By-election will follow from decision of Rosanna Taylor-Smith to stand down

THERE will be an early test of political opinion in Ludlow following the decision of Rosanna Taylor-Smith to stand down from Shropshire Council.

She will be leaving Ludlow along with her husband and former councillor and Ludlow mayor Martin.

The couple have been considering their future since last May when Martin Taylor-Smith, who had been a member of the governing cabinet on Shropshire Council, lost his seat at the elections for the unitary council last May.

However, Rosanna Taylor-Smith was returned in the safer ward of Ludlow North that includes the town centre.

They have now decided to leave Ludlow to return to Kent where they can be closer to family including grandchildren.

It will mark the end of an association with Ludlow than began in 2001 when they came to the town after Mr Taylor-Smith was selected as Conservative candidate in the parliamentary election.

But he came to a party that had been split by the loss of sitting MP Christopher Gill who had represented Ludlow for 14 years but fallen increasingly out of favour with his party because of hisEurosceptic views.

This combined with the Conservatives at national level being at a low point and a strong showing by Liberal Democrat Matthew Green resulted in the loss of what had been considered a safe Tory seat.

In 2005 Philip Dunne was chosen as the Conservative candidate and returned to Westminster.

But the Taylor-Smiths have played an active part in local government having been on the town council, the former South Shropshire District Council and Shropshire Council.

They have also been involved in the life of the town through organisations like The Royal British Legion, Ludlow in Bloom, the Food Festival and Pride of Ludlow.

Both were also strong supporters of the campaign for the £27 million new hospital and health village on the Eco Park that was delayed by Government changes to the NHS and dropped following a review a year after the project had originally been approved.

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