Latest News

4th Jan 2019

Shipston’s Safer Neighbourhood Team takes action to tackle local crime

Shipston’s Safer Neighbourhood Team has been working hard to investigate rural crime, with many notable successes.

PC Craig Purcell and Shipston’s team of police community support officers have been taking a proactive approach to tracking down stolen property and arresting offenders. Using a mixture of established policing techniques, supported by new technology such as drones, the team has managed to return stolen goods to the rightful owners, prevented drugs from being distributed and tracked down some of the area’s “most wanted.”

The team shared its latest video with Shipston Town Council to highlight what has been going on. PC Craig Purcell describes some of the cases:

“We invited ourselves along to two operations in Cleeve Prior, knowing we have previously imprisoned people for dealing Class A drugs in Shipston that were linked to supply from that area. Using the drone, PCSO Andy Steventon guided other officers to find the male wanted under a court warrant. Acting on our own research, I then looked for evidence of drugs and soon spotted some cleared ground in woodland which had been missed in an earlier search. Officers subsequently unearthed a significant amount of Class A drugs buried underground, together with jewellery from a burglary in Ilmington.”

The team has also recovered a stolen dumper truck and caravan in Shipston as well as trailers, quad bikes, a horse trailer, and medals from other locations. These successes have largely been down to Shipston SNT’s determination to get involved in various operations, sometimes as the only Warwickshire officers present.

“We take all reported crime seriously and do our best to take action wherever possible. It’s really important that all crimes are reported to the police so that we can build an accurate picture of what is happening in and around the local area.” Craig added.

Deputy Mayor, Dan Scobie, said: “On behalf of the town, I would like to thank the Safer Neighbourhood Team for all their hard work and for taking the time to share some of their recent activities with the Town Council”.


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4th Jan 2019

Who's your hero volunteer?

As we start the New Year, the town council is asking residents to think about who should be the 2019 recipient of the Shipston Award.

The Shipston Award recognises an individual for the voluntary work they have done for the local community. Past winners have included people who support the town in a variety of ways, from running events to supporting young people and providing emergency care.

Last year’s winner was Phil Wragg for his work running the Shipston Area Flood Action Group - you can read more about their successes on page 6.

Look out for the nomination form for this year which will be printed in next month’s Forum. Alternatively, you can email your nomination to


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4th Jan 2019

Do you have what it takes to become a town councillor?

In May 2019, elections will take place for Shipston Town Council. This presents an ideal opportunity for those interested in local democracy to put themselves forward for election. With at least two current councillors due to stand down, we’re calling on local residents to consider throwing their hat into the ring. To help you decide whether becoming a town councillor would be right for you, we will be interviewing councillors over the next few issues to find out what they think are the best things about being a councillor, as well as the challenges to be aware of.

Councillor Marianne Westwood has been serving on the town council for five years.

What prompted you to put yourself forward?The Portabello campaign made me attend council meetings. I found them interesting and decided I might be useful.

How easy did you find it adjusting to your role?At the start I felt I knew very little and was always asking questions. The courses I attended were all essential to understanding my role. It took time and I’m still learning.

What aspects of being a councillor do you find most rewarding? I find it all rewarding. I love being able to help people and being part of the decisions that affect our town.

Why should residents put themselves forward for nomination?Shipston is a special place to live and deserves people that care about it to serve. The council needs people from all backgrounds and with different life experiences. It’s not always easy. Things take much longer than you think, but as long as you care about Shipston and are willing to learn and listen, you will find being a Councillor a rewarding and interesting experience. 

Councillor Brian Cooper joined the council just under four years ago. He will be standing down at the next election. 

What prompted you to put yourself forward?I wanted to do something for  the community, and contribute to the work being done by the other  volunteer councillors. 

What aspects of being a councillor do you find most rewarding? Being able to influence matters of relevance to the community, and being able to contribute, in a supporting role, to the preparation and adoption of the Shipston Neighbourhood Plan. 

What advice would you give future nominees? Attend a town council meeting before you decide to  stand for election to understand the range of activities covered. 

Why are you standing down? I can no longer devote the time needed to handle the volume and complexity of planning application consultations. 

Why should other residents stand? If you have the time available, it can be a very satisfying way of helping to influence the future of Shipston.

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4th Dec 2018

Shipston turns out in record numbers to remember

St Edmund’s Church was packed to the rafters for the Remembrance Day Service which also marked the 100 year anniversary of Armistice Day and the end of World War 1.

Veterans, servicemen and women, civic dignitaries, emergency services, youth groups and charities filled the town centre to take part in the Royal British Legion Parade, led by Shipston Town Band. Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Mark Davies, joined members of the Shipston Branch of the Royal British Legion, the Mayor and local councillors in a proud march to the memorial where wreaths were laid on behalf of the town’s many community organisations.

It was standing room only for the service, which was led jointly by Reverend Sarah Edmonds from St Edmund’s, and Reverend Daniel Pulham from Shipston Baptist Church. St Edmund’s was decorated with poppies designed by young people in the town, each commemorating one of the men from Shipston who fell in the First World War. Outside, the church was adorned with a spectacular display of knitted poppies prepared by volunteer knitters to commemorate the Centenary.

The names of Shipston’s Fallen were read out by prefects from Shipston High School.  Royal British Legion Branch President, David Kernohan, then told the story of Samuel Begley, who died in 1918 and who is remembered on the town’s memorial. His story is particularly poignant as the Legion’s Standard Bearer on the day was Connor Begley – Samuel’s Great, Great, Great Grandson.

RBL Branch Chairman, Richard Adams, said: “We were delighted to see such a strong turnout in this particularly important year of Remembrance. Thank you to everyone who took part in the Parade, as well as those behind the scenes who helped make it happen.”

Mayor, Ian Cooper, said: “On behalf of the Town Council, I would like to congratulate the Royal British Legion on such a successful event and thank the Town Band for leading the Parade in such spectacular fashion – we all felt proud to be a part of it.”

Reflecting on the involvement of the different groups in the Parade, Councillor Ali Henderson said: “From the youngest Brownie to the eldest veteran, it was quite something to see such a widespread commitment to public service from the residents of our town.”


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4th Dec 2018

Final preparations under way for the Victorian Evening

On Friday 7th December, the town centre will be transformed into a festive market for the annual Rotary Victorian Evening.

The event will begin at 5:30 with carols from Shipston Primary schoolchildren and music from Shipston Town Band. At approximately 6pm, the event will officially open, marked by the switching on of the town’s Christmas lights and Tree of Life.

The bulbs on the Rotary Tree of Life are sponsored in memory of lost loved ones. Funds raised go to support a children’s charity each year, reflecting new beginnings. This year, Shipston Rotary is supporting The Time Out Group South Warwickshire. This charity supports young people with complex disabilities, challenging behaviour and communication needs. They organise age-appropriate activities for four to eighteen year olds fortnightly. Many of the children who join stay with the charity for years, growing a strong social bond with their peers and staff alike. There is still time to sponsor a bulb – you can even do so at the Victorian Evening. Just visit the Rotary stand to fill in a form. The names of those remembered on the Tree of Life will be included in the Book of Remembrance.

As well as the usual Victorian Evening entertainment, a children’s carousel will delight the town’s youngest residents, while the mulled wine, mince pies and hog roast will no doubt appeal to the adults. Father Christmas is due to pop in so don’t miss your chance to let him know what’s on your Christmas wish list.

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