Category Archives: News

Any problems with Airband?

Our local MP, Geoffrey Cox, would be grateful to know of any residents who have had Airband installed and are experiencing difficulties. 
Should constituents wish to contact Mr Cox regarding this matter, they should be aware that he will pass on their concerns and details to Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS), as they are keen to know of any issues in this respect.  You can contact Geoffrey Cox by email at tellgeoffrey@geoffreycox.co.uk .

Highland cattle issues

The highland cattle are back on the moor at Gibbet Hill and are causing some concern for some local residents.  Last year several people were involved in incidents with the cattle, so if you have any concerns, or wish to report an incident , please contact Parish Councillor Dave Williams by email at brentorpc4@gmail.com.

Important Covid-19 updates from W Devon BC – what we all need to know

Important new guidelines on social distancing, meeting outdoors in public and in you own gardens, day trips etc have been issued by the government.  Here is a clear and concise guide to what they mean.

3rd July- Click here to see the latest information on track and trace, weddings and civil partnerships, MOTs, driving tests etc

23 June – Click here to see the latest information on lockdown easing,  information for those who are shielding , and the return of tourists to Devon

19 June – Click here to see further information including help for hospitality providers

12 June – Click here to see the new guidelines on support bubbles, face masks, schools etc

3 June – Click here to see information on new online skills courses and what is happening in schools

2 June – Click here to see the new guidelines on social distancing, meeting outdoors etc

 

 

Brentor Village Hall will remain closed until September at the earliest

Brentor Village Hall

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the Village Hall and Playing Field Committee have decided not to open the Village Hall until September.  These are unprecedented times and this date is the earliest thought to be possible.  The exact date will depend on government advice nearer the time.

In order for the Hall to reopen there are several guidelines that need to be met to ensure the safety of everyone.  Unfortunately the Committee are currently unable to make the Hall meet those guidelines, including but not limited to, those relating to social distancing.

For more information you can contact the Village Hall and Playing Field Committee by email at brentorvillagehall@gmail.com.

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.

Do you use Airband? Would you change if the opportunity arose?

Substantial parts of our Parish can not access the Airband  broadband system or other superfast systems such as 4G.  The residents in these areas are hoping to benefit from the Government’s Universal Service Obligation funding to get a fibre optic cable laid across the moor from the Mary Tavy exchange (see below !).  If this were to happen it is possible that fibre broadband and telephone services would become available throughout the village, opening up the choice of internet service providers. This is happening free of charge in other nearby areas, such as Horndon, which are already fibre enabled from the Mary Tavy exchange.  It could also lead to many fewer faults in the telephone system by getting rid of our antiquated copper wire telephone system.
The Parish Council would be interested to know how many residents currently using Airband or another system would be prepared to change back to BT or another ISP if it was available via fibre cable.  It would be helpful if you could please let the Parish Clerk know what you would do in this situation, assuming of course that it was no more expensive than Airband.   Please contact the Parish Clerk, tel: 01822 481415 or  email: brentorpc@yahoo.co.uk

Apply for faster broadband NOW – but it’s unlikely that anyone will want to pay £45,857 for connection!

NEWS
In 2018 the Government introduced the broadband  Universal Service Obligation (USO) and it is now in operation, offering a grant of up to £3,400 per household to pay for connection to a superfast broadband service.  Anyone without a broadband speed of 10mbs or a monthly bill in excess of £45 is eligible to apply.  The Government says that this is designed to help residents in the areas that cannot access existing superfast broadband systems such as Airband.   West Blackdown in Brentor is one such area and there are others within the parish.

However, people in the West Blackdown area of Brentor who have already registered their interest in the USO are being quoted   £45,857.02 for connection!   They have been told that only the first person signing up for connection will have to pay this sum!!!!!!!  Apparently the rest will get it for nothing.  Who will be the first we wonder!!!!   Clearly the £3,400 grant per household  offered under the USO scheme is not going to encourage them to take up this offer!  Those affected are already beginning to complain to our local MP,  Ofcom etc.   The Parish Council is also supporting them in this issue.   It is even more galling when we hear that residents in Mary Tavy and in hamlets further from the Mary Tavy digital exchange than Brentor, such as Horndon, are being given free connection to superfast broadband with no extra cost on their bills!!!!    This will save Openreach and BT money by removing the need to maintain the existing copper cable network. 

Watch this space!!!!!!

It will still help if you can register interest in the USO, since the more of us that complain about the cost, the more likely it is that those in charge will see sense.  Please call 0800 783 0223 – the staff you will speak to are very helpful and sympathetic and will just require your name, postcode and address, email address and telephone number.  It is free to do and there is no obligation to take up the grant or take part in the scheme, even if you go as far as asking for a firm quotation of the cost.

Devon Communities together have provided the following information about the USO:

Broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO) update

We are writing to inform you of the latest position on the broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO) which opened for applications on Friday 20 March.
As you may know, from that date, consumers and businesses who do not have access to ‘decent broadband’ (10 Megabits per second download speeds, 1 Mbit upload) will be able to request a USO connection up to a reasonable cost threshold of £3,400 per premise (this cost threshold can be combined across multiple premises).
The USO is just one part of an extensive programme of work to improve broadband connectivity in rural areas. The USO is intended as a safety net to ensure no-one is left behind on unreliable and slow speeds.
Ofcom is responsible for the implementation of the USO and has designated BT as the universal service provider.
Ofcom and BT will be launching a page on their websites which will go live on 20 March (see below). Ofcom’s website will contain key information along with a factsheet and details of who to contact for more information/queries.
Click here to see Ofcom’s factsheet

Click here to see BT’s information on the Universal Service Obligation

Who is eligible? There are two key conditions, consumers must:

  • Have no access to commercial ‘decent broadband’;
  • Not be within 1 year of UK Government or Devolved Administration supported rollout (with a defined date for delivery).

If consumers have access to a decent service that is priced more than £46.10/month, they will also have the right to request a universal service connection.
Consumers will be able to check if they are eligible by contacting BT (or KCOM). BT will be mailing out to eligible customers.
Arrangements for monitoring and reporting progress of the USO will be through Ofcom’s Connected Nations reports.

 If anyone in Brentor has further information please contact the website Editor, Colin Dawes, by email at  brentorvillage@btinternet.com. 
For more information about how this issue has evolved in Brentor click here

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

Boots pharmacies offering safe spaces for victims of domestic abuse

BOOTS pharmacies offering safe spaces for victims of domestic abuse

From today, Boots chemists are offering safe spaces within their pharmacies for victims of domestic abuse.   Anyone needing help can ask staff at the counter to use the consultation room, where they will be able to contact local services for help and advice.

It’s been launched by charity, Hestia, following an increase in calls to domestic violence helplines, since lockdown.  Devon’s regional domestic violence and abuse support charity, Splitz, saw a 62 per cent rise in the number of reports to them during April.

If you need help, please call Victim Support on 0300 303 0554. Lines are open 12pm-6pm Monday to Friday. If you need support outside of these times, call Supportline for free on 08 08 16 89 111. You can now also access Victim Support’s free live chat for 24/7 support.

Volunteers: Health & Care needs you!

Dear Volunteer,

As I am sure you are aware the people of Devon have come forward to help those most effected by the current COVID19 crisis. Volunteers are already providing much needed support to the most vulnerable in our communities however, as COVID-19 puts more pressure on our health and social care services we are looking for High Impact Volunteers who can help support vulnerable people in their homes.

We are looking for people with recent experience as a health or social care worker, both qualified and unqualified. We will ensure you are trained, supported and equipped to help a vulnerable person, or someone who may have dementia, a disability or a mental health problem with a range of tasks vital to their wellbeing, including helping people in their own homes.

You may be asked to provide a routine check on their health or welfare, you might be asked to help someone to eat or drink, to do essential laundry or cleaning, or to help prepare someone’s home in advance of their discharge from hospital. High Impact Volunteers will require DBS checks. If you are interested or would like further information, please contact West Devon CVS at volunteering@westdevoncvs.org.uk.

Thank you, your time and efforts are very much appreciated.

Best regards, Devon County Council

Thoughts on the coronavirus pandemic

THOUGHTS FROM A VILLAGER …….. At Station View the neighbours are busy in their gardens.   There has been a cheeky break into a chicken coup with feathers ruffled but no harm done. Vegetable gardens rotavated, turned and twisted, with rocks removed – enough to build another Brentor church.   The Brentor camaraderie is in full flair, with donated jams, plants and a friendly ‘good morning’.   Everyone is doing their bit for social distancing with a smile and a wave as they go.   For the NHS we say ‘thank you’!  For working hard to save the lives of the British public, we commend you.   It may seem safe in our village haven, but there are many less fortunate in built up areas with no green spaces.   For them the social distancing is all the more hard.   We thank you for your sacrifice. Stay safe, save lives, stay in doors, save the NHS. Brentor for all!
Kerry Palmer

If you have any reflections on Brentor’s reaction to the coronavirus pandemic, or photographs you would like to share,  please send them to the editor at brentorvillage@btinternet.com

Phone Hotline for Council coronavirus help now available

South Hams and West Devon Councils are now offering a hotline number for residents needing help and support during the Coronavirus outbreak – but please only use it if you don’t have access to a computer or smartphone.

The number, which will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, will be answered by the Community Co-ordination Team at the Council. Outside of these hours an answerphone service will be available.

The team can help people with a wide rangeBrentor Village – A Dartmoor Community of queries, such as where to get additional help and support, as well as putting residents in touch with their nearest community support group.

The hotline is intended for people who can’t access the information and support available through the council’s websites or social media.

Cllr Judy Pearce, Leader of South Hams District Council, said: “We’d urge you to keep this number free for those residents who don’t have a computer or a smartphone, and find it more difficult to access the help we can provide. I’m pleased that we’re able to offer our most vulnerable residents this extra service during this difficult time.”

Cllr Neil Jory, Leader of West Devon Borough Council agreed, saying: “It’s really important that we support our residents who are vulnerable and need help. Unfortunately these residents are often the most isolated members of our community without the benefits of technology. We want everyone to know that they aren’t alone and that if they have any questions they can pick up the phone and speak to us. If we can’t help there and then, we’ll know someone who can.”

The Community Support number in West Devon is 01822 813683.  An answerphone service is available outside of working hours.

Dartmoor National Park Management Plan public consultation extended to 20 May

The public consultation on the emerging Dartmoor National Park has been extended until May 31 2020.  The National Park Authority has taken the decision to extend the consultation due to the coronavirus pandemic,  wanting to be flexible under the current circumstances. The extension will provide an extra opportunity for those who have not yet responded to do so.

The DNPA says that the Management Plan is a bold and ambitious partnership plan to ensure Dartmoor continues to be protected and enhanced in the future.   It describes for everyone what the main issues, priorities, opportunities and challenges are whilst encouraging everyone to work together to conserve and enhance the special qualities of Dartmoor National Park, for the benefit of all. To get involved and share your views on the Management Plan please use the online survey.

Click here to see the Management Plan and the online survey

Coronavirus latest advice

Information concerning the Coronavirus outbreak is changing day on day.

Please click on the links below for the latest advice and information.

Advice from the NHS

Information from Public Health England

Government advice updates (gov.uk)

Information from West Devon Council for Voluntary Services

How to access local Citizen’s Advice including

Advice on how to dispose of waste if you have coronavirus  Do not put used tissues in recycling containers – only in black bags!

Brentor News delivery suspended but you can still see the latest edition here

Brentor Community Trust, which publishes Brentor News, must of course suspend the delivery of printed copies of its news sheet during the coronavirus outbreak.  However you can access the latest copy and future copies of Brentor News online on this website.  You can also receive it by email if you are on the Brentor ‘E-Robin’ mailing list (see below)

Click here to go to the Brentor News page.

The Brentor ‘E-Robin’ mailing list is a free service run by Brentor Community Trust.  About 90 households are already on this list and receive the latest information about events in the village.  During the coronavirus outbreak this system also provides a way to disseminate useful information quickly throughout the parish.
If you would like to be added to the free ‘E-Robin’ mailing list please email a request to brentorinfo@btinternet.com .

Local deliveries to your home

Many retailers are offering delivery services to those who are unable to leave their homes during the Coronavirus epidemic.  Many supermarkets cannot currently provide delivery slots but there are local suppliers who can deliver at shorter notice.

Sadly the  Mary Tavy Post Office is now closed for personal shoppers.  However, it is still running a delivery service for groceries/papers etc.  If you want to place an order, please email  marytavypo@gmail.com or call at 810422. Due to the amount of calls they have been receiving please only call between 9.00am -12:00pm, or email at any time.

The most comprehensive list of local delivery services is the ‘Tavistock Locals Help’ website with a constantly updated listclick here to view it.

There is also a list of local delivery services for food and other items on this website click here to see the list.

Coronavirus – Brentor Community Support Group

This support group has met to bring together volunteers from the village and provide assistance to those members of the community who need help during the coronavirus outbreak. 
The Brentor Community Support group is made up of volunteers from the charitable sectors in the village.  They have produced advice cards for every household in the parish offering help and support, from IT help to dog walking to chatting.  Shopping and collecting prescriptions, if required (given that  Mary Tavy Post Office will deliver a wide range of goods), will only be handled by DBS (basic criminal record checked) trained volunteers. If anyone would like to volunteer, email community.support@bmcneighbours.org.

Click here for more information about the help being offered

Think about local charities

Lots of charities are suffering from a lack of income and donations during the coronavirus epidemic.  Charity shops are closed but people still need help.

You can help by making a donation to a charity.  For example, you could transfer some money to a local charity such as the Tavistock Food Bank.  Their bank details are: sort code 60-21-49, a/c number 59650486.

Another local charity that must be suffering a loss of income is St Luke’s Hospiceclick here to donate

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.

Brentorians postpone their next production

The Brentorians drama group has decided, taking into account the temporary closure of the Village Hall and the developing situation concerning the Coronavirus epidemic, that it is necessary to postpone the Brentorians production due to be performed at the end of March.  They now expect to mount their production on 19, 20 and 21 November and hope to restart their rehearsals in September.

Church services suspended

Due to the coronavirus outbreak the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have advised the Church that public worship in the Parish must be suspended.
However, both churches are open for private prayer, meditation, or just stillness and silence.  The pastoral ministry of the Church will continue, albeit in different ways, which continue to speak words of hope to those who are going through difficult times.

Click her to find out further details

Back numbers of Brentor News now available online

Almost all the back issues of Brentor News are now available to view on this website.  Take a nostalgic look at how life was from November 1987 to the present day!  It’s been a mammoth task to scan all the copies and post them online, but it’s now complete! 481 copies are online but you will see that four are missing from the Brentor Living Archive’s collection. Perhaps you might have copies of the elusive ones somewhere at the back of a cupboard – if you do please contact Colin Dawes on 811079!
Click here to go to the Brentor News page.

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!

Brentor cemetery

You may have noticed the lack of maintenance at the cemetery In recent months.  This has been due to a combination of factors, mainly the ending of the previous grounds maintenance contract and the difficulty in filling the position due to the Corona-virus lockdown.  The Parish Council would like to reassure you that we have now appointed a new local contractor.  The first grass cut/tidy is due to take place at the end of June/beginning of July to allow the ox-eye daisies to complete their flowering cycle and encourage more flowers next year.
 
As always, if you have any queries or comments to make, please let the Parish Clerk know.

 

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.

A Brentor Inn memory

At the Brentor Inn, about 1968

In response to this website’s request for memories of the Brentor Inn during  its heyday, (scroll down the page to see this), Francesca Bell has sent this photo.

She writes:  “Just having a lovely read of your Brentor Village page and thought you may like this photo. It’s at the then Brentor Inn the day of my younger brother’s christening about 1968. My dad in the background, Eric Doidge, farmer at Cross Trees Farm South Brentor, my Mum Celia (a Brentorian, I’ve memorabilia from then – original programmes and photographs), then there is my sister Beverley, my brother Ashley, myself Francesca and my grandmother Ethel May Scott (formerly of the Fox and Hounds).
Many a cherryade had on that day by the look of it!
Regards Francesca Bell (nee Doidge) “

If you also have any memories of the Brentor Inn we would be pleased to hear from you.