NOVEMBER has been a quiet month for meetings but many decisions have been made at district, county and government level.

The contract for road repairs, which is currently held by Milestone has been in operation since April 2017 and is due to run out in 2027. 

This 10-year contract has been worth £400 million and will be up for tender.

Devon County Council Cabinet is looking into setting up a scrutiny spotlight review in the spring to look at options for tendering such as just one company, several companies and length of contract.

While we're on the subject of road repairs it is encouraging to hear that the government is giving £6.66 million to Devon County Council for road improvements which is a by-product of the abandoning of the HS2 project.

We shall all look with interest at how far this money goes on the 8,000 miles of roads in Devon!

On December 7 I shall present a petition on behalf of Copplestone asking for the two A-roads in the village to be repaired.

The mobile library saga is moving into its final phase.

You will have seen several stars and other important people supported the idea of keeping the mobile library service.

The senior scrutiny committee called the Cabinet decision in and put forward a list of ideas they thought Cabinet could pursue.

Their suggestions went before Cabinet which decided that the service will discontinue at the end of February 2024; there will be £25,000 for transition to support vulnerable people and £15,000 to community groups and parishes to maintain an extra library service.

Cabinet is also waiting for the Government's Public Libraries Strategy document, which would come out in spring 2024 and with this in mind will produce a comprehensive library offer!

It is good to note that bus traveller numbers are up following the continuation of the £2 fare. How long this will continue nobody knows but it is a step in the right direction.

Devon County Council has also joined with Essex County Council, who will be its SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) partner.

This council was in a similar position to Devon some years ago and has moved rapidly forward, which we need to do.

Closer to home the pay and display in Crediton has had several turns.

It was muted at first that the pay and display will be one half-hour free and a further half-hour paid at £1.

The latest statement from the Cabinet portfolio holder is that the first hour will be free and those who wish to stay an extra hour will have to pay £3.

So now 45 minutes free parking is extended! This has taken a lot of negotiation believe me.

The final issue to hit the headlines is the Devolution Deal with Devon and Torbay.

This has been given Government go-ahead and funding it seems will follow. It is hoped that the deal will encourage future investment and policy vital to the prosperity of our communities.

Although it is rather early, may I send you Season's Greetings and all the best for 2024 if I do not communicate before January 1.

Cllr Frank Letch MBE