Colyton Parish Council Community Newsletter – Spring 2020
We are delighted to bring you this first issue of our quarterly community newsletter and hope that you find the content interesting and helpful. In the interests of economy (and also environment) we have conceived it in an electronic format. We had planned to make a small number of hard copies available but the COVID-19 restrictions mean that we are unable to print or distribute them. Our next issue is due at the end of June.
Coping with coronavirus
Colyton and Colyford are responding in typically supportive fashion to the coronavirus crisis. An initiative launched by Colyton Garden Shop has quickly translated into volunteer action across the parish to provide help to those in self-isolation. Further volunteers are still needed - please contact Liz Berry firstname.lastname@example.org and 077547 85181 or Anne West 01297 551375 for Colyford. Local businesses have also come together to provide a home delivery service accessed by calling the Colyton Local Delivery Service (CLoDS) on 01297 551113 . Please use local Facebook pages for updated and more detailed information. And do please follow the advice on staying at home and staying safe.
Fire Station saved — and you did it!
Well done Colyton and Colyford community - you saved our Fire Station. You attended the DSFRS 'Safer Together' consultation at the town hall, filled in the confusing public consultation questionnaire, signed the petitions, protested, marched ... and were heard. The proposed closure was scrapped. Be proud! You saved one of the oldest fire brigades in Britain. Created by the Feoffees in 1641, generations of local firefighters have since served our community, passing on their skills, knowledge and tales of derring-do to those following in their footsteps. We are sure you will agree that we all feel 'safer together' knowing that Colyton fire crew's expertise is close at hand in the event of emergencies. We sincerely thank them.
CeramTec redevelopment latest
The Parish Council understands that Homes England is currently working on the selection of a suitable developer to take forward redevelopment of the important CeramTec redevelopment and that it hopes to be in a position to make a further public statement in the near future. In the meantime, our District Councillors continue to liaise with East Devon District Council planners and update the Council as appropriate. EDDC has given permission for a plan involving around 74 homes (of which about 15 would be affordable homes) plus 1,000 square metres of employment space. The Parish Council regards the site as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide homes and jobs that are much needed in the community. It had, however, called for a higher proportion of the homes to be of the affordable variety.
Council sets its budget
In January, the Parish Council approved its Budget submission for 2020-2021. Key points are as follows: The total forecast expenditure is £66,180 Forecast income from cemetery, allotments etc is £8,660 This will require a precept of £57,520 - the same as last year The financial application to East Devon District Council has been approved.
Did you know?
- We have 75 allotments of varying sizes high above the town at Mount Hill. They are currently all taken but vacancies do arise. Please contact the Parish Clerk if you are interested in joining the waiting list.
- Colyton Cemetery is a haven for six bat species which populate an old chapel now converted into a bat house.
- The Council maintains four small gardens for public enjoyment.
- A part-time gardener is supported by volunteers.
- Colyton has six dog waste bins that cost £65 apiece with an ongoing cost of £1,500 a year to empty. If you have a dog, please 'pick up' and use the bins.
A great place to live
It is good to remind ourselves occasionally how lucky we all are to live in such a beautiful and character-filled parish. Special thanks to talented local photographer Tim White for several of the pictures used here. If you have some special shots we might use for future issues (especially seasonal ones) do send them to email@example.com.
Green Wedge appeal rejected
An appeal against EDDC's refusal of planning permission for 15 homes on the Old Cricket Ground off Coly Road has been rejected by a Government Inspector. The appeal was lodged by Colyford Eden Ltd, which was seeking permission for ten affordable homes for rent and five executive properties. Planning Inspector, Hollie Nicholls, was of the opinion that development would contravene the EDDC Local Plan and would result in much closer coalescence in the 'Green Wedge' between Colyford and Colyton. The Colyford Village Residents Association (CVRA) spent many hours constructing an excellent defence for the hearing. Concern remains about the need for vigilance in case the developer returns with an alternative plan.
Work to enhance woodland
Work is underway on thinning trees in the community woodland beneath the Picnic Site off Hillhead. Parish Councillor Colin Pady explains that the best trees are being retained and others felled to create a more open feel. Some hedge laying is also planned within the woodland, which was taken over by the Parish Council in 1990. Management in the years since has included planting by schoolchildren of over 100 saplings plus a small apple orchard of native Devon species in 1995. Last year, two plum trees were added. The Axe Vale and District Conservation Society help to manage the woodland and hold regular work parties. Once a waste tip, the Picnic Site itself has been a local beauty spot since 1976 when it was created with parking area, picnic table and seats
Consultation for Neighbourhood Plan
The emerging Colyton Parish Neighbourhood Plan (NP) will be offered to the community for final stage comments over coming weeks. Over recent months, the steering group and its independent consultant have been finalising policies and responding to comments. Progress has been delayed due to the requirement to carry out a Strategic Environmental Assessment and a Habitats Regulations Assessment using independent consultants appointed and funded by Locality (a Government body).With that work almost complete, the NP will be ready for final stage comment from statutory bodies and the community. Paper and electronic copies will be widely available on the Colyton Parish Council (CPC) website and at various locations including the CPC office Colyton Town Hall, Library, St Andrews, Colyford Chapel and the Filling Station Cafe in Colyford. Please take time to view and comment.
The Bus that plugged the gap
The Parish Council stepped in to provide an emergency bus service when a three-week closure of Coly Road prevented the 885 service to Axminster and Seaton from travelling through Colyton. The Council and County Councillor Martin Shaw together funded a free bus service on an alternative route. Parish Councillor Howard West organised the service. "It provided an excellent service and was used by many residents," he says. "The bus managed to run daily even during the period of flooding. Thanks must go to Stamps Coaches for its reliable service and friendly driver, working quite often in difficult circumstances"
Emergency Plan addresses challenges
The Parish Council is in the final stages of producing a Community Emergency Plan. While most emergencies will always be dealt with by the specialist services, the community plan could provide valuable input for events such as extensive flooding, storm damage, deep snow and power failures that put pressure on resources. Although there is no statutory responsibility, the Council is following Devon County Council 's advice in putting a simple plan in place to enable the community to support itself during an emergency. The plan is being developed by a working group which will review it annually. If you are interested in volunteering for this programme, your participation would be welcomed - please register your interest with the Parish Clerk.
Picking up the potholes
Highway maintenance and drainage are amongst the big issues facing Colyton and Colyford. While the responsibility rests with Devon County Council, the Parish Council fulfills an important role via participation in a Transport Working Group. Councillors John Hay and Ken Clifford both sit on that group and input with advice on local problems and by lobbying for priorities to be dealt with. Continuing issues include the recurring break-up of the road surface on Lisham 's Drain and water rising through manholes in the Market Place. If you want to report a pothole you can do so here or call 01392 383329 (working hours). It helps if you can provide the recognised road name and postcode. You should be given a reference number to be quoted in any follow-up calls.
Cick one of the useful links below for EDDC information
Meet The Parish Clerk
Sasha Haines took over as Parish Clerk last September. Her office at the Town Hall is open to the public from 10.30 to 12.00 on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. She can be contacted by email or phone as shown at the foot of this newsletter.
The news content and pictures for this newsletter were provided by Councillor Ray Watts and a team of community volunteers consisting of Elaine Stratford and Alison Stenning. Our grateful thanks go to them