January 2013

New CAT System at New Clark House

New Clark House saw a 'Customer Access Terminal' which allows access to Stratford District Council.  It is open 9.00 am to 1.00 pm Tuesday to Friday

The CAT gives access to Stratford District Council via a phone and video screen - customers can ask questions about all SDC services, information and forms including: Benefits; Bus passes; Blue badges: Council Tax:  Home Choice Plus; Parking; Planning; Streetscene

Just pick up the receiver and the screen will activate and you will speak face to face with customer service operator.   You can, for example: pay your council tax (by card); apply for your bus pass or blue badge and submit a request for pre-application advice on planning

If you need more than a phone call, but are not able to visit Elizabeth House - try the CAT. 

February Mayor's Report

files/stc/news-assets/img/Fay Ivens.jpg

Well, here we are well into 2013 but l must mention the two visits which we made on Christmas Day to the Ellen Badger Hospital and Low Furlong; It was a privilege to meet so many residents and visitors on that special day.

We had a good turnout for the first litter pick of 2013,when we were blessed with a lovely sunny spring like morning.Why not come and join us? We are a very friendly group and meet on the first Saturday of every month at New Clark House at 10am,followed by coffee and biscuits with a chance to chat and make new friends. I would like to once again take this opportunity to thank the huge number of volunteers who do so much for our town.It never fails to amaze me to see just how many people give their time so freely for the benefit of others---not only for special events but also on a regular weekly basis.  Thank you. 


I am looking forward to my next Meet the Mayor visit at Shipston Primary School later this month ---the first ones with Year 5 and 6 were a most enjoyable experience, l was quite delighted to meet the children,we had very interesting discussions about the town where they are growing up and they put forward some very well thought out questions and ideas.

I was delighted to hear that Mr.Sid Peachey has received a letter from Buckingham Palace in recognition of the fact that he has been involved with the building of all four Beacons during H.R.H Her Majesty the Queens Reign.Many,many congratulations Sid [The Gaffer]---such a marvellous achievement---we are very proud of you.

With another of my‘Hats’on = if it snows and you are unable to clear your front path or need any other assistance during periods of bad weather please do not hesitate to get in touch with Georgina or Liz at the town council office on 662180 or myself 662133.

Public Inquiry to be Held

A public inquiry is being held following an appeal by Cala Homes against the development of the IMI Norgren site in Shipston.

The appeal relates to a planning application for the demolition of existing industrial buildings and caretakers house to make way for 125 new homes and employment use on Campden Road. Stratford District Council refused the application last July on the grounds the site is generally not sustainable because of its separation from the town and because of the impact upon the landscape setting of the town.

The inquiry, expected to last for three days starting on Tuesday, will be held at the council offices, Elizabeth House, Church Street, Stratford at 10am. A Government Planning Inspector will preside over the inquiry and members of the public may attend the inquiry and express their view.  

Town council calls on WCC to rethink bus chaperone policy

Town and district councillors united in their opposition to Warwickshire County Council’s plans to remove chaperones from buses taking children as young as four to and from school. At the January town council meeting, Shipston’s county councillor, Chris Saint, also admitted he was not in favour of the plans.

Although the number of Shipston children directly affected by these plans is very small, a number of neighbouring parishes may be more seriously affected. Shipston Town Council agreed to write to WCC to express its concerns about this cost saving initiative, which will deliver limited savings and yet, it believes, could have a significant impact on the safety and wellbeing of the children, bus drivers and other road users. Anyone wishing to add their name to a countywide petition against the plans should visit http://bit.ly/11t528M.

Scout Hut Rebuild Starting

This month (February) will see the start of work to demolish and rebuild the scout hut in New Street after a lengthy battle to secure funding. The new hall will provide a much improved appearance and facility for the scouts and guides as well as the wider community. In the short term, there will unfortunately be inconvenience to ensure the demolition and construction can take place safely.

Weather permitting, the start date will be the 4th February 2013 for a period of twenty weeks. The New Street car park will be fenced off from the end of the pathway to the rear of the properties backing on to the site property, up to the recreation area, across the rear of the hut and then from the end of the allotments back to the back wall of the houses in Cherry Orchard. David Wright, Group Scout Leader, said "we apologise for any inconvenience caused but every effort will be made to keep this to a minimum. Once the main structure is up and weather-proofed we will review the situation and adjust the fencing if it is safe and practical to do so."

Snowy Shipston from a Drone

AN EERIE video taken from a drone flying over Shipston-on-Stour during the recent snowfall has been put on YouTube. Be mindful of the creepy music!

NO! to Supermarket in Shipston


Contraversial plans to build a supermarket on the edge of Shipston-on-Stour was unanimously on Thursday night (24/01/13) at a lengthy and heated meeting in the town.

All ten members of a planning committee voted against the proposal to build a supermarket, a petrol station, and housing, on greenfield land in between the Norgren site and the town. Nearly 300 people packed into Shipston High School to watch the meeting, which at times turned rowdy, with some pro-supermarket campaigners slinging insults at the committee.

Councillors and speakers were cheered and jeered, applauded and booed. When Sebastian Tibenham, representing developers Ainscough Strategic Land, told the committee the majority of people in Shipston want a supermarket, a sea of yellow "Just say No" signs were held up behind him by anti-supermarket campaigners.

The pro-supermarket supporters made their presence felt too, but the committee rejected the application on planning grounds, rather than any perceived support for or against it. Cllr Roger Wright said: “If we approve this it will sound the death knoll overnight to the businesses in the town.” Cllr Chris Spencer pointed out the developers initial plan did not include a supermarket, just housing. “This causes me to think this is just to get residential on a greenfield site that would not otherwise be possible,” he said. Cllrs Peter Barnes and Stephen Kittendorf said they could not support the plan because of the ludicrous proposal to put extra-care housing for elderly people up a hill, 750 metres away from town.

Chairman Simon Jackson, after having to tell several members of the crowd to be quiet throughout the night, described it as "the most significant application and the most controversial one this committee have had to deal with.” When it became apparent the plan was getting rejected, one member of the audience shouted out to Cllr Gillian Roache: "You don't even live in Shipston! None of you do." But there was an ominous parting note from Jeff Kenner, the ferociously pro-supermarket Labour district councillor for Shipston. Smugly, he predicted: "If you reject it, it will be upheld on appeal."

Don't Let Your Dog Cause Disease


Dog fouling is not just unpleasant, it can be a health hazard. Shipston Town Council is calling on all dog owners to clean up after their pets as part of its Proud of My Town campaign. It is illegal to allow your dog to foul public ground, be it a road, bridleway, footpath or field. Dog faeces often contains the roundworm toxocara which can cause the serious infection, toxocariasis, in humans.

According to information produced by ENCAMS (now the Keep Britain Tidy campaign), toxocara eggs are not infectious until they embryonate, which is usually two to three weeks after they have been deposited by a dog. It is therefore safer to clean up after a dog immediately, but leaving mess lying around could be hazardous. Keep Britain Tidy states many UK parks are contaminated with toxocara eggs.

If ingested, either because hands haven’t been washed properly or toys or other objects may have come into contact with dog faeces, toxocariasis can develop, sometimes leading to serious symptoms. Shipston Town Council has joined forces with the police and the district council dog warden to tackle the dog fouling issue. An action plan is being developed, which is expected to include awareness raising, reporting and fines. In the meantime, all dog owners are asked to ensure their dogs are wormed frequently and effectively and that any mess is rapidly cleaned up.

Please consult your vet for further advice. Mayor, Fay Ivens, said, "it is always a joy to see people out enjoying walks with their dogs, but there is no excuse for leaving dog mess lying around. I’m particularly shocked that so much dog mess can be found near schools and playgrounds. Please be responsible – clean up after your dog and use one of the many dog bins provided to safely dispose of the mess."

Catalytic Convertor Theft


Please be advised that the area is currently suffering from a spate of theft of catalytic convertors from Mitsubushi 4 x 4 vehicles. If you own such a vehicle or know of some one that does please make them aware of the situation and take all reasonable steps to protect your vehicle as possible.

We stopped and searched a car in Shipston yesterday and recovered a catalytic convertor from its boot but unfortunately it doesn't relate to any of our local thefts so we are spreading our investigation wider. We believe that the catalytic convertor is off a Renault or Vauxhall van according to its parts number?!

Please ensure all incidents are reported to the Police on the non-emergency telephone number 101.

Shipston factory could face closure


Shipston's largest employer could be closing following an announcement this morning. GE Power & Water have confirmed it is proposing to close Turbine Blading Ltd, an engineering firm in Station Road, which could affect up to 64 members of staff.

The company will now begin a 30-day consultation period with impacted employees before a decision is made whether or not to close the facility. Nicolas Delaby, spokesman for GE Power & Water, said: “This announcement is in no way a reflection of our employees and their hard work, but part of a long term strategy to simplify our business, manage costs and improve the overall competition position of our fulfillement network. “We expect a consultation period for a minimum of 30 days. Subject to the consultation, the business will decide whether or not to close the facility. “If so - in this kind of transitions, GE provides a full range of services and benefits – fully supporting impacted employees.” Since the closure of the Norgren factory in 2008, Turbine Blading was thought of as the town’s largest employer.

Councillor Jeff Kenner, Shipston ward member at Stratford District Council, said: “This is terrible news for the town if the proposed closure is certain. “My thoughts are with the workers and their families at this difficult time.” 

Opposition Maintained to Proposed Large-Scale Developments


Following a passionate discussion in which a full range of views were expressed, Shipston Town Council voted to maintain its opposition to the proposed ASL development on the Campden Road. Councillors also voted to support the submission of additional evidence opposing the Cala Homes development, to the public inquiry being held in February.

After some debate, the town council supported the submission of additional information to the Cala Homes inquiry, prepared by the local business community and other interested parties, to ensure many of the original planning arguments, including concerns about the loss of employment land, are considered. The inquiry will take place from 5th to 7th February at Elizabeth House, Stratford.

When it came to discussing the ASL proposal, the one indisputable fact was that opinion, both at the council meeting and across the town in general, was split. Fervent support for the proposal was met with equally fervent opposition, both among councillors and members of the public. This split was reflected in the vote when six councillors voted to change the town council’s current position while six objected to the change.

The casting vote by Deputy Mayor, Veronica Murphy, means there is no change in town council policy and the council remains opposed to the proposal. Reflecting on the outcome, Ronnie Murphy said, "Shipston will be in a better position to determine its future once the neighbourhood plan is in place and I believe it would be better to wait until that plan, and the district council’s Core Strategy, have been completed before developments of this scale are decided." 

Shipston High to be Re-Developed


It is all change for Shipston High School as a project to redevelop its site in the town takes shape. Since its adoption of academy status in September, the school has been working with architects on a project divided into five phases. It will include a new six-classroom teaching block and sports hall complex to be built on land at the back of Shipston Leisure Centre.

Jonathan Baker, headteacher, said: “We know from community sports groups we have spoken to that this will be a popular new facility in the Shipston area and one that really will benefit the whole community. “We are holding a public meeting so that we can share our ideas with local organisations and listen to the views of potential users of the new sports hall.” The project has been kick-started by the need for the school to expand in order to cope with existing numbers and projected future growth.

The school currently has capacity for 388 students but has 436 on roll, and has been working with Birmingham-based architects BDP since September. Phase one will include the construction of the teaching block, new toilet facilities, offices and storage space. The school has submitted a bid to the Department for Education, and is awaiting its agreement so that work on phase one – costing £1.4 million – can begin in March. Later phases of the school development include the gradual demolition and replacement of the entire school building, with only a core of the existing site remaining including the school hall, canteen and kitchen. Mr Baker said: “Phase two of the project is particularly exciting as we are looking to build a new four-court sports hall complete with a dance studio and classroom on school land at the back of Shipston Leisure Centre so it can be used by local schools during the day and by community groups in the evenings and at weekends.” Since the project was unveiled the school has been receiving considerable interest in its proposals and the plans have received support from Shipston Town Council.

Warwickshire County Council has agreed to fund the development costs of the project and contribute to the cost of the new building. A public meeting to discuss the proposals will be held on Thursday, February 7 at 7pm at the school. All are welcome.

School's Closed

Both Shipston Primary and Shipston High School are closed today due to the snow.  For updates on the school's status for the coming days visit:

Shipston Primary School

Shipston Primary School News

Shipston Primary Twitter Feed

Shipston High School

High School Website

High School Twitter Feed...

Snow Wardens in Full Force

The Shipston Town Council Snow Wardens are out clearning the town centre of snow, pathways and working with the vulnerable residents in the town to ensure their safety. 

If you need help, please call the out of hours number: 01608 662113

Take part on TV Show

Do you desperately need help with your house? Fed up with the interior décor in your home? Fancy a makeover for one of your rooms?

Raise the Roof Productions, makers of Kirstie’s Vintage Home and Phil Spencer: Secret Agent are producing a brand new prime time series for Channel 4 and could help. Interested in taking part? To find out more, get in touch with our team ASAP at free@raisetheroofproductions.com

Citizens Advice Burea


Get advice online now from www.adviceguide.org.uk for practical, reliable, up-to-date CAB information in English, Welsh, Bengali, Chinese, Gujarati, Punjabi and Urdu on a wide range of topics. The information covers England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and is continuously reviewed by our team of advisers.

Please note some bureaux can only give advice to people living or working in a certain area. Please check with the bureau that they are able to help you.

Shipston-on-Stour Outreach

Clark House
West Street
CV36 4EL

Advice sessions

Many bureaux now have a short introductory interview to help decide how you can be best advised. You may then be asked to make an appointment. If the bureau is open only for appointments or specialist advice this will be indicated in the notes.

Wed: 10.00 - 13.00.  Appointment only.

To make an appointment call 01789 200136. Telephone advice 0844 855 2322

New Police Commissioner at Neighbourhood Watch

The Shipston Neighbourhood Watch meeting at New Clark House, starting at 7.30pm on 20th February, will be attended by Ron Ball, the new Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner

Shipston-on-Stour Visitor Survey

The survey took place during the peak visitor period from the middle of July 2012 until the end of September 2012. Comparisons with the previous survey in 2007 are included in the report.

The survey took place in order to:

  • Provide basic data on the profile, origin, behaviour, use of facilities and opinions of visitors to Shipston to help improve understanding of tourism within the town.
  • Ensure that marketing campaigns are properly focused and allow their effectiveness to be monitored.
  • Identify the main reasons why visitors come to Shipston and their particular likes and dislikes.

The findings of the visitor survey research which took place in Shipston are detailed in this
report.  Download the full report below:

Mayor's Report, January

files/stc/news-assets/img/Fay Ivens.jpg

I was invited by Shipston Flower Club to their annual Gala Evening This was an amazing evening when the very imaginative Nigel Whyles created stunning floral displays to accompany Music from the Shows.

I attended the High School Awards Evening where it was wonderful to witness the high success rate that the students achieved in this years G.C.S.E. exams.It is always so evident that all students are encouraged by the dedicated teaching staff to strive to reach their highest potential.It’s little wonder that Shipston High School has become the first choice for Secondary School education in the area.  

We were invited to the Norgren Bowls Club Presentation Evening when,after a delicious meal, l was honoured to be invited to present some of the trophies.The evening highlighted to me just how much local talent we have at the Bowls Club.

Sunday November 25th was the date of the Civic Service, following an early morning call to say the River Stour had burst its banks again,and a quick phone call to Rev.Jill Tucker letting her know the situation and the possible postponement of the Service due to flooding l donned my Emergency Plan Jacket and got into situ. However a few hours later l was amazed when the Bishop of Warwick drew up and l realised the service was going to go ahead ----so with no time to change l had to attend my special service in my bright orange jacket!!

I was delighted that so many townspeople joined me for coffee and delicious mince pies at New Clark House on Friday morning December 7th---- I hope that this will become an Annual Event in the Civic Diary.

It was great to be invited onto the stage by The Rotary Club of Shipston along with special guests and other dignitaries for the switching on of the lights for the Tree of Life and the Town Centre.This is always such a special evening when l think our town is transformed into a magical story book setting.

We were delighted to be invited to another wonderful Christmas Concert performed by the Stour Singers conducted by Richard Emms ---a performance worthy of the Royal Albert Hall.

The Shipston Town Band Christmas Concert was as usual another extravaganza of musical delights,readings and singing ---a wonderful finale in this their Centenary Year.

Visitors Happy with Shipston


Over ninety per cent of visitors to Shipston feel satisfied with the welcome they receive, the atmosphere of the town and its overall appearance, according to results from a Visitor Survey conducted by Stratford District Council.

The research, conducted among 200 visitors to Shipston this summer, asked a range of questions to identify satisfaction with Shipston as a visitor destination, alongside two other market towns in the district, Alcester and Southam.

When asked to state their main reason for visiting the town, over a quarter (27%) cited general siteseeing/interest, with 22 per cent stating shopping or browsing. Across the three surveys, Shipston scored the highest (75 per cent) in response to satisfaction with the range of shops available. Over 80 percent also expressed satisfaction with the range of places to eat and drink in the town Over nine in ten visitors felt safe from crime in Shipston and nearly ninety per cent were happy with the overall cleanliness of the town.

Although most scores are very high, satisfaction with some aspects of the town has fallen slightly since the survey was last undertaken. This will provide useful pointers for the town council, business community and local organisations when considering future plans for the town.