While MP Owen Paterson plugs away to get 30 minute trains around here, isn’t it plain crazy that a nearby express train could readily link us directly with Euston for a few extra gallons of diesel - but doesn’t!

Instead a Virgin train wastefully spends all night in sidings at Shrewsbury!

It just needs persuading to go those extra few miles, to at least Wrexham or better still freshly dual-tracked Chester, to return a direct London link again to both Gobowen and Chirk.

Owen Paterson’s will have reminded Transport Secretary Chris Grayling of this long held pipe-dream, when meeting him on the the eve of his parliamentary pledge to shake-up ALL rail services.

Meanwhile we still await a decision on the three hopefuls of Holland’s Abellio, Docklands Railway’s’ Keolis Amey and Hong Kong’s MTR underground, to replace departing Arriva Wales.

Trains have never been more popular, hence the MP’s bid for 30 minute links to Birmingham Airport and new ones to Manchester Airport. With moves to dual the A5 as well, transport prospects have never looked more rosy around here.

Well, well, well! Remember that firm summer ‘pledge’ that Oswestry births could return to our Orthopaedic Hospital’s maternity unit in the new year.

Well they won’t! Our ever puzzling Health Trust has come up with an ‘improved model’ for Oswestry with a ‘broad range’ of services - but no births!

There will be antenatal and postnatal services from a midwife, scanning, fetal monitoring, day assessment, emotional wellbeing and mental health’ related issues - everything but arrivals.

It’s proposed arriving on this earth will only take place at Telford or Shrewsbury - or your own home.

Are our A&E talks at a standstill? If not, who’s telling the truth and who’s ‘confused’?

Simon Wright, boss of the NHS Trust running Shropshire’s two hospitals, stresses Future Fit hospital plans are ‘not in jeopardy’.

But Telford and Wrekin Council leader Shaun Davies, points out they’ve been left off a list of prioritised schemes for NHS England funding. Simon Wright hit back the larger schemes take longer, but added he was confident funding would be there.

Continuing the ping-pong Shaun Davies goes claims the ‘whole process is flawed’ and dares question the government’s faith in the scheme. A truce till the truth please, guys!

I remain convinced a message has gone out to our law benches that ‘prisons are full - so send no more’!

First the guy guilty of sneaking a purse containing £75 off an 87-year-old lady in Aldi ‘escapes’ - with just a community sentence.

Then a Flint fellow who hurled a puppy down a corridor and damaged a door, was ‘punished with a suspended prison sentence and community service’.

But most alarmingy, a Shrewsbury deputy store manager who filched £50,000 worth of scratch-cards - also ended up with just a suspended sentence and community service.

What happened to short sharp shocks?

Finally, what a heartwarming Christian gesture by St Oswald’s Church, at our Christmas procession, for volunteers to supply free trays of hot chocolate to appreciative waiting crowds!