March 2022

Crisis in Ukraine

Shipston Town Council is deeply disturbed at the events in Ukraine and we offer our deepest sympathy to the people of Ukraine. As a town council, we condemn this aggression and call upon President Putin to call off this assault. We know that residents will be worried for family and friends in Russia and Ukraine and want them to know that they have our sympathy, compassion and support.

We are aware of local residents who are arranging help for those affected and also of local events to raise funds to support the crisis.

Please contact us if there is any specific support we may be able to offer or if we can assist by sharing information to residents.

Ellen Badger redevelopment receives planning permission

Stratford-on-Avon District Council has granted planning permission for the first phase of new integrated healthcare facilities at the Ellen Badger Hospital site.

As well as bringing together the hospital and medical centre on the same site, the planned new development will offer a range of services including a Health and Wellbeing Centre and create shared spaces for community nursing teams and Shipston Home Nursing. There will also be outpatients and treatment rooms for physiotherapy, specialist nurses and other health professionals including mental health clinicians

Hilary Kelly joins Town Council

At the March meeting of Shipston Town Council, Hilary Kelly was co-opted to fill the last remaining vacancy on the Council.

“My husband Paul and I moved here from Cornwall nearly 13 years ago, mainly to be closer to family,” said Councillor Hilary Kelly.

“Since then I have become increasingly involved in town life, being an early member of the monthly litter-pick, volunteering with Holiday at Home and for some years helping with the children’s Holiday Club.

More recently I have taken on responsibility for the churchyard behind St Edmund’s Church to try to increase wildlife diversity.

I am passionate about our planet and the damage caused to it by the climate crisis, and I hope to serve the people of Shipston as a councillor to the best of my ability.”

Town Council Budget 2022-23

At its January meeting, the Town Council unanimously supported the Finance Working Group (FWG) recommendation to request an annual precept of £276,000 for the 2022-23 budget year. This is an increase of £16,000 over 2021-22 levels, however Ian Cooper chair of the FWG was keen to point out that the increase fully reflected the increase in the number of contributing properties in the Town, and there would therefore be no increase to the average “band D” Town Council element of the Council Tax bill.

The growth in the town over the past few years has necessitated increases in resources for the Town Council, and the budget for 2022-23 includes a provision to strengthen our admin team as well as adding to the level of service that we provide.

The Town Council is maintaining its strong support for organisations that support local community initiatives and which aim to provide identifiable benefits to the community. In addition, the Town Council has set aside money to provide for carrying out larger projects that are required to either protect, maintain or improve the assets of the town. Specifically, there are playground facilities and equipment that will need to be replaced or repaired, we will need to carry out repairs to the Cemetery Chapple and lodge, and we are looking to support projects to improve the Sports Club building, which is under the Town Councils responsibility.

The Town Council will continue to support those community organisations that provide benefits to our local community through grant awards, including Shipston Proms, who will be back again this year and the Town Band, who continue to support town events. Grants have also been recommended for Shipston in Bloom, Community First Responders, Shipston Angling Club, the WI and VASA, as well as funds to assist in the repair of the clock on St Edmunds Church.

We are presenting a challenging budget, with new projects and maintenance at levels not seen before for Shipston, and the hope that it will make a real difference for the Town.

 Town Council invests in new Queens Avenue play space

At the Town Council meeting on 14th February, plans to install new play equipment which will be installed at the Queens Avenue play area were approved.

The General Purposes Working Group led by Cllr Pete Cox has been working hard to remove unsafe equipment and meeting contractors to discuss new equipment for this area, exploring the potential for further improvements.

The Town Council are keen to hear from residents about how the rest of this space can be used and any further improvements that could be made to the park. Councillors are determined to provide a safe and secure space for everyone to use that will be cost-effective to manage and resilient in all weathers.

 20mph petition presented to County Council

On 9th February, a delegation from Shipston’s 20mph Campaign Group presented Cllr Wallace Redford, Warwickshire County Council Cabinet Member for Transport and Planning with a petition signed by 1,080 people from the town.

The petition requests the County Council implement a 20mph speed limit in Shipston subject to discussions with Highways Engineers.

Speedwatch Co-ordinator Jacey Jackson, said: “It was a positive experience talking with Cllr Redford, knowing that Cllr Barker is also taking an interest. Data from Automatic Speed Surveys on London and Stratford Roads are currently being analysed. Early indications are that they, together with data gathered since 2017 by the Shipston Community Speedwatch Team, support the petition for slower speeds through Shipston.”

Shipston Town Councillor John Dinnie, said: “Additional traffic calming and enforcement measures would also help to bring down speeds and make Shipston a more pleasant place to walk and cycle.”