Latest News

3rd Feb 2020

Fiver Fest Fortnight brings bargains for local shoppers

Looking to bag a bargain? Then Shipston is the place to be, particularly during February’s Fiver Fest from 15-29 February.

The Shipston Totally Locally Fiver Fest is a big celebration of our town’s fantastic small businesses and shops, many run by families or individuals, but all contributing massively to the economy and the well-being of our town.

Along with other towns and High Streets across the UK, Shipston shops and businesses are putting on special £5 offers over the fortnight, to show the diversity and value of what they sell.

Shipston Totally Locally Co-ordinator, Lou Harvey, said: “The principle behind the Fiver Fest is that if every adult in Shipston spent just five pounds a week in local independent shops and businesses rather than online or in big supermarkets, that would mean an extra £1.1 million a year going into our local economy. That’s quite a difference!

“A thriving town centre benefits us all. We’re extremely fortunate in Shipston to have so many independent shops, businesses and tradespeople and we all really value the support from our local residents. As well as encouraging everyone to think about spending a bit more locally, the special offers available during Fiver Fest are our way of saying thank you to our customers.”

There are lots of businesses taking part in Fiver Fest - look out for posters displayed in shop windows and see all the offers on the Totally Locally Facebook page www.facebook.com/totallylocallyshipston.

Shipston Town Centre has seen some exciting changes recently with the arrival of new and expanding businesses. After years based in Sheep Street, Greys Opticians has expanded to a bigger shop right in the heart of the High Street. On Market Place, Shipston welcomes its first tattoo parlour - Flamin’ B’s - which is now open for bookings.

Personal Training Shipston on Stour (PTSOS) has opened a new studio on Sheep Street. The studio runs Pink Belt Kickboxing for women and is about to start kick boxing classes for youngsters from four years old.

Church Street has also recently welcomed a new business, Harry’s Barbers.

Sadly, the High Street is about to bid farewell to popular boutique, Campden Couture due to the owner retiring. The good news, though, is that plans are afoot for a new ladies clothing store in Granville Court in March.

Mayor, Dan Scobie, said: “It’s fantastic to start the new decade with positive news about local businesses opening in the town. The Totally Locally initiative is a great way to promote our fantastic local shops and businesses and I for one am looking forward to taking advantage of some of the Fiver Fest offers.”

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3rd Feb 2020

A warm welcome to Sid Hammond, Shipston’s new PC

Councillors were pleased to extend an official welcome to PC Sid Hammond (pictured), Shipston’s new police officer, at the council meeting in January.

Sid took over from Craig Purcell a few weeks ago and already has a firm grip on what’s going on locally. “I’ve been a police officer for 19 years, and have previously worked at Southam and Stratford. I have connections with Shipston so I’m delighted to now be based here,” he said.

Sid is keen to keep the local police presence front of mind. He’s continuing to use social media to share updates and appeals for information and is happy for people to contact the Safer Neighbourhood Team if they have any concerns or queries. In addition to support from two PCSOs, Sid works closely with Craig and his colleagues on the Rural Crime Team.

Sid was pleased to reassure councillors that perception of crime in the area is greater than the reality. He went on to confirm there had been a couple of burglaries locally, and that people were already in custody as a result. Sid and his team are also looking into the recent vandalism at the Sports and Social Club which has caused concern.

Sid can be contacted on the normal phone number and email account for Shipston Safer Neighbourhood Team.

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3rd Feb 2020

A very Merry Community Christmas thanks to local volunteers

The Townsend Hall was once again bustling with activity in the run up to Christmas, as preparations to host another community Christmas lunch were completed.

This year saw approximately 90 residents join the celebrations ranging from 21-99 years of age. The lunch is designed for people who would otherwise be on their own on Christmas Day – instead, they were part of the biggest party in town!

Shipston’s Community Christmas Lunch was originally started in 2016 and has gone from strength to strength thanks to the sterling efforts of volunteers, spearheaded this year by Tessa Hince, Kate King and Russell Critchlow. From the outset the plan was to make sure everyone who would otherwise be alone could take part, so the event is free to attend and made possible thanks to donations, be they money, time, or goods and services. Mayor, Dan Scobie, said “It’s a real community effort and one Shipston as a town should feel rightly proud of.”

Tessa Hince said: “It’s wonderful to see everyone coming together to enjoy Christmas. We simply couldn’t do it without the incredible support from volunteers and local businesses and we’d like to thank everyone involved for their help in making the 2019 Shipston Community Christmas a huge success”.

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12th Jan 2020

Shipston Forum celebrates 20 years!

January 2020 might be the start of a new decade, but more importantly – it’s the Shipston Forum’s birthday!

The Shipston Forum was founded by Shipston Town Council in 2000 following suggestions from members of the public. Residents had been keen to understand more about the town council and local activities, leading to a proposal for the town council to produce a newsletter. Initially, then town councillor, Gudrun Berry, took on the challenge of editing the magazine, having previously edited a popular newsletter for military wives. But getting the Forum off the ground was no mean feat.

“As with any new idea, not everyone was keen and we had precious little resource to help us.” Gudrun recalls. “What we did have, though, was a Millennium Grant from Stratford District Council which gave us the financial help we needed to get our project started.”

The vision for the Forum was clear – to create a community newsletter with a mix of content from the town council, contributions from local clubs and schools, and input from the county and district councils. While the design has had a few updates over the years, the approach to content remains very similar today. In 2001, the Shipston Forum was Highly Commended in the Village Venture Competition run by Warwickshire Rural Community Council - and it continues to be valued by local residents twenty years on.

When asked what the main issues of the day were back in 2000, Gudrun replied: “Dog fouling kept coming up as an issue”. No change there, then! But the need to provide services for young people was also a major priority and continues to be so now.

Producing the Shipston Forum today is a bit easier than it used to be. Whereas Gudrun had to physically cut and paste articles into the right places, we have the benefit of design software that makes laying pages out much easier. One of the biggest challenges in the early days, though, was getting people to submit information, particularly within the deadline. It’s fair to say this can still be a challenge today, although we’re pleased to say we do receive a lot of useful and timely contributions every month.

Despite enjoying editing the Forum, Gudrun had to hand over the reins when it became too challenging to manage while also being an active member of the town council. “It was very difficult to actively participate in discussions while also taking copious notes for the Forum - and it was also important to avoid any conflict of interest,” Gudrun added. Since then the Forum has been edited independently, although the town council still oversees every issue.

Mayor, Dan Scobie, said: “As a Town Council we are extremely proud of the Shipston Forum. The newsletter not only allows us to keep residents informed about council news, but is an essential source of information about the vast array of events, clubs, charities and good deeds that happen around the town. Gudrun should feel especially pleased to see the Forum, which she was so instrumental in launching, reach this 20 year milestone.”

Gudrun stepped down as editor when she became Mayor in 2001. Since then, there have been a handful of different editors, all bringing their own style. 2020 will see a new face at the Forum as Catherine Martin hands the baton on to a new editor from April.

Catherine said: “After nearly nine years as editor, I feel it’s the right time for me to step down, but I will be sad to say goodbye to the Forum. It’s a great publication to work on and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the town and the many different clubs, events and charities that generate so much positive news. I look forward to seeing how the Forum develops - who knows what will be making the news in Shipston in twenty years’ time?”

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12th Jan 2020

Shipston’s Town Clerk retires after more than a decade

Shipston Town Council bid a reluctant farewell to Town Clerk, Georgina Beaumont, who retired in December.

Georgina has led the Clerk’s Office for over ten years, during which time she has become a fount of all knowledge to do with local services, events and activities. Having successfully acquired her Certificate in Local Government Administration, Georgina has been able to guide and support the town council, serving eight different mayors and seeing the town council through elections as well as a local referendum and a Neighbourhood Plan referendum.

In addition to her considerable responsibilities as Clerk, Georgina has contributed a significant amount of her own time to support local activities, including the Wool Fair and other Civic events over the years.

Mayor, Dan Scobie, said: “We are very sad to see Georgina go after over ten years of very dedicated service. Georgina works extremely hard and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the town and our responsibilities as a town council. On behalf of the town and my fellow councillors, I would like to sincerely thank Georgina for all her hard work. We wish her a long, happy and healthy retirement.”

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