Community Matters March 2021

from Cllr. Bob Welch, Town Mayor

Covid Vigilance

Now that the most vulnerable groups have been vaccinated, it would all too easy to relax and pay little heed to maintaining social distance. Given the continuing risks, that would be a serious mistake.   It is still vital that we continue sanitising hands and donning face masks before entering shops and keeping social distance within shops.

Take Care in the Square

It is particularly important, in the crowded area of the Square, for customers at the Thursday Market to wear face masks and keep their distance from each other.  Fortunately, the numbers of visitors to the town from further afield have reduced considerably since the beginning of this second lock-down but there are still unfortunate examples of such individuals failing to adhere to the restrictions and residents are advised to steer well clear of them.

Young Hero’s Award Scheme

Church Stretton Rotary Club have launched a “Young Hero’s Award Scheme”. This Award is to reward and acknowledge a young member of our local community who has made a significant contribution to our community by a single act of selflessness, bravery or sustained effort over the last 18 months.

Particularly at this difficult time, it is important that we recognise the contribution of our younger residents, so it is hoped that there will be many nominations for this Award.

Recreation Ground Improvement

The Recreation Ground off Sandford Avenue was established as a Charity over a hundred years ago to meet “the social welfare needs” of the community, with the local council acting as the Trustee responsible for its management. 

Over the years, the cost of maintenance has risen but the number of people using the Recreation Ground has diminished over the years.  As a consequence, only a small element of the cost is now provided by those using the facilities, the remainder being met by local council tax payers. 

Up Grade

The Town Council now wishes to up-grade the Recreation Ground so it better meets the original purpose of the Charity and the cost is shared more equitably.

A Councillor Task Group has been collecting proposals for improvement. These are being set out in an on-line survey to which the Council hopes as many residents as possible will respond, so that the up-grading satisfies as many constituents as possible.

National Census – Sunday March 21st

This exercise is undertaken every ten years to provide the essential data needed for the planning of future services. For the first time, the aim is for as many residents as possible to complete their census form on-line.

Clear guidance will be provided, with reminders, on how to access the census papers on-line. From early March, households will receive letters with online codes allowing them to complete the census return.

Help will be Needed

Wherever possible, it is hoped that relatives, friends or volunteers will help those unfamiliar with the completion of on-line forms. There will also be with paper reminders to everyone, giving them the option of requesting a paper copy. 

It is estimated that it will take only fifteen to twenty minutes to complete the census form.  This can be done in advance of the census date but it must cover all of the individuals expected to be in your household on Sunday March 21st.  Some allowance is made for late completion of the form but failure to complete a census return is punishable by a fine.

Appointment of Town Clerk

It has taken a long time to complete all of the necessary formalities to allow our Town Clerk, Danny Chetwood, to take ill-health retirement, following his serious stroke in October 2019.  However, that process has now been completed.

The Council has thanked Danny for his whole-hearted service, regretting the most unfortunate circumstances that led to his forced retirement and wishing him well for the future. The recruitment of his successor has now been set in train.

Town Council Elections – Thursday May 6th

It is currently planned that the Town Council Elections will still go ahead on Thursday May 6th to elect Councillors for a four year term of office.  There are thirteen Ward Councillors on the Council, five serving Church Stretton South, four serving Church Stretton and two each serving Little Stretton and All Stretton. 

Councillors are responsible for deciding how public money is spent on local services and activities and ensuring it is spent efficiently and effectively, linking closely with other community organisations.

The Council operates on a non party political basis. Residents of all ages, interested in helping the community to recover from this pandemic, are encouraged to consider standing for election.

If you would like an informal chat about what is involved, please feel free to contact me (phone 722998) or any other Town Councillors you know, or use the Contact Us form here

2 thoughts on “Community Matters March 2021”

  1. Felicity Thomas

    Agree with much of what is said about Covid, but to think that visitors are not coming to town is incorrect. There are not the hordes of people lying in the sun in Cardingmill valley yet, but a very steady growth of visitors trailing round the town , especially in the last 3 weekends. Maybe the TC could make representations to SC and to Philip Dunne to ask for reminders of the ‘ Stay Local ‘ requirement.

    1. Bob Welch, Mayor

      Thank you for your comment about visitors from elsewhere. To be fair, Shropshire Council and Philip Dunne have consistently reinforced the message about staying local. The National Trust is now collaborating with a social media campaign also reinforcing the message. I have asked the local community police officers to be especially vigilant about social distancing in town. I have meetings coming up with the National Trust, AONB Partnership, Shropshire Council and the Police about how we collectively manage the expected surge of visitors again at the end of this lockdown period.

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