November 2015

Have your say as Shipston’s Neighbourhood Plan takes shape

Shipston landscapeResidents and businesses from Shipston and surrounding areas are being encouraged to attend the Shipston Neighbourhood Plan Open Day on 12th December at the Scout Hut in New Street.

After months of research, community engagement and workshops, this Open Day will give everyone the chance to see the progress made and comment on the emerging proposals.

Running from 11:30am until 4pm, members of the Neighbourhood Plan team will be available to explain the proposals which are designed to safeguard the integrity of Shipston, while catering for the needs of future generations. 

The Neighbourhood Plan team – most of whom are volunteers from the local community - has been working to address topics such as improvements to the town centre and riverside, how to reduce flooding risk, and suggestions for local nature and wildlife reserves.  They have also been looking at ways to protect Shipston’s rural setting, and how new employment opportunities might be created.  A lot of focus has been on managing future housing needs, especially for young families and the elderly. 

Maps, photos, posters and important documents will be on display to demonstrate how the different issues fit together, and team members will be happy to answer any questions. 

With clear proposals now emerging, the Open Day is a vital opportunity for the community to shape the final policies.

Martin Ferrier, Town Councillor and Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group representative, said “This is a community plan and it can only work if the community gets involved. You may think we’ve missed something out or have a view on what we prioritise.  Say so!  Your ideas are important.” 

Feedback forms completed at the event will be entered into a prize draw - all the more reason to come along on the 12th! 

Townsend Hall hosts BBC Radio Four ‘Any Questions?’ Broadcast

Any questionsShipston’s Townsend Hall was the venue of choice for the ‘live’ production of BBC Radio Four’s ‘Any Questions?’ on Friday 30th October.

The audience was packed with representatives from local, Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, UKIP and Green parties together with representatives from local authorities, community groups, healthcare organisations and charities.

The panel, chaired by Jonathan Dimbleby, comprised Lord Heseltine, Former Cabinet Minister Tristram Hunt, Former Shadow Educational Secretary, Suzanne Evans UKIP and Zoe Williams from the Guardian Newspaper. 

The event began with a ‘warm up’ question – which was the greater health hazard, ‘a bacon buttie’ or ‘smoking’? The number of questions submitted by those attending was considerable. The topics selected and debated by the panel covered the proposed Welfare cuts, the Lords and possible reform, Immigration and the Labour Party Leadership.

David Squires, a trustee of the Townsend Hall, said “We were delighted to host such a prominent BBC Radio Show. It was wonderful to see such a variety of opinions expressed and national topics debated within Shipston. This is one of many exciting events we have planned at the Townsend Hall and we encourage all residents to keep an eye on our website for details of all our events.”

For more information about events at the Townsend Hall, visit

Shipston turns out in force to remember the fallen

Remembrance ParadeDespite the threat of rain, Shipston residents, charities and community groups turned out in high numbers to mark Remembrance Sunday on 8th November.

The annual Remembrance parade, led in style by Shipston Town Band and the Shipston Branch of the Royal British Legion, involved many local groups including the Scouts,  Brownies, Beavers, St John’s Ambulance, Community First Responders and the Fire Service. The parade marched from the town centre to St Edmund’s Church for the laying of wreaths at the war memorial.

Reverend Andrew Colby led the Remembrance Service, during which the names of Shipston men who fell during the two World Wars were read out by students from Shipston High School. Armistice Day was also marked with a two minutes’ silence in the High Street at 11am on the 11th November.

Richard Adams, Chairman of the local branch of the Royal British Legion said: “I am very grateful to everyone who took part in remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. This is a very important event for our local community and it is very encouraging to see so many young people taking part in the parade and service alongside existing and former servicemen and women.”