Climate change issues approved at district council meeting held in Crediton

By Sue Read   |   Senior Reporter   |
Monday 12th July 2021 8:47 am
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The socially distanced meeting of Mid Devon District Council held in the sports hall at Lords Meadow Leisure Centre in Crediton. SR 1682

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FOR the first time in recent years, Mid Devon District Council held its full council meeting in Crediton.

Due to needing to socially distance all 42 members of the council plus members of staff and the public, it took over the main hall at Lords Meadow Leisure Centre.

Usually the council meets at Phoenix House in Tiverton. This time it needed to hire 50 tables and 60 chairs to accommodate everyone. The council had used Western Event Hire at the Leisure Centre for the election in May, so used them again.

Being able to use two-metres long tables meant everyone could be socially distanced and comply with Government regulations. There was also the parking capacity.

Hire cost of the venue was zero because the Leisure Centre is owned by the district council although other places were researched but came in at quite a high cost.

The council does not have its own sound engineers so PAS Systems was hired after a procurement exercise and receiving quotes.

Council members were each provided with hard copies of the papers they needed because the Wi-fi at Lords Meadow was not strong enough to support a guaranteed reliable meeting via digital means.


At the start of the meeting the new chairman, Cllr Ray Radford (Halberton) was presented with the chains of office. He had previously been vice chairman, taking over from Cllr Les Cruwys (Cranmore) who received his past chairman badge. The new vice chairman, Cllr Ron Dolley (Westexe) was presented with his ribbon.

Climate change brought questions from the public with Caroline Romijn and Hannah Thomas both speaking for Sustainable Crediton.

Caroline Romijn said on behalf of Sustainable Crediton she welcomed the Motion proposing the council should support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill and hoped it could be agreed without weeks or months of consideration and delay.

She said it was a “critically important Bill”. When it was announced that it was the intention to discuss it this evening, the public applauded.

Hannah Thomas of Sustainable Crediton asked what concrete action on climate change had been taken by the district council over the past two years.

She was told a lot had been done, full information was on the district council website and it had a climate change specialist working with it. After a fairly brief discussion, the council voted almost unanimously to support.


Also in public question time, Hon Ald David Nation asked the council to consider without delay the need to require developers to incorporate PV cells, heat pumps and other appropriate energy saving features in all new dwellings.

This, he said: “Would benefit householders’ pockets as well as the environment,” saying that the dramatic changes in weather conditions we were experiencing was because of our abuse of the planet.

Cllr R Chesterton, Cabinet member for Planning and Economy (Tiverton West) replied that it was a “very valid point” and the council had done things to help mitigate climate change including moving towards net zero carbon.

It had approved an interim policy with new homes expected to produce 31 per cent lower carbon emissions from this year, in line with new government targets.

In order to achieve the reduction, developers would need to integrate a number of measures including heat pumps and solar panels.


Cllr Frank Letch (Crediton Lawrence), asking Cllr Evans (Cabinet Member for Housing and Property Services, Lower Culm) if he looked at Devon Home Choice, he would see two empty properties in Crediton, one in Butt Parks and one in Barnfield, one of which became empty in October and one in February or March this year.

He said that in the past the turnaround had been 16 days which changed to 14 days. Clearly, neither of these had reached that target.

The Cabinet Member responded stating that with regard to the void properties, when officers visited one of the properties, there was a lot of work to be undertaken which included moving 36 tonnes of rubbish from the site at a cost of £35k.  He would look into the matter further and provide the councillor with a written response.


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