Ludford Question looks likely to be answered with Ludlow Town Council expansion

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.

Submission from Andy Boddington and Tracey Huffer.

2 comments on Ludford Question looks likely to be answered with Ludlow Town Council expansion

  1. Re: Rock Green and Sheet residents transfer to Ludlow Town Council.
    Many residents may not realize that they are currently in Ludford Parish (see cost breakdown on your Council Tax demand). By transferring them to Ludlow Town Council as is proposed by Ludlow Town, financially they will be poorer as Town charges are five times that of Ludford Parish and I note a 5% increase in charges has been agreed from April unlike Ludford Parish which has frozen theirs due to the continuing cost of living crisis. What can residents expect for their extra payments? Nothing at all. They will be losing out as Ludford Parish have recently been asking residents for suggestions for improving community areas such as benches, bus shelters, planting etc. which would be cancelled if this transfer goes ahead.
    Ludlow Parish opposes this transfer and considers it not legal as an unwarded Parish cannot be split.
    Most of the residents of Rock Green/Sheet that I have spoken to know nothing of the “public consultation” that was held over the Christmas/New Year period.
    I always thought that Government, even local government, should be transparent and democratic. In this case, I think not.

    1. Ludford Parish Council should keep its residents informed. You seem to be saying it did not. Ludford has said nothing to its residents as far as I can see. It held a last minute meeting to discuss the options but that was behind closed doors.

      Shropshire Council published the consultation but I agree that most residents would not see that. The council used social media but most people may not have understood the significance. I published the consultation on my blog and in my newsletter which are are read across Ludlow and in Ludford. I used social media to promote it. Ludlow Town Council published its view in council papers and on its website. Just silence from Ludford.

      Your suggestion that a parish that is not warded can’t be split is not correct.

      You are wrong that CIL projects will be lost if a part merger goes ahead. Ludford has more than enough time to agree and projects and commission them or to agree a transfer to LTC with agreement that schemes are preserved.

      If you did not know about this, complain to Ludford Parish Council or you Shropshire Councillor.

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