Hump with no bump: Ludlow Sandpits traffic calming scheme speeds up traffic!

After years of discussions, a road safety scheme has been installed by Shropshire Council outside Ludlow Primary School on Sandpits Road. It doesn’t work. If anything, it speeds up traffic approaching the school gates. “This is not the scheme we expected”, says Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East Tracey Huffer. “After years of discussions, a scheme for improving road safety outside the school has been implemented. There are new signs and new road markings. The centrepiece of the scheme is a raised table, a wide road hump. But the table is too low. It has no effect on the speed of traffic. If anything, it is speeding traffic up because it is so smooth. It is a hump with no bump.” Tracey is now calling for an urgent site meeting with highways officers, parents and residents to discuss how the scheme can be improved. There has been a campaign for a safety scheme outside the school by parents, school governors and councillors for several years. The main concerns have been traffic travelling faster than is safe and careless parking. A scheme was approved a year ago and was installed after an extensive closure of Sandpits Road by Seven Trent Water and…

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Councillor Richard Huffer calls for inquiry into Clee Hill planning debacle

Last week, a developer on Clee Hill built fencing against decades old housing on Tenbury Road. That has prevented residents opening their windows. Media reports even suggest that the developer has told residents that if they open the windows on the back of their homes, they will be trespassing. Richard Huffer who represents Clee on Shropshire Council has been working to resolve these issues over the last few years. Last Wednesday, he sent an urgent message to the most senior officer in Shropshire Council’s planning department asking for action “urgently before this escalates with potential harm and further media coverage.” There is now both harm and media coverage. He is now calling for an inquiry by a council scrutiny committee into the planning department’s actions on this scheme.

Covid Watch 159: Infections in Ludlow, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin high and not falling

There is already talk of reintroduction of social mixing restrictions over the winter because Covid-19 infections rates are not falling. There could be announcement within the next few days on contingency plans should the NHS become overwhelmed with the twin pressures of flu and Covid. We are far from getting infection rates reduced. Infection rates have stopped falling in Shropshire and have been climbing in Telford & Wrekin. Across England, around 225 people per 100,000 people are testing positive each week, more than 150,000 new cases a week. In Shropshire, the infection rate is around 306, a third higher than nationally. Telford & Wrekin the rate is about 385. Here in Ludlow, the infection rate is high at 35 cases a week, an infection rate of 319 cases for 100,000 people. That is equal to the previous peak of cases in July.

World Suicide Prevention Day: A councillor view from a hill farm

It is World Suicide Prevention Day. Tracey and Richard Huffer farm high on a hill in south west Shropshire. Tracey is also a health professional. Along with myself and four others, we are Lib Dem councillors in a very rural area. Sometimes it feels we can’t sit down for a chat without mentioning the “s” word. Someone else has taken their life. And it is mostly younger people, mostly men. This article reflects how on the growing problem of suicide in rural areas. Richard was at the livestock market selling sheep recently. I was leaning against the railings at the sheep pens. An elderly farmer, a stranger, joined me and started pouring out about his son who had shot himself at the age of 30. I was probably one of the few people he had seen for a while, perhaps the only one for days. I wish I could say this was a one off. Sadly not.

Shropshire Council closes Ludlow Youth Centre – it should hang its head in shame

“Shropshire Council has all but disowned the young people in this county. That’s a disgrace.” That’s the view of Tracey Huffer, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East after a cabinet meeting this morning. Tracey had asked a series of questions to the council’s cabinet today. Shropshire Council failed to give a guarantee that Ludlow Youth Centre will reopen but said it hoped it might be used for community purposes in the future. It would not guarantee that the Youth Centre, valued at £851,000 on its books, will not be sold to help plug its growing gap in capital finances. It would not guarantee that Ludlow Youth Centre will reopen for young people. That’s it then. A process begun in 2014 with the full support of our local MP has led to closure of Ludlow Youth Centre. What do we do now?

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