Shropshire Star

Meeting puts new focus on fixing collapsed Ludlow town walls after more than a decade of logjam

A focus group has been set up in Ludlow to try to fix the issue of the town wall, part of which collapsed 11 years ago.

Ludlow Residents Meeting at Ludlow Womens Centre and Community Centre..

Residents who packed into a meeting on Saturday were told that a focus group has now been set up with people with expertise to try to resolve the issue that has been a bone of contention for more than a decade.

Darren Childs, of Ludlow Residents Group, said they have now set up a focus group which includes a representative from the Civic Society, St Laurence’s Church and a conservation architect. It's first meeting will be on Friday, March 15.

Mr Childs said: "Following the first meeting in January, at which the main concern was over the collapse of the town wall, the meeting on Saturday was informed that a focus group had been created."

Mr Childs added that he sent a Freedom of Information request to Ludlow Town Council a few weeks ago asking for information about its current actions on the walls. He hopes to get answers on the condition of the wall and and an update on work carried out by council barristers by March 14 to include in the focus group meeting.

But he added that the purpose was not to be antagonistic to the council but to work with it and to bring more expertise to bear to finally sort the issue out after more than a decade. The experts include people who have put in bids to the National Lottery.

"The aim is how to move things forward and looking to getting the wall repaired and the issue dealt with," he said. "We are trying to work with the council on this."

Saturday's second meeting of the Ludlow Residents Groups saw more than 50 people gathering at the Women’s Centre and contributing to "focused and energetic discussions".

Mr Childs said there is a sense of optimism overs issues.

"The feeling is that we are moving in the right direction and building relationships with other community groups.

"The more heads we can get around the table the better," he said. "We are finding people with specialist knowledge and we can get everybody round the table and come up with a solution."

There was clear support for two more focus groups, one to look at empty shops and town centre development and a second to look at crime and policing.

First meetings for these groups are being arranged and again the discussions from each group will be shared with the town council.

Councillor Andy Boddington at the meeting

Councillors Andy Boddington and Tracey Huffer spoke as county council representatives, Coucillor Boddington on the financial situation within Shropshire Council and briefly about the empty town centre Costa Coffee premises .

Councillor Huffer spoke passionately about the "appalling" conditions for some Sandpits residents due to the Connexus refurbishment programme .

The meeting also heard briefly from Stuart Anderson and Chris Naylor, the potential parliamentary candidates, about their background and their aims for the town if they are elected.

The next meeting of the residents group will be on Tuesday, April 23, at 7pm in advance of the town council’s annual residents' meeting on Monday, April 29.