OSWESTRY'S mayor will ask his fellow councillors on Wednesday to put forward nearly half the amount needed to pilot a scheme to support victims of domestic abuse in the town.

Councillor Duncan Kerr wants to support West Mercia Women's Aid, who has drawn up a proposal to bring Ask Me to Oswestry as a pilot for Shropshire using experience they have gained from running the programme in Herefordshire.

Cllr Kerr says his proposal is drawn from experienced from his role as a children's social worker in Powys and he believes the council can show civic leadership by backing the motion and becoming a 'white ribbon' town.

He proposal states: "This council commits Oswestry Town Council to provide £10,000 drawn from the Covid-19 funding stream towards the £21,500 cost of this scheme on the proviso that other partners provide the remaining funding to enable the scheme to proceed.

"[It] commits Oswestry Town Council to become a white ribbon accredited authority."

Cllr Kerr added: "Oswestry Town Council can show civic leadership to the public and other large employers in the area is to become accredited as a white ribbon organisation.

"Details of the white ribbon campaign are available at https://www.whiteribbon.org.uk/

"The white ribbon campaign is a registered charity and has been widely supported by police service, fire service and many sports organisations.

"Becoming accredited is achieved by providing awareness raising for employees and having a workplace policy to help victims of domestic abuse.

"The town clerk has consulted our staff and confirmed that we have the organisational capacity to take this on, the cost of accreditation is £500."

Su Coleman, who is chief executive of the West Mercia Women's Aid, added: "Working alongside communities to support them in identifying the key issues that affect people locally and increase vulnerability, is key to then helping them to acquire the resources that they need.

"Our objective would be to initiate and support work that is focussed on empowering individuals and groups in 'communities of place' in Oswestry, while recognising that there may also be some groups of 'characteristic' – women's groups, LGBTQ groups, and groups of faith and/or culture – who would be keen to become part of the project and with whom we would be especially keen to partner.

"We are aware that there are wards of significant disadvantage in Oswestry and would be concerned to focus on engaging local people in the areas of Castle and Victoria where investment in local social capital is will be particularly important.

"We are also alert to the relative poverty of some communities in Oswestry and would ensure that the experience of becoming an ambassador delivers in terms of learning and increased confidence for those who would want to transfer their new skills into future employment."

The meeting starts at 7pm and is being held remotely on Zoom at https://uso2web.zoom.us/j/87615515742 and the meeting ID is 87615515742.