Tag: democracy

Darren Childs elected to Gallows Bank Ward by four votes

Darren Childs, known for his campaigning on ambulance provision in rural areas such as Ludlow, has been elected to Ludlow Town Council. The vote went to a recount and he won by four votes. That must be the closest result in Ludlow since Viv Parry lost to Martin-Taylor Smith for the Ludlow South unitary ward by just two votes a decade ago. The score on the doors: Darren Childs: 173 votes Tom Scott Bell: 169 votes. The turnout was 16.5%, which is fairly typical for a town or parish council by-election. There are local elections across the country in May but not in Shropshire where elections took place last year.

By-election called for Ludlow Town Council Gallows Bank Ward on 31 March

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.

Rome and Jericho get more mentions in Gove’s Levelling Up plans than Shropshire – its Byzantine

Old Mother Shropshire went to the government to get the county a grant. When she went there the cupboard was bare. So the poor county got none. (Misremembered old nursery rhyme). On Wednesday Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up – he used to be Secretary of State for Growing Up – published the long awaited Levelling Up white paper. There is every hint that this policy paper was rushed out to distract from the ongoing tribulations of the prime minister. It includes paragraphs copied and pasted from Wikipedia. It mentions Jericho three times, ancient Rome twice and modern day Shropshire just once. It also mentions Byzantine, which might be a good description of the white paper. The exclusion of Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin from Levelling Up funding has led to both councils making protests to the government. Michael Gove has responded to Shropshire saying we would need a mayor covering both councils before he will allocate any money. Shropshire Council’s leader has rejected this. It is another example of how Westminster politicians profess to support giving more power to local areas, while dictating how they operate democratically. Levelling Up is a bad white paper from a…

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Want to know where your Shropshire Councillor lives? Shush! It’s now a council secret

Out of the blue, Shropshire Council has decided that it will no longer publish councillors’ home addresses. Anyone wishing to send letters, will need to send them to Shirehall where the overstretched secretariat will redirect them to councillors. As far as a I can see, this was a decision taken in secret by an increasingly secret council. I certainly wasn’t consulted. Current rules would allow a resident in Oswestry to stand for a Shropshire Council seat in Ludlow. But now you are not now allowed to know where a councillor lives. This is just the latest step in the Conservatives erosion of democracy on Shropshire Council. They talk democratic language while undermining democracy at every step. Excepting where there is an identified risk to a councillor, the public have a right to know where their councillors live. Public figures should expect and accept that.

Covid Watch 103: Ludlow Town Council should not swing a wrecking ball at democracy

It is time for business as usual with councils but the government is not helping us. It has refused to extend emergency legislation that allows local councils to meet online rather in stuffy council chambers. That decision is being challenged in the high court but unless the action by councils wins, it creates a dilemma for those councils now forced to meet in person but have no space to do so. Ludlow Town Council is to meet tonight in a Zoom meeting. The council is being asked to agree to limit business at the next meeting and to transfer most decision-making to the town clerk under emergency powers. There is no longer any emergency. If the council allows emergency powers to be used in a non-emergency it will no longer be a democratic body. I hope councillors will vote against this wrecking ball to local democracy tonight.

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