is breaking down. Nationally and locally.

Covid Watch 88: Boris Johnson imposes a national lockdown – we must keep our community and town thriving and faith in ourselves

We shouldn’t be here but here we are. Yet again political leaders have dithered in the face of that the epidemic is getting out of control. That happened in March. It has happened again this November. The second lockdown will last until December. A month’s shutdown is expected. The main story is known. Hospitality and leisure businesses, barber hairdressers and nail fashioners must close by midnight on Wednesday. You won’t be able to buy a new car either, except online. The shielded are being told to shy away from society again, though we won’t know the details of their restrictions until tomorrow. Ludlow Town Council can help reduce the impact of this second lockdown by keeping Ludlow Market open. Shropshire Council can help by keeping our town and inter-town buses running.

Covid Watch 84: Shropshire businesses step in after our county’s MPs shamefully vote against proving free school meals in holidays

Earlier this week, all five Shropshire MPs voted against giving children from poorer families school meals during school holidays. The MPs, who seem not to know what it is like to be on the poverty line, think families can thrive on Universal Credit. It was their “let them eat cake moment”. The MPs include Philip Dunne who has recently taken on a part-time job alongside his supposedly fulltime job as Ludlow’s MP. Fortunately, cafes, restaurants and businesses around the county have stepped in and are offering food to families with children who qualify for free school meals. Our communities are stepping up just as our MPs step down from their responsibilities.

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