Press Release- Mayors Message 19th July 2018

Mayor’s column in Shaftesbury Matters – 19/07/18

Shaftesbury Fire Station –
I was reminded last Thursday, as acrid black smoke billowed over Shaftesbury just what an amazing, supportive and caring community we have here in the town. A pile of hundreds of tractor tyres had been set on fire by suspected arsonists in Auctioneer’s site less than 75m from people’s homes. Whether on social media or on the streets, people were only talking about what they could do to help and expressing concern for anyone that might be caught up in the events. Only 2 nights later, a second fire took hold in a barn on Wincombe Lane.

The men and women of Shaftesbury Fire Station have my great admiration and eternal respect. In Shaftesbury all the firefighters are retained firefighters, so they work normal jobs like you and me, but when they get the call they drop everything and run towards what most of us would run way from, not just once but again and again. To me that is true heroism – a reminder that not all heroes wear capes! On behalf of both Shaftesbury Town Council and all the people of Shaftesbury, thank you for doing what you do – risking your lives so we can live ours safely.

Shaftesbury Fire Station are always trying to recruit more retained firefighters – more info at –

Chilmark Glade –
There are over 100 Applicants applying for twelve newly built properties offered by Tamar Housing Association under the Rent Plus initiative. This just highlights the difficulty local people are having finding somewhere to call home. The scheme is designed to give the tenants the chance to buy their home after 5, 10, 15 or 20 years with the additional bonus of receiving a 10% deposit of the property value when the purchase is completed. This scheme therefore gives the tenants the opportunity to save for their deposit or prepare their credit, for their first step on the property ladder. It is great that District Councils ‘opening doors’ initiative is paying dividends in Shaftesbury. Let’s hope more affordable house are coming soon.

Dorset Blind Association – It was amazing to meet members of the Dorset Blind Association group to hand deliver their Town Council grant, this will help the group support local people with a visual impairment. It was lovely to talk to members of the groups to gain more understanding into what things locally can unintentionally make their lives difficult and most importantly what positive steps can be taken to help.

Fringe and Gold Hill Fair –
This year’s Gold Hill fair and Fringe weekend were both colossal successes, with an estimated 15,000 plus, visitors to the town over the long weekend. The Town Council is thrilled to have received a wealth of positive feedback from across the community. The weekend has not only boosted the local economy it also demonstrated what a fantastic community spirit there is in Shaftesbury! Both events are completely volunteer run, I would like to extend a massive thank you on behalf Shaftesbury Town Council to all the volunteers that made the amazing weekend happen. I know just how much blood, sweat and tears when into it, well done!

Dementia Friendly –
This month we had the first of several Dementia Awareness Sessions planned to take place in Shaftesbury, these sessions are free of charge and open to all in Shaftesbury who may be interested in attending. During these friendly and interactive sessions, you will increase your understanding of dementia, and think about the small things that you can do to make a difference to people affected by dementia in your community. Keep and eye out for when the next one is by following our Facebook page – Shaftesbury Town Council
Shaftesbury Town Council is working towards become a Dementia Friendly Community, these sessions are an important step in that direction. If you are interested in learning more about this initiative, please contact the Town Council via email – or call on 01747 852420.