MY round of surgeries in the parishes has proved once again to be disappointing.

These surgeries take some time, not just the drive there, but to spend an hour or so waiting for people to turn up, so I am considering if this is a good use of my time. I can always be contacted by telephone or email.

Last week I attended the Highways and Traffic Order Committee (HATOC for short) where we discussed the ever growing problem of potholes, poor road surfaces, cleaning and jetting of drains.

During the summer months there has been some progress on road repairs I'm glad to report.

These will continue, especially as the schools are closed, and so we do not have the 16 or so buses running around the area.

I did raise my concerns about schoolchildren and traffic!

This came about because I had an email from a concerned grandmother who was taking her child to school in Crediton and was luckily on-hand to prevent her being hit by a reversing van.

I spoke about this with the officers and suggested that we should visit all schools over the next few months to see what the road conditions are and how quickly the traffic is travelling.

One solution I have is traffic calming measures, 20 mile an hour signs with a flashing light above coming on at the peak school hours and in some cases closing the road during the peak morning and afternoon periods if there is an alternative route that can be used.

You may have seen the uproar about closing the mobile library service in order to save £217,000.

The other day a mobile library van went through Crediton and I saw that it had a 56 plate which means that it is 17 years old.

This is one of the problems, the five vans are old and expensive to maintain.

In Crediton they have a very good volunteer service where people take books out to those in isolated areas.

I think we need to think creatively about helping our rural communities and maybe taking up some of the money the county is going to save if it does close the mobile library service.

Looking around the Devon County Council website I've seen that there are a few very useful links. There is a Growing Community Fund which can be accessed online by emailing: [email protected] .

You may be aware that Co Cars is going into administration. It was set up a few years ago with a grant of £222,000 from Devon County's transport plan funding, which was matched by a government grant. At the moment they are looking for some other group to take over the project.

Walking around Crediton and some of the villages I'm quite disturbed by the amount of weeds growing on the pavements and in the gutters. It is clear that the two higher tier councils are unable to do very much because of budget constraints so could I encourage us all to look after the pavement in front of our house and do our best to keep it clear. We must also encourage shopkeepers to do the same and help those of our neighbours who might find this difficult!

Have a great August!