Month: December 2016

Community Bus Service Boosted By Donation

North Salop Wheelers FleetNorth Salop Wheelers, whose growing fleet is pictured above, have recently been the beneficiaries of a £45,000 grant to help them provide an essential service to residents without their own means of transport. The grant was awarded by the Morgan Foundation, which offers support to charities across North Wales, Merseyside, West Cheshire and North Shropshire.
Picture from ShropshieLive.comAccepting the grant, John Harrison from North Salop Wheelers expressed his gratitude on behalf of the project and its users: “We wanted to thank the Trustees of the Morgan foundation for approving our application and Jane Harris, their representative, for presenting the cheque.”
Continuing cut backs to local authority funding are squeezing many charities, and attracting financial support is an increasing challange. The aim of North Salop Wheelers is to become self-funding and they estimate that thanks to the support of the Morgan foundation, they have three years in which to achieve their objective.
North Salop Wheelers provide services to people in rural areas, transferring them to Whitchurch, Wem and Market Drayton, while making special journeys for those in need. John Harrison recently told the Whitchurch Herald,  “All villages in north Shropshire can access bus transport on a daily basis, and Shropshire Council has recognised that community transport is the future for rural areas, by paying our drivers’ wages. If customers have a north Shropshire postcode, please call, and we even pick up in far flung foreign places such as Hanmer and Malpas.”
Several Hodnet residents are regular users of their services.
NSW cannot fill the gap of shrinking bus services without the support of the wider community. They are calling upon leaders of town and parish councils, as well as community groups, to work with them. Individual volunteers are also welcome to contact them.
To find out more information, visit: or call 01948 800037.
North Salop Wheelers

2 Days of Roadworks by Hodnet School

Roadworks – the website which reports on local roadworks has publicised two days of disruption on Shrewsbury Street in Hodnet. The work is due to start tomorrow, Monday 19 December 2016, and last for 2 days.
The details, which can be found here, include that work is being carried out by Severn Trent Water and will be located opposite Hodnet Primary School. Thankfully it has been planned to start during the school holidays.
It seems that the main work will be under the footpath, but that the site will also occupy some of the carriageway. It is expected that there will be a “Moderate impact on journey times” with traffic control being on a “give & take” basis.

Shropshire’s Big Conversation continues

UPDATE (2): In a further post (17/2/17) the Council have let it be known that the “Closing date for the survey is Sunday 12 March 2017.” They do not say if this is because so far very few residents have responded, the quoted number “over 220” suggests that is could well be the reason for both these extensions.
UPDATE: On Monday (9/1/17) in this Newsroom item Shropshire Council announced that “The survey is now extended, and will be closed on Tuesday 28 February 2017.”
The hope is that more Shropshire residents will engage in this “conversation”.

Today Shropshire Newsroom (15/12/16) has announced the next phase of Shropshire’s Big Conversation. It says Shropshire residents and organisations are being invited to give their views on what more the council can do in response to financial challenges arising from continuing cuts in government funding.
This new Big Conversation survey asks residents questions about their community, health and the local economy – the three main priorities in the council’s draft Corporate Plan. The survey is planned to close at the end of January 2017.
To participate in the survey (which will take about half an hour to complete) visit the Big Conversation “How can I get involved?” page. Alternatively a PDF version of the survey suitable for printing can be downloaded here. Printed copies of the survey can be requested by calling 0345 678 9028.

Wollerton – Expected traffic and power disruption

On Monday 12th Dec work is planned to take place on completing the replacement of electricity poles and overhead wires alongside the old A53 in Wollerton – just past the Mill Road crossroads heading towards Market Drayton.
The work will take place between 0900 — 1600 and is said to involve traffic light control, so some delays to traffic can be expected – but hey, we’ve got a [still fairly shiny new] bypass to use instead!
The electricity supply to nearby homes will also be cut off for much of the day, and those affected should have received a letter, from Western Power Distribution (WPD), informing them of this.
Any queries should be made to WPD on 01782 403631 (or emergencies 0800 6783105) quoting ref INCD-41884-1

Keep Your Poultry Safe!

UPDATE: 16 December 2016
This afternoon the BBC reported that H5N8 strain of avian flu has been diagnosed in a flock of 5000 turkeys at a farm in Louth, Lincolnshire. Defra’s announcement states, “All birds at the premises have died or will be humanely culled to limit the risk of disease spread.”
Public Health England (PHE) said the risk to humans was “very low”. A 1.8 mile (3km) protection zone has been set up around the farm. Defra has also set up a six mile (10km) surveillance area to reduce the risk of the disease spreading.

Poultry All commercial poultry farmers will have heard by now that on Tuesday (6/12/16) the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) declared the whole of England an “Declaration of an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone”. Full details can be accessed via this page. The declaration is in force for 30 days (until 6 January) but it may be extended after that date.
The restrictions also apply to any householder who keep a few birds in their gardens or yards.
Defra makes this comment about domestic flocks:

The Prevention Zones requires all poultry and captive birds, including backyard flocks and other captive birds, to be housed or, where it is not practicable to do so, requires steps to be taken to keep them separate from wild birds. If you keep your birds near your home, consider housing them in alternative accommodation, such as a garden building, a garage or redundant building that could be adapted to house your birds temporarily.

They also state:

We have taken this action because of the increased risk of avian influenza (bird flu) reaching the UK. During the autumn of 2016, outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza of subtype H5N8 have been found in poultry and wild birds in several countries across Europe.

In a press release the British Poultry Council states:

The British Poultry Council, as part of the Poultry Health and Welfare Group, supports the Defra decision to implement an order for a temporary housing of poultry in England; along with the parallel decisions taken in Scotland and Wales. This is a routine step in managing the risk of avian influenza, and part of business as usual for the poultry meat industry.
The decision to bring in enhanced biosecurity requirements for poultry and captive birds is a precautionary measure to help reduce the risk from a strain of avian flu circulating in mainland Europe. The poultry industry has been liaising closely with Defra to ensure we are best prepared should the risk of bird flu heighten, and contingency plans are in place and under constant review. Most birds can be taken inside their houses within a matter of hours. Where birds like geese and game can’t be housed, measures will be put in place to ensure separation from wild birds. There is no risk to public health and this is a precaution based on a disease in birds.

If you have a small number of birds on domestic property please take the appropriate action in response to this decision. (If you have neighbours who keep poultry and appear not to know about this requirement, perhaps you could let them know about this post.) The purpose of the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone is to keep all commercial and domestic poultry out of contact with wild birds or their droppings.
A PDF copy of the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone declaration can be downloaded here.

Dog Lost in Wollerton

161203coxondog2We have been contacted this morning (3/12/16) by Maureen Coxon whose dog, Ella, has gone missing whilst she was being looked after in Wollerton.
Ella, who went missing on 28th November, is a German Wirehaired Pointer, brown and white. She is quite a timid dog.
Ella’s collar has Maureen’s phone number on it, 07702-269537, and she is also micro-chipped.
Maureen is away at the moment, but has friends locally who Ella knows who will collect her when she is found.
Maureen asks anyone who know of Ella’s whereabouts to telephone her, alternatively she can be contacted by email.