Category: Ludlow byelection 2014

I was elected as a Shropshire councillor a year ago today: it’s been rewarding and frustrating since

It’s been a year since I was elected to Shropshire Council. Around 11.30pm on 13 March 2014, the returning officer announced that I had won by 197 votes. Giddy headed and absolutely exhausted, I crept home via the Church Inn. Fixed in my mind was the need to send a comment to the Shropshire Star before it went to press the next morning. It took some days to recover from my exhaustion and some weeks to catch up with client work. But I felt I was in my stride as a councillor from day one. Like any new job, it’s been a steep learning curve. I’ve made mistakes. But a lot has gone right. And there’s a lot more to learn. I am really grateful for all the support I have received from colleagues and the people of Ludlow.

I was elected as a Shropshire councillor on 13 March 2014. As the vote was counted, I was at the point of exhaustion. I needed sleep. I also needed to write a comment to be published in the Shropshire Star the next morning. It had been a very long election campaign. We started in January 2013 when I stood against Rosanna Taylor-Smith, losing in May by 85 votes. At that same election, Martin Taylor-Smith lost his seat after a barnstorming victory by Viv Parry. Two days later, we grouped around a kitchen table and began planning for what we thought would be an inevitable byelection in Ludlow North. When Rosanna Taylor-Smith announced her resignation in December, we were ready to go.

Thank you everyone. I won the byelection by nearly two hundred votes. I am humbled by the big majority. It means that people from across the political spectrum voted for me. It shows that this election has not been about party politics. It’s been about getting a decent deal for Ludlow from Shropshire Council. It is a vote for Ludlow by the people of Ludlow. Whether you normally vote Conservative Labour, Green – or for no party at all – we know we have one passion in common – Ludlow. I’ll work for you all. There is a lot for me to learn. A lot for me do. I am glad that you have given me the chance to do my best for Ludlow. Thank you The Result Andy Boddington: 579 (Lib Dem) Anthony Bevington: 382 (Conservative) Graeme Perks: 223 (Independent) Danney Sweeney. 94 (Labour) Turnout 45.8%.

This is from the front page of Ludlow North Focus, now being distributed around Ludlow North. “We love this town… but there are problems” You say that you want affordable housing for young people and families. But you don’t want badly planned sprawl beyond the bypass. You want dog mess tackled. You want action on antisocial behaviour. Sometimes, you are frightened by yobbish behaviour in town at night. You love the new bus service – unless you live at the bottom of Old Street or out on Bromfield Road where you don’t get served. You say problems with care workers’ parking, disabled access to homes and broken pavements need fixing. You tell me that Ludlow is not getting fair deal for the council tax we pay. We are losing our tip, Stone House, exhibition space in the library and half of our youth centre. Too many services and jobs are being concentrated in Shrewsbury at the expense of Ludlow. You say conservation of the environment is important and you believe energy conservation is vital. I agree. We should be looking after our fragile planet for future generations, not exploiting it for quick profit. Most of you want kerbside collection of…

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The Ludlow Advertiser carries the not unexpected news that Rosanna Taylor-Smith is to stand down as councillor for Ludlow North, just seven months after being re-elected. She has also announced her departure on Twitter: Last May, her husband, Martin Taylor-Smith, a former Cabinet member of Shropshire Council, lost his seat by a massive 225 votes to Viv Parry. Rosanna Taylor-Smith beat me by 85 votes. Now they have decided to leave town for Kent, triggering a byelection. The date has yet to be announced but it is likely to be in February. I will be the candidate for the Lib Dems in Ludlow North. We have a great Lib Dem team here in Ludlow and Shropshire and I look forward to working with my friends to win this election. We have a busy few weeks ahead. If you can help us, please drop me a note to

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