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Shock at Capita job losses in Ludlow

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Unemployment has been dropping in the Ludlow area for a while, but today there is bad news from the Eco Park. Capita Medical Reporting has told its staff that the company is making a round of redundancies. Up to 30 jobs are to go. This is a blow to the town and surrounding area, and of course for those losing their jobs.

I hope that the people being made redundant are able to find jobs quickly. As I know from being unemployed myself a few years back, it can be hard to get a new job in rural areas, especially in middle age.

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Experts says heritage statement needed for Rocks Green supermarket proposal

A Shropshire Council conservation officer has called for a heritage assessment of the impact of the proposed supermarket at Rocks Green.

In the clunky language of planning, the Rachael Parry says:

The proposals include the demolition of historic buildings… The impact of their removal is seen to be a significant detriment due to their positive contribution to the traditional and rural character and visual appearance of this area.

She notes the site is not in a conservation area but warns:

It is important to ensure that the Historic Environment is fully appreciated and the impact of the scheme is assessed in relation to the entrance/boundary of the town.
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At last Ludlow is to get a second petrol station

Since the Shell garage on Temeside closed a few years ago, Ludlow has had only one petrol station in the town. That has led to long queues for fuel at the Co-op on Foldgate Lane (formerly Harry Tuffins). This is about to change. Yesterday the South Planning Committee approved plans for a petrol station and convenience store on the corner of Bromfield Road and Coronation Avenue.

The petrol station could be open 24 hours if the retailer wishes to do so. The maximum store opening hours will be from 6am to midnight. There are conditions in place that will allow 24 hour opening providing the retailer puts in place a management plan to ensure there is no night time disturbance. Continue reading

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Concerns grow for safety and heritage at St Julian’s Well, Ludlow

We are growing concerned about the wellbeing of historic St Julian’s Well on Livesey Road, Ludlow. The well is a Grade II Listed Building.

A small number of stones at the base of the well cover have been damaged. The well is in the middle of the road and it is not clear whether this is from passing traffic, from grit and salt spread on the road, or just because the monument is decaying with age.

Teenagers sometimes sit on the cover at night and that might be why the cover seems to be sinking. We don’t want the cover to collapse into the space beneath and people to be hurt.

As the photographs below show, the monument has notably decayed in the last two years.

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Shropshire Council in democratic failure after illegal confiscation of cameras at council meeting

In a move worthy of a totalitarian state, yesterday Shropshire Council confiscated cameras from members of the public attending its council meeting. It also prevented recording of the meeting. In doing so, it was in breach of national statutes which clearly state that recording should of meetings should be allowed without hindrance. I find it unbelievable in an age of supposedly open government that cameras were confiscated. The banning of recording was not legal. I can’t see that taking cameras away from members of the public was legal. Shropshire Council should make a public apology for its anti-democratic actions.

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Philip Dunne triumphs on a bad night for the Lib Dems

I am not going to pretend this has been a good night for the Liberal Democrats, not nationally or locally. But first let me congratulate Philip Dunne for winning a third term of office with an increased majority.

Philip Dunne          Conservative Party           54%       26,093

David Kelly            UK Independence Party   15%       7,164

Charlotte Barnes     Liberal Democrats            13%       6,469

Simon Slater           Labour Party                    12%       5,902

Janet Phillips          Green Party                      5%         2,435

As I type this at 4 in the morning, the Lib Dems seem to be getting the blame for everything that went wrong in the coalition and no credit for things that have gone right. Good, hardworking Lib Dem MPs are losing their seats.

It’s a cruel cull – but that’s politics.

It hasn’t been good here in Ludlow. Charlotte threw everything into a gutsy campaign but she was swimming against the national tide that drowned so many prominent Lib Dems. I take my hat off to her for her energy, enthusiasm and endless ability to burst out laughing on the doorstep.

I can’t disguise that it grates to come third behind UKIP. I am a liberal through and through, and to come third behind an anti-liberal party hurts.

It’s a cruel result – but that’s politics.

There is a lot of reflecting to do after this morning’s results. I would have liked to have seen rainbow coalition – a structure that would have changed politics for ever. But at this hour of the morning, I think seeing my bed might be more achievable.