Category Archives: Community

Brentor Parish Council Vacancy

NOTICE OF VACANCY

 Following the resignation of Councillor Lin Bristow, there is one vacancy on Brentor Parish Council.  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.

Where ten valid requests for a by-election are received by the Proper Officer then under the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 and The Local Government and Police and Crime Commissioner (Coronavirus)(Postponement of Elections and Referendums)(England and Wales) Regulations 2020 the by-election will not currently take place, and the vacancy will be held open until the by-election takes place. The 2020 regulations provide for the by-election to take place on the date for the Ordinary Election of Councillors due to be held on Thursday 6 May 2021. However, this date may be brought forward or deferred by the Government depending upon the circumstances. Any Election that is in due course called will be duly publicised as required by law.

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

A request for an election can also be scanned and emailed to elections@westdevon.gov.uk ,and must contain a “wet ink” signature.

If no such notice is given, the Parish Council will fill the vacancy through co-option.  For further information please contact the Clerk to the Parish Council.

Mrs Caroline Oxenham  Clerk
Dated: 16th July 2020                 

Call for children to ‘Spread Some Sunshine’

Artistic and green-fingered children across West Devon have a new creative challenge during the Covid-19 lockdown, ‘Let’s Spread Some Sunshine’ – a colourful competition launched by West Devon Borough Council and their waste and recycling partner, FCC Environment.
Delighted by the recent show of support for key workers, the Councils and FCC Environment’s joint campaign aims to bring the community even further together.  Children are being encouraged to make more colourful pictures for their local bin and street cleansing crews.  In return they will receive sunflower seeds that they can grow to bring a splash of colour and join in with the fun competition during the lockdown.
Whilst a number of people are isolated in their households, key workers across the UK are on the front line continuing to deliver for the nation.  Along with countless professionals in the emergency services, health, social care and other vital sectors, the list of essential workers also includes waste management.
Cleaning up the streets and neighbourhoods of West Devon are crews from FCC Environment, the UK’s leading waste and resource management company. Over the last few weeks, the team has been overwhelmed by the volume of community kindness it has received as it found warm, handwritten notes and drawings left on their bins by residents and children.
Councillor Caroline Mott, Lead Member for the Environment said “We are now looking to boost this special sense of community spirit even further with a ‘Let’s Spread Some Sunshine’ campaign. Children can get a picture to colour in by clicking here. Alternatively, children can create their own picture or collage and leave it on their recycling container on the next collection day.  In turn,  the bin crew will leave a packet of seeds for the children to grow as part of a community-wide competition to grow the tallest sunflower.”
The winner with the tallest sunflower will be awarded with a prize by FCC Environment.
FCC Environment’s Area Manager, Mike Stass, commented  “We are delighted to kick off this contest for children and residents of West Devon and South Hams.  For the last month or so, our team has received an overwhelming number of warm messages and good wishes from the community.  It is now our turn to share the support during this difficult time.  We are grateful for this opportunity to engage with the community we work in further and we look forward to seeing the drawings and enjoying the sunflowers.”
The winner will receive a prize, giving them something to look forward to after the lockdown, with no cash alternative. The judge’s choice of winner is final, and no correspondence will be entered into.

Compost toilet for the Playing Field – but closed at present

Thanks to a grant from the Communities Lottery, the Village Hall and Playing Field Committee has been able to install a composting toilet on the playing field. The toilet is suitable for use by disabled persons.

However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, the toilet not be opened but will be available for use as soon as it can be safely used.
Please email brentorvillagehall@gmail.com for more information.

Drainage Maintenance Responsibilities

The February storms have brought the issue of drainage into sharp focus.  Drain and ditch clearance has always been important in Brentor, but the effect of climate change, bringing heavier and more frequent rain and storms, is now making this even more vital.
At a recent Town and Parish Conference a great deal of interest was shown in who is responsible for maintaining and clearing drainage systems on and around Devon’s highways.  Significant public funds have been invested by Devon County Council in a programme of ditch clearance to drain the water from the highway.  However, in the majority of cases, the responsibility for ditch maintenance rests with the adjacent landowner, even if the ditches take water from the highway.  Therefore local authority funding is being used to undertake works which are, in part, the responsibility of the landowners!  This is reducing the funds available to undertake works which really are the authority’s responsibility.

Also landowners and occupiers are required by law to trim any hedge next to the public highway where the growth is preventing the passage, or affecting the safety, of the highway user.It’s worth taking a look at the following documents if you own property by a road:
• A factsheet titled Roads and farmers produced by Devon County Council.
• Information regarding overgrown vegetation is available on the Devon County Council website here by clicking here.

 

Village Hall Open Meeting suggests rebuilding the Hall

Brentor’s Village Hall and Playing Field Committee has been looking for ideas on how to move forward with the Village Hall.  They are a registered charity, whose duty is to run the Village Hall and Playing Field for the benefit of our community.

Although the Hall was improved with a new kitchen, toilets and store in 2010, the old part of the building, dating from 1912, has significant problems with its fabric.  About 20 villagers (including most of the Parish Council) went to the meeting about future plans for the Hall and heard from Sheryl Burroughs, the Chair of the Committee, that a structural survey of the hall has revealed that the Hall’s outer cladding will need complete replacement.  This could apparently cost up to £30,000, and the Committee asked for suggestions on how the money could be raised.  Click here to read the full Village Hall Structural survey.

However, members of the audience questioned the sense of spending so much money, only to end up with a building with the same problems as at present.  As well as the issues with the cladding, they pointed out that there are problems with the floor structure, which will probably soon need replacing at considerable cost.  Also the completely uninsulated nature of the building leads to condensation and mould growth on the inside walls.  Due to the timber-frame construction of the building it is not possible to insulate the walls and roof within the structure, and the roof would not be strong enought to be insulated internally.  A representative of Brentor Parish Council said that the Parish Council had discussed the issues of the Hall and would not support any proposals just to maintain the Hall as it is.  It was said that Government regulations relating to the declared Climate Emergency would necessitate improving the environmental sustainability of the Hall if it is to remain open in the future.  It was also pointed out that most grant-giving bodies these days rightly insist on building work improving the sustainability of the building being funded, so the likelihood of funds being available to maintain the status quo were therefore reduced.

Many attendees at the meeting expressed a great love for the Hall in its present form, but the meeting overwhelmingly came to the conclusion that it would be far wiser to attempt to rebuild the Hall, enabling it to be properly insulated and to improve the quality of its provision for our village.  When the Hall was refurbished in 2010 with a new kitchen, toilets, store and disabled persons’ facilities, the grant applications were made on the understanding that this was phase 1 of the project, with the replacement of the main hall as a phase 2 for the future.  The new build was constructed so that this could happen, and therefore only the hall would need to be replaced completely.  It was suggested that, with careful design from a sympathetic architect, the new Hall would be able to preserve its current welcoming atmosphere and character.

There was also concern about closing the Hall for up to a year during the rebuilding period.  However, when the Hall was closed in 2009/10 for the phase 1 rebuild, events such as the Mistletoe Fair were successfully held elsewhere in the village and the Brentorians created a film rather than a play.  When the improved Hall reopened in 2010 there was a marked surge in bookings due to its much improved facilities.  Now that the Hall owns a marquee this could be used on the playing field for larger events during the closure period.

A number of attendees at the meeting volunteered to help with fundraising for a hall rebuild, and at the end of the evening the Village Hall and Playing Field Committee agreed to discuss this matter at their next meeting and to progress this issue further in the near future – watch this space!

Community Housing latest

There has been very little obvious progress since July 2019.  There is still no sign of a planning application, but it is understood that the scheme’s plans have been amended by the architects to reflect the views given at the open days.

Brentor Parish Council released the following statement on 18th July 2019:

PROPOSED HOUSING

Figures have now been collated from the Housing Needs Survey conducted in July 2018 and the 2 public presentation days.  

The presentations were very well attended and figures show that the development is oversubscribed by local people who will be eligible to live there.

The latest data indicates a need for 11 affordable homes and 6 open market homes, which meet the criteria for an affordable development as required by WDBC and DNPA.  The planned development remains fixed at 12 properties.

Further progress has been slightly delayed due to the recent elections, but it is understood that the plans will be submitted to DNPA shortly with a planning decision expected in September.  Construction should then commence late Autumn or early next year.

 Further information will be published as and when it is received.

We need your contributions!

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 .

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