Brentor Parish Council Vacancies

The Parish Clerk has asked for the following vacancies to be brought to the notice of the parish:

NOTICE OF VACANCY

Due to the resignations of Councillors Sheila and John Burrows, The Parish Council are looking to fill the two vacancies created following their decisions.

A by-election to fill the vacancies will be held if within 14 days of the date of this Notice (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Bank Holidays) ten electors from the Parish give notice in writing to the Returning Officer requiring that such an election be held.

The address of the Returning Officer is West Devon Borough Council, Kilworthy Park, Drake Road, Tavistock, Devon PL19 0BZ

If no such notice is given, the Parish Council will fill the vacancies through co-option.

Dated 6th September 2018

Do you have memories of the Brentor Inn?

Harvest Festival at the Brentor Inn, 1970

There are many people in Brentor who remember happy times in the Brentor Inn when it was open – a real meeting place for the community.  Do you have any photographs that could be made into a gallery about the pub on this website?  Here’s a good one as a starter…….

The Brentor Inn (named Brentor Hotel) in its heyday
Sale poster of the Herrings Inn, 1838

Did you know that the Brentor Inn used to be called The Herrings Arms – no doubt because for many years the Herring family owned Langstone and local land, including some alongside Burn Lane.

What a shame that Brentor no longer has a pub that is open.  Back in May 2005 Brentor News carried the following article:-

‘ Brentor Inn Update
The new owners of the Brentor Inn – Cynthia and Dudley Smith, daughter Emma Harcourt- Smith and partner Andy Stone – are hoping to open by Christmas.  Since buying The Brentor Inn last June, they have needed several re-thinks on structure, design and layout but now feel they have an achievable scheme and “will be applying for planning permission for the changes within the next two weeks”.
Changes will include a new kitchen, toilets and a cellar. The intention is to open initially as a pub with a range of beers and simple but goodbar food. The function room will open later – hopefully with restaurant facilities.
Sharp-eyed passers-by will have noticed the recent appearance in the car park of a JCB, which has been purchased for the construction. The family has engineering experience in varying forms – which should help.
We are happy to report that they all categorically deny any rumours about applying for change of use! ‘

Cattle can be dangerous!

A Brentor resident was recently injured by one of the highland cattle that graze the moor on Gibbet Hill.  She needed medical treatment.  Another dog walker has also reported his dog being chased by a cow, and then being approached himself by the animal.

Kevin Hilborn, who owns the cattle, has made the following comments in an email to the Editor of this website, in response to an article about the injury incident in the September 2018 edition of Brentor News
‘I own the highland cattle and would like to point out that you have missed the crucial part of why the cow reacted how she did.  The lady had three dogs running and they went between the cow and its young calf.  All cattle with calves are very protective and will react to dogs going too close. There was a reason behind it, not just a random occurrence.  We have seen people walk straight through the middle of them instead of going round, and trying to get photos.
Please ask people to give them space and not to take dogs near them. Please respect the animals on the moor, plenty of room for everyone and everything.’

We should therefore all take extra care when walking near all cattle on the moor, especially when walking dogs.  NEVER WALK BETWEEN COWS AND THEIR CALVES.  It should be noted that nationwide there are on average two deaths per year due to trampling by cows, often involving cows defending their calves and also involving dogs.
It is not just on the moor where such incidents can occur.  If you find you and your dog in a field of suddenly wary cattle, move away as carefully and quietly as possible, and if you feel threatened by cattle then let go of your dog’s lead and let it run free rather than try to protect it and endanger yourself.  The dog will outrun the cows and it will also outrun you.Those without canine companions should follow similar advice – move away calmly, do not panic and make no sudden noises. The chances are the cows will leave you alone once they establish that you pose no threat.
If you walk through a field of cows with calves, think twice – if you can, go another way and avoid crossing the field.

New Art Courses at Brentor Village Hall

Local professional artist Jo Larsen Burnett is starting a new venture at Brentor Village Hall. 

Jo LB running a children’s creative art table at the Brentor Summer Fayre

Along with Lamerton artist Nicky Beaumont , Jo will be be running a series of art classes for improvers and beginners from 1st October, under the banner of West Devon Art Courses There will be tutored programes in drawing, painting and printmaking.  At Brentor Village Hall there will also be an opporuntiy to explore book binding and artists’ books with Jo LB .

The carefully-designed morning timetable will encourage experimentation and give access to new ways of seeing.  Each five week foundation programme will take participants through the basic approaches and progress to developing techniques which will help them to improve their art.  The afternoons will run as an Art Group.  These open sessions are for participants’ own projects or to practice skills learnt during the tutored sessions.  This will be an opportunity to take advantage of the support and direction of Jo and Nicky or to just enjoy being part of a creative group.

Click here to see the WEST DARTMOOR ART COURSES brochure

The Unearth Project performance on 7th October

Unearth is being organised by Villages in Action and is generously supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

The Unearth Archive Film evening

Brentor’s contribution to this exciting rural heritage project will culminate on 7th October with a multi-media performance sharing the stories of Brentor’s past.  A team from Villages in Action, including a playwright, two actors, a sculptor, a digital artist and a folk musician will join forces to tell stories from Brentor.

The first Brentor event in the Unearth Project was the well-attended Archive Film Evening at the Village Hall on 29th June.  About 50 people enjoyed seeing a number of short films relating to Brentor and the surrounding area, provided by the South West Film and Television Archive.

Unearth is a community exploration of local history through stories, music, images and happenings, run in eight Devon villages including Brentor.  It is being led in our parish by the Brentor Archive Group, who have already provided stories of the history of the parish and our community for the project.
If you want to learn more please contact Mike Whitfield on 810209 or John Wheeler on 810083.

Brentor Commons update – August 2018

After the virility of spring and early summer, the lassitude of August is somewhat a disappointment.  The energy expended by the nesting birds and flowering plants has been replaced by a period of rest and recovery with our flora and fauna getting ready for the winter to come.  Our wildlife walk around the commons reflected this with birdsong eerily silent and the few flowering plants swamped in a sea of green.  We did however have a most pleasant stroll with sightings varying from a calling raven to an interesting variety of butterflies. Our visit to the pond on Liddaton common gave rise to a useful discussion of ways forward to make this area a more interesting and valuable environment.

The paths have been cut again and the bracken rolled.  Walking around is now much more enjoyable with wide paths no longer crowded in with collapsing wet foliage.  I am sure all of us dog walkers and dogs are feeling liberated with the extra space.

The rowan fruit is very fine this year with the large clusters of orange-red berries strikingly standing out against rather uniform green background.  Blackberries and sloes are also abundant with supplies for all.  I am always surprised that the more blackberries are picked the better they are for the next collector.  To find the best fruit just look to see where the bushes have been recently trampled.  The apples in our gardens are also abundant so it is blackberry and apple pies all round for our Sunday lunch.

It is hard to imagine that our summer visitors will soon be departing.  The swifts have gone already.  Soon the overhead wires will be used by the swallows to gather in preparation for their incredible journeys to come.

Barry Albrighton

Click here to see earlier monthly Commons updates by Barry Albrighton

We need your contributions!

A silver-washed fritillary butterfly in West Blackdown, August 2018 – photo by John Drury

Do you have an interesting photo, an informative item about the village or an event that you need to promote?

We want to keep this website topical, local and up-to-date, so please send your potential contributions to the Editor at brentorvillage@btinternet.com .

Reporting potholes

A pothole on Brentor Road – it was reported and is now repaired!

After the wet and freezing weather potholes seem to appear overnight in our local roads.  It is easy to report them for repair – click here to go to the Devon County Council roads and transport website page to report them.

You’ll need to take a photograph and note where the pothole is, so that you can mark its position on the County Council’s website,  but it’s easy and worthwhile to do and it could prevent an accident.

If you are reporting an emergency that requires immediate attention, please call the County Council on 0345 155 1004.  An emergency on the highway is defined as something that is very likely to present an imminent threat to life or serious injury or serious damage to property.

Where next for Brentor broadband?

LATEST NEWS

Where does Brentor go next for its Superfast Broadband?  There is no question that those residents who have a line of sight to one of Airband’s transmitters have access to superfast broadband,  although there is evidently little choice of providers and no access to the major internet service providers as originally promised by Connecting Devon and Somerset and Airband.  For the rest of the village there is only a prospect of continuing with the current poor internet speeds via the Openreach copper cable system until we all have a right to demand a minimum of 10mbs in 2020 through the Governement’s proposed ‘Universal Service Obligation’ for broadband provision.  But how will even this modest increase in internet speed be achieved?  More Airband?  Openreach fibre to the village via a fibre cable across the moor from Mary Tavy – with us paying through a Community Fibre Partnership?  Or even some new technology such as ‘white space’ that uses the television transmitters?

The website Editor, Colin Dawes, wrote to Geoffrey Cox MP to bring these matters to his attention.  Mr Cox in turn contacted Openreach and received the following letter:

Dear Mr Cox
Thank you for your email of 1 December about Geoffrey’s constituent Colin Dawes of The Old School, West Blackdown, Brentor, Tavistock, Devon, PL19 0NB.  I’m sorry for the delay in getting back to you. 
I understand the frustration felt by Mr Dawes and other residents of Brentor over the slow broadband speeds to the village.  I appreciate their need for a faster connection and the benefits that this would bring to the area.  I have looked into the matter and I am now in a position to respond.
Current ADSL Copper broadband service
As Mr Dawes mentions, many residents of Brentor are unable to receive a faster ADSL broadband service.  The reason for this is the distance of the premises from Mary Tavy exchange that serves the area, rather than any inherent defects with the local network.
Our records show that Mr Dawes should currently be receiving speeds of up to 4Mbps.  This is the speeds that we would expect to see on his line due to the distance of his premises from the exchange.  It may help if I explain that for ADSL broadband to work effectively, the ideal cable distance of the line from the exchange to the user’s premises is up to 6km.  Unfortunately, broadband speeds are slower across Brentor as you move further away from the exchange.
We have investigated the condition of the local cable network.   Our local engineering manager has confirmed that there are no underlying issues that are impacting on broadband performance.  Also, the fault volumes for the area are below the national average.  All this confirms is that the local network is up to the required standard.  Moreover, our records show that there’s ample capacity in the local network to cope with any requests for new telephone service.
If any residents are experiencing problems with their telephone or broadband service, they need to raise with their Service Provider (SP), with whom they have a contract and pay their bill to.  All SPs have dedicated contact points within Openreach if they need to request an engineering visit or escalate an issue. 
Fibre broadband availability
Mary Tavy exchange is one of our smaller exchanges, with around 700 premises connected to it.  However, the good news is that it was upgraded in November 2016 to deliver fibre broadband with support from the Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) project.
The technology CDS deployed in this exchange area is largely Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC).  The cabinet serving Brentor has been upgraded, but like ADSL Copper broadband, FTTC is also a distance-related service.
For FTTC to work reliably, the cable length of the copper line from the fibre cabinet to the premises needs to be up to 1.5km. Anything over this limit, there’s a degradation in speed before the service fails altogether.  Unfortunately, Brentor is too far from the fibre cabinet and so sadly, out of range to receive FTTC services.  Mr Dawes’ premises are some 3km away – simply too long benefit from a FTTC product. 
We’re very much aware that premises in this situation present us with a specific set of engineering challenges, but the issue affects a relatively small number of lines. Technical solutions such as Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), extending the fibre cable route to bring it closer to the area/community or deploying alternative technology are being implemented in many areas right now.  However, they are economically challenging and as such they are usually only deployed via the public funding route.
Having looked into Mr Dawes’s concerns, it’s largely about a wireless solution that has been provided by Airband to deliver high-speed connectivity with support from CDS.  This is not a service Openreach has provided so we can’t offer any comment about its quality, cost or performance.  This issue is best raised with CDS or Airband directly. 
Community Fibre Partnership (CFP)
We’re having great success with a new initiative called CFP – specifically intended to help communities – that are unlikely to be covered by private commercial plans or publicly funded projects.  This will be the remaining few percent of UK premises.
Across the UK we have worked with over 400 communities directly and delivered fibre broadband sooner than otherwise would have been possible.
A CFP involves a local group working directly with us.  Mr Dawes mentions being quoted £50k to run a fibre service across the moor to serve Brentor, but our CFP team cannot find any record of providing any such quote for this area.  
If Mr Dawes is interested in this in this option, then more details on CFP can be found on our website.   He can have a discussion with other residents who are in a similar situation to him and would also like to enjoy the benefits of fibre broadband.  There are a lot of details on CFP on our website below:
http://www.communityfibre.bt.com/
We’ll be happy to engage with the local community and meet with them to discuss their options and advise of the sum they need to pay.  We try to do everything we can to provide support and make it affordable as possible, such as looking for alternative solutions such as overhead cabling.  The more residents participate in the scheme the better it is as this will help to bring down the cost for each householder.
Finally
I’m really sorry that I am unable to provide a positive response for Mr Dawes at this time, but I hope it helps to explain our position.  
Please get back to me if there’s anything else you need relating to this matter. If you have any other Openreach related constituency enquiries, please continue to contact Michael Salter-Church or Denise at parliamentary.help@openreach.co.uk. If you have constituency issues relating to BT Group (including EE and BT Consumer) please contact Clova Fyfe at clova.fyfe@bt.com.
Best wishes,
Graeme Hughes
Customer Resolutions – Openreach High Level Complaints

Openreach
Web: www.openreach.co.uk

The website Editor replied to Geoffrey Cox MP in response to this information.  In turn Mr Cox wrote again to Openreach and received a further letter in reply:

Dear Mr Cox
Thank you for your further email regarding your constituent, Colin Dawes.  I’m very sorry for the delay in getting back to you.
I’m sorry to hear that Mr Dawes has received conflicting information regarding fibre availability to his area.  As mentioned previously, his area is fibre enabled, however the it is unlikely to work to a satisfactory level due to the distance his property is from the cabinet. 
I have spoken with our Community Fibre Partnership (CFP) team regarding the matter and they would be happy to discuss the matter with him and provide a quote for a CFP.  If Mr Dawes is interested, he can contact our CFP team direct.  More information and contact details are available at the following link:
http://www.communityfibre.bt.com/
Mr Dawes also refers to receiving 10Mbps in 2020.  BT had made a voluntary offer to the Government to help achieve its goal of delivering a universal minimum 10Mbps broadband service across the UK. BT’s proposed Universal Broadband Commitment (UBC) did not rely on public subsidy and was an alternative to a broadband USO which would also require legislation. It will also ensure that the majority of connections will be well in excess of 10Mbps.
After weighing up the benefits of both options the government has opted to go with the USO model which aims to give people the legal right to access a broadband connection of at least 10Mbps by 2020. We respect the government’s decision and Openreach want to get on with the job of making decent broadband available to everyone in the UK. We’ll continue to explore the commercial options for bringing faster speeds to those parts of the country which are hardest-to-reach.
Alongside this, we’ll work closely with Government, Ofcom and industry to help deliver the regulatory USO. We look forward to receiving more details from the Government outlining its approach to defining the regulatory USO, including the proposed funding mechanism.
I hope this helps to confirm he situation for Mr Dawes, but I’m sorry I don’t have any positive news for him at this time.
Best wishes,
Graeme Hughes
Customer Resolutions – Openreach High Level Complaints

Openreach
Web: www.openreach.co.uk

So that is where those of us without Airband access are at the moment – ‘No positive news’.  If anyone in Brentor has further information please do contact the website Editor, Colin Dawes, at colinvdawes@btinternet.com.  It might well be worth lobbying Geoffrey Cox MP to ensure that the Government’s commitment to the USO (Universal Service Obligation) as mentioned in the above letter actually becomes law!


 

 You can still check your broadband speed by clicking here. (Just click the button marked ‘Start Speed Test’ below the two dials).

For more information about how this issue has evolved click here

Colin Dawes, Editor

Brentor Commons Association already benefitting from the Co-op Local Community Fund

Brentor Commons Association is benefitting this year from the Co-op Local Community Fund.  The funding started on 12 November 2017 and will  run until the 27 October 2018.

Their first quarterly payment from the Fund amounted to £494, an amazing benefit to the Association, because rule changes by DEFRA mean that the common land owned by the Association no longer receives any funding for conservation work – unlike commercial operations such as farms, private estates etc.  Thank you Co-op!
 
How the Community Fund works
Every time Co-op members shop at the Co-op, 1% of what they spend on selected own-brand products and services goes to the Co-op Local Community Fund.  The Co-op will also give the Brentor Commons Association (shared with two other local causes) a share of the money they raise from sales of carrier bags.  Co-op shoppers who are Co-op members (ie  have a membership card) must first choose the Commons Association as their cause for their 1% to go to them and not the other causes – to do this click here to go to the coop.co.uk/membership website.
The more you shop at the Co-op, the more the Commons Association will benefit.

Ongoing community issues

This section of the website sets out to provide a source of information about issues which are of ongoing concern to our village.  Often these issues first appear on this home page, but require additional space to do them justice.

Click here for information about Broadband provision for Brentor
Click here for information about Affordable Housing provision in Brentor
Click here for information about the possible new railway line through Brentor (part of the Dawlish alternative route)

We want your recipes!

This website now has a recipes page, but there’s only a few recipes on it! 
As we all know, lot of Brentor’s social life revolves around cooking and eating with family and friends.  The recipes on the new page have been provided by Brentor residents past and present.  No doubt some have been adapted and improved as the years pass – and they are reminders of residents past and present and of many good times around the table, as well as being household favourites.
WE NEED LOTS MORE RECIPES!  So please email your contributions – a recipe with a small introductory text – to the editor, Colin Dawes, at brentorvillage@btinternet.com . 

Click here to go to the Recipe Book page

Sign up to receive Brentor event reminders by email!

How often do you think ‘I wish I had remembered to go to that!’?
If you sign up for the free village event reminder service that won’t happen again.
For many special village events or activities you will receive an email reminder during the week before the event. Occasionally events are put on at short notice and may only be advertised by this service.
So why not join over 80 households who have already signed up!
To take advantage of this free service just send your email to brentorinfo@btinternet.com.
Colin Dawes
 

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