Star comment: Our county has plenty positive to shout about
People living in Telford and Shropshire might reflect on their good fortune in having so many exceptional, gold-star attractions on their doorstep.
A survey has been launched aimed at shaping the future of tourism in Telford.
Telford & Wrekin Council wants to boost visitor numbers by shouting about what the borough has to offer. It comes as a bid is in place to invest more than £15 million in Oakengates Theatre.
Tot up the reasons to visit Telford & Wrekin and the list will be long. The town itself has an impressive shopping centre, with Southwater and the Town Park attached. There is the International Centre within walking distance as well.
And then the world-leading museums along the Ironbridge Gorge as well as Cosford RAF Museum down the road. Add into the mix the rest of Shropshire and its beautiful countryside and historic towns and it is an intoxicating blend.
Of course, then there’s the Severn Valley Railway, the Shropshire Hills Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the dreamy, historic market towns like Ludlow, Church Stretton and Shrewsbury.
Shropshire is a little-known county and, unlike such hotspots as Cornwall or The Lake District, visitor numbers are manageable. Residents get the best of both worlds, being able to enjoy great attractions without being over-run. Businesses are fortunate to benefit from the additional revenue that tourism brings.
And so as the sun continues to shine, locals might look at the great mix that’s on our doorstep and reflect that they have a great place in which to live, where the attractions are abundant.
An independent investigation will take place following the prison escape of a former Staffordshire soldier accused of terrorism charges.
Daniel Abed Khalife, 21, went missing in his cook’s uniform from HMP Wandsworth, prompting extra security checks at major transport hubs. He was in jail awaiting trial for charges that include planting a fake bomb at RAF Stafford.
Now reviews will take place regarding the categorisation and placement of all HMP Wandsworth prisoners and all those in custody charged with terrorism offences.
Prisoner escapes are rare. But sources from the jail talk of it being understaffed and that those who do work their have limited experience. This in a jail that is already well over its official capacity.
We can only hope that Khalife is caught promptly and that lessons are learned in the longer term.