AS ‘the Advertiser’ was going to press the three vacancies on Ludlow Town Council were being selected by councillors.

There were three empty chairs in the council chamber following the election of the new town council in May.

But the problem is that there was only an election in one of the wards.

In the others councillors were returned unopposed but this still left three vacancies.

The council had tried to get people from the town to put up for election but this failed to attract enough interest.

Therefore, the town council is able to fill the empty places by co-option.

People looking to join the Council have completed an application and will make a presentation to the meeting of the Full Council.

Councillors will then have a vote to decide who joins the council.

On the last council, a former Mayor of Ludlow, Jim Smithers, was chosen as a co-opted member after failing to win election at the poll in 2017.

Mr Smithers was again unsuccessful in the only ward where there was an election, in the vote last month. He missed out narrowly to an existing councillor and a newcomer.

But it is not known if Mr Smithers has applied for co-option again this time.

Members chosen by this route have the same decision making powers as all other councillors.

Getting people to stand for election at town and parish council level is a national problem.

Elsewhere in south Shropshire there are seven vacant places to be filled on Burford Parish Council following a large number of resignations. Town and parish councillors are volunteers.