With the life of the Parish Council, and term of office of Councillors, coming to an end 4 days after the Parish Council Elections on 2 May, a new Council will come into force until 2023.
Some people have never been to a Parish Council meeting, some come occasionally, some when there is a Planning Application they wish to make representations on – for or against, and some attend every meeting.
A Parish Council is the third tier of Local Government and a statutory consultee to the Local Authority, and in Georgeham’s case, North Devon Council, on Planning Applications.
Over the last 4 years, Councillors have considered and commented on 364 Planning Applications.
Although some may think a Parish Council is ineffective, it is a known fact that District Councils value the opinion of a Parish Council, especially for its local knowledge.
Far from being a lot of hot air, unmotivated and outdated, Parish Councils play an important role in the life of a community. That is evident from the number of phone calls and emails I and Councillors receive from parishioners. The Parish Council is the first ‘go to’ place when there is a problem or advice needed.
As I have said in past Annual Parish Meeting Reports, Councillors do a tremendous amount of work voluntarily, much of it unseen, but if it wasn’t done, then it certainly would be noticed.
Looking back over the Minutes for the last four years, this is a snapshot of what the Councillors of Georgeham Parish Council have been involved with for the benefit of the Parish and its parishioners:
New bus shelter at Croyde bridge
Refurbishment of Lodge in Georgeham Playing Field
Newberry Road pedestrian safety
Financial support for Croyde Village Hall’s footpath project
Housing Need Survey we are about to deliver to explore options for local affordable
Housing options for the Parish
Completed / Ongoing Projects:
New play area in Croyde (as well as ‘patching up’ the now removed equipment over the years)
Logistics for a new Lodge at Georgeham Playing Field, disposing of the metal shipping containers Paid for materials to create the Crib on the Green
New volleyball net
New seats in Croyde play park
New fence in Croyde play park
Ladybird springer at Georgeham Play Park
Electric Charging Station in Georgeham car park
Defibrillator at Georgeham
Handrail at Newberry Hill
Speed monitoring system in conjunction with Croyde Area Residents Association
Windbreak fence to volleyball court
Provided signage at key locations
Skateboard park mesh netting, surface, groundworks and construction of skatepark when the original was no longer useable
Arranged for tree surgery in St George’s Churchyard, Cemetery and Croyde Play Park
Re-tarmaced paths at the Cemetery
Dog waste bins in new areas, and payment for removal of waste of 14 bins on a weekly basis in the Winter and twice weekly in the Summer
Grass cutting of areas previously attended to by DCC
Contributed to dredging of the Crydda
Security patrols of Croyde Play Park during the Summer months
Additional grave spaces (Plots D and E) at Georgeham Cemetery
Support for the North Devon Record Office to enable items to be kept in North Devon (since 2016 and ongoing)
Annual oiling of benches donated by people to the memory of loved ones
Donation to the Primary School to mark its 150 th anniversary for a specific item to be purchased to present to a child each year for the outstanding work they have done
Fought hard against the live music events at Croyde View Camping and Sky Bar at Down End being concerned for the safety of those attending the events and the comfort of close neighbours
Supported the Neighbourhood Plan and numerous other projects
Georgeham is fortunate to have such a willing, proactive and dedicated group of Councillors who go out of their way to make sure the very best is achieved for the Parish.
Sue Squire Parish Clerk March 2019
Information on the Election Process can be viewed here:
Are there people in Georgeham Parish unable to rent or buy a home? Have people had to move away from the parish to find an affordable home?
The Parish Council needs to update the information on housing need in Georgeham Parish as well as canvassing the opinions of local residents.
The best way to identify the exact requirements is to carry out a Parish Housing Needs Survey.
In Georgeham Parish we will soon be posting a survey form to every home in the parish.
It is really important that as many households as possible complete and return the form so that the Parish Council can be given as comprehensive picture as possible of housing need. The figures obtained will help them to plan for the future and ensure that the correct number and size of homes are built in the parish for local people.
The survey is being administered by the Rural Housing Enabler at Devon Communities Together, which is an independent organisation. They will process the information and all personal details will remain confidential. No individual will be able to be identified from the survey report.
If you know someone who has moved from Georgeham Parish because they cannot afford accommodation then they can also complete the form. Extra forms can be obtained from Janice Alexander at Devon Communities Together on 01392 248919 Ext 7122 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Anyone needing any help with the form should also contact Janice for assistance.
If you believe you are in need of affordable housing, you should register with Devon Home Choice at www.devonhomechoice.com
Georgeham Parish Council would like to invite local people who need affordable housing to come and discuss their requirements with the local Rural Housing Enabler. A representative from Devon Home Choice will also be present to explain the registration process for affordable housing.
Date 16th April 2019 Croyde Village Hall: Time 10:00am – 2.00pm Georgeham Village Hall: Time 2:30pm —7:00pm
Georgeham Parish Council Lead Officer: Verlie Meek
Three members of the Steering Group have continued to meet approximately monthly, drawing on contributions from members of the Group, and the Parish Council (Councillor Tina Luxton concerning Housing, and Councillor Mike Harrison concerning Maps), and on the expertise of Dr Eirene Williams (Landscape). There has been ongoing consultation with Elizabeth Dee from North Devon District Planning Office.
In November 2018, the Draft Plan was distributed for a Pre-Submission Consultation. This is a formal 6-week process during which a wide range of Consultees are invited to comment on the draft plan. The Consultees not only include residents of the Parish, but many other bodies, both local and national, ranging from The National Trust, The Marine Conservation Organisation, Telecom Companies and neighbouring Parish Councils, as well as interested local organisations such as businesses and community groups.
At the time of writing the Georgeham Plan, the North Devon and Torridge Local Plan was not formally adopted; and North Devon District Council had not yet provided detailed guidance on how to approach Neighbourhood Planning in a small rural parish such as ours.
As a result of the Consultation process, we received valuable feedback, and have begun to implement some amendments to the plan. We needed to produce map references to highlight significant views in the parish and reference the text more closely with the Appendices.
As a result of the feedback we received, we have restructured the document to provide greater clarity and vision, without losing the content to which so many people have contributed.
We are required to produce a Consultation Statement detailing how people and organisations have contributed to the Plan, and how issues and concerns have been considered and addressed. Finally, before the formal submission of the document we must produce a ‘Basic
Conditions’ Statement to show how the Plan conforms to National Planning Policy, how it contributes to achieving sustainable development; how it conforms with strategic policies in the Local Development Plan, and how it is compatible with EU obligations, including human rights requirements.
We intend to complete this work before seeking further advice from Elizabeth Dee. Depending on her advice, we hope to be ready to submit the Plan to The inspector at Easter
Proposal to merge Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police
Please take the time to read the message below and involve yourselves in the survey, this is an opportunity for members of the public to have an input into the future shape of policing in our region.
The chief constables of Devon and Cornwall Police and Dorset Police have been progressing with the proposal to merge the 2 forces since the announcement was made last September.
Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez (Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly) and Martyn Underhill (Dorset) have launched a public survey to know what the public think of the plans for a merger of the 2 forces.
In a joint statement Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer (Devon and Cornwall) and James Vaughan (Dorset) said “The merger is set in the context of an ever increasing local, national and international demand on policing which requires investment and new approaches. This in addition to the increasing financial challenges which the PCCs are actively seeking to address is amongst some of the arguments in favour of a merger.
We believe the proposed merger is also the right thing to do, not only for our communities but also in respect of the wider South West landscape and our workforce who are actively managing those increasing demands on a daily basis.
At an extraordinary meeting of North Devon Council on Wednesday evening the 20th of September the District Council agreed to make a recommendation to the Boundary Commission for England as follows:
Morte Hoe and Woolacombe ward reduced to a one councillor ward covering Woolacombe, Morte Hoe, Lincombe Lee and West Down. The proposal then has Georgeham included within a Braunton East ward along with Knowle, and Croyde included within a Braunton West ward.
These changes will not affect the Parish boundary at present but as for the future, who knows what may happen. Effectively we will have district councillor coverage of our parish granted by two Brunton based councillors and that is where I believe their priorities will lie. Also this will effectively split Georgeham Parish in two as far as district councillor cover goes – not a good idea at all in my opinion.
As far as funding and enhancement of Georgeham, Croyde and the outer Parish hamlets goes, we could end up with the short end of the stick for most of the time so to speak. I strongly urge you all as residents of Georgeham Parish to voice your concerns over these proposals and object to them in the strongest possible terms.
You may wish to make representation to the relevant body that will eventually make this decision about all of our futures.
Cut off date for objections and concerns: 2nd October 2017
Address by post to:
Local Government Boundary Commission for England
14 Millbank Tower
London SW1P 4QP
North Devon Link Road – Public Consultation Exhibitions on Proposals for Improvement between South Molton to Bideford.
Devon County Council is consulting on a scheme to improve the section of the NDLR between Borner’s Bridge Junction on the A361 north of South Molton and Heywood Road Roundabout on the A39 north of Bideford to help inform further design work and develop a preferred option.
Public Consultation exhibitions are being held at the following locations to provide information and to give you the opportunity to ask any questions.
Green Lanes (Barnstaple)
Friday 16th June 2017 – 9am to 5pm
Saturday 17th June 2017 – 9am to 5pm
Town Hall (Bideford)
Tuesday 20th June 2017 – 12pm to 8pm
Amory Centre (South Molton)
Friday 23rd June 2017 – 12pm to 8pm
Bideford Room – Taw View, Barnstaple
Monday 24th July 2017 – Friday 28th July 2017
Or visit our website and have your say from 9th June to 28th July 2017
Letter Below from Rachel Walker
Senior Engineer (Special Projects)
Engineering Design Group – Devon County Council
Good morning I am emailing you to give you advanced notice that Devon County Council will be holding a Public Consultation on the North Devon Link Road (NDLR).
The NDLR is inadequate in performing its multiple functions of a strategic transport link, local route and focus for economic growth. Devon County Council is consulting on a scheme to improve the section of the NDLR between Borner’s Bridge Junction on the A361 north of South Molton and Heywood Road Roundabout on the A39 north of Bideford to help inform further design work and develop a preferred option.
The potential improvements to the NDLR aim to be the catalyst to facilitate a higher level of economic development by driving forward an ambitious growth strategy for the area as set out in the Local Plan. The scheme will be a substantial improvement to the existing road and address several issues already prevalent along the route.
The Public Consultation will run from the 9th June, 2017 and last for 7 weeks until 28th July, 2017. Public Consultation exhibitions are being held at the following locations to provide information about the preliminary design option for improving this section of the NDLR and to give you the opportunity to ask any questions.
Green Lanes (Barnstaple)
Town Hall (Bideford)
Amory Centre (South Molton)
Unmanned Exhibition – Bideford Room – Taw View, Barnstaple
Due to the need to meet the government’s timetable for submission of the funding bid there is a 7-week period for your consideration of the proposals and response. Consequently we are providing advance notice of this in the anticipation that you can meet this deadline. If you see this as a problem please let me know as soon as possible. I have also attached a poster advertising the exhibitions, which I would be grateful if you could display on your public noticeboards.