Tag: Buttercross

Two Ludlow historic monuments remain on Heritage at Risk Register maintained by English Heritage, the town walls and the Buttercross. Ludlow’s Buttercross The Buttercross is described as: “Repair scheme in progress… Functionally redundant buildings with new use agreed but not yet implemented.” The building is in the lowest risk category (F on a scale of A to F). Nevertheless, I am disappointed that the Buttercross is still on the at risk register. Ludlow Town Council has been doing an excellent job of repairing and converting the building into a heritage centre. The building is no longer at risk. I’ll write to English Heritage asking them to remove the building from next year’s edition of the risk register.

The master of spin was Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s media supremo who issued the dodgy dossier on Iraq. But Campbell is now being challenged. This morning Shropshire Council made a bid for Campbell’s title as spin master supreme. It issued a press release on changes to the Tourist Information service at the Ludlow Assembly Rooms claiming that vicious cutbacks are “exciting times”. Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council’s cabinet member for leisure, libraries and culture, said: “There are exciting times ahead for Ludlow Assembly Rooms and the Buttercross. It is great that we are able to work with the Trustees and the Town Council to secure a bright future and continue to offer valued services to visitors and locals alike.” I have read some rubbish press releases in my time but this amongst the very worst. The news about the Buttercross restoration and museum is not news. We have had a lengthy row about getting the funding for the Buttercross back that Shropshire Council once awarded, cancelled, re-awarded, procrastinated over and then gave back to the town council. There can be no better exemplar of this council’s love of pettifogging bureaucracy than this. The Buttercross is a great project and I fully…

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“It would be so nice if something would make sense for a change,” said Alice in Wonderland. The funding for the Buttercross heritage centre has finally been approved, but Ludlow Town Council has only to November to complete the project. This is despite Shropshire Council earlier saying work in the Grade I listed building could extend to until the end of March 2015. Shropshire Council’s leader Keith Barrow has said many times that the council must become more business-like. No business would tolerate this dilly-dallying around and confusion over a small contract like this. Shropshire Council is now setting a deadline that will be really hard to meet because of the delays its own tortured bureaucracy has created.

We had the money for the Buttercross museum project, and then we didn’t. Then we had it again, but now we haven’t. It’s madness and it’s bad for Ludlow. Shropshire Council has once again changed the rules for funding Ludlow’s Buttercross museum project. It first said that the current grant had to be spent by 31 March, three months earlier than stated in its contract with Ludlow Town Council. Then it backtracked and agreed that the money could be spent as agreed in the contract by the end of June. Now Shropshire Council has changed the rules again. Ludlow Town Council believes the work to move the museum into the Buttercross will take until September to complete. It’s been told to rebid for money beyond June along with other projects. A number of other projects have already overspent, so there will not be enough money to go around. There is every danger that there will not be enough finance to complete the Buttercross project. Meanwhile, Ludlow Town Council can’t place some contracts for the work because it doesn’t know if it will have enough funding. The last thing Ludlow needs is a roller coaster of uncertainty. Every week the rules…

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Today (21 March), Shropshire Council announced that it will not after all be insisting that Ludlow spends its £120,000 grant for the new museum at the Buttercross by 31 March (see backstory). This means that the threat to the project, and the knock-on impacts on the Assembly Rooms redevelopment, have been removed. This morning, Mark Pemberton, Service Manager for Business and Enterprise, Shropshire Council sent an email to Ludlow Town Council announcing: “The position is that you will be able to continue to spend your Market Towns Revitalisation Programme grant until 30th June 2014 as per your contract.” This is excellent news. It has been what everyone in Ludlow has been hoping and pressing for. Now we can finish our new museum, a project vital for our tourist economy. The relocation of the museum will also free up space in the Assembly Rooms, allowing it to create a new entrance and strengthen its role as our main cultural centre. Everyone wins from this decision. I am still puzzled why this row blew up in the first place. It was always common sense to roll over the grant to the next financial year. I hope that Shropshire Council will work more…

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