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GPs have confirmed that vaccination for the over 80s will at last begin next Thursday, 28 January. We are behind in vaccination in south west Shropshire. We hope to catch up in just a few days. Residents of registered with GPs Ludlow, Church Stretton, Craven Arms, Clun and Bishops Castle who are over 80 will receive letters or calls inviting them to attend the Mayfair Centre on Easthope Road in Church Stretton. Clinics are expected run 12 hours a day, including through next weekend. Discussions are underway with bus and taxi companies about transport. Those that are housebound or cannot travel to Church Stretton will be offered vaccination in the coming weeks. Please don’t ring your GP about your vaccination appointment. Switchboards have been overwhelmed. GPs are saying: “Don’t call us. We’ll call you.” Ring 119 if you think you might be ill with Covid-19 or want a test. Ring your GP if you have concerns about other illnesses.

It’s coming up to New Year. It is normally a time for partying and what self-respecting party doesn’t drag everyone out into the cold for the firework display? The problem, coronavirus restrictions aside, is not the fireworks. It is that they have become noisier over the years. They scare the hell out of some people and traumatise a nation of pets. My dog hides under the bed in a panic, despite being an ex-farm dog used to guns. My cat is well frit for hours. It is not just animals. Many people with autism, tinnitus and other conditions also suffer. Shropshire Council has twice debated fireworks in the last year. On both occasions it agreed to provide advice and it has done so. But the council cabinet member overseeing regulation was meant to lobby government but has not acted. We need national action by MPs, not just debates in hallowed chambers.

Obituary for Simon Mark Lissauer whose funeral was last Monday at St Laurence’s Church

Simon was well known in our town. He died on 25 November aged 61 years. Thanks to the generosity of St Laurence’s Church and Victoria Allen, and financial support from Shropshire Council, Simon’s funeral was graceful and moving. Wild Edric filmed the service and the video is here. It is well worth listening to Tom Elwin beautiful singing of Panis Angelicus at 30 minutes in. The eulogy was read by Catherine Beaumont on behalf of Simon’s friend since schooldays, Floyd Moody. It is reproduced below.

Covid Watch – cases rise sharply across the county and new cases here in Ludlow

The message from this afternoon’s data release from National Health England is that we must be careful here in Shropshire but there is no reason to panic. The data have been published as we expect more localised lockdowns, especially in the north of England and the central belt of Scotland. Wales already has many lockdowns. The upwards trend in cases in Shropshire started three weeks ago during Week 38. The essential data for Ludlow is that there have been 12 positive tests during that period. In the previous three weeks, there were no reported positive tests. Across Shropshire there were 343 positive tests, well up from the 35 positives in the prior three weeks. In Telford and Wrekin there were 172 positives – compared to just 29 in the three weeks before.

New signage to ease problems on Linney while King Street is closed, funerals and satnav

In a meeting this morning, we agreed to put in place immediate measures to try and ease some of the problems created by the emergency closure of King Street. That closure followed significant damage to the Grade-I listed Buttercross by a late night truck. New signs are being put in place to ensure traffic using the official diversion over Whitcliffe do not turn left onto Linney. The signs will direct town centre traffic from Dinham Bridge up Dinham. At the other end of Linney, traffic from Corve Street will be discouraged by signs that say no diverted traffic, residents only. Given the damage to historic walls in Linney by lost or confused truck drivers in recent days, satnav instructions have been updated.

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