Category: Services

BT plans to remove well used phone box outside former Budgens store

BT is progressively removing little or unused phone kiosks around the country. The number of calls from phone boxes has fallen. Some have not been used in the last year, even longer. Some have been vandalised. The result is that several Ludlow phone kiosks have been removed in recent years. Now, BT wants to remove the phone box on Upper Galdeford outside the former Budgens store. This is wrong. The box was used for 435 calls in the year up to September 2019. That’s not huge. I am sure it is not profitable for BT. But the phone kiosk is still in active use and should be maintained.

Shropshire Council is consulting on the future of its library services – I fear for mobile library services

Shropshire Council’s Library services were reviewed two years ago. The conclusion of that review was that three tiers of library would be established: Tier 1 Library Hubs in Shrewsbury and larger market towns, including Ludlow; Tier 2 Community Libraries in the smaller market towns such as Church Stretton; and Tier 3 Community Libraries in smaller market towns such as Craven Arms. Rural areas would be served by mobile libraries with 281 stops in all. The new library strategy was to last for five years. But just two years into its implementation, Shropshire Council has announced another review. The council does not give a straightforward reason for the review. Rather, it says “we identified the need for a refreshed strategy that offers a robust vision with clear priorities for the library service of the future.” Given how stretched staff are within the council, and how stretched its finances are, it is inevitable that people are wondering whether the review presages another round of cuts. Otherwise why allocate so much staff time? The council says it is committed to retaining the three tier library structure. But it hasn’t said it is committed to keeping mobile libraries. There will be a drop in…

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Shropshire Council budget: Cuts are targeted at the health of our county and planet

Shropshire Council has cut £48 million from its budget over the last three years under pressure of government cuts. It will need to cut, or in its words “save”, £18.5m next year. The council has now set out details of the proposed cuts and is asking for public comments. Under the proposals, recycling will get more difficult and households will pay twice over for garden waste. This is bound to cut the proportion of waste that is recycled, a proportion that is already falling. The council is also proposing cuts to the planning team, along with culture and leisure services.

Shropshire Council budget: Cuts are targeted at the health of people and will cost the NHS more

Shropshire Council has cut £48 million from its budget over the last three years under pressure of government cuts. It will need to cut, or in its words “save”, £18.5m next year. The list of cuts is appalling. Public health services will get a big hit. Giving up smoking, reducing obesity and promotion of healthy lifestyles will be hammered. People from Wales will be snubbed. There will be cuts to social support, including cuts to day centres, though there is doubt whether all the cuts can be achieved.

Shropshire Council budget: Bus subsidies cut, park and ride fares up and new housing company burdened with debt

Shropshire Council has cut £48 million from its budget over the last three years under pressure of government cuts. It will need to cut, or in its words “save”, £18.5m next year. The council has now set out details of the proposed cuts and is asking for public comments. The lengthy litany of cuts is grim. In this article, I look at buses and Shropshire Council’s plan for a new debt-ridden housing company. I also review other cuts that will affect how Shropshire Council works with local communities and will make Shirehall more distant from Ludlow than ever.

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