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The winner of this year’s Rotary Best Dressed Window competition is Dice of Church Street. Pictured outside her shop is Jayne Scandrett, the proud owner, holding the trophy presented by Rotary President Stuart Mclean.

In second place was the Cottage Garden Florist, The Alleyway (Jemma Parnell) and third placed was Dr CP Grey Opticians at 29 High Street.

The judges said they were very impressed with the number of shops that took part and the quality of the beautiful displays. Picking the top three was very difficult!

This is a very good reminder to shop in Shipston if possible, but if you do need to buy something from Amazon, Shipston Rotary urges you to go to smile.amazon. co.uk and choose Shipston Rotary as your charity. It won’t cost you a penny more, and the Rotary will receive a small donation.

This year Rotary’s focus is local charities especially Shipston Home Nursing. You can donate at JustGiving, or by using the QR code here. Scanning the code using your mobile phone takes you directly to the Rotary’s Just Giving page and is an easy way to donate.

 

Phil Wragg and Geoff Smith reported on a busy year for the Shipston Area Flood Action Group, which had continued its work in slowing river flow, managing to implement 270 measures in areas upstream of the town – and a total of 694 altogether in the past three years. Interventions have included dams, ponds and tree planting, and installing monitoring equipment at Ditchford Farm.

With funding from DEFRA and the Environment Agency, and involvement in three academic studies, the group is seen as a key contributor to natural water management. The team of around 12 will be continuing their monitoring throughout this winter across the 198km2 catchment to see how the schemes are working, and has a full programme of works planned throughout 2021.

To the right is one of the 600+ dams in action, slowing the water’s passage downstream.  This is on Sutton Brook upstream from Brailes. There is also an attenuation pond at Ditchford Farm which will fill up in flood conditions and hold back over one million litres of water for several hours before slowly releasing it back into a stream feeding Pig Brook.

Households across England and Wales will soon be asked to take part in a once-in-a-decade survey of housing and population. Census2021, run by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), aims to give the most accurate estimate of people and households. The information will help decide how everyone, from local authorities to charities, spends funds and puts services in place. This could mean things like doctors’ surgeries, housing or new bus routes.

The census has been carried out every ten years since 1801 with the exception of 1941 due to the Second World War.

Early in the new year, households will receive a letter about the census with a unique access allowing them to complete the questionnaire online on their computers, phones or tablets. Paper questionnaires are available on request. Census day is March 21 but households with access codes can take part from early March.

The census will include questions about your sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. And for the first time, there will be a question asking people whether they have served in the armed forces, as well voluntary questions for those aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Results will be available within 12 months although all personal records and any detail that would identify an individual will be locked away for 100 years and kept safe for future generations.

For more information visit: census.gov.uk

South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust has been working closely with Shipston Medical Centre to identify the best option for progressing the Ellen Badger redevelopment. Both parties are fully committed and we are delighted that business cases detailing the costs and project plan have been approved by the Trust’s Board and the Primary Care Committee. This is fantastic news that enables us to progress with our exciting plans to achieve an integrated healthcare hub for Shipston and the surrounding villages.

A full update on integrated healthcare in Shipston through the development of the Ellen Badger site can be downloaded here: https://www.swft.nhs.uk/our-hospitals/ellen-badger-hospital/ellen-badger-hospital-development-plans

Back in November 2017, the League of Friends of Shipston Hospitals committed £635,000 to the South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) to buy land next to the Ellen Badger Hospital.

We knew there was a moratorium on further maintenance of the hospital and indeed the Fire Service promptly found the existing wards unsafe and required urgent re-arrangements to be undertaken simply to keep beds open in Shipston as a short term arrangement.

Since then we have joined a Project Board with SWFT - and subsequently the Medical Centre - to develop the new hospital.

To our delight, we now hear that the Clinical Commissioning Group has agreed to fund the relocation of the Medical Practice onto the Badger site.

It was always the League’s hope that the GPs would agree to join the Badger on the same site to secure much better integration between their service and the inpatient services. This really was the cherry on the new hospital cake!

The League has further committed to enhance the basic hospital development to secure the kind of twenty-first century environment and finish many will have seen in Moreton Hospital with its 22 ensuite individual rooms, out-patients and therapy services.

You will have seen back in late May the published plan for such a development, joining the hospital, GP surgery and a Health and Wellbeing Hub into a building to replace the existing hospital. This was to be done in a single development to minimise cost, delay and disruption.

Since May, however, these plans have changed and SWFT now proposes a two-phase development with the GP Surgery and a Health and Well-being Centre (with a Cafe and meeting spaces) being built first. Later, Phase Two may go ahead if NHS capital is made available for SWFT to build an in-patient hospital with diagnostic facilities, urgent care facilities and other health care resources.

Of course, the League is disappointed that we are no longer planning to replace the hospital at the same time as the Surgery and the Public Health facility. Naturally our concern - as our constitution states - is primarily the future of Shipston’s Hospital.

Nonetheless, we are all, SWFT, the League of Friends and the Medical Centre, totally committed to hearing from Shipston’s residents and those in the surrounding South Warwickshire villages as to what their priorities for health care are.

The League of Friends preference was based on what we believed was the most efficient and cost-effective way forward, that is; the original plan for a single development phase.

The League must be the servant of Shipston residents, so we need to hear your views: 1) Are you happy with a two-phase solution to this development 2) how important is it to have inpatient hospital care and 3) how would you like it to be organised in a single ward or single ensuite rooms and 4) what do you think the League of Friends money - given in legacies and donations by Shipston residents - is best used for?

Tell us by writing to The Forum, putting your views on Shipston related groups on Facebook or by writing to The Secretary, League of Friends of Shipston Hospitals c/o Wyse House, Halford, CV36 5BT.

This is one of the most important changes that will affect Shipston in the next twenty years, getting your voice heard will never be more important than now.

 

This year only a small Act of Remembrance was able to take place to commemorate Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day. Community groups were still able to lay wreaths at the war memorial during pre-agreed timeslots.