Hodnet Weather

Chance of Rain
Tuesday 40%
High 8° / Low 6°
Tomorrow 10%
High 9° / Low 4°
Partly Cloudy
Thursday 10%
High 8° / Low 2°

Shropshire Choices Support Finder

Shropshire Council LogoLast October we published an article entitled “Shropshire Choices” about a new one-stop website which the Council had just launched as part of their early help and prevention approach. The opening paragraph summarises its aim:

“Helping you to make the right choice to remain independent and stay well. Offering information and advice about Adult Social Care, Housing and Health.”

Last week Shropshire Newsroom announced that a new, updated Shropshire Choices support finder has just been published in association with Shropshire Council. The article continues:

It is a comprehensive guide on choosing and paying for adult care and support services in Shropshire.

With Government plans to cap the costs of social care now postponed, it’s never been more important to have impartial information to guide you through choosing and paying for care and support. The guide helps readers to understand their options, highlights where to go for advice and gives information on how the paying for care system works.”

The new Shropshire Choices support finder could be very useful to anyone needing to navigate their way around Adult Care provision in the county. The file can be downloaded from the bottom of the Newsroom article or direct by clicking on the image below.

Shropshire Choices Support Finder 2017

Hodnet’s own Property Marking Event

For those unable to get to West Mercia Police’s Free Security Marking Event in Market Drayton, on Saturday 21 January, there is good news. The local Safer Neighbourhood Team [SNT] is holding another in Hodnet on the following Monday.

It is being held in the Lyon Hall car park between 2:00 & 3:00pm on Monday, 23 January 2017.

There is no charge to have your property security marked. If you would like more information please contact the SNT on 101 (ext: 66905) or email

Gas Cylinder Stolen

West Mercia Police LogoIn rural areas like ours the theft of heating oil from outdoor storage tank is a well known problem. What many residents may not appreciate is that gas cylinders, often used to supply domestic cookers, are also vulnerable.

In this week’s summary of crimes reported in North Shropshire (10/1/17), published by West Mercia Police on their website, one local crime catches one’s attention. It reads:

An external gas cylinder was disconnected and stolen from a property in Shrewsbury Road, Hodnet, between 10.30am/midday on Sat 7 January. (OIS incident reference 0307s 070117).

If you use gas cylinders domestically, and they are located on the outside of your home, then please consider how you can secure them so they cannot be removed without your permission.

If you happened to notice anything suspicious in Shrewsbury Road last Saturday, please contact the West Mercia Police on their non-emergency number, 101, quoting the incident number above.

Bird flu alert for Shropshire

PoultryYesterday (11/1/17) the Shropshire Star published a report with the headline, “Bird flu alert for Shropshire and Mid Wales as case confirmed nearby“. It emphasised that “Poultry and bird owners across the region are being urged to remain on alert after an outbreak of ‘highly pathogenic’ bird flu was confirmed in North Wales.”

So far no humans have been infected with bird flu in the UK, although plans are in place to manage any suspected cases. However, it has been confirmed a wild duck has died from avian flu at an RSPB reserve in Conwy. Instances like these suggest that the H5N8 strain of the infection will have already spread to wild birds in Shropshire.

In early December we reminded local residents of the need to “Keep Your Poultry Safe!” after Defra declared the whole of England an “Declaration of an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone”. That AIPZ has been extended and all domestic poultry should be physically separated from the wild bird population. The latest information is available on Defra’s website.

The Star reports on December 28 the virus was found in a back-yard flock of chickens and ducks in the Pontyberem area of Carmarthenshire. All the birds had to be culled.

Roadworks in Hodnet – 12 to 16 Jan. 17

Roadworks 12/1/17According to roadworks.org there are roadworks planned in Hodnet which are estimated to last from 12 to 16 January.

The location of the disruption is “In Carriageway And Verge Opposite Tudor Cottage” (see map).

Traffic flow during the work will be controlled by multi-way signals which are expected to have a moderate impact on journey times.

The notice on the website misleadingly states that they will be “C2073 From Hodnet A53 North Junction To Weston Junction Marchamley”. This author suspects they mean the old A53 (i.e. the junction by The Bear).

Severn Trent Water will be carrying out the work, which is described as “Core Failure Of Carriageway Reinstatment Excavate; And Reinstate To Correct Depth Core Failure Of Carriageway Reinstatement Excavate.”

Free Security Marking Event

West Mercia Police LogoWest Mercia Police’s Market Drayton Safer Neighbourhood Team are holding a FREE property marking event at The Festival Drayton Centre on Saturday 21st January 2017. It will take place at The Festival Drayton Centre, Market Drayton between 11:00am and 12:00 noon.

In this announcement they say,

At Christmas, lots of people of all ages will be getting presents such as new laptops, tablets, phones, bikes, tools and all sorts. Security marking your property increases the chances of getting it back if it is lost or stolen.

Pop along with anything from lawnmowers to laptops, tools to bicycles and we will security mark it, FREE of charge.

Roadworks – Wollerton 4 to 6 Jan. 2016

Roadworks SignAccording to Roadworks.org there will be three days of disruption on Drayton Road in Wollerton starting tomorrow, 4 Jan 2016.

The work is described as enabling BT access to an underground structure to provide cabling for new customer connection.

The location of the work is from outside The Hollies to the junction with Wood Lane / Mill Road, Wollerton TF9 3LU.

Traffic management will be by means of multi-way signals.

Click here for details.

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: northsalopwheelers.co.uk or call 01948 800037.

North Salop Wheelers

2 Days of Roadworks by Hodnet School

Roadworks SignRoadworks.org – 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: 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.

Peplow Community Walk – January 2017

Boy & Girl WalkingSunday 8th January – Grinshill

Meet at 1.00pm in the Corbet Wood car park (Grid. Ref. SJ525237). [Confirmed]

All ages welcome.

In case of forecasted bad weather please check here (or phone Randall on 01952-540970) between 11.00am and 12.00 noon on the day.

See our page for more information about the Peplow Community Group.

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.


Hodnet Compassionate Communities now operational

Co CoCompassionate Communities is a scheme developed by Severn Hospice as part of their community support strategy, but run and delivered by local volunteers. It aims to provide a befriending service for those people who may be in danger of becoming socially isolated from the community they have been part of due to becoming frail, housebound or living with a long term illness. Such contact has been shown to have beneficial effects upon health and well-being.

Severn Hospice at HomeSevern Hospice at Home have already helped over 15 Shropshire communities to implement their own projects, often in conjunction with their local medical practices. Readers may recall a report on this website earlier in the year, when Paul Cronin from the Hospice spoke at the Lyon Hall. He cited two of the most frequent answers to the question, “What would make the most difference to your quality of life?” as being “It would be nice if someone called in to see me,” and “There is no public transport, so I can’t get out to see people any longer.” He went on to show how social isolation can lead to chronic loneliness, then spoke of trained Co Co volunteers becoming involved in a person’s life, visiting or phoning them regularly, sharing their interests and generally helping them to keep in touch with their community.

Several local volunteers signed up around that time, and after some months of preparation to complete the necessary DBS checks, training sessions and other administrative requirements, we are pleased to inform you that Hodnet Compassionate Communities (Co Co) is now “open for business”. We hope to be able to cover Hodnet and surrounding areas depending on uptake and availability of volunteers, and are currently trying to raise our profile to that end.

For more information, including our contact number, do have a look at our web page.