Return of face-to-face meetings
Residents may or may not be aware that legislation permitting Local Councils to hold meetings remotely will expire on May 7th 2021, and after this point all Council meetings must be “face-to-face”. Despite valiant efforts from Hertfordshire County Council, Lawyers in Local Government, and the Association of Democratic Services Officers, a recent High Court ruling has dismissed claims that other legislation already permits council meetings to be held remotely. As it is an election year, local councils in Shropshire (including Ruyton XI Towns Parish Council) are therefore legally obliged to hold an “in-person” Annual Council meeting within a set number of days after the election on Thurs 6th May 2021.
Annual Council Meeting arrangements in Ruyton XI Towns
In order to meet the legal obligation to hold an annual council meeting in-person, the Parish Council has decided to hold a very short in-person Annual Council Meeting in the Village Hall (not the Victoria Room) on Tues 18th May 2021 at 6.30pm. To keep the meeting short to minimise the risk of transmission, the agenda will only include items that must legally be considered at the annual meeting, or that are otherwise urgent, and there will be no Parish Matters agenda items. If you have any questions or matters you wish to raise with the Parish Council prior to the Annual Council meeting, please telephone (01691 674742) or email the clerk asap. We will note any such matters raised, and will send a response after the meeting. If urgent action is required, the Parish Council does have a Scheme of Delegation in place.
Can members of the public attend the Annual Council meeting?
Whilst all Council meetings must be held face-to-face from 7th May, there will still be limits on how members of the public can gather and mix indoors. As the safety of residents, councillors, and staff is of the utmost importance, we are working closely with the Village Hall committee to prepare the risk assessments and covid secure measures for the face-to-face meeting, but there will be necessary capacity limits in the Village Hall to allow for social distancing between councillors, staff, and any attendees (max 20 people, including councillors and clerk). To further minimise the risk of transmission, and to avoid having to turn people away at the door, we would urge residents to carefully consider whether they need to attend this meeting in person. If you still feel you need to attend the meeting in person, please telephone (01691 674742) or email the clerk asap, so we can discuss how we can accommodate you safely.
Government call for evidence for remote meetings – share your views.
The Parish Council was very disappointed that Central Government decided not to extend legislation permitting remote meetings, as we feel we have been able to achieve a huge amount over the last 12+ months, whilst avoiding unnecessary risks to councillors, residents, and staff.
The Government has launched a consultation regarding remote meetings, in order to decide whether or not to change to legislation to allow local councils the permanent option of holding remote meetings in future. The Parish Council will respond in favour of keeping remote meetings as an option, and we would urge members of the public to send their own responses as well. You can access more information on the Government’s Call for evidence here. Responses can be submitted via the Citizen Space online survey. The deadline for submitting responses is 17.06.2021.
Parish Council – uncontested election
At the close of nominations on 8th April, there were fewer nominations than available seats on the Parish Council, and therefore the candidates shown in the attached notice of uncontested election have been duly elected unopposed. They will take up office on 10th May 2021. This means that there will be two vacancies, which the Parish Council has the right to fill by co-option within 35 days of the date of the election. More information about being a councillor can be found on the Local Election page of our website. Please feel free to contact the clerk if you are interested in joining the Council or if you have any queries (NB. new phone number: 01691 674742).
Shropshire Council Unitary Election – Ruyton & Baschurch division
Elections are going ahead for the Shropshire Council Ruyton & Baschurch division. Please see notices below for more information.
Police and Crime Commissioner
Elections are going ahead for the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner. Please see notices below for more information.
Town and Parish Councils across Shropshire are gearing up for local and county council elections on 6th May 2021, and this is a fantastic opportunity for local electors in Ruyton XI Towns to help shape the future of the parish, as well as Shropshire Council. See the notices of elections below:
What is Ruyton XI Towns Parish Council, and what does it do?
Parish Councils are the first tier of local government, and they can make a real difference to local communities at the grassroots level. Ruyton XI Towns Parish Council usually meets on the 1st Tuesday of every month, (except August), and is comprised of 11 elected members who serve a four–year term.
The Council can:
- play a vital part in representing the interests of your community
- work together to improve the quality of life and local environment
- influence other decision-makers
- where applicable, deliver services to meet local needs
This is YOUR Council, and it represents YOUR community. If you want the Council to do more, or do things differently, make sure you are registered to vote and that you participate in the May election.
What can YOU do?
As a local elector you can
- nominate candidates to stand for election
- stand for election yourself (deadline for hand delivering nomination forms: 4pm 8th April 2021)
- make sure you are registered to vote by 19th April 2021
- if needed, apply for a postal vote (by 20th April 2021) or proxy vote (by 27th April 2021)
- in May, cast your vote in person, by post, or by proxy to elect councillors to represent the interests of Ruyton XI Towns parish
Who can be a Parish councillor?
Anyone can be elected as councillor as long as:
- they are at least 18 years old on the day of the election, AND
- they are a UK/EU/Commonwealth citizen, AND EITHER
- they are a local elector, OR
- they live or work within 3 miles of Ruyton XI Towns parish, OR
- they occupy premises (as a tenant or owner) in the Council’s area,
and as long as they are not disqualified from being elected.
More information on standing for election is available on the dedicated Local Elections Page of the Parish Council website. If your question is not answered by the website, please email the Parish Council Clerk or phone (01691 238267 – office hours only please). NB. The clerk can provide the polling and district numbers for proposers and seconders (which are needed for the nomination form), but ultimately it is the responsibility of candidates to complete and deliver their own nomination forms.
Shaping the future of Ruyton XI Towns Parish
Parish Councils serves their communities best when they are made up of capable, committed, and passionate councillors who want to make a positive impact, and who work together as a team to make a difference in their local community. By playing your part in the upcoming Parish Elections, YOU can help shape the future of Ruyton XI Towns Parish.
Ruyton XI Towns Parish Council has formed a Climate Emergency Working Group, whose aim is to research, propose, and coordinate activities designed to tackle the climate emergency, and we are looking for enthusiastic members of the community to get involved.
What we’ve already achieved:
There are things we have already achieved as a Parish Council, prior to the formation of this working group, which fit the aims:
- upgraded all Parish Council-owned streetlights with LEDs in 2019 – the significant energy efficiency and long lifespan helps reduce carbon emissions
- started adding solar panels to our vehicle activated speed (VAS) signs – solar is more sustainable than recharging batteries with mains electricity
- a tree planting initiative in the Queen Elizabeth II field and on ‘the Spinney’ – trees store or ‘sequester’ carbon emissions, improve air quality, as well as create new habitats for local wildlife
Next project: Recycling the non-recyclable
We’re all used to separating tin cans, glass bottles, cardboard etc. for kerbside collection, but did you know there is a way to recycle certain items that Shropshire Council can’t accept?
The Climate Emergency Working Group are particularly keen to gain support from the community for an exciting recycling initiative. We are looking into working with TerraCycle (an organisation that specialises in “recycling the non-recyclable”) to establish “public drop-of locations” in the parish for hard to recycle waste. Residents would be able to drop off certain types of post-consumer waste: examples could include bread bags, cheese packaging, dental products, pet food pouches, coffee capsules, health and beauty packaging, medicine blister packs, biros, crisp packets BUT there are limitations especially if other sites locally already deal with these recyclable categories. So the first job is to work out what is possible.
Collected waste = cash for charities
If we can get a recycling point established then once we’ve collected a certain volume of waste this will be sent off to TerraCycle for cleaning, reusing, recycling, and upcycling. They also give the community the chance to raise money for local charities and schools, as each qualifying item of waste earns points which can be redeemed as cash by the nominated charity or school. You can check out stories from other collectors on TerraCycle’s Collector Highlight blog page. In the past there have even been contests to win new school playgrounds made from upcycled waste.
How can you get involved?
The Climate Emergency Working Group is very keen to involve the community in all aspects of its activities. You could get involved by:
- volunteering on some of our initial projects (like many of you did with the tree planting initiative!)
- joining the Climate Emergency Working Group
- becoming a Community Champion for a specific project – we aim to have at least one council rep and one member of the community on each project
- suggesting ideas for other climate and environment related projects
If you would like to know more about getting involved in the Climate Emergency Working Group and/or you have a suggestion for a potential project, please contact Cllr David Shearan, or the Parish Council Clerk.
The road between Baschurch and Shotatton will be closed between Wednesday 3 February and Friday 5 February (09:30-16:00] to allow for pothole repairs. See current status
The UK Government urges “Act like you’ve got the virus”.
The number of coronavirus cases is rising rapidly, and in a recent Covid-19 news article, a source told the BBC “It’s more important than ever [that] everyone sticks to the rules,” with infection rates increasing at an “alarming rate”. The Department for Health and Social Care and the wider government are emphasising the “stay at home” message, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock saying: “People need to not just follow the letter of the rules but follow the spirit as well and play their part” (BBC News).
One in three people infected with the virus do not have any symptoms and could be passing it on without realising.
The new variant is more transmissible so “each interaction we have has become riskier than it was before.” (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)
The virus is airborne. It can remain in the air wherever an infected person has been, in a room or in a deserted street and can move about in clouds of droplets. One infected person can infect many other people.
Wearing masks reduces the likelihood of being infected and spreading the virus. To prevent spreading infectious particles, keep your mask over your mouth and nose. If you drop your mask to talk, you will spread droplets.
Wash hands frequently, keep the recommended distance from other people, and wear a mask to reduce the risk of spreading and catching the virus when out of your home.
You can find more information on our dedicated Coronavirus page, including links to what you can and cannot do under the current lockdown, as well as info on the Ruyton XI Towns Friendly Help group, financial assistance, and mental well-being.
Post Office resumes service in Ruyton XI Towns
The original Post Office in Ruyton closed over a year ago, however your councillors and the Village Hall Committee have been instrumental in bringing this vital service back to the parish. See official Post Office re-opening poster.
Location: Foyer of Village Hall, Church street
The Ruyton XI Towns Post Office is now being run by the Trefonen Postmaster as a mobile outreach service from the foyer of the Village Hall on Church Street. There is a ramp for those with mobility needs and a hearing loop inside. The usual rules regarding face coverings apply, and only one customer is able to enter at a time.
Opening times: Fridays, 1.30 – 3.30 pm
What products/services are available?
- Stamps and gifts cards
- Mailing letters, special delivery, parcels, Signed for, International mail
- Business banking
- Personal banking, incl. paying in and withdrawing money
- Benefit payments
- Bill payments
- Postal orders
- Mobile phone top ups
The Parish Council are supporting a team of community volunteers who are planting native trees and wildflowers in the QEII field near Platt Bridge.
The team have consulted with neighbours and with Shropshire Council about the plans to establish a small copse of native trees from the Woodland Trust, and to convert part of the green space into a wildflower area.
The copse area has been marked out and the first task will be to move a few established trees from other areas of the field. This will be done by a core team in December but in January there will be an opportunity for other volunteers from the community to assist, in a COVID secure way, when the rest of the area is planted. this is currently planned for 10:30-12:30 on Sunday 3 January. Please do use the contact form on this website if you would like to take part.
The work on the wildflower area will start in spring and more details will be communicated before that happens.
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.
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 WeDontBuyCrime@westmercia.pnn.police.uk 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.