Heritage at Risk: It has been six years since Ludlow town walls fell – still they lie fallen

Two years ago, I wrote about the delays in repairing the collapsed town wall behind St Laurence’s Church. This Monday, 18 February, is the sixth anniversary of the collapse. No repair work has been done. The churchyard behind the church remains an ugly mess that damages the setting of the Cathedral of the Marches. Saplings are growing out of the collapsed wall face weakening the historic monument further.

We have one of the most complete town walls in Europe. But neglect and overdue repairs have led Historic England to add Ludlow town walls to its Heritage in Danger list. The town council should be ashamed of this.

Ludlow Town Council is crawling alone at snail’s pace in arranging the long overdue repairs. I fear I may be still be writing about this on the tenth anniversary of the collapse in February 2023.

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Community, not council, is at the heart of our town

This article first appeared in the Ludlow Advertiser on 7 February 2019.

There are two models of councillors and councils. One is that they run a town or parish. I have met too many councillors who think they have power in their local areas.

I have a different model in my head. I see the job of councils and councillors as greasing wheels to make life easier for residents. That involves planning. Troubleshooting. Reacting. Advising. And when we have money, funding. Along with battling policy decisions that will harm our town.

We have brilliant examples of this in Ludlow.

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Councillors reject charges for A-Boards and call for local enforcement of pavement hazards

Shropshire Council has been flirting with plans to licence every A-Board in the county. Those ideas didn’t get through the Place Overview Committee yesterday. Everyone agreed that a licencing and charging scheme was the wrong approach. Instead, the committee asked officers to work with local councillors and communities to draw up clearer guidance on where A-Boards can be placed to ensure safety of pavement users, including those with limited mobility and visual impairment.

We agreed it would more effective for responsibility for “policing” of A-Boards should be devolved from Shropshire Council to town councils.

This is good news. Shropshire Council should not overregulate and we should manage the day-to-day business of the town ourselves.

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Public meetings to be held on Ludlow’s emerging Town Plan

The data from the Ludlow household survey conducted earlier in the summer has been completed.  It gives some clear ideas on what is wanted in Ludlow over the next five years.

Town councillor Erica Garner is leading development of the Community Led Plan and is holding three public meetings, two on 12 September and a third of 13 September. Further details below.

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Is it too late for a constructive approach to parking in Ludlow? Probably

It’s disappointing that there hasn’t been a more constructive approach to parking by the authorities to parking in our historic market town. Shropshire Council has been hell bent on imposing a standardised model of parking operations. Ludlow Town Council is taking an over-the-top approach to parking in the market area, including banning motorcycles.

This is driven by an obsession with regulation at the expense of a coherent plan for managing the town centre.

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