VERY soon the dreaded envelope containing our Council Tax demands will be dropping on our doormat.

All parties will have had to increase their demands because of the cost of living, inflation, increased salaries and wages and cost of materials. The two highest tiers are required by law to set a “balanced budget” and so they have had to turn to making cuts in staff numbers and some non-statutory services.

At the full council meeting on February 15,  I presented a petition on behalf of the Crediton area protesting against the proposal to introduce Pay and Display in our town.

Following that I have been contacted by some other members of other towns involved.

There are eight towns where the proposals are being introduced. Tavistock Town Council has an online petition and members of that town's anti Pay and Display group are joining with some from Okehampton to go to protest outside County Hall on March 13, which is the day when the Cabinet will be looking at the results of the consultation and making their decision.

The meeting starts at 10.30am.  If anybody wishes to go along I suspect that the main party will gather about 9.30am.

Placards are always useful if you have an artist in the family! They will allow a reasonable number of members of the public to attend the meeting in the chamber.

When I first moved to Crediton in 1998 there was a flourishing Children's Youth Club.

Later there was a “Sure Start” group which had a wonderful new building I opened as Mayor.

Imagine my surprise and horror when I discovered five years later that the building had been taken down and moved and the service had ceased.

The Youth Club also suffered a similar fate.

I'm pleased to report that Devon County Council is now looking to create an Early Help Family Hub.

For Mid Devon, the Centre will be in Tiverton.

This will accommodate the staff in the building where there is already a Children's Centre.

The plan is to use Outreach Officers to make contact with the various youth clubs and schools in the towns and villages of Mid Devon.

We have three youth clubs in Crediton but I'm not sure if there are any in any of the villages.

If you know of a group, would you please send me details of the leader so that I can put them in contact with the officers at Devon County Council?

The idea is to set up a help and support service for those who have taken on the responsibility of creating a Youth Club in the area. There are over 18,000 0-18 year-olds in Mid Devon.

At the moment I'm still only holding surgeries on Crediton Town Square on the first Saturday of the month where I can hide under gazebos if the weather turns wet, and also in Bow on the fourth Saturday because the market is inside the village hall.

I shall be going back out to my other villages in April when hopefully the weather will improve.

In the meantime do not hesitate to contact me if you have any problems with which you think I might be able to help.

Contact details as usual: [email protected] .

Cllr Frank Letch MBE

Crediton Rural County Councillor