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After 11 years of staging the fabulous Shipston Wool Fair it is with sadness that the Wool Fair committee has taken a unanimous decision to discontinue the event.

As many of you are aware, the logistics of putting on such events is no mean feat, both in the huge volume of work that is involved and the sheer numbers of people - some with specialist skills in the agricultural sector - required to pull it off.

Forging links to its past as an old - “Scepwaestune”- Sheepwashtown - the Wool Fair has been an enormous success. It has raised awareness of Shipston’s history and links with the Wool Industry and local farming community; provided local craftspeople with the opportunity to show and sell their wares; enabled local musicians entertain and created a community event catering for all ages.

The committee would like to sincerely thank all the many people who have been involved in helping make the Wool Fair possible each year. The event simply couldn’t have happened without all the dedication and hard work contributed by a wide array of volunteers from our local community.

Tim was co-opted as a member of Shipston Town Council at the September meeting.

I moved to the Shipston area some 18 years ago from the big smoke (London).

I currently live in Hanson Avenue with my fiancee Caroline, two sons and a very young daughter. Caroline works at Greenfields Nursery and our son has just started in Reception at Shipston Primary School so we are well and truly embedded in the town which we proudly call our home.

So why join Shipston Town Council? Well, I felt that I would like to use some of my work skills to help make our amazing town more resilient for our future generations plus I get frustrated seeing so many moans and groans that I thought why not try and help.

Some of you may already know me as the “Three bed house man” – so the story goes during lockdown we were urgently looking for a private rental and I literally bombarded local social media pages asking for a house. It worked and we finally found one. So lesson learnt constant pestering can help you get what you want.

I’m a lover of most forms of music, I DJ at local events, I like to refresh myself in our amazing drinking establishments, I like to keep things local to help support our economy, I’m passionate about the climate and how we leave it for our children and our children’s children, I want to see safer routes to schools, the right infrastructure for the town given all the growth that has occurred, great accessibility routes for users of pushchairs, mobility scooters & cyclists within Shipston whilst retaining a fair and equitable environment that takes into account the needs of everyone. Oh and I have two rescue donkeys called Fifi and Honkey and I’m mad about a specific brand of 4x4 that have a very large head office near the M40 (sorry Greta).

That’s me in a nutshell. I welcome conversations with members of the town to discuss how you feel we can make things better. You can contact me by emailing tim.shickle@shipstontowncouncil.org

If you have really strong feelings about our amazing town why not use that fire in your belly and come and join the Town Council to help make a difference to the place where we live and love. There are still vacancies if you would like to join.

South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) are currently undertaking a review of the inpatient beds at the community hospitals: Ellen Badger and the Nicol Unit at Stratford Hospital.

SWFT told us: “The focus of this review is to ensure we are providing the services that meet the health and care needs of the people of south Warwickshire, both now and in years to come. The first stage of the review has been exploring previous, current, and future use of the community hospital beds. We have been working with Healthwatch Warwickshire to gather the views of previous and potential patients regarding the inpatient services. We are very grateful to Healthwatch and everyone who took their time to share their views and experiences.”

We were asked to gather and analyse the views of past and potential patients about their experience, or hypothetical needs in relation to community bed provision in South Warwickshire.

We heard from over 500 people, and the feedback received was largely positive. It is clear that the community beds provision is a highly valued service. Some people told us that they felt it was an appropriate way to transition between an acute stay in hospital and returning home. Others told us how they valued being close to home, and family and friends so that they could visit; and the benefits of the smaller nature of community hospitals as opposed to larger hospitals which can be hard to navigate your way around.

Full reports of the surveys conducted by Healthwatch can be found here:

https://www.healthwatchwarwickshire.co.uk/report/2021-09-20/south-warwickshire-community-beds-review

At the August meeting of the Town Council, Councillor Marianne Westwood was unanimously elected as the new Deputy Town Mayor after Councillor John Dinnie withdrew his nomination for the post in her favour.

This followed the resignation from the council of the previous Deputy Mayor Councillor Sheelagh Saunders and Councillor Peter Cowley for personal reasons.

During the meeting, Councillors paid tribute to each of them for their valuable contributions to the town.

At the Shipston Town Council meeting on 9th August, a group of local young people made an impassioned plea to the assembled Councillors to help save the Youth Club, explaining its importance to the town. Some of the speakers chose to share details of the tremendous adversity they had faced in their lives and the huge value they placed on the support offered by the team of counsellors and other staff at the club. Many of them emphasised that while Shipston may appear an idyllic rural community, there are still many disadvantaged and vulnerable young people who need professional support.

Daniel Pulham, Chair of the Youth Club’s Management Committee, explained that the Youth Club had been given a second notice of eviction by Shipston High School, but they were challenging the authority of the notice. He went on to say that he understood that the current premises might not be appropriate long term, but it was essential that the Youth Club could resume supporting vulnerable young people in the town, and the building at the school is the best and only viable option at present.