Last night, the power cables to the lights on the Christmas tree in the market square were cut. They will be repaired tonight (Friday) by Ludlow Town Council after the market is cleared of stallholders. The lights switch on is tomorrow. This is not the first time this has happened. Last year, 60 bulbs from the Christmas light display were smashed.
Vandalism on the market area is not new but it is a problem. Young people hang out around the stalls at night. A very small number of them engage in antisocial behaviour.
This is our media release.
Andy Boddington, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow North says:
“We can’t condone vandalism. We have too much of it Ludlow at present. We have witnessed an increase in graffiti and petty damage around the town. But even where these crimes are small, someone must pay for the clean up and repairs.
“We can’t expect a constant police presence in our town centre at night. But we see the police out and about in Ludlow on fewer and fewer occasions. Rural police officers are spread thinly on the ground and are getting thinner. The CCTV in the town is hopeless. It doesn’t even have the resolution to identify individuals.
“We need to invest in this county’s young people. Not just to prevent vandalism but also to guide them to a good future.”
Tracey Huffer is the chair of Ludlow Youth Partnership and Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East. She says:
“We have been working flat out to help young people in Ludlow. Many of them do not have enough to do in a small town like ours in the evening.
“The youth café at the Methodist Church is working incredibly well. We have also used Shropshire Council funding to employ youth workers to go out at night to engage with young people.
“But we can’t deny the reality that the money for young people in this county is being cut by Shropshire Council. That means we will be able to do less in the future without alternative funding.
“We are always short of youth workers. The good news is that recent open events have recruited more people wanting to train to help young people.”