This article refers to an offensive event and only gives a flavour of how offensive it was.

It was a difficult meeting of Ludlow Town Council’s Representational Committee tonight. The agenda was straightforward for a planning meeting. But as the committee was working through the agenda on Zoom an interloper joined as a member of the public and in a sequence of events I could not follow in detail from my screen, talked in a synthetic computer voice repeating the N-word and F-word repeatedly. It was clear that the interloper was live to the meeting as councillors were cited.

Despite the interruptions, the meeting completed its business in an orderly way and councillors unanimously voted against the development of seven homes in Castle View Terrace.

Council meetings are disrupted from time-to-time by protestors. For better or for worse, it is part of the process of democracy.

But this was particularly offensive interruption because the foul mouthed idiot was not commenting on council business. It was just a stupid diatribe by a mindless troll with nothing better to do. I don’t want to repeat the disruptive foul language. In any event, my real-time transcription AI software seems to have baulked at the N-word and crashed at key moments. There were images shown too. I didn’t see them but others in the meeting reported glimpses of a swastika and a beheaded corpse. That’s extremely sick.

Ludlow Town Council did well tonight in the face of an unwarranted attack on its day-to-day business. I understand it will conduct a security review.

We should not let one difficult meeting lead to calls for closing meetings to the public. The principle of public access to public decision-making must be sacrosanct.

The meeting was closed as the disruption continued and a new meeting begun. The second session was limited to unitary and town councillors, the council’s tree expert and a reporter. I don’t think any members of the public were excluded.

The town council briefly discussed the application to develop the field on Castle View Terrace. Councillors unanimously voted against it.

Chair Councillor Ginger:

“This council agreed to be neutral until we heard the counter arguments from residents today. On reflection of the counter arguments including: the proximity of a steep 30 foot quarry; the drainage and SuDS; the traffic, concentrating on the blind corner, the pinch neck and the parking; along with the design, approach and environment there will be an objection from Ludlow Town Council. And we ask that the decision of Shropshire Council goes to the full planning committee and not be decided by officers.”

That’s the right decision but I hope that the application will be rejected outright by officers without the need to go to the planning committee. This application breaks every planning rule and every planning aspiration in the book. It should be rejected outright.

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