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 © Ludlow Town Centre & Residents Association 2017


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Minutes of the Ludlow Town Centre & Residents Association

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING  21st November 2017


Chairman’s Report:

2017 has been an important year for Ludlow and this will be reflected in our 3 speakers later this evening.

Peter Corfield from Ludlow Hospital League of Friends – To mention the NHS campaign and the recent health meeting in this building

Helen Hughes from the Ludlow Assembly Rooms because of the service it gives to the town but also because of threats to its funding

The Mayor, Tim Gill – newly elected at the start of a 4 year cycle when cuts to local government are much in the news.

We only have to look at the panel of speakers to realize what an important time this is.

I would also like to point out that this has been an important time for me as well. After many years on the Committee of the Residents Association, the last three as Chair, I have, as many will know, finally stopped being one of the serial complainers about the council and put my head over the parapet.

It has come as a bit of a shock because, despite having attended a number of council committee meetings in the past and having been warned by other councillors that there was quite a lot of reading to be done, I was still surprised by the amount of time required if you want to do a half decent job. And can I say, that councillors do more than a half decent job, as do the staff who run the office. I have yet to adjust fully to what is involved, indeed this morning I spent 2 hours wrapping Christmas presents for Santa’s Grotto. This explains my constant call to the rest of the Committee to let me go! Currently they refuse.

However, I am not here to talk about the workings of Ludlow Town Council, this is about our Association and its role in the town. LTC&RA has as large a membership as any other of the numerous organisations in Ludlow and probably bigger than most. Our members come from an increasingly wide area of the town and many play very active roles in these. This, of course, reflects personal interest and the amount of time that people are prepared to put in.

I would like to emphasise here again the role that the Committee play in keeping the members informed about events that are taking place, and single out our Secretary, who gets sent all this information and then gets the emails out to you. I have tried to calculate the number of notices that have been circulated from other organisations in 12 months and it can be several each week. It would be good to know the actual numbers but I would not be surprised if it ran into 3 figures each year.

Thanks again to Richard who gets the information onto the website. This is a vital service, and one that even non-members take advantage of, to get publicity and to find out what is happening in the town.

What I hope has been apparent to everyone from all the public meetings that have taken place and the information disseminated by us and others, such as Andy Boddington, is that Ludlow is at an important point in its history.

There have been many critical points in our past history as a thriving Mortimer Society attests to. We cannot change that, except possibly by bending the facts but we can affect the here and now. This is a critical time in our current history.

Changes in local government, development by Westminster now being attempted by Shrewsbury, the cost of services and the extraction of all the money earned by the town through visitors and residents parking here by the Unitary council have impoverished the town in terms of what we can do for ourselves.

However, I personally feel that this has stirred a revival in the people of Ludlow and I firmly believe that our future over the next generation is in our hands and that there are people prepared to take on the challenge. I would like to think that everyone here feels that this is a worthwhile ambition. Let’s give it a go and keep Ludlow alive, well and thriving.

Now I have no intention of stealing Tim’s thunder here, as Mayor I am sure he has a vision for the future. What I am driving at, and would like everyone to take away from this evening [and I assume I am right in this] is that we love our town, we all passionately want Ludlow to be able to move forward confidently into a sustainable future. If I am right, then we all need to be involved and to support public meetings, support the council in its endeavours and to fight against attempts by the Unitary Council or Westminster to impose upon Ludlow in any way, shape or form. This is our town and we, as its residents, must get involved and shape our own future.

There are many ways that this can be done and, despite having done this before, I make no apologies for re-iterating some of these again. first and foremost, and this was ably demonstrated by the public meeting in this building a few days ago.  Support pressure groups, go to meetings, show your support by attending.

The more often that the people of Ludlow make their voices heard the less likely it is that they will be ignored. A vocal, local voice will get press coverage, and press coverage is the way our voice will be heard. Ludlow will be ignored if Ludlow is not seen to care for its own future.

As an example, I hope that you are all aware that a new Community-Led Plan is going to be produced. As a member of the steering group I want to make sure that everyone understands what this means. This is not being produced by the Town Council, although it has been initiated by them. It is by the community, for the community and it is hoped that as many people as possible will get involved and have their say, both as individuals and as members of community groups.

A preliminary questionnaire that was available from public areas is now being analysed to enable a professional, much larger document to be prepared for circulation to all households for all Ludlovians to contribute to the final plan. Community groups will also contribute to a final document, but not one that will be set in aspic, but dynamic and constantly under review. Volunteers are needed to help in this process.

Speeding cars are also seen as a problem by many in Ludlow. Your Committee has brought this up on many occasions and asked for support in identifying offenders. So far, bar one person, all the work has been done by committee members, often late at night and often in bad weather.

I have spoken to the police, and met them, on several occasions and they need our help. The message from us is simple, if individual people are not prepared to provide information of times, places, cars etc it will not change. The Local Neighbourhood Team are out again over the next 3 weeks targeting speeding motorists. I am meeting the new local Police Inspector next week and we will discuss this amongst other issues including cctv and 20 MPH. and, to finish on that note, there is a meeting here on Thursday, with a panel of speakers, to support the campaign and answer any questions that residents may have. So ask about enforcement, ask about how it has worked, find out what it will do for us.

Remember the message, this is your town, you can make a difference if you care enough to get involved, in however small a way.

Financial Report:

Linda Henry, the Treasurer gave her Financial Statement from 16th September to 21st November 2017.

Balance at Lloyds Bank on 16th September 2016         £ 3076.56                     

Income

Membership Fees:        £1065.00

Expenditure:

Printing        £  432.00

Website        £  230.29

Postage and Stationery      £  169.60

Expenditure continued

Room Hire        £   25.00

NORA Membership      £   25.00

Donations

Mayors Charity       £  200.00

St Leonards Churchyard     £  100.00

Ludlow in Bloom       £  100.00

Total Expenditure:        £1281.89

Balance at Bank on 21st November 2017   £2859.67

Less un-presented cheques of           45.00    

         £2814.67

Difference for period         -216.89

Membership Report:

We have 203 members.  Last year there were 164, therefore 39 additional members.  The Membership Secretary requested members present to remember that membership subscriptions are renewable in January.

Election of Committee:

The resigning Committee were re elected.

Election of Chair and Treasurer:

Robin Pote was re elected as Chairman, as was Linda Henry as Treasurer.

Visiting Speakers were then invited to speak:


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