Shropshire Star

Unholy row rumbles on as town council and church at loggerheads over collapsed Ludlow wall

A council is at loggerheads with the church over the ownership of a wall that collapsed nearly 11 years ago.

Nearly 11 years on there is still no sign of breaking through the deadlock

Ludlow Town Council insisted in a statement last week that a section of a wall that collapsed is "owned by St Laurence Parochial Parish Church (PCC)".

But a spokesperson for the Diocese of Hereford has since insisted that the "wall is not owned by St Laurence’s Parochial Church Council (PCC) it is owned by the Town Council."

They added: "We remain engaged and committed to working with the local town council over any plans they wish to present for approval to rebuild the collapsed section of the town wall which they own, and which is located behind the closed churchyard of St Laurence's Church."

The Shropshire Star has asked the town council if it is planning to change the words of its statement, which was issued on January 24 and reads: "The wall is owned by St Laurence Parochial Parish Church (PCC).

"Ludlow Town Council looked to Shropshire Council and St Laurence’s Parochial Church Council to do whatever they can in support of the project."

But the town council insists that it will not be changing its statement.

A spokesperson said: "I can confirm that the town council will not be changing its statement."

Former town councillor and current Shropshire councillor for Ludlow, Andy Boddington, says the council owns the wall because closed graveyards are the responsibility of councils.

Councillor Boddington said: "The Diocese of Hereford does not have responsibility.

"Closed graveyards become the responsibility of the local authority. Ludlow Town Council has always been reluctant to take on responsibility for the repairs.

For the last seven years, the town council has accepted responsibility for “leading on the repairs” but it has always denied it is responsible for the costs.

On February 18 it will be 11 years since a section of the town walls collapsed.

Now residents have taken up the cudgels, launching a petition to break the deadlock.

And a meeting is set to be held by residents in March with the town wall set to be very much on the agenda.