Shropshire Council is consulting on the parish boundary between Ludlow Town Council and Ludford Parish Council. This is the last stage in a series of reviews of local governance. It began with a review of parliamentary boundaries, leading to the creation the new South Shropshire constituency. This was followed by a review of Shropshire Council’s electoral divisions (wards), Now, Shropshire Council wants to review boundaries between five town and parish councils, including Ludlow and Ludford.

This is necessary because the market towns have expanded into neighbouring parishes. Some major town developments are now not represented town councils but by parish councils. That means that towns like Ludlow have no overarching governance and outlying developments do not contribute to town services.

We are on the third governance review in Shropshire. Each of the reviews will have different consequences:

  • Parliamentary boundaries. The new boundaries come into place at the next general election which must be within 13 months. Locally, areas right up to Shrewsbury have been moved into the new South Shropshire constituency, including Dorrington and Condover. This has been necessary to create constituencies with roughly equal numbers of electors.
  • Shropshire Council divisions. Dahn Drive, Morgan Close and Rocks Green estate will be transferred from Ludlow South to Ludlow East at the next council election in May 2025. The aim is to ensure that divisions have roughly equal numbers of electors.
  • Parish boundaries. This is the current review. It could mean that parts of Ludford parish could be move into Ludlow Town Council’s remit. Any agreed changes will come into force in the summer.

Shropshire Council is consulting on changes to the parish boundary between Ludlow and Ludford until 26 January. This will be the last opportunity to review boundaries until the mid-2030s.

Several years ago, I posed the Ludford Question. Would development of the town and provision of services be better managed if those areas of Ludford parish due to have new developments were brought into Ludlow Town Council’s remit?

The reasoning was, and still is, to bring the town and its expansion under a single group of councillors, not as at present in two parishes.

Parish boundaries (red)

The boundary review has been triggered by a just completed review of Shropshire Council’s electoral divisions. Conducted by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England, its aim was to ensure that council divisions have a roughly equal number of electors and sort out any anomalies. For Ludlow, the review concluded that Rock Green Crescent, Ferney Avenue and Duncow Road along with Dahn Drive and Morgan Close, should be moved into Ludlow East from Ludlow South. The change is currently awaiting approval by parliament, expected in February 2024.

Agreed transfers from Ludlow South to Ludlow East

Given that most residents in Ludford parish use Ludlow town services, should they contribute to the maintenance of those services through the parish precept? There is a massive disparity in the parish precepts, which is added to council tax. Ludford charges a mere £23 a year because it has almost nothing to pay for other than its own running costs (though it could follow Ludlow’s example by installing bus shelters). In contrast, Ludlow charges £219 a year.

The biggest question is how much of Ludford parish should be incorporated into Ludlow parish. The new developments are not an expansion of Ludford village but of Ludlow town. It would make sense for developments at Ledwyche Rise (Lloyd Way, Murchinson Close and Lewise Drive); Foldgate Lane (Fulling Mill Close and Corn Mill Road); and Henley Grange (Knights Way; Powys Close and Lyttleton Close) to be brought into Ludlow. That will mean a common approach can be taken to services, planning and council precepts.

Shropshire Council is consulting on the changes to the parish boundary between Ludlow and Ludford until 26 January.

9 thought on “Now is time to tackle the Ludford Question – should Ludlow Town Council expand into Ludford parish?”
  1. Tha k you for the opportunity to comment and I would like to know what services the town council pay for, that benefits the residents of Ludford Parish Council? To my understanding all the NHS, Eduction, Library etc are paid for centrally, not by Ludlow Town Council. Call me cynical, but I see this as the town trying to make us pay more Council precept charges, by over £100 a year. No, leave the boundary as it is.

  2. Given that most of the proposed residential development is within the Ludford Ward which will presumably receive an additional precept based on council tax contributions yet not have to provide services, natural justice would suggest that Ludford should be absorbed into Ludlow

    1. David, thanks for your comment. However, as I asked Andy. “What services do Ludlow provide for Ludford residents”?
      Answer – None!
      As a rural community if anyone wants to go into town, they normally have to drive and pay to park. No one gets parking permits/ concessions, unlike town residents.

      1. Er- shops, market, assembly rooms, schools, doctors surgeries, community centres, restaurants, a swimming pool, employment and commercial offices.etc. In other words all the facilities that can be found in a town and not in rural areas. Visitors can park for up to two hours for free in the town though residents do have to pay for parking on the street.

      2. Err. Not wanting to get into a game of ping-pong, but none of your listings are paid for by the town council. Retail etc are self funded commercial entities, doctors by the NHS and others by Shropshire Council.

      3. The Market, Cemetery, Open space management, play areas , an allotment site plus support for events and many community groups are paid for by the Town Council. This not really the point, which is that Ludford parish stand to gain large sums of money as a precept from Shropshire Council as the new housing is built within the Parish and they have nothing to spend it on whereas if it comes into Ludlow it can enhance services for the new residents.

  3. When governance is devolved from Shropshire Council to Ludlow Town Council, then, “YES”. Till then , and until the menacing meddling stops, then, “NO”.

  4. It does seem sad if ‘large sums of money’ are the drivers of any decision. Unlike the encircling of Ludlow with a town wall centuries ago, Ludlow in the 21st century is surely a highly-valued community, sharing an acclaimed and treasured heritage which is not delineated or best served by parochialism. The relationship with Shropshire Council is another (and important) matter, but an enlarged Ludlow should have greater leverage in its relationship with Shropshire

  5. Thank you Andy for the clear explanation of the Divisional and Parish boundary reviews and for signposting electors to the consultation. I agree that the new developments at Ledwyche Rise, Foldgate Lane and Henley Grange are not an expansion of Ludford village but of Ludlow town itself. I also think that the Ludlow Green development (the clue is in the name) should be included in the parish boundary re-alignment. It would also make sense for the eco-park and Park & Ride site to be brought under control of Ludlow so the Town Council could oversee the desperately needed repairs and make the sevice pleasureable, affordable and green to use – perhaps with the intruduction of EV Minibuses and EV charging stations – something that Ludford seem unable or unwilling to do!

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