Budget set and news about an outreach Post Office discussed at Newton St Cyres council meeting

By Crediton Courier Newspaper   |   Editorial   |
Tuesday 31st December 2019 7:31 am
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THE December 5 meeting of Newton St Cyres Parish Council was attended by nine Councillors, the Parish Clerk, the Mid Devon District Councillor (Graeme Barnell) and a member of the public.

The main business of the meeting was to agree a budget for 2020-21. We were successful in maintaining our support for many local organisations, whilst having little impact on the precept (the amount of money required to be raised by council tax).

Updates on the Post Office, the Community Shop and the Community Land Trust (CLT)

By the time you read this report, we will have a replacement Post Box in the centre of the village and the outreach Post Office should be operating on two days each week from the Parish Hall.

The start date for this is likely to be Thursday, January 2 and the Post Office will be open from 12.30pm to 2.30pm on Thursdays and 9am to 11am on Tuesdays.

Many thanks should go to Roger Wilkins and the Parish Hall committee for their hard work in bringing this about.

The Community Shop project has a keen steering group working to move the project forward. However they are now at a stage where much admin needs to be done and progress may seem slow for a while. The group met again in December and it continues to receive support from two parish councillors.

Further meetings of the CLT steering group were held in November and January. The November meeting planned the next steps in forming a CLT.

At this meeting it was agreed that a real need for affordable housing was identified in the Parish Council housing survey carried out in 2016. However there may be a need for a second, more up-to-date, survey.

One obvious site for housing is the old school. Devon County Council have asked for expressions of interest from those who wish to develop this site. These needed to be in by December 10.

The Greater Exeter Strategic Plan

Mid Devon District Councillor Graeme Barnell outlined the significance of the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan to Newton St Cyres.

Exeter is a rapidly expanding city. As a result there will be a substantial need for additional housing in the areas surrounding Exeter.

The Greater Exeter Strategic Plan addresses this need and will supersede some parts of the Mid Devon Local Plan.

For Newton St Cyres, implementation of the plan will mean additional pressure on the already busy A377 and the possibility of further development within the parish.

The plan will probably be submitted in September 2020 with a view to adoption in December 2021. Cllr Barnell recommended that the Parish Council take an active interest in the plan with a view to maintaining the interests of the parish.

Other Council Business

• Planning permission was granted for the extension to Hanlon’s Brewery for alteration to provide additional restaurant and floor space, for the erection of 11 holiday lodges as well as amending the entrance to the site.

• The recent rains highlighted the issue of some blocked drains around the parish. These have been identified and a list sent to Devon County Council for unblocking.

• The report from the Devon County Councillor was noted. Exeter has been given the UNESCO City of Literature status, in no small part due to the role of the Devon Library Service.

Nationally, the use of libraries is in decline; however in Devon the trend is in reverse with an increase in lending.

Both Crediton and Exeter City libraries are amazing resources, far beyond just lending books, and are well worth a visit if you have not already used them.

• Jean Wilkins has carried out extensive research on our behalf on the history of Newton St Cyres Parish Council. Her report makes very interesting reading and we would like to thank her for her efforts. We hope to see it published in the "Newton Wonder" magazine during the next few months.

The next meeting of the Parish Council will be on Thursday, February 6, 2020 at 7pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

There will also be a Parish Surgery at the Coffee Morning to be held on Saturday, February 1, in the Parish Hall.

Liz Ouldridge

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