Thursday, 31 March 2011

Powercut in Central Tenbury.

Power is expected to be restored by 11.30pm.

Power has been cut as a precaution whilst technicians replace faulty equipment next to a gas meter in Cornwall Gardens.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Town Councillors - all present and correct?

In a few weeks time the good citizens of Tenbury, or at least those on the electoral roll will have the opportunity to vote for a new Town Council.

It hasn't been announced yet who is going to stand, but I thought a little historical data maybe of assistance, in helping you to decide who to vote for.

Of course, you shouldn't decide to vote for a Councillor just on the basis of Presenteeism.  Some Councillors do a lot of additional work behind the scenes, so just being present at meetings doesn't tell the full story.

Also like most of us, life throws up unexpected challenges, such as ill health, bereavement or the need to work & stay away from home, which will divert even the most dedicated public servant.

The data below does give a flavour, if like most people you rarely sit in on meetings.

During the period January to December 2010 the Town Council held something in the region of 72 meetings (some of which had to be abandoned due to absenteeism)  I was at most of the Public Meetings with the exception of a few planning meetings.

The table below shows how many meeting each Councillor was "summoned" to attend. The number varies depending on which committees each councillor sits on.

Free Staff Vacancy Adverts

Any shop or business in the Teme Valley (& Ludlow) area wanting to advertising for staff can take advantage of a free advert in the next issue of the Teme Valley Times.

Click here for full details.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Tenbury Parking Crisis Talks

The Town Council will be holding talks with Will Chase & Malvern Hills District Council to see if any additional long term parking spaces can be made available for next week.

The 91 Town Council free long term spaces will be unavailable due to the arrival of the traditional fun fair.

In previous years the displaced cars have been able to find on-street parking and use the old Cattle Market, but with on street parking now reaching saturation point, and the closure of the Cattle Market there could simply be nowhere for the shop and office workers to park.

On occasion the Burgage has been made available for parking, but with the damage done last year by vehicles accessing the site for the bonfire still not repaired, and heavy rain forecast for the end of this week and the beginning of next week, there is an understandable reluctance to facilitate this.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Rural Fuel Poverty

For most country dwellers, you have two choices, you buy fuel for your car or you stay within walking distance.

Public Transport isn't really an alternative for any but a very few journeys. I have a 6pm meeting in Birmingham next week. Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I can tell I cannot use public transport unless I'm prepared to stay overnight. Even if I was prepared to stay, my 3 hour round trip would take considerably longer by Public Transport and require multiple changes, anyone of which, if missed would add to the duration.

Much has been written of late about Rural Fuel Poverty, and whilst I have to agree, those of us who choose to live in the Country have little choice about using fuel, the fuel itself isn't necessarily more expensive, it just depends on local competition.

Last weekend I undertook a journey of some 200 miles most of which was on A roads rather then the Motorway. This meant that I passed more Petrol stations than usual.

The good thing is that it could be said that there is no monopoly and no cartels because the price varied so widely from one station to the next. I guess if I have recorded each price, then a pattern might have emerged, and cheaper fuel might have been available where there was a cluster of filing stations, perhaps with a major supermarket setting the price. What did seem evident from my very unscientific casual study was that certain brands always seemed to be more expensive than others.

I think the reason that Tenbury & Ludlow seem to have prices at the higher end of the scale, is that there is little in the way of competition. The majority of the Petrol stations are the same brand, and what competiton there is, is from high price brands.  Whereas fuel in Leominster fuel is constantly much cheaper, influenced no doubt by Morrison's and because Total consistently seem to offer much better prices.

 Diesel Prices at the time of publication

1  Sainsbury Hereford £136.9
1  Sainsbury Kidderminster £136.9
1  Tesco Kidderminster £136.9
1  Total Kidderminster £136.9
2  Morrisons Leominster £138.9
3  Total Leominster £139.9
4  Tuffins Texaco Craven Arms £140.9
5  Tuffins Texaco Ludlow £141.9
5  Tuffins Texeco Cleobury £141.9
6  Swan Texaco Tenbury £143
7  Ludford Bridge Shell Ludlow £143.9
8  UK Fuel Great Witley £144.9
9  UK Fuel Mawley Oak £145
10 Murco Hopton Bank £146

Where did I fill up?
(Both pre-budget)
Total Farnham £138.9
Tesco Welshpool £138.9 

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Get your nominations in quick

The 5th of May elections are fast approaching, so if you want to stand as a Tenbury Town Councillor you need to get your application /nomination forms completed and delivered before noon on Monday 4th April 2011.
Forms can be collected from the Town Clerk at the Pump Rooms.

As far as I know at least 23% of the current Councillors are not seeking re-election, and it looks like more than 13 people will be standing so there will be a "proper" election.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Tenbury to get a makeover

In a surprising development Worcester County Council have announced that Tenbury is at the top of their list for the next round of Public Realm makeovers.

Tenbury Civic Society & Tenbury Area Partnership along with the Town Council have been lobbying Worcester County Council for a number of years to make improvements to the street scene in Tenbury.

Alan Eachus who is the Civic Society representative on the Tenbury Area Partnership commented "
 Peter Blake from WCC announced that money was now available for a PR (Public Realm) scheme and works to the bridge. This of course is great news for the town and the County are keen to proceed as fast as possible. It’s been hard work getting to this stage but I remain very positive!"

Tony Penn, the Town & District Council's representative on the Tenbury Area Partnership, announced the news to the Tenbury Town Council on Monday night. He said that the improvements could start within 18 months and will include the Bridge Works.  Other improvements will include alterations to the pavements, road resurfacing and street signs and furniture.

Shropshire Star 

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Tenbury Town Council Out On Its Own

It was revealed last night that the only element of the 2011/12 Council Tax to increase is the charge for Tenbury Town Council.

Malvern Hills District Council, Worcester County Council, Police & Fire have all maintained the same charge.  Tenbury Town Council have increased their budget by just over 5.5%.

Hopefully the Councillors will fully endorse the proposal that the management of the Regal be transferred to a Charitable Trust, where it can flourish rather than continue to be managed directly by the Council and remain a drain on the Towns resources, and that in future more consideration be given to charging realistic amounts for the use of the Council owned assets, and ensure that assets used by a very small minority are not "over" subsidised.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Stand up for the Officers

A curious selection of Anti-Tesco letters have appeared in this weeks Tenbury Advertiser.  I do wonder if the people who wrote them attended the Northern area planning meeting and if they did, I wonder if they listened, or perhaps they were too busy hurumphing and heckling!

The Council Officers (and Solicitor) where absolutely correct in stopping Cllrs citing Traffic & Vitality in their rejection.

I'm sure the letter writers are both acknowledged experts as retail analysts and traffic management consultants, but the truth is, the "expert" opinion which the Council has to consider (rather than any amount of armchair experts) say that the development will not cause an undue increase in traffic congestion and will not harm the overall vitality of the town.
The only grounds that could be used for rejection is design, which was poor and doesn't adequately address the issues of the site.

The continued claim that the majority of the town's population is against the development, also does stack up. Yes the majority of the people who wrote to the planning officer are against the scheme, but this is what the process allows.  It isn't an X-Factor voting system.  It allows people with genuine objections to raise them with the planning officer.

I also do not believe that the majority of the people at the meeting were opposed to Tesco.  The attendees fell into three camps.

1. Opposed in principle to Tesco or and major supermarket.
2. Opposed to the scheme as presented.
3. In favour of the scheme as presented.

I would accept that camp 3 had the fewest followers.

If you are going to comment on this blog, please note I'm not going to publish crass comments, abuse or articles where I have reason to believe the copyright is not owned by the person posting.
I welcome reasoned argument and factual corrections. 

Tenbury Wells TV transmitter

TENBURY WELLS transmitter - 3 March 2011: 

Engineering transmitter work will take place between 08:00hrs and 18:00hrs. 

TV services that will be disrupted: Analogue services - BBC1, BBC2, ITV & Channel 4. 

Over the next week Tenbury Wells relay: 

TV (analogue) Service Shutdowns, 

TV (digital) working normally, 

Radio (analogue) working normally, 

Radio (digital) working normally. 

More details

Despite being called the Tenbury Wells Transmitter, most of the Town of Tenbury Wells cannot receive a good signal from this transmitter.  The alternate transmitter for Tenbury is the Wrekin Transmitter and the current forecast (Poor likelihood of receiving services through an aerial.) seems to indicate that Tenbury will not be served by a strong enough digital signal after the switchover to receive television using Freeview.  It appears that the only option will be Freesat or Freesat from Sky or a Sky subscription service.