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Ruyton XI Towns Parish Council has teamed up with West Mercia Police to deliver free SmartWater kits to all parish residents, as part of the “We Don’t Buy Crime” initiative.

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What is SmartWater and how does it protect you?

SmartWater is a clear, odourless liquid, which glows under UV light. It allows residents to mark-up valuables in their home, and because each solution is a completely unique mix, recovered items can be traced and returned to their rightful owners if they are ever stolen.

SmartWater is a proven and effective crime prevention tool, which has a 100% conviction rate in a court of law when used as evidence. We Don’t Buy Crime areas that are protected with SmartWater also see an average 65% reduction in burglaries, as SmartWater is a highly effective deterrent against crime.

As part of the “We Don’t Buy Crime” initiative, the Parish Council will also receive “We Don’t Buy Crime”  “CRIMINALS BEWARE” signs which will be put up at strategic points around the parish to further deter criminals.

What will my SmartWater kit include?

Each kit will be pre-registered to your home and will include:

  • An explanatory letter
  • A SmartWater vial, pre-registered to your address
  • Large square window stickers and small weatherproof stickers – so criminals know your home is SmartWater protected

How have the kits been paid for?

Thanks to grant funding from West Mercia Police earlier in the year, we were able to purchase enough kits for 80% of households. Recently we decided to apply for funding to buy enough kits to ensure that every resident has the chance to protect their home with SmartWater. Overall, West Mercia Police has contributed 25% of the cost of the SmartWater kits, and the remaining 75% has been paid for with Parish Council contingency funds.

How are we distributing the kits?

We had initially hoped to distribute our first batch of kits through public registration events over the Easter holidays – but obviously the Covid-19 pandemic put a stop to those plans.

Luckily, our contacts in West Mercia Police got in touch and kindly offered to arrange for registration and postal distribution of our kits.

Each SmartWater kit will be safely pre-registered, and posted out to residents in line with Royal Mail general data protection regulations. If you wish to opt out of this initiative simply email and they will remove the kit/your record from the initiative.

When will I get my kit?

The SmartWater kits have now been collected by our contact at West Mercia Police, and they will be registered and posted out over the next month or so, you should receive your kit very soon!

My neighbours have received a kit, but I haven’t.

If this happens, please contact the Parish Council clerk, so we can check if a kit has already been registered and sent to your address. If not, one will be sent to you.

What do I need to do when I get my SmartWater kit?

Your SmartWater kit will be pre-registered for you, so when it arrives the first thing to do is place your stickers prominently at the front and rear of your property. The SmartWater stickers are the main deterrent to criminals. Now all you need to do is mark-up your valuables with a small dot of SmartWater. We advise you to take a photograph of the item of property and where you have marked it, keep this for your records just in case you need it at some time in the future.  Encourage your neighbours and fellow residents to do the same!

The important thing is to put up the stickers straight away while you remember.

£225,000 funding for traffic calming in Ruyton XI Towns

Shropshire Council has approved a grant of £225,000 for a project to improve road safety in Ruyton XI Towns. The grant has been made available from the Community Infrastructure Levy Fund (CIL) which is levied by Shropshire Council on new developments in their area and used to benefit local communities.

After years of campaigning by the Parish Council and work by the Safer Roads Group for effective measures to limit the speed and volume of traffic through the village, a project for Ruyton XI Towns was on a list of schemes that were a priority for Shropshire Council Highways. However, no funding had been allocated until recently.

The CIL Team and Highways and Transport Team have worked to draw up a list of sites across Shropshire to approve for CIL funding as part of a large project to assess highway sites and local needs.

The grant for Ruyton XI Towns is the largest amount awarded to a single project from the list of priorities that was assessed.

WSP, Shropshire Council’s contracted Civil, Highways and Transport Engineering Consultancy has been commissioned to consider options and design the work with an expectation that they will  involve the Parish Council and local community.

The Parish Council is determined that this funding will be an opportunity to ensure not only that Ruyton XI Towns becomes a safer place, but also that the changes will be an example of how improved road safety can also lead to an improved environment and enhanced attractiveness for the village. The local community will be informed, involved, and consulted.

Last Parish Council vacancy – application deadline extended

Current vacancies

Following the resignation of Cllr Bob Edwards on 8th Oct, the Parish Council duly advertised the casual vacancy in the community, and we’ve now been notified by Shropshire Council that no by-election was called. This means we can now fill this one remaining seat by co-option. As no applications were received for this vacancy, we’ve decided to extend the application deadline.

If you are interested in becoming a councillor, please send a completed application form to the clerk by no later than 5pm on Tuesday 22nd December. The Council will consider all applications and make a decision at the meeting on January 5th 2021.

If you are interested in potentially joining the Parish Council, please feel free to contact the clerk for an informal chat. The Good Councillors Guide above is also a great introduction to what being a councillor involves, and how you can help your community.

Get involved – what do YOU want for your parish?

The Parish Council exists to serve the Ruyton XI Towns  parish community, and as part of this we recently adopted a revised Action Plan which sets out clear aims and objectives, as well as a progress report on existing activities. The Action Plan will be reviewed and updated regularly, and we very much welcome and encourage feedback; we are particularly interested in receiving suggestions for future activities or projects. If there is something you think could be improved in the parish, or a service/amenity you think is needed, or something you think could improve the health and wellbeing of the community, no matter how big or small, short or long-term, please do share your thoughts with the clerk.

The Parish Council will review* all suggestions received, and we hope to put together a shortlist for the community to vote on their favourite ideas.

*Parish Councils need to find a “Power” or “Authority” in law that enables them to do a particular activity, so as long as a suggestion is something that the Parish Council can legally do, then it will be considered. If it’s not something we can do ourselves we may be able to work with another authority/organisation who can, or we may be able to look into it in the future if the Parish Council meets the criteria for General Power of Competence, which grants councils much greater flexibility and freedom in how they can act.

Casual vacancies – update

Welcome to new Parish Councillors

The Parish Council is very pleased to announce that 3 of the existing casual vacancies have now been filled by co-option at the October Council meeting. Your new parish councillors are Graeme Barrett, Christine Jones, and Mervyn Eyles, and we will be updating the Parish Councillor page of our website with their information and contact details shortly. In the meantime, we wish them all a very warm welcome to the Parish Council.

Current vacancies

Following the resignation of Cllr Bob Edwards, the Parish Council would like to wish Bob all the very best for the future and thank you for your commitment to the Parish Council over the years. This now means there are 2 casual vacancies remaining at Ruyton XI Towns Parish Council.

Cllr Bob Edwards vacancy – In 14-day notice period.

Local electors may choose to request a by-election to fill this seat until  29.10.2020. Please see Casual Vacancy notice below for more information.

Cllr Andrea Hall – No by-election called, so seat can be filled by co-option.

The Parish Council is inviting applications from any suitably qualified person who wishes to join the Parish Council, and applications must be received by 5pm on Tues 27th October. The Council will consider all applications at the next meeting on 3rd November. If you are interested in potentially joining the Parish Council, please feel free to contact the clerk for an informal chat. The Good Councillors Guide below is also a great introduction to what being a councillor involves, and how you can help your community.

Three seats open to co-option on the Parish Council

We have now received confirmation that no election has been called for the vacancies left by Cllr Pinner and Cllr Sanders Royle so the Parish Council hopes to co-opt for these two vacancies (plus the vacancy left by Cllr Harrison) at the next Parish Council meeting on 6th October. If you are interested in becoming a Parish Councillor, please email a completed application to the clerk by 5pm Monday 5th October.

Any seats that remain unfilled after the October meeting will be carried over to the November meeting.

Special thank you to Cliffe Crew volunteers

Over the weekend of 29th and 30th August, roughly 20 volunteers from the “Cliffe Crew” tackled the bracken on the Cliffe (whilst adhering to social distancing and hygiene measures). They were assisted in their endeavours by two horses from “Carnog Working Horses” who used a horse-drawn harrow to strip and roll the bracken litter in a low-impact way, without resorting to chemicals or burning.

A black and white working horse rolling the bracken on the Cliffe
One of the working horses taking a short break

As bracken is an invasive species, the aim is to keep it in check and give other plant species like heather the chance to thrive on the lowland heath site. This activity was agreed and funded by Shropshire Council’s Outdoor Partnerships Team who manage the Cliffe site on behalf of the Parish Council.

Thank you very much to everyone on the Cliffe Crew who give up their free time to help us care for this special space. The group meet on the second Sunday of every month to carry out various maintenance activities. If you would like to help then please contact us using the contact form on our website.

Shropshire Local Plan Review consultation open

On 3rd August 2020 Shropshire Council formally opened its consultation on the pre-submission draft Local Plan. This consultation is open to everyone, and completed comment forms (both parts A and B) must be submitted to by 5 pm on 30th September. Full details on how to respond can be found here.

You can find all the background information on Shropshire Council’s Get Involved webpage. The information is also available to view by appointment at Shirehall, as well as at Oswestry, Shrewsbury, and other county Libraries (also appointment only). Information specifically relating to Ruyton XI Towns Parish can be found by searching for the word “Ruyton” in the pre-submission draft Local Plan, and in the Policies map Oswestry Place Plan area. There are also Site assessments for the Oswestry Place Plan area which show how Shropshire Council has assessed each potential development site in Ruyton XI Towns parish.

The draft Local Plan identifies a draft vision and draft framework for the future development of Shropshire to 2038, addressing such issues as the needs and opportunities in relation to housing, the local economy, community facilities and infrastructure; and seeks to safeguard the environment, enable adaptation to climate change and helps to secure high-quality and accessible design.

The Parish Council will be considering the draft Local Plan Review at the next Parish Council meeting (provisionally scheduled for 1st September), at which point it will also agree an official response to the consultation. You are welcome to share your views with us prior to the September Parish Council meeting and we will take this into consideration at the next meeting, however we do encourage you to respond directly to the consultation as well.



576 bus service resumes

The planned roadworks on Church street have been completed slightly ahead of schedule and the road has now re-opened as of Thurs 2nd July 2020. This means that the normal 576 bus timetable has resumed service, and the replacement shuttle bus service has finished.

Replacement shuttle bus during Church Street road closure 29th June – 3rd July 2020

Due to the forthcoming road closure on Church street (from 29th June to 3rd July), the normal 576 bus service between Oswestry and Shrewsbury will not be able to serve Ruyton XI Towns. However, after numerous phone calls and emails back and forth to Shropshire Council and Arriva, the Parish Council has finally had confirmation that there will indeed be a replacement shuttle bus connecting Ruyton XI Towns and Oswestry between 29th June and 3rd July. Please note that the replacement shuttle service will terminate at School Road, and will not connect Ruyton XI and Shrewsbury. You can view the replacement shuttle bus timetable here or  by clicking the PDF icon below. The Parish Council would like to thank everyone involved for helping to keep the Ruyton XI Towns community connected during road closures.