Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Have your say at the Police and Crime Commissioner Election
West Devon residents are being asked to go to the polls this May to vote for the next Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall.
The election will take place on Thursday 5 May 2016, and West Devon Borough Council is encouraging residents to register so they can vote in the Election. The deadline for registration for the Police and Crime Commissioner Election is 18 April 2016.  Visit to register online.
If you would prefer to do a postal vote, the deadline to submit completed applications is 5pm on 19 April 2016 – please go to to download an application form.
Residents who are already registered have been sent poll cards through the post with the election information, including where they will be voting. Poll cards were sent last week so look out for your card when it arrives.
There are two changes to polling stations in this Election for residents in Jacobstowe and Brentor. In Jacobstowe, the polling station will be, once again, back in St James Church in Jacobstowe following the completion of the restoration work in the church. In Brentor, for this election only, the polling station will be situated in Christchurch, the church in the centre of the village, as the village hall is unavailable. 
If you would like to find out more about the Police and Crime Commissioner Election, including the Notice of Election, please visit our website at

Don't Forget about Acoustic Jam!

No Supper Night but there is Jam on the menu!!

Urgent Message about Cold Callers

The following piece has been passed on to the Parish Council by PCSO Greenwood and they felt parishioners should be informed.

Persons cold call residents by telephone, telling the resident that they have been placed in the wrong council tax bracket for a number of years and are entitled to a rebate. The resident is told that in order to receive the rebate they will need to pay an administration fee in advance. The payment they ask for varies between £60 - £350. The resident provides the details and makes the payment, but then is no longer able to make contact with the person they spoke to on the phone.

If you receive a similar call please hang up and do not give your card details.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Annual Parish Meeting

Only six parishioners attended the Annual Parish Meeting in Bere Ferrers Church Hall this evening (Tuesday), when guest speaker Fire Officer Danny Slay, Local Risk Officer, Bere Alston, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue, gave a short talk about our local fire service.
He said that there were three main aims of the fire service: 
1) relentless focus on public safety,  
2) passionate about improving safety and  
3) to create a more efficient organisation.
“Closing fire stations is not an option,” he said, but continued “It is an option, but only as the very last resort.”
There have been rumours of the closure of Bere Alston fire station and its acquisition by the Co-operative as a new store. “This will categorically not happen,” Mr Slay said. The location of other stations, via narrow lanes and Denham Bridge, and the difficulty of getting to the parish necessitate keeping Bere Alston with its current engine. The tragedy on Boxing Day highlighted the need for local fire support.
The Fire and Rescue Service are committed to safety in the home. They are always willing to make an appointment for a home visit to discuss safety in the home. This would include the installation of smoke and CO2 alarms, fire retardant blankets and throws and also alarms for the hard of hearing. If you want a home visit, check the web site at and go to Your Safety. There is a telephone number to ring to arrange a visit: 0800 0502 999.
Would there be a merger with the police? This is a possibility but any cost savings would be made through the back office, not the fire stations.
There is a possibility the fire crews may be used as First Responders in place of an ambulance. In some places they are called out to alarms when vulnerable people have fallen over in their home. They use a pneumatic chair to help them back to their feet. This releases an ambulance for more serious duties.
Mr Slay said that the Fire and Rescue supports Junior Life Skills and has a comprehensive programme for visiting schools for talks about fire safety.
Red One, the commercial side of Fire and Rescue, carries out fire extinguisher training in the use of the various types of extinguishers. Funds from this have been used to provide our firefighters with a new style of helmet.
It would be helpful for them to be notified of any premises that have inflammable or explosive substances, like oxygen cylinders, so that they can be added to the on-machine computer database. Another requirement is the code numbers of any key boxes outside the homes of vulnerable people. This helps enormously if they have to gain a quick access and can get the house key quickly.
General questions to the meeting
Daphne McDonald said that there seemed to be some erosion to the footpath along the River Tavy near the Recreation Field in Bere Ferrers and would the footpath be closed if it worsened. Yes, was the reply from Cllr Richard Leithall, Chairman of Council.
Norman Gay asked if anything was being done about the flooding of the road near Battens Farm. Cllr Ray Piper replied that the water drained into his field, which after the recent storms was in a terrible state. The drain keeps getting blocked by silt washed down from other fields and he has tried unsuccessfully to unblock it several times. Urgent work is needed by Devon Highways to install a new drain, but finance may be a problem.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Great Night at the Pub

Those of us who attended the Traditional Fish Supper at the pub last night had a wonderful time (at least, those I spoke to did!). It was just like Fridays of old, before the introduction of over-amplified bands more suited to an urban environment than a country pub.
However, last night was excellent! A full pub, with people enjoying themselves and talking to each other. OK, it was Good Friday and some villagers had family staying, but the atmosphere was back. The food was superb - I had roasted ling in a leek and garlic sauce, which was piping hot. I even burned my mouth on the broccoli - how often can you say that with a notoriously 'cold' vegetable? Juli had mussels, big and tasty. Puddings were also big and tasty - try the lemon meringue pie and the chocolate torte with cherries!
Congratulations to Sarah, Ted and their team for an excellent evening. More of these please, they must be more profitable than paying for a duo with an audience of half a dozen, like last week?

Friday, 25 March 2016

Summer Time Starts on Sunday!

Don't forget, the clocks go forward one hour at 2am on Sunday morning.

Happy Easter!

This morning Juli and I were first in the queue at the Olde Plough for freshly-made local hot cross buns and several cups of their excellent coffee! A great start to Easter!

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Threat of Wheelie Bins and Extra Charges

West Devon Borough Council are looking at changing the ways our refuse is collected and need your input by 29th March. There is a survey online at 

which I have completed, but be careful! Some of the questions are subtly phrased in such a way to give them the answer they want, but not the one we want!
I am reliably informed that wheelie bins are back on the agenda; what an eyesore these would be in our village and where would some of our villagers put them? When this problem last came up we were categorically told that we would not get them.
The other thing WDBC want to do is to charge for taking away garden waste, something they do free now.
PLEASE do the survey, but be careful how you answer some of the questions, OR contact Cllr Mike Benson, who apparently sits on this committee, on 01822 840209.

Do the survey before 29th March.

Revision to Annual Parish Meeting Poster

Bellringers' Award

Goodbye to the Keys!

It was a tearful night for some at the Olde Plough last night (Wednesday) when friends of Peter and Rose Key gathered to wish them Au Revoir as they moved from the village after 13 years.
The couple are relocating to Colwall in the Malvern Hills, Worcestershire, to be nearer to family.
Sarah and her team at the pub provided a superb display of canap├ęs during the evening to complement the bubbly. The Tavy Tars were out in strength and sang a selection of their favourite shanties in honour of their departing member. After the songs, Peter was presented with a handsome tankard from the Tars.
We wish Peter and Rose the best of luck with their move and we’ll miss them – and unfortunately it’s one less Brummie in the village!

Some people needed help with the canapes!

Monday, 21 March 2016

Work Starts on the Old Post Office

Work started this morning on the renovation of the old post office extension. Owners Ian and Jane Swann have virtually completed the total refurbishment of the main house and now it's time for the last major work to start. First stage is the removal of the roof.

Farewell to the Sea Kings

Five Sea Kings fly over the village on their goodbye fly-past over Devon and Cornwall today after many years service. They will be replaced by Merlins.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Art & Craft Fair

The Art & Craft Fair, in conjunction with the Bere Ferrers Spring Flower Show, took place in the BFS Club yesterday (Saturday). If you didn't go, this is what you missed!