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New plans for two solar installations near Ludlow

Two planning applications have been submitted for very different solar installations near Ludlow. One, on the roofs of existing chicken sheds, is unlikely to be controversial. The other is a submission for a solar farm at Whitton in Caynham parish. A larger scheme on this site caused much controversy and was thrown out by the South Planning Committee last October.

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Shropshire Council consults on underspending support schemes for needy

Two years ago, further responsibility for discretionary payments to people in need was transferred from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to local councils. That was a perfectly sensible decision as local councils are better placed to determine local needs than a central government department. But since then, Shropshire has underspent the allocated budgets for Discretionary Housing Payments and the Local Support and Prevention Fund.

The Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) scheme gives financial support towards housing costs over and above housing benefit. The Local Support and Prevention Fund (LSPF) provides support payments and crisis funds, known as prevention payments.

Now Shropshire Council is consulting on how it should allocate the money in future years. The deadline for responses is 23 April.

With my limited knowledge, the criteria it is proposing for allocating funds looks about right. But I do think it needs to beef up its communication strategy so that people in need know that these schemes exist.

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Poll: Should Ludlow police station close altogether or be relocated? Vote now

West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner Bill Longmore has suggested that more police stations should close. One suggestion is that the police should share premises with the fire and rescue service.

Ludlow police station on Lower Galdeford is formally still open but the front counter service closed last autumn. Instead, visitors must press a button on a door panel and speak into it when the remote operator answers. West Mercia police do however use it as a base when they are working in the town and surrounding area. Otherwise, they work out of the main local base in Leominster or other stations.

So, should Ludlow police station reopen the front counter? Should it close altogether? Or should we seek a new location for the station? Continue reading

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Road and pavement works planned for Ludlow in 2015

Ringway are Shropshire Council’s contractors. I am not happy with some of their work.

Lower Corve Street was resurfaced in 2013. The work by Ringway was judged substandard and the work was repeated in 2014. Now Shropshire Council has ruled that work as inadequate so we will see the road resurfaced again this year. Although Ringway has to pay the cost of remedial work, it doesn’t pay for officer time or the inconvenience to residents. It is time the company got simple jobs like this right the first time.

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Ludlow Town Council urged to protect Ludlow Youth Centre on Monday (updated)

Update 16 March 2015

I am very pleased to report that Ludlow Town Council decided tonight to apply to register our Youth Centre as an asset of community value. It also decided to make an expression of interest in a potential community asset transfer. Neither of these moves commits the council to any action but it opens up options should Shropshire Council want to sell the Youth Centre or transfer it to another body.

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Ludlow’s unitary councillors are urging Ludlow Town Council to back a recommendation that Ludlow Youth Centre is registered as an asset of community value at its meeting on Monday. Tracey Huffer, Andy Boddington, Richard Huffer and Viv Parry are also asking the town council to register an interest in taking over the building should the need arise.

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He left Ludlow to find help elsewhere. Why can’t we help homelessness people in Shropshire?

I’m struggling today. It was a day of beauty in the way people reacted. But the ugly hand of bureaucracy soured everything.

T has been here a couple of days. He was rough sleeping. During the day he sat outside Holland and Barretts on Broad Street.

I have been buried in work and hadn’t been to town for a couple of days. I was alerted to his predicament this morning.

This afternoon I went to see him and to ask if I could help. We got on really well.

I found a really nice gentle man who had fallen out of normal life. He has a military background. He said he mourns the death of his parents. He told me his wife had recently died in horrendous circumstances. It was very clear to me that this good man had mental health issues. Continue reading