The Ludford Question. Should Ludlow Town Council area be extended into Ludford parish to encompass the new developments and existing housing east of the A49 bypass, along with the Foldgate Lane development? The answer is yes from Ludlow Town Council. Ludford Parish Council’s position has not been announced but it is thought that Ludford is supportive providing the historic area of Ludford village and Whitcliffe is retained at Ludford Parish.
Shropshire Council’s consultation is now closed. We will know the final position of both councils and other respondents when the results of the consultation is published.
The proposals are bound to prove controversial, as it would mean an increase in parish precept for houses transferred from Ludford to Ludlow. However, it is unfair that some residents of Ludlow pay a lower precept just because they live in another parish.
A new Sheet Parish will stretch from the A4117 at Rocks Green to Sheet and to the edge of the Ludford Parish. The new Rockgreen Ward would become part of Ludlow Town Council’s Hayton Ward.
In April 2022, the town council set out its view that development in Ludford significant changes in the balance between Ludlow and Ludford. It invited the views of Ludford Parish Council on the Ludford Question.
The town council says it considers the review “to be an important opportunity to create a first-tier governance structure that will be well placed for Ludlow’s future growth.” It adds “Ludlow Town Council has the General Powers of Competence and believes it is well placed to deliver good local governance and that this is in the best long-term interests of Ludlow’s growth.” The power of competence means it can legally do anything a business or individual can do. I am not sure it is that relevant to the proposed changes.
“Ludlow Town Council strongly believes that it should be the local authority that is responsible for the local representation and works with Shropshire council to guide Ludlow’s growth residential and commercial, and core infrastructure including transport for its future success.”
Ludford Parish Council has asked Ludlow Town Council to consider the option of retaining a smaller Ludford Parish, which would focus on the historic settlement of Ludford and the historic natural environment of Ludford.
Ludford believes that they would be best placed to do this as a separate parish council. Specifically, the lower west section of the existing parish including the banks of the river Teme that form part of a SSSI for the area (Sites of Special Scientific interest). The historic Ludford Bridge dates from the 15th Century – adjacent to the Horseshoe Weir. Ludford’s area of Whitcliffe Common and SSSIs along the river Teme, the world-renowned fossil site known as the Ludlow Bone Beds, located at the southern end of the common.
This is supported by the town council and by Tracey Huffer and myself. There is one difference between our proposals. The town council proposes its expanded boundary should encompass Ludlow Green, Foldgate Lane and end at the railway line. Our proposal is that the boundary is the Teme. Our reasoning is that Steventon has no connection with Ludford in terms of geography and community.
This change in parish boundaries is long overdue. I first coined the phrase “the Ludford Question” in 2016. I am now optimistic the question will be answered before the summer.