Shropshire Council has declared that a by-election will be held for the vacant Ludlow Town Council seat in Gallows Bank Ward on Thursday 31 March. The ward has three Ludlow councillors. I remain in post along with Viv Parry. Graeme Perks stood down a few weeks back after 20 years’ service with the town council.

Being a councillor can be very rewarding and the role gives residents a chance to help their local community. I should be honest and say that at times being a councillor can at times be frustrating but that is probably no different from any other role in life.

The election will only take place if there is more than one candidate. If there is only one, the candidate will be elected uncontested on 31 March.

This by-election has been called because at least one potential candidate has gained the ten signatures necessary to trigger a by-election. This prevents Ludlow Town Council co-opting to the vacant seat. I don’t anyway think that co-option works well. Councillors tend to select candidates in their own image. That does not lead to the diversity of councillors we need for effective decision-making and governance in our town. A by-election is always the best process.

There are 15 town councillors on Ludlow Town Council, with two councillors for each ward, except Gallows Bank which has three councillors.

Town council meetings have been online during the pandemic but the council has now moved back to face to face meetings. Most meetings are currently held in the Methodist Church on Broad Street rather than the Guildhall, the church being more accessible, but this might change. Along with Full Council, the town council has four committees:

  • Representational: planning, highways, some grants…
  • Services: market, cemetery, play and recreation areas…
  • Policy and Finance,
  • Staffing.

As always there are the working groups, ad hoc meetings and email exchanges that keep council business running. Councillors are not expected to attend all meetings.

Nomination papers can be obtained from the offices of the Returning Officer, Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY2 6ND 0345 678 9015. The papers must be delivered to the Returning Officer at the same address no later than 4pm on Friday, 4 March 2022.

If you need to register to vote, you can do so online. You need to do so by 12 midnight on Tuesday 15 March 2022 for this by-election.

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