Drewsteignton Parish Council

Please Note: There are three current Councillor vacancies. If you are interested in joining the team and making a very real contribution to your Parish please contact the Clerk or any of the Councillors who will be pleased to help you.

The Current Registers of Interest for Councillors can be found by clicking this link.

News / Notices

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…

News from WDBC: How Much Council Tax West Devon Residents Will Pay Is Confirmed.

An average increase of 4.82% (£99.71) on the total average bill of £2,067 (for a Band D property) from last year is confirmed as West Devon residents prepare to receive their Council Tax bills for 2021/22 this week.  

When Council Tax bills land on doorsteps across West Devon this week, householders will discover that the cost has gone up to an average £2,166.58 a year for a Band D household  – an increase of £99.71 for the year (4.82%).

The largest part of the Council Tax bill that residents pay will go to Devon County Council to pay for the vital services that they provide, including elderly care (social care costs), education and schools, children’s services, roads (including potholes) and transport. Devon County Council has increased their share of the Council Tax bill by 4.99%, with 1.99% being for general services and 3% dedicated solely to adult social care costs. The Council Tax increase set by Devon County Council means an increase in the Council Tax bill of £71.82 (4.99%) for West Devon residents. As a result, a Band D household within Devon will pay £1,511.28 to Devon County Council in 2021/22.

When you receive your Council Tax bill, it will have the logo of West Devon Borough Council on the top. This is because the Borough Council is responsible for billing and collecting the Council Tax on behalf of a number of other statutory bodies.

Although the Borough Council sends out the Council Tax bill, the vast majority of the Council Tax income collected is passed onto Devon County Council, the Fire Authority, the Police and Crime Commissioner and local Town and Parish Councils, to pay for the local services that they all provide.

Earlier in February, West Devon Borough Council agreed to increase its share of the Council Tax bill by £5 to £241.63 for a Band D household – an increase of 2.11%. Therefore of an average Band D Council Tax bill of £2,166.58, only 11% (£241.63) goes to West Devon Borough Council to provide local services such as refuse collection and recycling, planning, environmental health, benefits and housing.

The Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner has increased its share of the Council Tax bill by 6.73% from £221.64 to £236.56 for a Band D property – an increase of £14.92 for the year.

In addition, the Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue service has increased its share of the Council Tax bill by 1.99% from £88.24 to £90 for a Band D property – an increase of £1.76 for the year.

On average, the amount of the Council Tax bill which has been set by Town and Parish Councils will increase by £6.21 per year. The actual amount will differ from Parish to Parish. Each individual Town or Parish Council sets their own element of the council tax bill. 

Cllr Neil Jory, Leader of West Devon Borough Council, said: “Nobody wants to see any increases in any bills after the year we’ve all endured. However, your Council Tax pays for a whole range of essential services, including the Police and Fire service which we simply can’t do without. I know a lot of people think that the Council Tax they pay all goes to the Borough Council.  The truth is that only 11% (or £4.65 a week) of your total bill comes to us to pay for essential services like waste and recycling. The rest of your Council Tax bill is split between the other statutory bodies to cover everything from caring for our elderly and children’s services, to must-have policing and fire and rescue services and local parish and town needs.

“We ask residents, if you can, please continue to make your Council Tax payments in the usual way as this is paying for vital services. However, if you are struggling financially, we may be able to help. There are measures, such as the Hardship Fund for the Council Tax Reduction Scheme, to support financially vulnerable people and households.

“If you think you may be eligible, our officers can help you to complete a welfare benefit check to ensure you get the help you are entitled to. Please contact us via the website or on 01822 813600.” 

Precepting AuthorityBand D Property in 2020/21Band D Property in 2021/22£ Increase% Increase
West Devon Borough Council£236.63£241.63£5.002.11%
Devon County Council£1,439.46  £1,511.28  £71.82  4.99%  
Devon & Cornwall Police & Crime Commissioner£221.64£236.56£14.926.73%
Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue£88.24£90.00£1.761.99%
Town & Parish Council (on average)£80.90£87.11£6.217.68%

West Devon Borough Council fully recognise the economic problems that many households will be experiencing as a result of the Coronavirus emergency, and they understand that some residents will find it difficult to meet Council Tax payments.

That is why they are committed to doing everything they can to support residents at this very difficult time. They are urging residents to find out what support is on offer if they are having difficulties with payments.

If you are worried about paying for your Council Tax, you can find out more information here:


Find out about reductions (discounts and exemptions) here: www.westdevon.gov.uk/counciltaxdiscount

If you are on a low income, you can find out more here: www.westdevon.gov.uk/article/6636/Low-Income-Council-Tax-Reduction

The Government has also just published further details on the support scheme for the self-employed for those that have lost income due to Coronavirus.  HMRC will contact those that are eligible for the scheme and invite them to apply online.

WDBC announce: Big Boost for West Devon’s Hospitality and Leisure Sector.

West Devon Borough Council has agreed to extend its financial support to hospitality and leisure businesses suffering during the national lockdown, while also allocating more than £300,000 of pounds to the borough’s economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the Full Council meeting on Tuesday (February 17), Members decided to continue funding for the particularly popular LRSG (Open) scheme, a business grant supporting hospitality and leisure businesses.

A particularly high number of businesses have applied for the LRSG (Open) business grant. With the hospitality sector hit especially hard by lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions, the Council’s allocation of £585,779 for the scheme will likely not be enough to fulfil all the LRSG (Open) applications from across the borough.

The Council looked at how to increase the funding going out to businesses most in need and the additional funding needed to continue supporting businesses through the LRSG (Open) will come from the Council’s allocation of the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) of £1.6million. The ARG business grant scheme supports those that are not covered by other grant schemes.

Cllr Ric Cheadle, Lead Member for Enterprise, said: “Giving our businesses support during these difficult times has been critically important to us as a Council throughout the pandemic.

“We want to ensure that we continue to support those who have been hit especially hard. Ensuring funding for hospitality and leisure businesses remains in place will continue to provide them with a vital lifeline, while the economic recovery projects will provide ongoing support for all businesses in the months ahead.”

A further £320,000 will also be allocated to ensure a sustained economic recovery. The projects funded by this investment will aim to benefit all businesses, tourism and the high street has been made available for spending until March 2022.

A sum of £50,000 of ARG funding had previously been approved to be put towards the support of broadband rollout, with a further £50,000 being put toward business support measures such as Business Information Point.

In total, the Council has paid out over £5.1 million since November 2020 in business grant awards, which has been funded by the Government. Some businesses have even received more funding than they originally thought they were eligible for.

The Council’s focus is to pay out as much money as possible, to as many businesses as possible, as quickly as possible, while working within the rules set out. This does include some essential checks to avoid fraud.

With more than ten different Government grant schemes currently available, West Devon Borough Council is more than aware of how difficult and confusing applications can be. To help, the Council has created a much simpler process, which means that application forms will be fast to complete, process and pay.

The simplified application process also means that customers will be issued payments from any of the other available grants, or future ones that follow the same format, for which they are eligible.

The Council is encouraging businesses in need of financial grants within West Devon to come forward and apply through the much simpler process.

To find out more and apply for a business grant, visit: www.westdevon.gov.uk/covid19business

Allotments plots available in Drewsteignton.

There are plots available at Drewsteignton Allotment Gardens

Interested in renting a plot?
Live in the parish?

Call to see about availability on 01344 624 690 (business hours only)

Get ready for Elections…

Voting Safely at the Elections
On Thursday 6 May 2021, residents in West Devon will go to the polls to have their say on who represents them in the Police and Crime Commissioner elections and Devon County Council elections. There are also casual elections in some parish and towns. While the elections are not until May, we’re already making plans to help you stay safe while casting your vote.   There are a number of ways to have your say in the elections in May – you can vote in a polling station, by post, or by appointing someone you trust to vote on your behalf, which is known as a proxy vote. If you would like to vote by post, now is the time to register using the Electoral Commission website.

What are West Devon Borough Council Doing to keep you safe?
“The elections are very important – they’re an opportunity to make your voice heard and have a say on who represents you on issues that directly affect day-to-day life here in West Devon.
“We’re thinking about these elections now so that, however you choose to cast your vote in May, you can do so safely. We’re putting arrangements in place to help you stay safe at the polling station; you can expect many of the measures you’ve become used to in shops and banks over recent months, such as hand sanitiser, floor markings and face masks. But you also have the option to apply to vote by post or by proxy.”
Steve Mullineaux, Electoral Registration Officer 

Are you registered to vote?
“The choice on how to vote at the elections is yours – you can have your say in person, by post or by proxy.
“If you’re thinking about voting by post, you can apply now. This will make sure your application is processed early, and your postal vote can be sent to you more quickly. It’s easy to apply and you can find out how by visiting the Electoral Commission website.
“You need to be registered to vote in order to have a say at the elections – the easiest way to register is online at Gov.UK
Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance at the Electoral Commission

To find out more:
Residents can visit the FAQ page on the Council’s website to find out more about the elections on 6 May 2021.
The page will be updated with new information as it becomes available.
Any residents who have questions can also contact their local Elections team at elections@westdevon.gov.uk

Parking charges to change in West Devon car parks following public consultation.

West Devon Borough Council has agreed to amend charges in its pay and display car parks following a public consultation.

The Borough Council is to increase the cost of all day parking and long stay in its Bedford, Brook Street and Riverside car parks in Tavistock, Mill Road Car Park in Okehampton and the car parks in Hatherleigh and Chagford in an effort to give visitors better access to short stay parking. Short stay prices in Tavistock’s Guildhall Car Park are also set to increase. 

A new four-hour charge of £2 for the Bedford Car Park will also be introduced to provide more flexibility within the tariff for shorter term parking requirements, while Riverside Car Park continues to provide a cheaper option for users to park.

It follows on the back of a 2019 consultation, which found that residents wanted more short-stay parking to be available. In response to this, the new proposals increasing long stay charges aim to encourage vehicle turnover to give visitors and shoppers better access to parking. It is anticipated this will, in turn, improve the vibrancy of towns.

Lead Member for Communities Cllr Terry Pearce, who oversees the authority’s car parks in West Devon towns, said: “The 2019 consultation revealed to us that our towns have limited parking availability. We needed to take action to deal with the extra number of new residents and visitors wanting to use our car parks. I strongly believe that the parking increases are realistic and reasonable, while still supporting the retail trading core of our towns.”

The proposals went out to public consultation in January and February, with notices placed in all the car parks, on the Council’s website and in the press. A total of 48 responses were received; nine people supported the changes feeling the price increase remained fair and reasonable. The 39 people that objected felt it was the wrong time to be increasing charges, during the pandemic.

Having considered the consultation responses, we acknowledge that those that did respond that the majority objected to the proposals however, overall this only represented a small number compared to the number of users of our car parks.

In Tavistock’s Bedford and Brook Street Car Parks, the all day rate will increase from £2.50 to £4, while the Riverside all-day rate will increase from £2 to £2.50. The all-day tariff in Okehampton’s Mill Road Car Park and Chagford Car Park will go up from £2.50 to £3. The new increased charges will come into effect from 1 March 2021.

People of Drewsteignton Parish help us say Thank You to NHS workers.

Please help us to say THANKYOU to our wonderful NHS doctors and nurses with a hamper of gifts from our community.

The doctors and nurses working with Covid 19 patients need our help.

They must shower after every shift and not only is this very costly but it also means that they have to ensure they have the supplies. If you are able to donate any men and womens shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, moisturisers, hand cream, face cream, lip balm or any other items that you feel would be beneficial then please leave in the box in the church porch. (Chocolates would also be appreciated)

If you know of someone who would like to donate but is unable, for some reason, to come to the village please call me on 01647 281605 and I will arrange collection.


Jane Hocking

Parents Childcare Survey

Following Devon County Council’s Childcare Sufficiency Assessment which was taken to cabinet in November, their Parents Childcare Survey is now live.

Please complete the survey to help Devon County Council better understand the Child care requirements of its residents.

Which is the best way to contact the Police?

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.

Census 2021

Households across West Devon will soon be asked to take part in Census 2021.

The census is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. It has been carried out every decade since 1801, with the exception of 1941.

It will be the first run predominantly online, with households receiving a letter with a unique access code, allowing them to complete the questionnaire on their computers, phones or tablets.

Cllr Neil Jory, Leader of West Devon Borough Council, said: “There are some big changes to this year’s Census; namely the fact that it will be predominantly online for the first time. Yet it remains a vitally important mechanic for deciding where funding needs to go and how we should manage our services in the years ahead. It affects everything, including services that are vitally important to the everyday lives of our residents. I hope that everyone in West Devon fills out their Census questionnaire to provide us with the best possible picture of our population. It’s easier than ever with the first predominantly online census, so please take part.”

Census day will be on March 21, but households across the country will receive letters with online codes allowing them to take part from early March.

The census will include questions about your sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. And, for the first time, there will be a question asking people whether they have served in the armed forces, as well as voluntary questions for those aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Iain Bell, deputy national statistician at the Office for National Statistics, said: “A successful census will ensure everyone from local government to charities can put services and funding in the places where they are most needed.

“This could mean things like doctors’ surgeries, schools and new transport routes. That’s why it is so important everyone takes part and we have made it easier for people to do so online on any device, with help and paper questionnaires for those that need them.”

Results will be available within 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations. For more information, visit census.gov.uk

Council Members

For general enquiries or to report to the council collectively, please email the Parish Council Clerk

The following are the present Parish Council members, together with the ward they represent and a brief profile.

Ysanne James – Crockernwell

Ysanne was born in Totnes and spent her childhood in and around Dartmoor, before moving to southern Ireland as a pre-teen. She moved back to Devon in her late teens and shortly after started her family. She continued her career and education around her family life and is currently working as an administrator for the probation service. An active campaigner for equal rights, Ysanne moved to Crockernwell three years ago to be nearer her daughters and grandchildren.

you can contact Ysanne on ysanne.james@drewsteigntonparish.co.uk

Peter Brennan – Crockernwell

Peter and his wife Jane have lived in Crockernwell since 2002 and have two grown up “men” Tom and Ciaran. Peter is a business consultant working with a number of local businesses. Originally from Leicester, Peter’s career brought him to Devon in 2002 working as Group Managing Director of the Vapormatic business in Exeter, a subsidiary of Deere & Company Inc. (John Deere). Peter has worked successfully in complex and highly regulated industry sectors, building partnerships and collaborative relationships in the UK and globally. Peter has diplomas in both Mechanical Engineering and Management and gained his MBA from Exeter University in 2012.

you can contact Peter on p.brennan@drewsteigntonparish.co.uk

Anna Imrie – Whiddon Down

Anna has been happily settled in Drewsteignton Parish since 2004 and knew the area previously as an Exeter student in the 1970’s. After her MA, she worked in London as a picture editor and journalist and then joined her husband in a partnership as his still producer. Meanwhile, her sport was international rally driving and she went on to freelance widely as an advanced coach. Nowadays, she enjoys various local volunteering roles. She believes in informed discussion, balance, conciliation, and in taking a forward looking, positive attitude. Her special interests are road safety and small businesses of all descriptions.

you can contact Anna on anna.imrie@drewsteigntonparish.co.uk

John Redman – Drewsteignton

John has lived in Drewsteignton parish for 40 years on a mixed beef and sheep farm. He also has a property maintenance business.

you can contact John on john.redman@drewsteigntonparish.co.uk

Paul Ridgers – Venton

Paul is married to Fiona and they have two young children. They have lived in the Parish for 10 years, although Fiona has family connections with the village that stretch back 100 years. Paul is a director of an advertising agency in Exeter as well as representing the Drewsteignton ward for West Devon Borough Council.

you can contact Paul on paul.ridgers@drewsteigntonparish.co.uk

Ian Rowe – Whiddon Down

Ian has lived at Mill Farm at Whiddon Down for the last 54 years and his children are the 6th generation on the farm. It is a working farm, in the past a mixed enterprise, nowadays the family only have sheep which fits in well with Ian’s plumbing business. Having lived in Whiddon Down all of his life Ian hopes his local knowledge of the area and experience in agriculture may be useful.

you can contact Ian on ian.rowe@drewsteigntonparish.co.uk

Regular Meeting Dates

Monday 21st June

Whiddon Down Village Hall (Subject to Covid Guidance at the time)

All regular meetings commence at 7.30pm, all other meetings will be called when required.

The Annual Parish Meeting is held between 1st March and 1st June. In 2021 this will depend on COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time.

Councillors’ Conduct and Interests – the Nolan principles

The seven Nolan principles apply to the conduct of people in public life.They are listed below.

  • Selflessness – you should act in the public interest.
  • Integrity – you should not put yourself under any obligations to others, allow them improperly to influence you or seek benefit for yourself, family, friends or close associates.
  • Objectivity – you should act impartially, fairly and on merit.
  • Accountability – you should be prepared to submit to public scrutiny necessary to ensure accountability.
  • Openness – you should be open and transparent in your actions and decisions unless there are clear and lawful reasons for non-disclosure.
  • Honesty – you should always be truthful.
  • Leadership – as a councillor, you should promote, support and exhibit high standards of conduct and be willing to challenge poor behaviour.