On this page you will find a variety of news & information if you click on the headline in the table below it will take you directly to that news item. Please note that any personal opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Council. If you have anything you would like added please contact the Clerk.

Drewsteignton Village NewsOpen meeting to discuss the future of Drewsteignton
Covid-19 – Information – This includes advice on Test & Trace grants.Update on Drewsteignton Post Office. (29th June 2021)
Thinking of buying a Puppy – Advice from WDBCForce Lead For Dog Theft Appointed By Devon and Cornwall Police
Cerne Abbas Open Garden 2021Police General Updates/Info
Grant available for Young PeopleNews from WDBC
Broadband Booster Scheme Available

Drewsteignton Village News

Can you help please?

Fiona Rynn would like to resign her position as defibrillator account administrator and needs someone else to pick up the reins. Currently, the safety checks on the box (located outside the Drewsteignton Post Office) are being carried out by someone else and she simply follows up any queries by the Community Heartbeat Trust who are responsible for the hardware. If anyone is interested in taking on this vital village role, please contact Fiona on 281617 or fiviva@yahoo.com

7pm, Friday 16 July Drewsteignton Village Open Meeting in the new space at the back of Holy Trinity Church

Have your say! Come to a meeting about the community spaces in our village, including the village hall and the brand new space at the back of the church.

Come and share opinions, discuss exciting ideas and propose options!

Wine, beer and nibbles provided so do come – the more the merrier!

Saturday 24 July from 3:30: A  Drewsteignton Moment of Collective Joy

Playing Field, Knowle Lane, Drewsteignton

Having been so restrained over the past fifteen months, you are invited to join family, friends and neighbours for a joyful gathering.

The Playing Field will be open for you to bring your own picnic, rug and, if you’re a bubble and don’t wish to be intruded upon, a balloon 🎈 to mark your group as as such.

You will need to take your rubbish home with you.

Sorry but no dogs are allowed.

Event is subject to government guidelines and will not take place should lockdown not happen. Check with press/news sites re. status.

Sunday July 25 from 2.30: Bible readthrough the Gospel of John

back of the church (distancing observed), Holy Trinity Church, Drewsteignton

Tea and cake during the interval and wine at the end, finishing around 5.30

And open for whenever you feel cordial…

Fingle Bridge Inn are open with outside and inside seating available.

Check website http://www.finglebridgeinn.co.uk for full information, times and for COVID requirements.

Lunchtime bookings are not available, dinner bookings ( 01647 281287) from 6pm.

Sunday & Monday, open 11am – 7pm, food 11am – 6pm

Tuesday – Saturday, open 11am – 9pm, food 11am – 8pm

And don’t forget the wonderful resource on our doorstep which is Chagford Swimming Pool visit their website for full details of times and to book a session.

Open Meeting to discuss the future of Drewsteignton.

In medieval times, rural villages were communities commonly centred around a church with a tavern and one or more shops.  It seems to me that we forget this history at our peril. 

Villages need these three: pub, church, shop – and they need them irrespective of whether any one person uses all three, just one or two or none. People who never darken its doors need the church as much as those who eschew the camaraderie of the tavern need the pub. And we all need the shop, even if we only realise it when we are ill, or the car breaks down, or we’re back in lockdown!

All three are interdependent – the shop struggles without the pub being open to increase the footfall to the village.  Weddings, christenings and funerals – alas too many of these recently – also bring much needed extra custom to the shop and to the pub. The shop provides an invaluable local service, including working to ensure that housebound or elderly people get regular deliveries from villagers whom they know and trust and who stay for a chat or a cuppa-on-the-doorstep.

But does modern life require these? An unreflective incomer might imagine that one needs neither pub nor church nor shop to live happily in a picture-book village, with its thatched cottages and olde-worlde square.  You can get a Tesco’s delivery, you can drive to a pub, and anyhow who needs church nowadays? But although it may be painful to recognise it, human beings have souls, and no-one with a soul wants to live inside a one-dimensional picture.  We are communal creatures and there is a world of difference between a genuine community and a string of nodding acquaintances.

So, pub, church, shop.  These three pillars are crucial to the well-being of our community.  And they need each other.  If the pub and the church are thriving, the shop will flourish too. 

The shop: In Drewsteignton, the shop is under a very real threat. Royal Mail, anxious to preserve its pre-tax profit of 756 million pounds, is moving the sorting office to Cheriton.  The shop can survive without this but only if we ALL use it a LOT more.

Holy Trinity church has just opened up a space which will make a superb village asset – suitable for everything from yoga classes to toddler groups and a pop-up café with working wi-fi. It needs the money and the vision to make it happen and both are within our grasp. 

The Drewe Arms needs to re-open, and as soon as possible, before the building deteriorates further.  Enterprise Inns need a ‘road-to-Damascus’ conversion to produce a community-minded, ethical business-plan for our village pub.

It’s our choice:  Within five years, not only Drewsteignton but many Devon villages could be dead.  They will remain as paintings on the wall, but that’s it. Or they could be vibrant communities, neighbourhoods in which people do activities, shop, reflect, play, create artefacts, grow food, marry, give birth and bury their dead.  The choice is ours. Do we want to put in the effort?  If for you, the answer is yes, try doing one or all of these things.

Use the shop. You don’t have to avoid the supermarket entirely, none of us do that. But buy as much as you can in the shop. Always use the post office.  Get papers, and bread and talk to Stuart or Cheryl about other things they can get for you on a weekly basis.  If we all prioritise the shop, we will keep it. 

Come to an open meeting about the village space at the back of the church:  July 16th 7:30pm – Drinks and Nibbles available.  Many of us have ideas about how to organise this but we need your input, your creativity and your ideas. 

Join forces to put pressure on Enterprise Inns and think about creative ways to re-open the pub. A little bird tells me that there are several good people already on to this so Watch This Space.

Covid-19 – Information

Lateral flow tests:

Apologies if you are already aware of this service. If not please use the link below to learn more about ordering your free coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests.  https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

General Advice:

Update (May 2021) on Local Vaccination centers in Devon.

COVID-19 Advice: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public or www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Local Covid-19 advice can be found on the Devon County Council Website: www.devon.gov.uk/document/coronavirus-advice-in-devon.

If you are in need – or know someone who is – you can register that need at the email address below or by calling 01822 813600 or 01803 861234 providing the relevant name, contact number and address where possible. Local voluntary groups can register by contacting WDBC at the same email address CommunityCoordination.Covid19@swdevon.gov.uk. Further advice can be found at: https://www.westdevon.gov.uk/support.

West Devon Borough Council are offering a hotline number for residents needing help and support during the Coronavirus outbreak. The number, which will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, will be answered by the Community Co-ordination Team at the Council. Outside of these hours an answerphone service will be available. The number is 01822 813683.

Medical Advice: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19 . If anyone thinks they might be experiencing potential early coronavirus symptoms they should not to go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

Government Help and Support:
Businesses: www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19
Employees: www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay & www.gov.uk/lay-offs-short-timeworking

HMRC Coronavirus Helpline 0800 015 9559 & HMRC Self-Assessment Payment Helpline 0300 200 3822

Test & Trace Payments:

If you are required by law to self-isolate because you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID- 19, and you are on a low income, you may be supported through a payment of £500, which would be administered by your local Council.

For people who are facing hardship because they have been contacted by NHS Track and Trace and are required to self-isolate for 14 days, the Government has launched a grant to support scheme.

If you are working, and on a low income, and are unable to work from home, you may be eligible to claim the grant worth £500.

Cllr Tony Leech, West Devon Borough Council’s Lead Member for health and wellbeing said: “These grants will help support people most at risk of financial hardship and provide a degree of security for those needing to self-isolate. There are a range of other measures that the Council may be able to offer households who are finding things difficult, so if you are experiencing difficulties, please make contact with us.

You can apply for the Test and Trace Support Payment of £500, if you meet the following criteria:

• You are over 16 and have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace on or after 28 September 2020.

• You are employed or self-employed.

• You cannot work from home and will lose income as a result.

• You are currently receiving at least one of the following benefits:

• Universal Credit,

• Working Tax Credit,

• Income-based Employment and Support Allowance,

• Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance,

• Income Support,

• Housing Benefit and/or

• Pension Credit.

If you fail to comply with the Test and Trace isolation rules – not self-isolating following a positive test result for COVID-19, or if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace and instructed to self-isolate because you are a contact of someone who has had a positive test result – you could face a fine. If you test positive for COVID-19, it will also be an offence to knowingly provide false information about your close contacts to NHS Test and Trace. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in a fine of up to £10,000.

If you are facing financial hardship, please get in touch with your local council who may be able to help or signpost you in the direction of an organisation who can support you. You can find your local Councillor through the Council’s website:

West Devon www.westdevon.gov.uk/article/3703/Town-Parish-Councils

You can find out more information on the Councils webpages:

West Devon www.westdevon.gov.uk/test-and-trace-payments

Thinking of buying a Puppy?

According to the PDSA, 24% of adults in the UK now own a dog – that’s over 10 million dogs and a lot of licks and love. However, there’s also a murkier side to the rise in dog-ownership in West Devon. Unfortunately, the demand for dogs has driven up the price of puppies. Where there is money to be made, there are also, sadly, people who want to make more cash with no concern for animal welfare. Luckily, there is something you can do to make sure you are not accidentally funding the cruel puppy trade. West Devon Borough Council outline how licensing helps to protect the health and welfare of dogs and can give you confidence you’re buying a happy, healthy puppy.

Buy from a licensed breeder
When you’re buying a puppy from someone you don’t know, you can check to see if they are licenced for your peace of mind. To obtain a licence, a breeder must follow certain conditions and the premises will be inspected.

Puppy farms breed puppies in poor conditions and often sell sick or traumatised animals. These places will not be able to get a genuine licence from their local council.

When is a dog breeding licence required?
Breeders must be licensed through their local council. A dog breeding licence is required if:

  • a person breeds three or more litters per 12 month period (and sells any of the puppies), or
  • a person breeds dogs and advertises a business of selling dogs (this relates to whether or not profit is made, trading income, number of adverts posted, how the adverts are made etc). This applies regardless of the amount of litters.

If a person meets one of the above two conditions and does not have a dog breeding licence, then they are committing a criminal offence.

Licensing conditions are in place to protect the health and welfare of the dogs. For example, to prevent issues such as:

  • overbreeding (a bitch must not be mated until at least 12 months after her last litter)
  • underage breeding (a bitch must not be mated until at least 12 months old).

It is a criminal offence for a licensed breeder to breach these conditions. 

How can people check if they are dealing with a licenced breeder? Is there any kind of register they can be checked against?

All licensed breeders must include the following information in all adverts:

  • The licence number
  • The name of the Local Authority (for example, West Devon Borough Council) that issued the licence.

Licensed breeders must also display a copy of their licence in a prominent position on their premises. If breeders have not done this or are unable to provide a copy of their licence then they are very likely to be unlicensed.

Breeders are licensed through their local council. The public can check any licence number advertised against the West Devon Borough Council public register to confirm that the breeder has been licensed and inspected. The West Devon public register can be found at:


West Devon Borough Council’s Lead Member for Communities, Cllr Terry Pearce, said: “A breeder’s licence is the stamp of approval that will give you peace of mind that your new puppy has had the right start in life. We know that the health and welfare of dogs is the prime concern for anyone looking to buy a puppy as well as the vast majority of breeders. That’s why we’ve made it easy for anyone to check with just a few clicks online that the licence you are shown is genuine.” 

What does the official paperwork look like?

The licence should contain the following information:

  • The name and logo of the local council.
  • Licence number
  • Details of the breeder (name and address)
  • Details of the bitches licensed for breeding
  • The star rating of the breeder
  • The date the licence was issued and expires

During the period of a licence, the operator receives one planned visit and one unannounced visit from an Officer from the Council. This is to ensure that licence conditions are being met and that there is an appropriate level of animal welfare being provided. At each planned inspection a star rating is given, which is based on welfare standards found at the time of the inspection. The star rating system is a national system to provide customers with information about the animal establishments.

The below scoring matrix determines the star rating. It takes into account the animal welfare standards adopted by the business and the level of risk (based on elements such as past compliance and how long the licence has been held for).  

Scoring MatrixWelfare Standards
Risk Minor FailingsMinimum StandardsHigher Standards
Low Risk1 Star 1 year licence3 Star 2 year licence5 Star 3 year licence
High Risk1 Star 1 year licence2 Star 1 year licence1 Star 1 year licence

What about other animals?

There are four other animal activities which are also licensed:

  • selling animals as pets
  • providing for or arranging for the provision of boarding for cats or dogs (this includes home boarding)
  • training animals for exhibition
  • hiring out horses

Any person operating a business carrying out one of the above animal activities without a licence is committing a criminal offence and is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for up to six months, a fine or both.  If you would like any further information, please visit:  www.westdevon.gov.uk/AnimalLicences

Update on Drewsteignton Post Office:

Letter from Minister for Small Business, Consumers & Labour Markets
Minister for London to the Rt. Hon. Mel Stride MP. (29th June 2021

Thank you for your email on behalf of your constituents, about Drewsteignton village Post Office.
I am sorry to hear your concerns, due to Royal Mail’s decision to close a Mailwork operation in Drewsteignton village Post Office. In April 2019 changes were applied to the contract Post Office Ltd held with Royal Mail for Mailwork undertaken at Post Office locations. As a result of this change Post Office Ltd no longer have any formal input into a decision to close a Mailwork operation at a post office branch. Following any Royal Mail decision to close a Mailwork operation they are required to provide a six months’ closure notice.
We appreciate that the loss of a Royal Mail Mailwork contract can be difficult for postmasters. I understand Post Office Ltd offer a support package to all postmasters in these circumstances. The support package can vary from site to site and is dependent on the individual circumstances of the postmaster and their retail business. In some circumstances Post Office Ltd also consider further financial support to branches affected by the closure. In addition to this the National Federation of Postmasters provide retail advice and support to postmasters to help them adjust to the changes. In this circumstance, to help support the postmaster at Drewsteignton, I understand that Post Office Ltd have agreed a package of exceptional funding.
Thank you once again for writing in. I hope my response is useful to you and your constituents.

Force Lead For Dog Theft Appointed By Devon and Cornwall Police

Devon & Cornwall Police are paving the way in the region by appointing a dedicated dog theft lead. Chief Inspector Rob Curtis has been assigned to help tackle what is currently perceived as a rising crime.
There has been an increase in demand for dogs nationwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has inflated prices for puppies and dogs. Nationally, dog theft cases have increased by 170% in 2020.
There have been a number of dog theft stories circulating on social media, which has led to growing concern, amongst owners both locally and nationally. Chief Inspector, Rob Curtis wants to reassure people that Devon & Cornwall Police take dog theft very seriously he said “Theft of a beloved pet causes major distress to the owners. Although dog theft is very rare, we want owners to be aware and to take safe precautions to help protect their dogs from this crime. At home make sure your garden is secure, try not to leave your dog outside unattended, be careful of bogus callers or displaying signs that say, ‘my poodle lives here’.
Microchipping is a legal requirement and essential to helping returning pets to their owners. Chief Inspector Curtis urges all owners to visit their vet and have their pet microchipped with all contact details kept up to date in the event of moving home or changing a phone number. In addition to the appointment of a Force lead, Devon & Cornwall Police now have 30 microchip scanners, some of which have been donated by Dog Lost to help reunite dogs with their families. This is another step towards helping tackle dog theft.

What to do if your dog goes missing

It’s important to establish if your dog has been stolen or has got lost. If your dog has gone missing from your garden, it usually won’t wander far. Check with your neighbours and ask them to check their gardens and garages. If you still cannot find your dog, check with the local dog warden, tell the microchip company your dog is missing and call local vets and rescue centres.
If your dog is being stolen and someone has physically taken your dog from you, shout that your dog is being stolen and attract attention. If you can take photos or videos and report it to the police by calling 999. If there are any witnesses nearby, ask for their contact details and report your missing dog to the microchip company. There is more information on our website that will give you more information and places to go for help: dc.police.uk/dogsafety

Cerne abbas Open Gardens 2021.

Because of the Covid pandemic we had to cancel our Open Gardens last year after a run of 41 years. Thankfully none of our gardeners have succumbed to this dreadful disease. We count ourselves very lucky and hope that you have been lucky too. If not, we sincerely send you our most tender thoughts.

Each year we have held Open Gardens in June but this year we decided to use our backup date of the weekend of 14 & 15 August by which time we hope that life will be more normal and we can all enjoy garden visiting once again.

Please let members of your Gardening/Horticultural Society know of our plan and that the usual warm welcome to our gardens that awaits them.

Please keep up to date by visiting our website www.cerneabbasopengardens.org.uk or by emailing me at bob@cerneabbasopengardens.org.uk.

Poster for the Open Garden 14th & 15th August.

Police General Updates/Info:

Which is the best way to contact the Police?

Well that depends on the situation…

Here is a guide provided the the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner to help the public decide on the best way to contact the police depending on the situation, of course if it is an emergency then you should dial 999.

Cyber Security update from the Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner.

This is a video interview involving one of Devon and Cornwall Police’s Cyber Protect Team. Amongst other things it touches on Romance, Covid and Delivery Frauds perpetrated on-line and provides guidance for reporting these sorts of matters.  It is well worth 20 mins of your time…

Grant Available for Young People:

The Providence School Charity (established from the sale of Providence School, Throwleigh in 2016) are able to give small grants to young people (under the age of 25) from the parishes of Chagford, Drewsteignton, Gidleigh and Throwleigh to support individuals for educational, sporting and cultural activities.

In light of the disruption to their studies and exams we are particularly keen to receive applications from students in years 10, 11, 12 & 13, especially those who are going to university, college or starting training.

To apply please contact the Clerk to the Charity, gayhill@btinternet.com or 01647 432424 or your local Trustee

Chagford: Gay Hill, Robert Sampson

Drewsteignton: Roger Burridge, Jennifer Mullins

Gidleigh: Alan Roberton

Throwleigh: Jacky Crawford, Ann Warwick Oliver

Applications are ongoing – Please pass on these details to anyone you think may be interested.

News From WDBC:

The following committee positions were confirmed:

Hub Committee

Cllr Neil Jory – Chairman

Cllr Ric Cheadle – Vice Chairman

Audit Committee

Cllr Mike Davies – Chairman

Cllr Kevin Ball – Vice Chairman

Development Management & Licensing Committee

Cllr Julie Yelland – Chairman

Cllr Terry Pearce – Vice Chairman

Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Cllr Mandy Ewings – Chairman

Cllr Patrick Kimber – Vice Chairman

Invest to Earn Committee

Cllr Chris Edmonds – Chairman

Standards Committee

Cllr Patrick Kimber – Chairman

Cllr Lucy Wood – Vice Chairman

For more information on new appointments to Council committees, go to: www.westdevon.gov.uk/committees

Broadband Booster Scheme Available.

Mobile Booster Voucher Scheme:

Do you live in a rural community? Do you have poor indoor mobile coverage? If so, then this voucher scheme may be of interest to you. Connecting Devon and Somerset have a scheme, funded through the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership’s (HotSWLEP) Growth Deal, which allows businesses and households to apply for an £800 voucher which can be used to buy a mobile signal booster from a registered scheme supplier. The booster will in turn help to improve indoor mobile coverage for the premises in question by improving 4G coverage.

It is up to the applicant to research which of the suppliers can install in their area and which one is best to go with for their specific needs. Getting in touch with the supplier directly to redeem the voucher and have the equipment installed at the premises. To find out more from the Connecting Devon and Somerset website and to apply using their application form, please click here.