Tag: Covid Watch

Covid Watch 144: Despite outbreaks it is looking good as Shropshire approaches near zero Covid

Readers of this blog know I am never one to claim we have surmounted a hurdle before we have done so. But the Covid statistics for Shropshire, including south west Shropshire and Ludlow, remain very low. It is looking good. The outbreak of Covid-19 at the Crew Cake bakery in Bala has spilled over into Oswestry where some of the workers live. Health chiefs across the region are on the task and the outbreak is not expected to spread infection. Concerns over a variant in Telford have led to a surge in testing but the overall level of new cases remains low. Vaccination rates are high with almost all those in Ludlow over 60 years having been vaccinated by 25 April.

Covid Watch 143: It is a perennial debate. Perhaps as old as Ludlow’s May Fair itself. Blocking traffic. Noise. Smells. Fun!

On Monday night, Ludlow Town Council debated whether to allow the May Fair this year. Councillors were told that only 30 people would be allowed into the fair at a time. Putting aside that would bankrupt any commercial operation, government rules say that 4,000 people, even more, are allowed for outdoor events such as funfairs. On the proviso they don’t all come at once and the familiar social distancing rules are enforced. At the same meeting, councillors approved space for the Green Festival and the Fringe Festival in the town centre without a limit on numbers. After what I can only describe as an ill-informed debate on Monday, councillors decided to ask for a Covid safe plan for the fair. If the fair goes ahead, it will be over the late May bank holiday. I hope it goes ahead as there is no legal barrier to it doing so.

Covid Watch 103: Ludlow Town Council should not swing a wrecking ball at democracy

It is time for business as usual with councils but the government is not helping us. It has refused to extend emergency legislation that allows local councils to meet online rather in stuffy council chambers. That decision is being challenged in the high court but unless the action by councils wins, it creates a dilemma for those councils now forced to meet in person but have no space to do so. Ludlow Town Council is to meet tonight in a Zoom meeting. The council is being asked to agree to limit business at the next meeting and to transfer most decision-making to the town clerk under emergency powers. There is no longer any emergency. If the council allows emergency powers to be used in a non-emergency it will no longer be a democratic body. I hope councillors will vote against this wrecking ball to local democracy tonight.

Covid Watch 142: Good news as Covid-19 cases approach zero in Ludlow and Shropshire

New Covid-19 cases have been at zero or close to zero in Ludlow for weeks, and very low in the rest of south west Shropshire over the same period. Our county is coming close to being Covid-19 free, although there are likely to be local upsurges as restrictions ease. Although all over 50s have been offered a vaccination before the end of the month, half our population locally is under 50 and will not be vaccinated until mid-summer. And that is dependent on vaccination supplies. But let’s not miss the good news. The town centre was buzzing yesterday morning and it felt like life is returning to normal. We will all welcome that.

Covid Watch 141: Would you welcome a vaccination passport if they were introduced? Vote now

I have very mixed views about vaccine passports. The government is resisting the idea. Ministers worry about the complexity and potential discrimination, though rather less about the intrusion into civil liberties. But many people I know support the idea if it is the price of getting access to their favourite hostelry, restaurant or entertainment venue. There is even talk of using vaccine passports for shops. With  “non-essential” shops and pubs opening across the country and in Ludlow today, I am asking the question – do you support vaccination passports?

Back to top