We were surprised but after two decades as a member of Ludlow Town Council, Graeme Perks unexpectedly stood down yesterday. The Mayor of Ludlow is to write to Graeme to thank him for his 20 years’ service on the council.

Ludlow Town Council published a notice of vacancy for Gallows Bank Ward within hours of the resignation. A new councillor could be elected through a by-election, in which case ten signatures from the ward must be submitted to Shirehall by 11 February. If a by-election is not called by electors, a new councillor will be co-opted by existing councillors. That is likely to take place on 7 March.

The full notice of vacancy.

Process to fill a vacancy

Ludlow Town Council must display a notice for 14 working days that informs residents about the vacancy.

An election will be called if ten residents, who are registered to vote in the ward where the vacancy has arisen, write to the Returning Officer asking that an election be held. This can be in the form of a letter with the ten signatures. The letter must be delivered by hand to Electoral Services, Shropshire Council, The Shirehall, Shrewsbury SY2 6ND. Due to extensive closures at Shirehall, the letter should be delivered to the North Entrance at the back of the building. Further guidance is available from Electoral Services on 0345 678 9015.

If the Returning Officer declares an election has not been called by electors, the vacancy can be filled by co-option. That is likely to take place at the Ludlow Town Council meeting on 7 March. Candidates are likely to be required to fill out an application form and take questions from councillors.

Applicants may be disqualified from standing (or being co-opted) if they are a paid officer or employee of that parish, have had bankruptcy restriction orders made against them or they have a previous criminal conviction with a prison sentence of three months or more.

More details are available from the Electoral Commission.

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