Town Council co-option

Co-option:

What is it? Co-option is the means by which appointments are made for ward councillor positions unfilled after the Local Elections.  This usually arises because there were not enough candidates  at the election for the positions available. Once co-opted, a councillor has the same powers and responsibilities as one that has been elected.

After this election, co-option is possible in Bringewood, Clee View and Rockspring wards.

How does it work? The process is managed by Ludlow Town Council, via the Town Clerk.  Unlike the actual Local Election, Shropshire Council and the Returning Officer are NOT involved.

 

Full details of the process are here. 

Please return your completed application by 5pm, 16th June 2017  to townclerk@ludlow.gov.uk  or The Guildhall, Mill Street Ludlow SY8 1AZ
Applicants should be available to attend a meeting on 29th June 2017
at The Guildhall, Mill Street, Ludlow

At the Annual General Meeting of Ludlow Town Council on Wed., 10th May , David Burton read out the following open letter to the new Council, on behalf of People 4 Ludlow:

LUDLOW TOWN COUNCIL – The Challenge

From People 4 Ludlow, incorporating Ludlow Campaign for Fairness, we extend a warm welcome to the new Town Council, wish you every success during your four-year term and look forward to supporting your work to improve our town.

There will be significant challenges in what will be, invariably, an unprecedented period of change resulting from cutbacks and changing political attitudes to the role of local government. It could also be a period of opportunity, taking Ludlow into the future as a cohesive, enjoyable and sustainable place to live, work and play. To achieve those aims will take vision, innovation and commitment – values, as well as risk, that should be borne by a shared community, not just shouldered by a few, be they politicians or the voluntary or private sector.

We wish to present a number of proposals tonight that we feel would improve collaboration between the community and the new Town Council and ask you, in a constructive and positive way, to make a number of decisions which, we believe, will set the scene for a new beginning.

Firstly, we welcome the debate within the Council regarding the fact that that this venue is unsuitable for public council meetings, the seating is inadequate, the public cannot see or hear the councillors and, while the chamber may be conducive to a 19th century courtroom, it is not suitable for a 21st century event. We ask LTC to urgently explore an alternative venue for its meetings and an alternative use for the Guildhall.

Second, we would like to see informal meetings, perhaps bi-monthly, where the Council can have a round-table debate and discussion on topical issues with the Ludlow community – and use the opportunity to bring the town up-to-date with Shropshire Council intentions.

Third, while we recognise that council business requires a certain amount of formality it feels opaque and off-putting to most members of the public. We ask that Council meetings are limited to what is legally required and that agendas and all appropriate accompanying documentation are made available on-line. We note that councillors will be getting tablets for the new term and, building upon this, we suggest that documents be emailed to Councillors rather than sending hard copies – saving significant resources in the process.

Fourth, the Council website is tired, looks boring and is often out of date – it is the key tool and shop front for communication – it needs to be modern and managed in a dynamic and engaging style. It should promote LTC, and the town, more effectively and encourage greater involvement – possible through more on-line and social media participation – it is a new world and we are all having to adapt.

Finally – we believe

  • That the potential changes to local government services will be permanent, there will be no turning back. It will be a necessity for the Council to have the Powers of Competence, as defined, and it is essential that we meet both criteria – having met the elected percentage it is necessary, in our view, to press on and ensure, with due respect, that the Town Clerk achieves the appropriate qualifications – not to do so puts the future Council at a disadvantage.
  • The Council must be prepared to take risks, encourage new ideas, and explore new ways of working. Consider, for example, the word ‘council’ – it’s alienating, it absolves the community of responsibility, it’s not inclusive – there is nothing preventing a council referring to itself by any other name.
  • Regarding finance – explore crowd funding, encourage legacies, donations and bequests, and create alliances in preparation for funding shortfalls and to ensure the future resilience of the town. Partnership approaches will be vital and the ancient artificial boundary between the town and surrounding parishes needs to be breached – remember, we are all in this together – it’s our town, whether we reside within the walls or not.
  • There is an enormous skill and knowledge base here in the Ludlow area – we recommend that the Council uses its powers contained within Standing Orders, to actively co-opt non-councillor, non-voting members of various committees.
  • We need local solutions, with their local social benefits, coupled with strong representation, co-operation and communication with Shropshire Council.
  • P4L offers our support. If we can assist you to create a more robust and vibrant town then we are here to help you.

Thank you”

You can download a copy of this letter here.

Election Results

Where only one Councillor was elected, a co-option will be required for the ward.

Bringewood Ward: Rose Jones
Clee View Ward: Colin Eric James  Sheward
Corve Ward:  Glenn Ginger, Robin Francis Pote
Gallows Bank Ward:  Adrian Scott Cobley, Viv Parry,  Graeme Perks
Hayton Ward:  Mark Anthony Clarke, Erica Jane Garner
Rockspring Ward: Diane Lesley Lyle
Whitcliffe Ward: Tim Gill, Nicola Louise Paton

The first full meeting of the new council is on Wed.  10th May at 7 pm in the Guildhall.

You can only vote if your name appears on the register of electors. If you’re not sure whether you’re registered, or if you need to register, please contact the Elections Team at the Shirehall on 0345 678 9015. Even when an election has been called, you still have time to register up to 12 working days before polling day.  More information here.

People4Ludlow has created an information page for people interested in the Town Council election.  It brings to gether all the information that you need from different sources. You can find it by going to the “ELECTION HUB” option on the main menu or clicking here.We have also set up an email to try to answer any queries you may have. Following on from a successful meeting hosted by Ludlow Town Council at the Guildhall in January People4Ludlow (P4L) has organised a further meeting as the process for elections to the Town Council moves inexorably forward.P4L believe that there is an important discussion to be had about the potential challenges and opportunities into the future as the traditional role of local government changes. Thankfully our Town Council is not elected on a party-political basis and P4L has invited a small cross section of current councillors to informally explore some of the issues  and to provide their insight to anyone considering standing for local election.It’s clear that with a changing ‘political’ climate, coupled with Shropshire Council budget cut backs, we do need to consider how Ludlow moves forward into the future and the next four years are going to be critical. Local democracy is going to be even more important than ever for communities – and residents, whether considering standing for election or not, need to understand about how the town can work together to ensure that we all prosper.The discussion meeting, chaired by p4l, will take place in the Queen Elizabeth Suite at the Feathers Hotel on Thursday 23rd February starting at 7pm. AGENDA

  • Discussion on the changing climate for local Councils and local communities.
  • What strengths and competence/authority will Ludlow need to face these challenges and prosper?
  • Exploring the areas that appear to inhibit change.
  • Engaging with the local community to work together using the latest technology.
  • General questions on standing for election.

There is no need to book – simply come along with your questions and ideas!You can email us here.You can download a press release about the meeting here.Note. The local elections are formally  managed by Shropshire Council on behalf of all towns and parishes.  You can find more information here.Previously……On Jan 12th  a public meeting to understand what the Town Council does and what being a Councillor involves was held at the Guildhall.The meeting was positive and well-attended.  Read the full report here.We are starting to assemble useful documents and sources of information for anyone who wants to become more involved:

The election process is managed by Shropshire County Council. For more information go here.Representatives of Shropshire Council will be at the Helena Lane Day Care Centre,  Ludlow to receive nomination  papers on the following dates:· Thursday 16th March (8.45 am to 4.00pm)· Wednesday 22nd March (8.45am – 4.00 pm)· Tuesday 28th March (8.45am to 3.45pm)There is one event which only happens every four years where you can make a real difference.On May 4th 2017, all the current wards of Ludlow Town Council will have a local election of a new Councillors. There are 15 positions spread over seven wards (two each, except for Gallows Bank which has three).I am sure we would all agree that Ludlow is going to have to fight  for every penny of resource that it needs to provide the services that make our community work in the medium term. We cannot rely on just being “given things”.  This will  demand the best of the new council and the way the community engages with them. Neither can do this by themselves.On  Thurday 12th January there is a  public meeting at the Ludlow Guildhall to give anyone interested in these issues. This has been arranged at the suggestion of PAL; we want to support proper and effective engagement of the town council and the community with the issues that affect us. This meeting will give everyone the chance to ask the current Mayor,  Town Clerk and Councillors about what is really involved.  Do come and make use of this ‘one in four years opportunity’.Follow this link for more information about the meeting:  What is it like to be a Town Councillor?You can find out more about the May elections and the processes from the Electoral Commission  here.If you didn’t manage to attend the recent meeting at the Brewery where the Leader of Frome Council (Mel Usher)  talked about their activities, we have a number of DVDs of the meeting available to borrow. Write to us here to ask.

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