If you want to become a Ludlow Town Councillor, you have until 22 January to apply. This follows the resignations of Councillors Tony Mahalski and Nicola Paton. Their departures have created vacancies in two wards, Whitcliffe and Clee View. The rules for the applications are set out on the town council’s website.
Ludlow Town Council achieves a lot for our town. It’s a voice for the people who live here. It makes grants to community groups. It maintains some of the town’s open spaces and play areas. It runs the market. It works hard to ensure that Ludlow’s voice is heard across Shropshire and beyond. Toilets and much more.
I’d recommend that if you are thinking of applying, you first have a chat with one of the remaining 13 councillors or give the town council a ring.
Town councillors’ duties are best described as busy rather than onerous. There is no payment. There is an expectation that councillors will turn up at formal and informal committees. That they will work with their communities.
You don’t need to put forward a CV. You don’t need to have a track record in anything. You will need ten signatures from electors within the ward for which you are applying. You will need to live with three miles as the crow flies from the edge of the ward you are hoping to represent.
If there is only one candidate in a ward, it’s a straight shoe-in. If there are more than two candidates, a by-election will be called by Shropshire Council. If an election is announced, you might think about letting electors in the ward know your strengths through the local media or a leaflet drop.
If nobody puts themselves forward for a ward, the town council will probably co-opt to fill the vacancies. This a procedure I find awkward. Councillors elect the candidates they most feel comfortable with. A degree of discomfort is essential to ensure all democratic decisions are the best they can be. That’s why councillors should be elected rather than co-opted.
We need town councillors. We need a strong voice for Ludlow. I hope we get two by-elections. I hope people will apply.