Confidential talks held on future of Ludlow's historic town walls amid growing calls for action

Councillors have met behind closed doors to consider confidential legal advice from a barrister relating to the collapse of two sections of Ludlow Town Walls nearly 10 years ago.

Councillor Andy Boddington next to a section of Ludlow town walls which collapsed a decade ago
Councillor Andy Boddington next to a section of Ludlow town walls which collapsed a decade ago

The precise nature of the discussions held on Monday have not been revealed but calls are growing for action to be taken sooner rather than later as vegetation has been seen growing out of the rubble.

Former town councillor Andy Boddington, who represents the town on Shropshire Council, said he was shocked by the current state of the ancient stonework.

Councillor Boddington said: "I am shocked by the state of the collapsed area.

"There are sycamores and a buddlia growing out of the rubble. All vegetation needs removing as a matter of urgency to prevent further damage to the wall."

He added that the security fencing is partly collapsed and the site is an "eyesore".

"That's not fair on nearby residents. It should be tidied up immediately."

Councillor Boddington added: "There is security fencing blocking off part of the Garden of Rest above the collapsed wall.

"This area has been allowed to go wild. It should be a wildflower meadow. But even wildflower meadows need to be maintained with mowing once a year."

The councillor added that it is time for action but he is not confident about the issue being resolved and the wall rebuilt within five years.

"This saga has been going on for nearly 10 years," he said. "It is time for the town council to act.

"This long saga needs to end but frankly I am not confident of it being resolved and the wall rebuilt within five years."

Councillor Boddington, as a former councillor, was excluded from Monday's secret session.

But newly elected Ludlow town councillor Darren Childs was there. He said he could not reveal the precise nature of the discussions with the barrister.

"Ludlow town walls are an important part of the town's history and should be protected for future generations," he said.

"I am disappointed that the issue has still not been resolved after 10 years.

"I was at the meeting on Monday but council rules mean that we have to keep details of what was discussed completely confidential.

"It is fair to say though that talks are ongoing and we as a town council aim to work towards a solution."

Ludlow Town Council has been asked for an official comment.

The collapse was followed by a wrangle over who was responsible for paying to repair the historic walls, with Ludlow Town Council agreeing to lead the work in 2015.

The walls were originally built to protect the town from the threat of Welsh attack and civil war. It is believed they were built in about 1270.

They encompassed parts of the existing town, making use of Ludlow Castle, and included eight gates and at least three mural towers.

The issue of repair work, which is likely to require significant funding, is complicated by the requirement for it to take place at a certain time of the year, between April and September, because of the historic materials required for the work.

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