COUNCILLOR CALLS FOR TOWN TOILETS REVAMP

Meanwhile elsewhere in Shropshire…

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Vivienne Parry, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow South, has urged Ludlow Town Council to carry out an urgent reappraisal of the way the toilets in the Caste St car park are maintained after complaints from residents, market traders and visitors.

Cllr Parry said: "The main problem is the smell. Busy toilets like these require cleaning at least four times a day at the height of the tourist season and the waste bins regularly emptied. At the moment they do not receive anything like this degree of attention and the smell at times has been appalling.

"Market traders and local shoppers have been particularly vociferous in their complaints but we also need to bear in mind the impact it has on our visitors. A lot of people work hard to sell Ludlow's image across the country but issues like this do not help.

"The problem requires a little extra expenditure to boost the clears hours, at least over the summer months. The Town Council* either needs to find the extra from its budget or install the pay turnstiles it bought some years ago. Even if we only charged for the summer months it should cover the extra cleaning costs.

"I asked the Town Council's Services Committee at their meeting last week if they would consider these options. I urge them to come to a quick decision.

"Most towns now maintain their toilets to a high standard. Ludlow has a great public image but we need to act quickly on this issue for the benefit of everyone who uses our beautiful town centre."

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GRITTING – SHROPSHIRE LEFT IN THE LURCH?

Meanwhile elsewhere in Shropshire…

Heather Kidd, Lib Dem Shropshire Councillor for Chirbury and Worthen, is asking Shropshire Council to seek urgent assurances that it will be able to fulfil its contractual obligations (especially gritting) to the Council this winter amongst growing signs of disarray in the organisation.

Heather explained: "I have now been approached by a number of employees of Ringway who are deeply concerned about their jobs. They tell a story of pay cuts, organisational instability and a big turnover of staff. More than one has expressed the view that they think the Company may have financial problems."

Since Ringway became Shropshire's main roads contractor approximately 3 years ago they have been dogged by accusations of poor workmanship and late delivery culminating in them having to redo jobs in Marton four times and Ludlow three.

GRITTING

Heather continued: "I have also been in discussion with colleagues on other English Councils who employ Ringway such as Hertfordshire and the story is the same there. Now I have been contacted by a member of their staff who says it now looks that staff may not agree to do the gritting routes, a duty which is not an obligatory part of their contract. Good will has now disappeared between staff and management, as far as I can tell, and turnover of personnel is high.

"All the taxpayers of Shropshire want is a guarantee that their roads will be repaired properly and gritted when the winter comes.

"The Council must now scrutinise the staffing issues outlined here and ascertain – before the cold weather arrives – that gritting can be carried out. The Portfolio Holder Simon Jones must be clear the Ringway can now fulfil its contract with the Council."

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Nick Clegg: Workers’ party? What baloney | Comment | London Evening Standard

What do you think should be the first duty of government? Maintaining public order? Looking after the vulnerable? Defending the nation? I guess most people would include these and add some preferences of their own.  So let me add one of mine: it should be a duty of government to provide the best possible incentives to work.

“People will think twice about taking on more work when the amount of money they can keep before their benefits disappear has been so dramatically reduced”

Nick Clegg

Source: Nick Clegg: Workers’ party? What baloney | Comment | London Evening Standard

Village Speeding Campaign Gathers Pace

Meanwhile elsewhere in Shropshire…

Lib Dem Councillor Heather Kidd (Chirbury and Worthen) has persuaded West Mercia police to begin enforcing the speed limit in Chirbury, Worthen, Brockton and Marton with camera vans.

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Heather said "I. and I know a great many of the public, have been badgering the police for years to do this.

At long last the 'Safer Roads Parnership' (The Police, Shropshire Council and xxxx) have put 'Community Speed Concern' signs up. This will enable the camera vans to start oparating in the near future!" .

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Breakthrough on travel for young people

Meanwhile elsewhere in Shropshire…

.Following a long campaign by a number of Shropshire Councillors, Minsterley Motors has agreed to allow unlimited travel on its 553 buses by young people with youth tickets.

Cllr Roger Evans (Longden), who has campaigned for many years on this issue said; "This is fantastic news. Until now students who bought season tickets to travel on the 553 service between Bishops Castle and Shrewsbury, mainly to go to 6th Form College, could only use them during two brief windows during the college day.

"Now they can travel anytime including Saturdays. This give young people living in along the route – from the Bishops Castle area through Hope, Pontesbury and Hanwood, a much cheaper and flexible access to public transport and allow them to use their tickets for social as well as educational purposes.

"I would like to thank Andy Evans from Shropshire Council and his staff for their invaluable help in making this happen."

Long time buses campaigner, Cllr Heather Kidd (Chirbury and Worthen), added: "This will allow our young people much greater access to facilities in Shrewsbury. We have been campaigning for over a decade to get a better deal for 15-18 year olds and this is a real break through. I am currently trying to persuade the Tanat Valley Bus Company who run the Montgomery to Shrewsbury route to do the same. They already provide fairs cheaper than the Councils subsidised ticket!"

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BREAKTHROUGH ON DISCOUNT TRAVEL FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

Meanwhile elsewhere in Shropshire…

Following a long campaign by a number of Shropshire Councillors, Minsterley Motors has agreed to allow unlimited travel on its 553 buses by young people with youth tickets.

Cllr Roger Evans (Longden), who has campaigned for many years on this issue said; "This is fantastic news. Until now students who bought season tickets to travel on the 553 service between Bishops Castle and Shrewsbury bus, mainly to go to 6th Form College could only use them during two brief windows during the college day.

"Now they can travel anytime including Saturdays. This give young people living in villages such as Minsterley, Pontesbury and Hanwood much cheaper and flexible access to public transport and allow them to use their tickets for social as well as educational purposes.

"I would like to thank Andy Evans and his staff for their invaluable help in making this happen."

Pontesbury buses campaigner, Susan Lockwood, added: "This will be greatly welcomed by our young people as it will allow much greater access to facilities in Shrewsbury. It also gives them equality with their peers in town who have had this concession on the Arriva services running there for quite some time."

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#RefugeesWelcome – Lib Dems to ask Shropshire Council to help settle refugees in Shropshire

Meanwhile elsewhere in Shropshire…


The Liberal Democrat team on Shropshire Council is to ask councillors and officers to act urgently to help settle refugee families in our county. We are doing this because we do not believe that anyone, let alone a body with the expertise and resources of Shropshire Council, should stand idle while desperate refugees suffer and die as they flee war torn countries on the borders of Europe.


Our request comes in the form of a motion to the Shropshire Council meeting on 24 September. It will be proposed by Andy Boddington, councillor for Ludlow North, and seconded by Andrew Bannerman, councillor for Coton Hill and Quarry in Shrewsbury.


Andrew Bannerman says:


"We need to act quickly and flexibly. We are not suggesting that Shropshire takes in thousands of refugees. If we found homes for just ten families, that's ten families rescued from a state of crisis."


"Shropshire Council is a civic leader and has a lot of expertise. It should help shape our county's response to this emergency. This crisis is not going to go away any time soon. Shropshire Council must play its part, as must all of us."


Andy Boddington continues:


"It is a natural instinct to think that it is someone else's responsibility to deal with a crisis. Other countries. Other organisations. Other people. But the reality is that it is everyone's duty to deal with extraordinary suffering like this. As just one council, one volunteer group or one individual we perhaps can't achieve a huge amount. But as hundreds of councils, thousands of volunteer groups and millions of people we can make a really big difference."


"That's why we will be asking Shropshire Council to back this motion at its next meeting. We are asking it to join councils, volunteer groups and individuals all over the country who are doing their bit to help refugees."

The motion


This council:

● believes that we all have a moral responsibility to aid and resettle refugees

● it is the duty of the government and all councils to react to this humanitarian crisis by helping shelter families classified as refugees under 1951 Refugee Convention.


This council resolves:

1. To recognise that it should join others in taking urgent action to help refugees.

2. To set up and empower a politically balanced group of councillors. This will work with the Housing Options team and external organisations to take action to help refugees find a home and settle in Shropshire.

3. To accept and discuss reports from the group at: the Cabinet meeting of 28 October 2015; Performance Scrutiny Committee; and full Council on 17 December 2015. The reports will state the group's progressing conclusions; the actions that it has taken or proposes to take; and the actions the council has taken or is recommended to take.

4. To instruct the Chief Executive to write to the county's MPs and the prime minister to remind them of the UK's moral responsibility to resettle many more refugees than currently proposed. The Chief Executive should seek guidance from the proposed group on the wording of his letter.

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Police force could lose 22,000 jobs in new cuts

Huge Police cuts threatened

Without the Liberal Democrats in Government, we are seeing what the Conservatives true priorities are for our area.

These cuts could see hundreds of police officers taken off the streets and local crime could dramatically increase without the necessary resources to investigate.

Whilst crime is falling, there are real concerns about the impact on cuts from the Home Office and the effect that this could have on front-line policing in our communities.

The Police Federation have warned that these cuts, “…would leave the service in real danger of being unable to properly protect the public.”

We need to fight for tough action to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour but this needs police left on the front-line. Public safety must come first.

Major reduction in funding could see number of police officers in England and Wales fall to 40-year low

Source: Police force could lose 22,000 jobs under new spending cuts | UK news | The Guardian

Have Your Say on Shrewsbury Swimming Pool

Lid Dem Shropshire Councillor for Quarry Ward, Andrew Bannerman says: "The Council's consultation on what should happen to our swimming pool closes on September 25th so please make your views known. You can use the Council website – look for a link to 'Swimming Provision in Shrewsbury', or ask for a hard copy of the survey questions. There is no doubt in my mind that we should keep our main public swimming pool in Shrewsbury town centre. This view has been backed by many residents in surveys by the Focus team. Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate Christine Tinker and councillors on both local councils are campaigning strongly against moving the pool. It is important that Shirehall bosses are left in no doubt of public opinion in this official consultation. The options in it are rather complex – the Council appear to be suggesting (from the figures produced as evidence) that a move to Sundorne would be more economical and even attract more swimmers. This is hard to believe with all the new housing to the south and west of the town, the University and the large number of people who combine a swim with other activities in the town centre."

You can learn more about the issue on the Quarry Pool supporters' page on Facebook.

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