2016

10th Nov 2016

Shipston Neighbourhood Plan

Shipston Neighbourhood Plan : Statutory Consultation Notice

2nd Nov 2016

Consultation date set for Shipston's Draft Neighbourhood Plan

Shipston Neighbourhood Plan

Public consultation on the draft Shipston Neighbourhood Plan begins on the 7th November. This consultation gives residents the chance to have their say on the plan before it is submitted to the district council for review. 

The draft plan is the culmination of a huge amount of work, largely done by volunteers, to get under the skin of the main issues affecting Shipston in relation to planning, development and sustainability. It is designed to reflect the policies and projects which residents have indicated are local priorities and should guide future development in the town. If adopted, the plan will form part of a suite of formal documents which must be considered when assessing future planning applications.

 

The draft plan covers a variety of topics including making the riverside public land in the Mill Street area more attractive, accessible and valuable to residents, establishing wellbeing zones to improve access to and enjoyment of public open space and consideration of potential schemes to improve traffic flow in the town centre. 

The formal consultation notification is on page 11. It sets out how, and where, a copy of the plan may be viewed, together with how comments can be made.

Once the consultation period has ended (31st December), the feedback will be analysed and any relevant changes or alterations to the plan will be made before it is submitted to Stratford District Council.

The plan will then be reviewed by an Examiner, which may take some time to complete, before a public referendum takes place. It will be for local residents to decide, through the referendum, whether they would like to adopt the Neighbourhood Plan.

Mayor, Ronnie Murphy, said: “I am extremely grateful to the members of the public who have volunteered to do all   research and public consultation needed to develop this draft plan for our town. Now, it is for us as residents to do our bit. I strongly encourage you to take the time to read and comment on the draft plan.”

Progress reports will continue to be included in future editions of the Forum. For more information and to view the draft plan (from 7th November) visit www.shipstonnp.org

1st Nov 2016

The whiff of frustration as dog mess mounts up

There has been a significant increase in the amount of dog mess left on pavements and public fields in recent weeks. In response, the town council has instigated use of the town’s CCTV to catch irresponsible pet owners and is calling on residents to name and shame those who don’t pick up after their pet.

Having previously welcomed dogs, the Sheldon Bosley Hub has been forced to issue a warning that they may have to close off access to their fields for dog walking if the situation doesn’t improve. Residents have been calling on dog owners to do the right thing: ”Please do not reduce a very limited choice of such space for dogs to exercise in Shipston to nil. We need you on our side. If we ALL clear up we can ALL use this field. Don’t disappoint us please”, one comment on Facebook reads. 

Shipston Rugby Club has already instigated a ban on dogs on the pitches, although dogs can be exercised along the path to the left of the pitch.

Mayor, Ronnie Murphy, said: “It is extremely frustrating that we are all being affected by a handful of irresponsible dog owners. Thankfully the majority of people do clear up after their pets. But in light of news that some areas may be closed off to all dogs, we are encouraging residents to name and shame those who don’t clean up. The Town Council has run public awareness campaigns thanks to volunteers giving up time to raise awareness of the issue but we need residents to get involved.”

If owners are caught not cleaning up after their pet, they can be fined or prosecuted. Shipston has access to the Dog Warden at Stratford District Council who is happy to support enforcement where evidence can be provided. 

For more information on how to report an irresponsible dog owner, please contact the Town Clerk on clerk@shipstononline.org or 01608 662180.

2nd Sep 2016

Community comes together to give Ethan Suglo a lifesaving opportunity

Thanks in large part to the generosity of the local community, three year-old Ethan Suglo has received life saving surgery and is recovering well.

Ethan came to the attention of Shipston doctor, David Williams, when he was visiting his daughter in Ghana. Ethan was suffering with a condition which, if left untreated, would  be fatal within a couple of years. Unable to secure the surgery needed  in Ghana, Dr Williams, working with charity ‘Willing and Abel’ asked for the community’s help in raising funds to bring Ethan to the UK for surgery.

In just a few weeks, the fundraising target had been reached, with over £55,000 raised in total, and Ethan was on his way to Britain accompanied by his Dad, Charles. Ethan’s surgery took place a few weeks ago at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. He is convalescing locally with the Williams family.

Dr Williams said: “Clearly Ethan has had major surgery but he’s recovering extremely well and we are really pleased with his progress.  As long as there are no complications he should be able to fly home in September.

“I would like to thank all those who got behind our fundraising efforts which has enabled us to give Ethan a future. He’s a fantastic little boy and it’s been lovely getting to know him,” Dr Williams added.

1st Sep 2016

Shipston Town Council considers options for new green spaces in Shipston

Exciting proposals for two potential projects to enhance public open spaces in Shipston are currently being considered by Shipston Town Council.

With a planning application about to be submitted for a care home and extra care housing on Tilemans Lane, the council has been asked to consider options for section 106 funding for open spaces should the application be approved. Initial ideas for two schemes were put forward at the August council meeting, one to improve the open space at Mill Street car park and one to create a new tranquility garden at the London Road Cemetery.

The Mill Street option would include landscaping the green area, clever planting and the creation of hedgerow ‘windows’ to allow people to enjoy the views across the river. Additional seating could also be installed to create an attractive area for picnics, making a welcoming space for residents and visitors alike. 

The idea of a tranquillity garden at the London Road Cemetery was sparked by a similar project in Stratford. The garden would be a peaceful place to visit and remember loved ones, with space for ash burial pots or the scattering of ashes and quiet areas for reflection. There would also be the option to purchase memorial plaques which would be carefully situated around the garden. 

Mayor, Ronnie Murphy, said: “Both ideas would be of real benefit to Shipston, offering people of all ages the opportunity to spend more time outdoors, relaxing and enjoying beautiful and peaceful surroundings. We are currently looking into the costs to find out what is possible should the funding become available, including whether both schemes could be progressed over time. We will keep residents updated on the next steps.”

In the meantime, St Edmund’s Church is helping to provide access to green spaces in the town by once again opening up its churchyard, following a very successful trial in June. The churchyard will be open daily from 9am to 5pm on the 10th to 30th September.

3rd Aug 2016

Shipston Town Council unveils new look for website

The Shipston Town Council website has been thoroughly refreshed and redesigned to make it even easier to find the information you need. The bright, clear website is easy to navigate and contains useful information about the town.

The website is being launched with a new address to clearly identify it as a town council website and can be found at www.shipstontowncouncil.org. 

New to the website is a ‘Helpful Hints’ section, offering tips and advice on a range of common issues such as highway faults, litter, dog fouling and allotments. You can even find out how to report consistent non delivery of the Forum or what to do if your neighbour’s hedge is becoming a nuisance.

Commenting on the redesign, Peter White, Chair of the Communications Working Group, said: “We wanted to make sure we were providing residents with the most useful information. The helpful hints section covers some of the questions most frequently received by the office so that people can find the information they need quickly and easily.”

Also new to the site is the option to read current and back issues of the Shipston Forum online, in full colour. 

In addition to the new features, residents can still access news and events information as well as council documents and links to the council’s social media pages.

 

1st Aug 2016

Stratford District Council Core Strategy is finally approved

Stratford District Council has formally approved the long-awaited Core Strategy for Stratford on Avon District. 

The planning document, which sets the blueprint for development within the district over the next 15 years, has been in development for some time, with various consultations and amendments required along the way. The adopted strategy will form the starting point for the determination of future planning applications.

District Councillor and Leader of Stratford-on-Avon District Council, Chris Saint, said: “Stratford District has reached a key stage in its planning history.  This is what we have been working towards - providing the planning vision for the next 15 years across the District.”

The news is significant for Shipston as it is likely to directly impact the number of major planning applications that are approved by the district council. The Core Strategy states that Shipston should expect to accommodate a minimum of approximately 500 homes during the plan period (to 2031). These have already received planning approval. This number does not include extra care homes, of which 138 have already been approved for Shipston. The town may also be expected to accommodate a small number of additional homes during the later part of the plan period. 

Mayor, Ronnie Murphy, said: “The adoption of the Core Strategy is good news for Shipston. Without this document we have been unable to protect our town from large scale developments. 

“Going forward, this planning policy, together with our own emerging Neighbourhood Plan, should put Shipston in a much stronger position to ensure we get the right type and scale of development in future.”

24th Jul 2016

Shipston Proms fortnight delights the crowds

Shipston promsThe 18th Shipston Proms fortnight once again drew the crowds to Shipston and surrounding villages as people took the opportunity to hear the wide range of music on offer.

Culminating in a finale which celebrated local bands including Kinky Farnham and Wired, the Proms ran from 17th June to the 2nd July, packing in over 30 separate musical events along the way. Firm favourites such as the ‘Songs from the shows’ and the ‘Fame Contest’ were held alongside new events  including a Ceilidh with local band ’16 Strings and a Dead Goat’ as well as the first performance of newly-formed U3A jazz band, Incognito.

Like many local events, Shipston Proms is only made possible thanks to the hard work of a committed band of volunteers, headed by Tim Porter who has led the committee for 18 years. Tim is now stepping down as chair, with Alan Thompson taking up the reigns for 2017. 

Mayor, Ronnie Murphy, said: “On behalf of my fellow councillors and local residents, I would like to thank the Proms committee for the exceptional work they do to make this wonderful two week festival happen every year. In my opinion, this year’s event was the best yet and it was wonderful to see so many young people getting involved. 

“Our particular thanks go to Tim Porter for leading the Proms for so many years. We are delighted Alan Thompson is stepping forward to take up the reigns and look forward to another wonderful event next year.”

Photo by Chris Roberts, WiderView Photo PR

 

24th Jul 2016

Cautious green light from town councillors for new care home

New care homeA planning application for a 60 bed care home and 12 ‘extra care’ dwellings on the former Turbine Bladings site on Tilemans Lane has been cautiously welcomed by Shipston Town Council. The formal application made to Stratford District Council follows initial consultation with Shipston Town Council and local residents earlier in the year.

Plans include landscaping and parking, with the design structured to enable care for patients with dementia, those in need of nursing care and/or residential care.

Concerns were raised about safe access given the proximity to the primary school and other local businesses. As a result, the town council is likely to request a pedestrian crossing to improve safety, as well as imposing restrictions on when deliveries can be made to the site.

Following detailed discussions, town councillors voted to support the planning application subject to a series of conditions which will be submitted to the district council’s planning team. 

 

24th Jul 2016

Shipston Town Council unveils new website

The Shipston Town Council website has been thoroughly refreshed and redesigned to make it even easier to find the information you need. The bright, clear website is easy to navigate and contains useful information about the town.

The website is being launched with a new address to clearly identify it as a town council website and can be found at www.shipstontowncouncil.org. 

New to the website is a ‘Helpful Hints’ section, offering tips and advice on a range of common issues such as highway faults, litter, dog fouling and allotments. You can even find out how to report consistent non delivery of the Forum or what to do if your neighbour’s hedge is becoming a nuisance.

Commenting on the redesign, Peter White, Chair of the Communications Working Group, said: “We wanted to make sure we were providing residents with the most useful information. The helpful hints section covers some of the questions most frequently received by the office so that people can find the information they need quickly and easily.”

Also new to the site is the option to read current and back issues of the Shipston Forum online, in full colour. 

In addition to the new features, residents can still access news and events information as well as council documents and links to the council’s social media pages.

24th Jul 2016

Stratford District Core Strategy finally approved

Core StrategyStratford District Council has formally approved the long-awaited Core Strategy for Stratford on Avon District. 

The planning document, which sets the blueprint for development within the district over the next 15 years, has been in development for some time, with various consultations and amendments required along the way. The adopted strategy will form the starting point for the determination of future planning applications.

District Councillor and Leader of Stratford-on-Avon District Council, Chris Saint, said: “Stratford District has reached a key stage in its planning history.  This is what we have been working towards - providing the planning vision for the next 15 years across the District.”

The news is significant for Shipston as it is likely to directly impact the number of major planning applications that are approved by the district council. The Core Strategy states that Shipston should expect to accommodate a minimum of approximately 500 homes during the plan period (to 2031). These have already received planning approval. This number does not include extra care homes, of which 138 have already been approved for Shipston. The town may also be expected to accommodate a small number of additional homes during the later part of the plan period. 

Mayor, Ronnie Murphy, said: “The adoption of the Core Strategy is good news for Shipston. Without this document we have been unable to protect our town from large scale developments. 

“Going forward, this planning policy, together with our own emerging Neighbourhood Plan, should put Shipston in a much stronger position to ensure we get the right type and scale of development in future.”

30th Jun 2016

What's on for young people in Shipston this summer?

The summer holidays are fast approaching and thanks to various organisations in Shipston, there are plenty of activities to help keep young people occupied throughout the break.

There are lots of ways to stay active. Shipston Tennis Club is holding mini tennis camps for 5-11 year olds for three weeks from 25th July (weekdays only). The courses run from 10am-1pm and cost £11 for members, £15 for non-members. Each session covers a new area of tennis using drills, group exercises and other techniques. To book, please contact Jose – 07969 055032 or jolilian24@yahoo.com. All equipment will be provided. Places are limited so please book early.

Everyone Active will be offering intensive courses to perfect those swimming skills. For full details of what is on offer, contact Shipston Leisure Centre on 662354.

Support Sport Minigames is making a comeback, this time holding multisports, dance and football courses at the Sheldon Bosley Hub. Running on weekdays from 25th July to 2nd September, the main activities take place from 10am to 3pm, with early drop off and late pick available on request. For details and to book, call 0247 722 0290 or email booking@supportsport.org. 

Shipston Archery Club is hoping to offer a six-lesson beginners course during the summer which will bring newcomers up to club level. Details are still being finalised. Please contact David Beeton via dgrb@rocketmail.com.

For those wanting to get creative, Calypso Kids will be running a series of family fun days at the Townsend Hall. The sessions will offer a mixture of music for younger children and crafts for older kids. For more details including dates, please visit www.calypsokids.co.uk.

The popular Children’s Holiday Club, open to all primary school children, is once again being held in St. Edmund’s Church from July 26th to 29th between 10am until 12.30pm. Costing just £2 per morning, this fun club includes stories, games and crafts all based around the film Toy Story.  For more information see the ad on page 8 or contact Rosemary on 662584.

30th Jun 2016

Event season is in full swing in Shipston

WOOL FAIRThe spring and summer events season is well underway in Shipston, thanks to crowd-pleasing events such as the Wool Fair, Shipston Proms and Fish ‘n’ Frolics weekend.

At the end of May, Shipston celebrated its woolly heritage with a series of special events including a Totally Locally arts and crafts market, Jazz concert and  the Wool Fair itself. The Wool Fair photography competition was won by John Smith (adult category) and Noah Wilcox (children’s category), while everyone was wowed by the fabulous sheep-themed fancy dress competition entrants. Attracting hundreds of residents and visitors across the weekend, the events proved extremely popular, and set the tone for a busy calendar of community activities to come.

The 17th June saw the official launch of the Shipston Proms which is now in full swing. Events as varied as a traditional Ceilidh, children’s concerts, jazz and samba bands make up the varied programme which has already attracted lots of visitors to the town.

On the 2nd July, residents and visitors are expected to flock to the town square for the Last Night of the Proms. This free annual event is popular with all ages. This year, the event will be ‘Goin’ Local’ to celebrate talent close to home. Bands including Kinky Farnham and Wired will headline the night, with the winners of this year’s Fame contest also performing live.

There will be a short pause for breath before the next big event in the town – the annual Fish ‘n’ Frolics event held by Shipston Angling Club. This three-day festival starts on Friday 29th July at Shipston Sports Club. Having joined forces with Picnic on the Pitch, this year’s event will have even more to offer including live music and lots of activities for all the family. 

In the meantime, the organisers of Shipston’s Food Festival are already making great headway with their plans for this year’s festival, which will take place on the 18th September.

Commenting on the impressive line up of activities in 2016, Mayor, Ronnie Murphy, said: “We are very fortunate in this town that there are so many people willing to give up their time to put on these wonderful events. As a Wool Fair volunteer, I know just how much time and effort these events require and I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who helps ensure there is plenty of entertainment on offer throughout the year for Shipston residents”.

30th Jun 2016

Your town council supporting local events

Most of Shipston’s community events are organised and run by volunteers. Shipston Town Council actively supports many events through a mixture of grants and voluntary work, as well as organising one-off events such as the Queen’s Birthday Beacon and Fireworks.

The Wool Fair receives funding and administrative support, with two town councillors and the Town Clerk actively involved. The Shipston Proms also receives funding, while two councillors take an active role in organising the event. 

Both the Fish ‘n’ Frolics and Food Festivals receive grants from the town council and the Shipston Victorian Evening is also actively supported by the council through grant funding and voluntary support.

These and other events are also given free advertising via the town council website, social media and Shipston Forum to help attract visitors.

Mayor, Ronnie Murphy, said: “Supporting the community in putting on local events is an important part of the council’s role. These events contribute to the vitality of the town, offering entertainment and attracting visitors which support our local businesses.”

 

9th Jun 2016

Shipston welcomes new Mayor, Ronnie Murphy

New MayorThe Town Council meeting in May saw the election of Ronnie Murphy to the role of Mayor of Shipston. This is the second time Ronnie has served as Mayor of the town. Following two nominations and a ballot in which the Mayor had the casting vote, Alison Henderson was appointed Deputy Mayor.

In handing over her Mayoral chain, former Mayor, Jackie Warner, thanked all those who had supported her and invited her to events during her time in office. Her highlights included being mistaken for Queen Victoria at the Shipston Victorian Evening, getting to know the other local mayors and HM The Queen’s birthday celebrations.

In accepting her new role as Mayor, Ronnie Murphy set out her priorities for the year ahead, including the completion of the Neighbourhood Plan; investigating the possibility of a walking/jogging track around the perimeter of the sports field on London Road; and seeing the town council achieve the National Association of Local Councils Gold Standard. 

Ronnie Murphy led the thanks to Jackie Warner for leading the town council over the past 12 months.

 

9th Jun 2016

Birthday Beacon proves a big success

BeaconCrowds of residents of all ages flocked to the top of Whaddon Farm on 21 April to celebrate HM The Queen’s 90th birthday.

In what proved to be a delightful community celebration, the free event gave people of all ages the chance to experience some of the best views of Shipston, including seeing five other local beacons alight in neighbouring towns and villages. Not content with just lighting a beacon, Shipston took its celebrations a step further with an impressive fireworks display made possible thanks to fundraising by the then Mayor, Jackie Warner, and Deputy Mayor, Ronnie Murphy.

Former Mayor, Jackie Warner, said: “It was wonderful to see so many people joining in the celebrations for The Queen’s birthday and a special treat for me as it was one of my last events as Mayor. Thank you to all those who worked so hard to make the event possible, including our wonderful beacon builders and Shipston Rotary for manning the car park.” 

(photos by Dan Scobie)

beacon watchers

9th Jun 2016

Ever dreamed of being a fire fighter?

fireWarwickshire Fire and Rescue Service are currently recruiting to Shipston Fire station. Town councillor, Dan Scobie, was recently invited to spend an evening at the fire station with Watch Commander, Mike Jones and his crew, to find out what’s involved and the challenges the Service faces to recruit retained firefighters.

“We’re looking to recruit firefighters that live or work in Shipston who can be on standby for anything from 40 to 120 hours per week” Mike explained. “Currently we’re relying on cover from outside of Shipston, so we need to recruit more firefighters from within the community”.

“We have a crew of 8 at the moment, which means we’ve got at least 4 vacancies we need to fill.  We take people from 18 and there is no upper age limit, you just need to be fit and healthy and ready to respond to the call” Mike added. 

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue offers a high standard of training to all recruits, which includes first aid training and First Person on Scene.  As well as being able to fight fires, retained firefighters are a real asset to the community, and have been called on to provide valuable first aid while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

Retained firefighters need to live or work close to Shipston Fire Station. For more information on being a retained firefighter log onto http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/beextraordinary 

Alternatively call Leeanna Kostka on (01926) 852223.

 

2nd May 2016

Shipston Award presented to Barbara Bean

Mayor Jackie Warner was delighted to present local resident, Barbara Bean with the Shipston Award at the Annual Town Meeting last month. 

Barbara has worked voluntarily at the primary school for 23 years, she is a former teacher and enjoys helping the younger children progress with their reading.  

Barbara was also a founder member of the Shipston Widows Group which has become a lifeline for many of the ladies in town who are newly widowed and need to rebuild their network without their sadly missed life partners.  The group has gone from strength to strength, with Barbara arranging many events and supporting new members of the group.

Mayor, Jackie Warner, said: “Barbara is a very worthy recipient of the Shipston Award for voluntary work in the town. She has supported many young children with their reading - including my own – and provides valuable support to those who have lost their partners. Congratulations on your award, Barbara.” 

 

2nd May 2016

Whipping up a wonderful woolly weekend in Shipston

Shipston is set to host its best ever Wool Fair this month, with woolly celebrations taking place across the bank holiday weekend (28-30th May).

Now in its eighth year, the Shipston Wool Fair has become the highlight of the spring calendar in the town. Free to attend, the fair provides an opportunity to celebrate Shipston’s important sheep and wool heritage, as well as providing a fun-packed day out for families.

This year the Wool Fair Committee has combined forces with Shipston’s Totally Locally team and other clubs to provide a busy bank holiday weekend of activities to suit all ages.

Beginning on Saturday 28th, Totally Locally will be holding an Arts & Crafts fair from 10am to 4pm in Sheep Street and The Bury. The market will bring together talented crafts people and artists from Shipston and surrounding areas, offering unique retail therapy, with local musicians and Calypso Music adding to the entertainment.

In the evening, head to St Edmund’s Church for a French style Jazz concert at 7:30pm. Tickets cost just £10 and are available by calling 07957 709937 or on the door.

Sunday 29th sees the return of the Rotary Songs of Praise – a wonderful opportunity for the community to get together for a light hearted afternoon of hymns, songs, readings, poems and music. To take part, head to St Edmund’s Church for 3pm.

Throughout the weekend, entries to the Wool Fair photography competition will be on display at St Edmund’s. The competition is designed to celebrate Shipston’s heritage and the winner will have their photo professionally framed by Foxwist Picture Framers. For details, visit www.shipstonwoolfair.co.uk 

Finally, and most importantly, the Wool Fair itself will be rounding off the weekend in style. On Bank Holiday Monday 30th, the town centre will be transformed into a woolly wonderland, complete with show ring allowing local farmers to parade their rare breed sheep before they are sheared in front of a captive audience. Alongside the sheep showcase will be spinning and felting demonstrations, live entertainment, games and activities, while stallholders and local shops will have plenty of treats to purchase. 

Fresh food from lamb burgers to local ice cream will be available to buy, so it’s a perfect opportunity to sample artisan produce and locally-reared meat.

The Wool Fair opens at 10am and closes at 4pm. To find out more visit www.shipstonwoolfair.co.uk 

 

2nd May 2016

Calling all residents - can you help Ethan?

The urgent plight of three year-old Ethan from Ghana has become a local priority thanks to the passion and commitment of local GP, Dr David Williams, and his family. 

Dr Williams met Ethan last year when visiting his daughter who was volunteering in Ghana. Ethan was born with a severe abdominal defect, meaning many of his vital organs are outside of his stomach lining. Had he been born in the UK, this would have been resolved with an operation shortly after birth with no ongoing problems. Without the expertise or resources available in his home country, however, Ethan is now in urgent need of life-saving surgery.

Dr Williams was determined to find a way to help Ethan. Thanks to support from a charity called Willing and Abel, an Oxford-based surgeon has agreed to operate in the UK and Ethan and his father will stay with the Williams’ family while Ethan recovers from his operation. 

Surgery of this kind outside of the NHS is expensive and a lump sum of £25,000 plus travel costs is needed to allow the operation to go ahead. Willing and Abel have pledged £10,000 with the rest needing to come from donations. Local residents have already thrown themselves into various fundraising efforts and there are lots of ways you can support Ethan’s cause. A cake sale raised well in excess of £300, donations have been flooding in and many people have signed up to do activities to raise money.

Donation tins and information can be found at Shipston Medical Centre, Lloyds Bank as well as in some shops around the town. To donate online, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/someonespecial/ethan 

Dr Williams is keen to hear from anyone who wants to run their own fundraising initiative – to share your ideas, please email davidcornercottage@gmail.com or to find out more about what’s already planned, visit https://www.facebook.com/ethansuglo25000 

Dr Williams said: “I see this as an opportunity for our community to help save the life of a little boy and the positive response from local residents has been overwhelming. Thanks to everyone’s generosity, we have already raised over £10,000 and the surgery is within our grasp. I’d like to thank everyone for their support.“

In the happy event that fundraising exceeds the target needed for Ethan’s surgery and aftercare, any remaining donations will be used by Willing and Abel to support other children in urgent need of help.

 

22nd Feb 2016

Birthday Beacon to light up Shipston in April

BeaconShipston is to build a beacon to commemorate The Queen’s 90th birthday on Thursday 21st April.

Along with many other towns and villages across the UK, Shipston will light a beacon as part of the public celebrations of the Queen’s birthday. In addition, at the request of Mayor, Jackie Warner, the town hopes to host a special fireworks display alongside the beacon-lighting. The plan is to create a memorable occasion suitable for all the family.

Shipston has a proud history of building beacons, under the watchful eye of Sid Peachey who passed away recently. Having shared his expertise with other local residents, it is hoped that the April beacon will also be a fitting tribute to Sid’s legacy.

To raise money to fund the fireworks, a special Beacon Bingo night is being held on the 27th February at the Sheldon Bosley Hub (see the advert on page 8). With all efforts being made to secure fantastic prizes, residents are being urged to support the event to help raise as much as possible to make the Queen’s birthday celebrations go off with a real bang.

Jackie Warner said: “This is something I want to do for the town – it’s an important occasion which is why I’d like to see us make it extra special with fireworks to accompany the beacon. Rather than approach the council to fund the event, we are hoping to cover some or all of the costs through our fundraising bingo night.”

More information about the timing of the Beacon and Fireworks event will be published in the April edition of the Shipston Forum. 

 

22nd Feb 2016

Councillors call on residents to help get Shipston Clean for the Queen

Clean for the QueenThe first weekend in March could see the UK’s largest ever spring clean as towns and villages across the country get Clean for The Queen.

As part of HM The Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations, Shipston residents are being urged to join the town’s regular litter picking volunteers to give Shipston extra shine this month.

Thanks to the launch of the Proud of My Town Campaign by Councillor Fay Ivens four years ago, Shipston already has a loyal band of litter pickers which meet every month. In addition to occasional helpers, the Proud of My Town team regularly attracts ten people, some of whom have been coming since day one. Armed with litter picking sticks and black bags, they make short work of tidying the town.

Thanks to their efforts, combined with the regular work undertaken by the council’s cleansing contractor, litter is at a low level in Shipston, with only a few problem areas around the town. Nevertheless, the team would be delighted to welcome more volunteers for a right Royal clean-up on 5th March.  Simply turn up at New Clark House at 10am – equipment and refreshments will be provided.

For more information, please contact Fay Ivens or Georgina Beaumont on 01608 662180.

 

22nd Feb 2016

Nominate your local heroes for the Shipston Award

Shipston AwardAre you in awe of what your neighbour, friend or colleague does for charity? Then now is the time to seek recognition for what they do.

Shipston Town Council is calling on residents to nominate people for the annual Shipston Award. The award recognises the contribution an individual makes to the local community in a voluntary capacity. Nominating is easy and could result in your hero receiving formal recognition for their work.

Town councillors will review the nominations in April, with the winner being announced at the Annual Town Meeting in April.

To nominate, download the form from www.shipstononline.org or send a letter including the name and contact details of the nominee and why you’re nominating them to New Clark House, West Street or clerk@shipstononline.org.

Nominations close on 31st March 2016.

25th Jan 2016

Shipston's Emerging Neighbourhood Plan

Open spaceFollowing months of research, analysis and community engagement, Shipston now has an emerging Neighbourhood Plan (NP). Within the next few weeks, the NP team intends to put together the draft plan drawing on the work completed to date and the feedback from members of the public and other stakeholders. It is now more important than ever to have your say on what will be a vital document in contributing to future planning policy for the town.

The open day held in December enabled many residents to understand and give feedback on the emerging plan. Further drop-in sessions for local clubs,  businesses, councillors and NP team members from nearby parishes held in January have provided additional opportunities to gain feedback and discuss policy options. 

With a feedback questionnaire due to arrive through letterboxes with the Midweek newspaper in February, some of the key information from the Open Day has been summarised in the first few pages of this month’s Shipston Forum. The proposals are still in draft and are subject to change. Please take this opportunity to read the information and have your say, either via the household questionnaire or by getting directly involved with the plan process by contacting the team via np@shipstononline.org or 01608 662180.

What’s it all about?

A Neighbourhood Plan is a community-led framework for guiding the future development, regeneration and conservation of an area.  Being part of the statutory Development Plan for its wider Local Authority area, it carries far more weight than  town plans and design statements and, once adopted, can be a powerful tool for shaping a neighbourhood’s future.

A Neighbourhood Plan is about the use and development of land, and may also deal with issues that are of relevance to the local community. Shipston’s NP team focuses on five important themes:  Housing, Environment, Infrastructure, Flood Risk and Economy, seeking to address such challenges as an ever-increasing population as yet unmatched by additional infrastructure provision, the decline in local employment opportunities, the threat of further flooding episodes and the impact of recent development on the townscape and rural landscape settings.

For more information about the objectives of the plan and the emerging proposals, read the special feature in the February Shipston Forum - http://www.shipstononline.org/shipston-forum.html 

1st Jan 2016

New Year, New Resolution- Could You Volunteer?

Churches summer clubFrom getting fit to giving up smoking, the start of a New Year is traditionally seen as an ideal time to try something new. This year, Shipston Town Council is encouraging residents to add volunteering to their 2016 resolutions to help the town’s many local community groups and charities thrive.

Shipston is awash with groups and activities designed to help others. These range from providing opportunities to learn new skills and share common interests to life-saving services and vital support groups. In some cases, these groups support the work of the NHS and social care services, including helping people with conditions such as dementia or visual impairments, as well as those who have suffered a bereavement. 

Shipston’s youngest residents benefit significantly from the efforts of volunteers who run scout groups, brownies, church groups, St John’s Ambulance and Young Firefighters to name a few. In addition, the sports clubs rely heavily on volunteer coaches as well as committee members who can help run and fundraise for the clubs.

While fundraising is a key part of maintaining many of these facilities, time is one of the most valuable donations they can receive. For example, scouts are desperate for more volunteers to help run groups, particularly for older age groups (10-18 year olds). The rugby club needs coaches, the Royal British Legion always welcomes Poppy Appeal collectors and Stour Valley Lions are looking for new members to help them continue to support many local charities and events.

Projects such as the Neighbourhood Plan and the Shipston Area Flood Awareness Group have only been able to progress thanks to the considerable input of volunteers – and the town council itself is dependent on residents being prepared to volunteer to be a councillor.

Mayor, Jackie Warner, said: “Shipston owes much of its community spirit and its impressive range of clubs and services to the generosity of those who give up their time to make all this possible. Not everyone is in a position to make a regular commitment but many of us can find at least some time to help, and it can be extremely rewarding work.” 

Whether it’s an hour a month or a day a week, there are many different ways you can help your local community. To find out more about how you can contribute, either contact one of the local groups you would like to support or ask the Town Clerk for more information via clerk@shipstononline.org. 

1st Jan 2016

Clubs and societies set to benefit from town council grants

Shipston Town CouncilShipston Town Council has voted to award grants worth a total of £15,300 to community groups in the town. The grants, for the financial year April 2016-March 2017, were agreed following careful consideration of the bids put forward.

From running town events to supporting those affected by illness, the grants will help ensure a number of community groups can continue to provide the wide variety of services and support residents have come to rely on.

Grants of varying amounts have been awarded to the following groups:

• Shipston Cancer Support: a newly formed group operating a drop in centre to support those affected by cancer

• Shipston Community First Responders: to reinsure and tax the charity’s emergency response vehicle

• Shipston in Bloom: To provide plants and equipment for floral displays in the town throughout the year

• Shipston Sports Club: To enable the refurbishment of toilets in main club house

• Shipston & District Angling Club: Supporting the club’s Fish ‘n Frolics three day festival in 2016

• Stratford Citizens Advice Bureau: Supporting the continuation of weekly outreach and advice services in Shipston

• Townsend Hall: Funding to replace the chairs in the hall

• VASA: Supporting the provision of transport for residents to medical appointments

• Wool Fair: Support to enable the event to continue for the benefit of the town and visitors

• Shipston Proms: Funding to help ensure the success of Shipston Proms 2016

Chair of the Finance Working Group, Ian Cooper, said: “We are delighted to be in a position to increase the amount of funding offered to these groups, a total increase of almost £2,000 compared with the grants given in the current financial year.”

1st Jan 2016

Residents help shape Shipston's Future at Open Day

Over 200 residents answered the call to attend the Neighbourhood Plan Open Day in December, making the most of a vital opportunity to have their say on emerging options.

The Neighbourhood Plan is a community-led development plan intended to guide future development in the town to 2031. Once adopted, it will become part of the planning process for future developments alongside the district council’s Core Strategy, which is due to be adopted by mid 2016. While the focus of the plan is on future development, it also considers the implications of major developments recently approved in the town, one of which includes proposals for a supermarket, petrol station and improved medical centre. The neighbourhood plan will consider the likely impact of these developments on infrastructure and flood risk.  

The informal consultation event consisted of a detailed display showcasing the various issues the Neighbourhood Planning team has been addressing. As well as highlighting key themes within each of the main topics - environment, economy, housing, flooding and infrastructure – residents were invited to consider initial recommendations and record their views.

Members of the team, including residents, town and district councillors were on hand to answer questions and debate options, with feedback from the public added to the display throughout the day. These comments, together with the completed feedback forms will considered by the team as part of the next phase.

Martin Ferrier, town councillor and Neighbourhood Plan volunteer, said: “We were delighted to see so many people at the open day, many of whom took the time to fully engage with the team and give really useful input which will help us shape the next stage of the plan.” 

Deputy Mayor, Ronnie Murphy, said: “I would like to congratulate the Neighbourhood Plan team on such a well run and informative event. It is clear that a great deal of hard work has gone into getting the plan to this stage and it was good to see residents having their say.”

Despite the success of the event, the NP team is very keen to receive a wide range of views and is urging all residents to respond to the household questionnaire which will be arriving with the Midweek newspaper in early February.

To view copies of the draft plan and policies, please visit www.shipstonnp.org or email the team at np@shipstononline.org for more information.