February 2024

Fire consultation: your views matter

Plans for the future of Shipston’s Fire Station will now be heard in the town on 5th March, after Warwickshire County Council arranged an additional public consultation specially for Shipston.

As the Fire Authority, WCC has been running a public consultation and a series of events – initially only at Stratford, Kenilworth, Atherstone, Bedworth and Southam, with none in the south of the county – to give residents, businesses, community groups and public sector partners a say on Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Resourcing to Risk proposals.

The Shipston event was added after the Town Council made it clear that the town would like a voice on this hot topic. It will be held at Townsend Hall, from 6.30pm-8pm. Places are limited, so anyone wanting to attend must book a ticket. These are allocated on a first come, first served basis. If the event is fully booked, there will be an opportunity to join a waiting list.

Book on https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/warwickshire-fire-andrescue-76075908553/

The public consultation period runs until 10 March 2024. Find out more and respond to Warwickshire Fire and Rescue’s Resourcing to Risk on the consultation website: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/ask. It has detail on the proposed model, on-call availability data and response times.

WCC’s fire and rescue spokesman Cllr Andy Crump said: “This proposal [Resourcing to Risk] isn’t about cutting costs or closing fire stations. It’s about making sure that we’ve got our resource in the right place to make the best difference when an emergency happens.

“We’re keen to give people a chance to hear from us in person and to ask any questions they may have. No decisions will be made until the consultation is over, so we hope our residents will take this opportunity and join us at one of our information sessions to find out more.”

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Community Engagement spokesperson Gosia Zielinska says: “Everyone’s views matter! Take time to read all the information on the consultation website and complete the online survey. You can also email us on WFRSR2R@warwickshire.gov.uk if you have any questions about the consultation.”

New community orchard

An enthusiastic and willing band of 30 volunteers gathered early on a wintry but sunny Saturday morning in January to plant a new orchard at Cornmill Meadows, Shipston’s newest local wildlife site.

Cllr Hilary Kelly reported: “A mix of trees were planted to increase the biodiversity there. Thanks to Lawns2mow, the holes had already been dug, but compost had to be added to the soil, tree guards and tree ties had to be fitted and then a good helping of mulch added to help with moisture retention. Eventually apples, pears, plums, greengages and damsons will repay all our hard work.”

Revamp for Shipston Riverside

There has been good progress on the programme of work near the Bridge Car Park, designed to improve the riverside environment for wildlife and people.

Dead and dying trees have been taken out, along with thinning and coppicing done to help new growth. Lower branches have been removed from the large trees around the picnic area to let in more light. Two new octagonal picnic tables, one with a wheelchair accessible space, will be set in hard landscaping extending from the parking area. A new lowgrowing native hedge will be planted around the edge of the grassed area to define the boundary.

The next step is to plant young wildlife-friendly native trees at the top of the bank to establish a hedge alongside the new fence. In eight or ten years’ time, this hedge will be substantial enough to be laid in the traditional manner, and the fence will be removed, having done its job.

The work, due to be completed by the end of February in time for the nesting season, is being undertaken on behalf of the Town Council’s Heritage, Amenities and Leisure Projects working group (HALP), with the approval of the Environment Agency, Stratford District Council and Heart of England Forest.

HALP’s Verity Richardson said: “We have plans for an area of quiet reflection on the other side of the road, by The Old Mill, to include two new benches, some crab apple trees courtesy of Shipston Rotary Club, and a noticeboard with environmental information.

Meanwhile it is work in progress, so please bear with us. Thanks to years of wonderful work by Shipston Area Flood Action Group (SAFAG) and more recent water quality monitoring by volunteers led by Olivia Hatch, Stratford District Council’s Green Party member for Shipston North, our river and its environs are at last getting the attention they deserve.”