This week, we would like to celebrate the work and recent accomplishments of a small rural parish in Shropshire that is punching above its weight.
Cleobury Mortimer is a small rural market town in Shropshire. The town’s parish has a population of 1,962 according to the 2001 Census. Although often regarded as a village, it is in fact the second smallest town in Shropshire (after Clun), having been granted a Town charter in 1253. However, small though it may be, it is punching way above its weight.
The Parish Council with the help of Inspector Rob Thomas (West Mercia Police) and Vicky Turner (Shropshire Council) have worked hard to be proactive within the community by becoming the First Smartwater and We Don’t Buy Crime Town. This is an amazing achievement for the community and a massive step to assist in making Cleobury Mortimer less desirable to criminals.
The recently formed Cleobury Crime Reduction Group, instigated and led by the Parish Council, has secured funding for every household in the town under the We Don’t Buy Crime campaign. Using match funded Capital Receipt funds, together with a supplemented price, they have been able to ensure that every household in the town will have a free Smartwater pack and have signs to warn criminals off in every street and approach road. Grants totalling over £15,000 have been secured from the Crime Commissioner, South Shropshire Housing Group, West Mercia Police and the Parish Council, who are now all working in partnership.
Businesses and farmers will be able to get the larger pack at a reduced rate through this scheme and the group. Steps are being taken to recruit volunteers by expanding the group and assisting with the distribution. £11,500 has also been provided by the Crime Commissioner to add and enhance the CCTV system.
The Shropshire Association of Local Councils has recognised this as a remarkable achievement and is talking to the Parish Council to see if briefings can be held at Area Committees to provide information and support to other towns in Shropshire that might be interested.
NALC would like to congratulate Cleobury Parish Council on its efforts and we hope to see other towns in - and indeed beyond - Shropshire learning from this leading example.