Latest News

Vaccination Clinic on Sunday in Braunton

The DCC Mobile Unit have the above taking place on Sunday 23rd January at the Vivien Moon Centre starting at 10.00am and finishing at 16.30pm.  They are in support with the NHS from North Devon Trust who are, as a result of the number of vaccinations dropping, available to do outreach where they can get into those areas that have a smaller number of people taking up the vaccine.

They will be doing the 16+ for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Boosters with Pfizer.  Depending on staff they may be able to do under that age.



To be held in West Down Parish Hall on Monday 28th February 2022 at 6.45pm for 7.00pm


Join our dedicated Group of Community Field Trustees to help ensure the success of this valuable village asset
now and into the future.
Any resident wishing to stand for the next term of office, please contact the current Chairman, John Stainer, by letter to:

Sunrise, Croftswood Gardens, Ilfracombe, EX34 9PR
Or email:  Mob: 07773339323

Closing date for nominations – 18th February 2022


Coronavirus update from North Devon Council 9th December 2021
Prime Minster confirms move to Plan B

Yesterday evening, the Prime Minister confirmed that England will move to Plan B following the rapid spread of the Omicron variant in the UK.  From Friday 10 December, face coverings will become compulsory in most public indoor venues, such as cinemas, theatres and places of worship.  There will be exemptions in venues where it is not practical to wear one, such as when you are eating, drinking or exercising.  For that reason, face masks will not be required in hospitality settings.

From 13 December you should work from home if you can.

From Wednesday 15 December, and subject to parliamentary approval, the NHS Covid Pass on the NHS App will become mandatory for entry into nightclubs and settings where large crowds gather – including unseated indoor events with 500 or more attendees, unseated outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees and any event with 10,000 or more attendees.  People will be able to demonstrate proof of two vaccine doses via the app.  Having considered the evidence since the emergence of Omicron, proof of a negative lateral flow test will also be accepted.

Booster jabs available to anyone aged 40+
The NHS confirmed a huge expansion of the booster programme, with the National Booking Service now open to all those aged over 40 to book their jabs.  The dose interval has also been shortened from six months to three months, with those eligible now able to book a month in advance – two months after their second dose.
Book now

If you keep an eye on the Northern Devon Healthcare Trust Facebook page, you will also find details of walk-in vaccination clinics at the North Devon Leisure Centre.

More testing recommended
Testing will also be a vital tool in controlling the spread given the likely increased transmissibility of Omicron.  As there is now demonstrated community transmission of Omicron, the government intends to introduce daily contact tests for contacts of confirmed positive cases instead of the ten-day self-isolation period.
Everyone should test using a lateral flow device, particularly before entering a high-risk setting involving people you wouldn’t normally come into contact with, or when visiting a vulnerable person. Lateral flow devices remain free of charge and can be ordered online.

Have a Holly Jolly Local Christmas

Support your local businesses this festive season.  For local Christmas events click here.

A Devon County Council Bulletin

Test and Trace still plays an essential part in reducing COVID-19 outbreaks; there’s still time to have your lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine
and farmers invited to a free wellbeing and mental health support webinar

For more information click here

Want to see your business grow?

Made in Devon is a new ‘buy-local’ business support scheme from Devon County Council and is looking to help 125 businesses a year with free scheme membership.  Benefits include Trading Standards advice and being part of major promotional campaigns that will make the most of new consumer trends to support local, independent businesses and artisans.

To qualify you need to be a Devon-based business who takes pride in supporting other local companies and goes out of your way to use materials and ingredients produced in Devon.  To find out more visit  Made in Devon is part of the well-established Trading Standards Buy with Confidence scheme.

West Community Shop Newsletter November/December 2021

Christmas Opening Hours
Christmas Eve – 8am to 12.30pm
Christmas Day- Closed
Boxing Day – 10am to 12 pm
Dec 27th to 30th – 9am to 12.00pm
News Years Eve – 9am to 12.30pm
News Year Day – 10am – 12pm
Jan 2nd & 3rd – 9am to 12.30pm

Give a ‘Taste of Devon’ for Christmas!
Treat friends and family to all that’s deliciously made in Devon.  Jams & honey, chutneys, pickles & cheeses, cakes & biscuits, festive fudges… and, of course, clotted cream!  Teas, coffees, or something stronger – artisan gin, rum, ales, cider and so much more!

Christmas orders now being taken
Turkey, Ham, Stuffing, Pigs in Blankets, fresh Meat… all locally sourced!  Fresh Fruit & Vegetables, Gluten free and Vegan products are also available.
Order Forms for your Festive Feast are in the Shop now.

Christmas Cards, Gift Cards, Logs & Kindling on sale too.

Christmas Raffle
Tickets will be on sale in the Shop soon.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for new products and offers.
A big ‘thank you’ for your ongoing support and understanding during Covid.
We look forward to welcoming you into the Shop soon.


Post Office
Your local cashpoint at the Parish Hall  (NB: face masks must be worn)
Mon – 1.15pm to 4.15pm
Wed – 9.15am to 12.15pm
Fri – 9.15am to 12.15pm
N.B. Christmas and New Year opening times:
Fri 24th – 9.15 to noon
Wed 29th & Fri 31st – 9.15am 12.15pm
(Mon 27th & 3rd Jan Closed)

Last Posting Dates for Christmas:  2nd class – Friday 17th Dec / 1st class – Tues 21st Dec

Parish Hall
Covid regulations have changed, and the hall is now available for use.  However, it can only be used in line with Government guidelines which include social distancing, face coverings, good ventilation etc. (view conditions of use on website).  It is the ongoing duty of all of us to safeguard the health of our community.  The Ferret racing is postponed until guidelines allow.  The extension to the hall to greatly improve the toilet facilities is well underway.  The hall will remain in use until work moves inside and the existing toilets are put out of use; closure should not be long when that happens.  All committee members will be aware of the ongoing situation and regular users will be updated with developments.  The Post Office is open as usual and we hope to make suitable arrangements so that it can remain in use throughout.  Please bear with us while the work proceeds.

The Annual General Meeting of the West Down Parish Hall Management Committee
Tues 16th Nov at 7pm in the Parish Hall.  Everyone is welcome, so please come along.  We would like more members to help run the hall (some of us are getting past our sell by date!).  If you would like to join us, please contact a committee member.

Exciting news
The Parish Hall now has a full-sized Skittle Alley for hire!  Further details on the website – see Parish Hall page under ‘Documentation’.   Book through Parish Hall Booking Clerk (Keith Oades: 07979188107). 

Gardening Club at the Parish Hall
Thursday, 18th November at 7.30 p.m.  Nigel Alford (Head Gardener at Hartland Abbey) will be giving a talk on “Preparing Your Garden for Winter and Planning for Spring”.  Entry £3.00 Inc. Refreshments & raffle.  For more details phone Jan: 01271 865554.

St Calixtus Church
Please see church notice board or website for information on all services, including the Christmas Eve Family Christmas Worship.
For further details, contact or call 01271 864427 / 07940524302.

The Crown Inn
Re-opens from 21st November
Mon to Sat – 6pm to close
Sun – 12pm to 2pm.
Please see the board outside the pub for opening times over Xmas & New Year.

Mobile Library – in the square 10.20-10.50am Thursdays Nov 18th and Dec 16th.

Road Closure Notice – Churchill House to Fullabrook Barton

Polite notice that the road from Churchill House to Fullabrook Barton, West Down, will be closed from 22nd – 23rd November for highway repair works.  Please find attached the diversion route for your reference.  (See map)

Emergency services access will be permitted if required.

A Public Announcement from Heart of the South West Trading Standard
on Avian Influenza

It is that time of year again and Avian Influenza infection has been spreading across Europe and now it is in the UK.  Heart of the South West Trading Standards Service have advised us that as of 5pm on the 3 November 2021 an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) was declared across Great Britain.  This means that all bird keepers in Great Britain (whether they have pet birds, commercial flocks or just a few birds in a backyard are required by law to take a range of bio-security precautions: 

Schedule 1 – Minimum biosecurity measures applying to all keepers

  • Keep domestic ducks and geese separate from other poultry.
  • Ensure the areas where birds are kept are unattractive to wild birds, for example by netting ponds, and by removing wild bird food sources.
  • Feed and water their birds in enclosed areas to discourage wild birds.
  • Minimise movement into and out of bird enclosures.
  • Cleanse and disinfect footwear and keep areas where birds live clean and tidy.
  • Reduce any existing contamination by cleansing and disinfecting concrete areas and fencing off wet or boggy areas.
  • Keep free ranging birds within fenced areas, and ponds, watercourses and permanent standing water must be fenced off (except in specific circumstances, e.g., zoo birds).

Schedule 2 – Enhanced biosecurity measures for premises with over 500 poultry or other captive birds

Keepers with more than 500 birds will need to restrict access for non-essential people on their sites, workers will need to change clothing and footwear before entering bird enclosures and site vehicles will need to be cleaned and disinfected regularly to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

Full details of what is required can be found on the government website:

To assist all bird keepers in complying with the new rules, the biosecurity guidance and self-assessment checklists   have been updated and all the latest information can be found at

Remember that if you have poultry it is your responsibility to keep updated on any outbreaks and an easy way to do this is to sign up for text notifications – register with the APHA alerts service.

West Down Parish Hall Management Committee
Annual General Meeting

To be held at West Down Parish Hall on Tuesday 16th November 2021 at 7.00pm.
You are welcome to attend.
Please read our posters, if possible wear a face mask and comply with current Government guidelines.

Co-Option Onto Parish Council

West Down Parish Council Parish Clerk:  Mrs Val Ford
10 Berrynarbor Park, Sterridge Valley, Devon, EX34 9TA.
Telephone:  07852 627967

The Parish Council comprises of up to 8 Councillors.  Following the resignation of one of the Parish Councillors there is now a vacancy for co-option onto the Parish Council.  Apply by writing a short letter to the Parish Council Chairman via the Clerk at 10 Berrynarbor Park, Sterridge Valley, Berrynarbor, Devon, EX34 9TA giving the reasons why you would like to be co-opted onto the Council.  Closing date for applications is  30th November 2021.

For more information about becoming a Parish Councillor, please speak to an existing Parish Councillor or the Parish Clerk.  Thank you.

Qualifications for Candidates
To be qualified to be elected a member of a parish council, a person must be 21 years of age or over, and a British subject or citizen of the Republic of Ireland, and either:-
(i)    be a local government elector of the parish, or
(ii)   have during the whole of the twelve months preceding the day on which he/she is nominated as a candidate occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the parish, or
(iii)  his/her principal or only place of work in the twelve months preceding the day on which he/she is nominated as a candidate have been in the area of the parish; or
(iv)   have resided either in the parish or within 3 miles thereof during the whole of the 12 months preceding the day on which he/she is nominated as a candidate.

There are certain disqualifications for election, of which the main are:-

a)  holding a paid office under the local authority.
b)  bankruptcy.
c)  having been sentenced to a term of imprisonment (whether suspended or not) of not less than three months, without the option of a fine during the five years preceding the election; and
d)  Being disqualified under any enactment relating to corrupt or illegal practices.

Parish Councillors
Chair: Sue Ayre, Vice-Chair: Mike Reeves Cllrs. Roy Drew, Keith Oades, Sue Squire, Tony Verney and Richard Kenshole.

West Down and a Community Land Trust

There is a public meeting on Wednesday 13th October at 7.30pm in the West Down Parish Hall – this affects you and the future of West Down.  For more information click here for pdf.

Braunton Neighbourhood Police Newsletter September 2021

(Click here for PDF)

West Down Village Forum

A Village Forum Meeting was held on 2nd September 2021, attended by members of the community and representatives from local organisations.  Newcomers to the village were welcomed as well as the following organisations:

Parish Council
Community Shop
Gardening Club
St Calixtus Church
West Down Green Field Association
West Down Parish Hall Management Committee
West Down Women’s Institute

They reported as follows:-

West Down Women’s Institute
The President reported that the first meeting would be held on 9th September and will be for existing members only.  It was felt that after the difficult time that they have faced, a chance to informally re-group and come together would be beneficial.  New members will be welcomed at the October meeting and it was hoped that there would be more local members because at present, 50% of the existing members come from outside the village.  The meetings are on the second Thursday of every month at 2pm.  There is also a craft group that meets on the fourth Thursday of the month.  All meetings are in the Parish Hall.

West Down Community Shop
Everyone expressed their thanks to the Community Shop for their support during the pandemic, when for many people it was a lifeline supplying goods in a safe environment and delivering to those unable to get out.  The service was always friendly and helpful.  The Manageress explained that the shop had been very busy during that time and because many of the volunteers were vulnerable and not able to help, there had been considerable pressure on existing staff and volunteers.  The increased profitability had been passed on to customers by reducing prices and it was hoped that the support would still continue when the pandemic eased.  Like other village services it was an issue of use it or lose it.  More volunteers are needed, not just to serve in the shop but to help with a wide variety of tasks involved in its safe running.  A big commitment is not needed, just an hour or two here and there would be helpful.  Training and support is given where necessary and it is a good way to meet people and make friends.

St Calixtus Church
The Vicar said that it had been a dreadful year in which people had been unable to get together and the church had to be closed.  Some online services had been held and it was now available for christenings, weddings etc.  He very much wanted to know what the people of the village wanted from the church and how the building could be utilised in other ways.
It was explained that the clock had not been striking as it had not been possible to wind it due to repair work.
Bellringers are wanted and anyone wishing to join the team should get in touch.  Contact details can be obtained from and the Parish Magazine is on the church notice board.  The ongoing upkeep of the fabric of the church building was a constant problem.
Forthcoming Events – 12th September at 10.30 a Service commemorating the dedication of the War Memorial will be held at the memorial and it is suggested that participants bring their own lunch for an after service get together.  The Harvest Service will be on 3rd October.

Parish Council
The Chair reported that there was currently a vacancy for a Parish Councillor being advertised and that a new Parish Clerk had been appointed.  It was explained that the Parish Council covers a wide range of duties, including the maintenance of footpaths and trying to eradicate the problem of dog mess.
Currently a Parish Council website is being designed.
The Council works closely with Malcolm Wilkinson, District Councillor and Andrea Davis, County Councillor and they meet on the first Wednesday of every month in the Parish Hall.  The Chair said that it was an excellent team that works very well together.
Applications for the community grant scheme should be submitted for local projects.
A community award scheme had been instigated and a presentation plate made and will be awarded soon.  It is hoped that this scheme will be expanded this year.
‘Zoom’ meetings had been held throughout the epidemic and it was gratifying that these had been attended by members of the public and it was hoped that this would continue now that meetings are being held in the Parish Hall.
Huge amounts of work had been done in order to get the affordable homes and the s106 grant that had been part of the agreement between North Devon District Council and Acorn Developments SW Ltd.  Despite all the efforts that had been made, no affordable houses had been made available for rent and only one had been available to buy.  None of the promised S106 grant had been paid, this included funds earmarked for an additional class room for the school, funding for the projected improvement work on the Parish Hall and improvements to the Community Field.  The Parish Council is continuing its efforts to obtain closure on this, with constant pressure being exerted on the District Council to rectify the situation that had allowed the community to be denied its rightful benefits.  A meeting has been arranged with the Community Land Trust which helps communities to build affordable housing.
The Chair also explained that she does Devon wide work with the St John Ambulance to improve the lives of young people and has worked on the vaccination programme. The Vice Chair said that planning applications were also part of the work of the Parish Council and said that any issues that parishioners wanted to raise should be submitted to the Parish Council in writing and these would be dealt with.
The President of West Down WI wished to record the community’s thanks to the Parish Council for their tireless work in trying to obtain the affordable housing and the S106 grants.
Forthcoming Events – Meeting with the Community Land Trust on 13th October in the Parish Hall so that the parishioners can decide if they wish to go ahead with a scheme to build affordable houses.

West Down Green Field Association
The Chair of the Trustees explained how the Community Field had been bought in perpetuity for the village and was available for all to enjoy.  It is run by Trustees and volunteers to join in the running of this were always welcomed.  As well as maintaining the field, a play area for children was provided, also allotments and a landing area for the Devon Air Ambulance.  Recently a water supply for the allotments had been provided.  Those in attendance recorded their gratitude for the availability of the field for recreation and an escape during the pandemic.  Planned developments are on hold due to the ongoing problems between the District Council and Acorn Developments, the withheld funding had been earmarked for important changes and was desperately needed.  Allotments are currently available.  Once again, thanks were expressed for the work of the committee responsible for this important asset to the community.

Gardening Club
The Gardening Club reported they had their first post Covid meeting last month and had an attendance of 26.  They also had a brief holiday and garden visit.  Several local gardening and horticultural clubs had closed but the West Down club had new members joining.  They meet on the third Thursday of every month and have visiting speakers as well as visits to gardens and holidays.  New members are welcome.

Parish Hall
It was noted that it is a very important part of the community, having been developed bit by bit over many years by local initiatives.  Recent improvements have included a new kitchen and the Eric Nott Room.  Due to the pandemic, functions have not been held for some time but the Outreach Post Office has been in operation throughout.
When the s106 grant from Acorn Development (now Acorn Homes) was announced, plans were drawn up for an extension which would include modern toilets and a disabled toilet and planning permission was obtained.  Lots of hard work has gone into fund raising to provide the additional finance and £70,000 has been raised.  Because the need for improved toilets is so great, it has been decided to go ahead with this project so the fulfilment of the s106 agreement is vitally important.  Work will start in the autumn on the necessary groundwork and it is intended that the hall will remain open during this time.  The existing toilets will remain in place until the very last phase.  The chosen builder has been very helpful and fortnightly builder’s meetings are being held to manage the project.  The Post Office will not be affected by the development work.
The hall is currently open for events and bookings are welcomed but users are expected to take reasonable precautions to prevent the spread of disease.  It was noted that organisations can ask members to take covid tests before attending.  The Management Committee responded to requests from the community for a skittle alley and it is now available.  It has been strengthened and can be assembled by participants, there is a £10 charge for its use in addition to the normal booking fee.  Other important facilities include a projector and screen wired to the internet and wi-fi is also available.  Booking details are on the West Down web page.  Volunteers are always welcome to join the Management Committee.
Forthcoming Events – Ferret Race on November 13th – entry is free – ferrets are supplied! A fun family evening!

Other Matters

‘Person Shed’ – Following the popularity of TV programmes such as ‘The Repair Shop’ etc., it was suggested that a meeting place to repair/renovate items could be a useful antidote to social isolation and loneliness.  ‘Man Sheds’ were being provided in a number of areas and it was hoped that a non-gender specific venue could be organised.  It would be an opportunity to learn/share skills and prevent useable items going into landfill.  Concerns were raised about the location and the cost of insurance and some positive suggestions were made.  Ideas/information/expressions of interest should be sent to Carole King at or Keith Oades at

Mobile Library – Visits the village once a month where books can be reserved (without charge).  It was noted that this service will be withdrawn if it is not supported.  Details of its timetable can be found on the West Down website.

Men’s Walking Group and Ladies Walking Group – both of these meet regularly and details are on the West Down website.

Outreach Post Office – Again, this service will be withdrawn if there is not sufficient support.  Opening times are on the noticeboard.

Parish Lunch – This is an informal get-together in the Crown Inn once a month with a set menu.  It is hoped that this can be revived and details will be on the West Down website.

Newsletter – The Community Shop will be producing a Newsletter shortly.

Christmas – It is hoped that a function will be provided for the children as it has been in the past.

West Down Website ( – This supports all local organisations and is happy to publish minutes of meetings, news and has up to date information on forthcoming events.

Junction Improvements

Devon County Council are planning to carry out junction improvement work at Lynton Cross, which will entail the construction of a new 4-arm roundabout.  Works are planned to start on the 6th September and will take approximately 16 weeks to complete.  During this time there will be two temporary 24/7 road closures in place, these being;

(i) on the A3123 between Lynton Cross and Hore Down Gate – 20th September to the 12th November.
(ii) on the B3230 between Lynton Cross and Iron Letters Cross – 15th November and the 10th December.

There will be signed diversion routes in place for both closures (please see attached plans for details). Multi-way temporary traffic lights will also be in place at the junction during the works.

Should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact James Millichope, Devon County Council, Tel:  0345 155 1004.



Scam calls with matching numbers

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) is warning the public to be vigilant of scam calls that appear to be coming from numbers similar to their own. Commonly, the first seven digits (07nnnnn) match the victim’s own number.  The calls impersonate well-known government organisations, or law enforcement agencies, and will ask the recipient of the call to “press 1” in order to speak with an advisor, or police officer, about unpaid fines or police warrants.
In May 2021, Action Fraud received 2,110 scam call reports where the caller’s number matched the first seven digits of the victim’s own phone number.  Of these, 1,426 (68%) referred to HMRC or National Insurance.  Victims have also reported receiving these types of calls, and messaging, via widely-used messaging apps, such as WhatsApp.

What you need to do: 

  1. Government and law enforcement agencies will not notify you about unpaid fines or outstanding police warrants by calling or texting you. Do not respond to any calls or texts you receive about these.
  2. Always take a moment to stop and think before parting with money or your personal information, it could prevent you from falling victim to fraud. Remember, it’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests.  Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  3. If you receive a suspicious text message, you can report it by forwarding the message to 7726. It’s free of charge.
  4. Suspicious telephone/mobile calls can be reported to Action Fraud via their website:

For more information about how to protect yourself online, visit and and follow @DC_CyberProtect on Twitter.

Devon & Cornwall Police have launched a summer-long campaign to help reduce
Demand on their 101 non-emergency number

The new campaign – whichever way you choose to contact us, #ItsPersonal, aims to educate residents and visitors to the area about the different ways to contact the police and explain that every contact the Force receives about a policing issue is answered by a member of their team, whether it’s online or by phone.

By reassuring anyone who wants to make contact with the police, be that online or over the phone, that their query is being dealt with by a real person, it is hoped more people will choose to use the online contact options and there will be a reduction in the non-emergency call waiting times.  If more people use the police online contact methods, it leaves the phone lines free for those who might not have access to the internet to contact the police.

Anyone wishing to contact the police with non-emergency queries or reports can easily access the online options – WebChat, Report Crime Online and Email 101.

WebChat – 
WebChat allows you to talk online directly with the police contact centre – just the same as calling us.  WebChat is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be used to ask questions, report non-urgent crime, and receive updates on existing crime.

Report Crime Online –
Report Crime Online is an easy way to report information to us or report an incident or crime.  Simply record all the details on the online form then submit the form via the website.

Email 101 –
Email 101 to ask a question, tell the police something or report non-urgent crime.  The email service is monitored daily.

Alternatively, the Force’s contact centre staff are available to answer your calls day or night should you still wish to call.  We would recommend before calling the 101 non-emergency number, you visit the force’s website to check the current waiting times –

Every contact the police receive about a policing issue is answered by a member of their team, whether it’s through one of their online options or on the phone.  Whichever way you choose to contact the police, #ItsPersonal.

West Down Community Shop

Dear Villager,

I am writing on behalf of West Down Community Shop Ltd.  We are aware that many new people have moved in to the village over the last year and we hope that this will be of interest to them as well as being an update for more established residents.

The community shop that we are lucky enough to have in our village today was taken on by a small group of villagers in 2012 as a means of serving the people of West Down, who would otherwise be reliant on public transport or their cars for day-to-day groceries – not very convenient or environmentally friendly if all you need is a pint of milk or loaf of bread.

The business side of the shop is run by a small committee of local people who take on the roles of treasurer and vice-treasurer, secretary and vice-secretary, chair and vice-chair, with other tasks including publicity, minute taking and DIY expert being equally important.  The shop cannot run without these people but at least four of these roles will become vacant in the near future.

Do you have any skills that could help us?  Have you any experience in running a business large or small, book-keeping, or could you perhaps develop a web page for us? We really need to hear from you and nominations for places on the committee are now available ahead of our AMM in June.  The closing date for nominations at the AMM is 10 May.  Please consider anything that you might be able to contribute, either for a regular slot in the shop or on our (honestly very friendly!) committee by contacting either Sara Hodsman at or Wendy Neligan at, or just pop in to the shop for a chat.  We’d love to hear from you and frankly, we can’t carry on without you.

The shop is run entirely for the good of the village and does not aim to make a profit above what is needed to cover our costs.  To keep our overheads to a minimum, only our manager and weekend assistant earn a salary, with all other staff being volunteers.  As a volunteer myself, I have found this to be a very rewarding experience, allowing me to get to know far more people in the village, learn new skills, and I really feel that I am contributing to my local community.  Over the last year, this has been particularly important as we have been able to support vulnerable and shielding villagers with grocery deliveries and to allow many people to be able to ‘stay local’ – and we never ran out of loo rolls!  We are also a hub of local knowledge, look after the village defibrillator and will always, always be happy to chat.

On a less altruistic note, having a village shop has a very positive impact on our house prices.  Watch a couple of episodes of Escape to the Country and it becomes obvious that a pub and local shop are the absolute musts for the perfect village to move to.  Add to that our excellent school and pretty church and we would seem to have it all. However – times are tough for the shop at present.  Many of our volunteers have not been able to help us due to the pandemic and some will not be coming back, it has recently been very difficult for us to maintain our usual hours.  We desperately need a few new people to step up and don the WDCS apron.  Full training is given and most people commit to just a two-hour weekly shift, which is a small amount of time but would make such a big difference.

Finally – there is no point in having a shop unless we use it.  Consider perhaps ordering your regular milk, bread, newspaper, yogurt or eggs from us, put in a weekly grocery order or buy your wine and beer from us, or maybe just make sure that you pop in for the odd ice-cream or tin of beans, it all helps.  We try to buy locally grown and produced items as far as possible, so we may be a couple of pence more expensive than Tesco but we try and be competitive and many items are identical in price and after all, you don’t have to get your car out.  Our stock is constantly changing and if we don’t stock something that you would like to buy from us let us know, we’ll do our best to get it for you.

Please, please, don’t let this precious service to our village and visitors disappear.  Once it’s gone it’s gone and we’ll all be the poorer for it.  Give us a little bit of time, custom or expertise and we will thrive and so will our community.

With our very kindest regards
Wendy Neligan
Vice Chair
On behalf of WDCS Ltd.

Police and Crime Commissioner Election – Situation of Polling Stations

(See details)

A3123 Mullacott Cross to Lynton Cross

Works are to take place between the 28th June and 6th July inc.  The works will be carried out at night during a temporary road closure (7pm to 7am), with the road reopened during the daytime.
The works have also been extended so there will be a temporary closure between Lynton Cross and Easter Close Cross.  A further diversion route will be in place during this time via A399 Combe Martin, Ilfracombe, B3230 New Barnstaple Rd.
Should you require any further information please contact:
James Millichope – Devon County Council
Tel:  0345 155 1004

Voting safely at this year’s elections

On Thursday 6 May 2021 residents in North Devon and Torridge will go to the polls to have their say on who represents them at the Devon County Council and Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

Voters have a range of options for casting their ballot: in person, by post or by appointing someone they trust to vote in their place (known as a proxy vote).

The deadline to register to vote for the May 2021 elections is midnight on Monday 19 April.  The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm on 20 April, and for a proxy vote the deadline is 5pm on 27 April.

For those who choose to vote in person, safety measures will be implemented to make polling stations safe places to cast your vote on 6 May.

Voters are encouraged to keep themselves and others safe by:

  • wearing a face covering
  • bringing their own pen or pencil
  • cleaning their hands when entering and leaving the polling station
  • keeping a safe distance

Voters should not attend the polling station if they have symptoms of COVID-19, or if they have been asked to self-isolate.  There will be measures in place to apply for an emergency proxy vote if required due to health circumstances.

Judith Dark, Electoral Services Manager at North Devon Council, says: “The elections this year 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 North 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.”

Tom Vanstone – Senior Electoral and Democratic Services Officer at Torridge says: “Making sure you’re registered to vote is important so you can have your say in this and all future elections.  Being on the electoral register may also help if you want to apply for financial products or even things like a mobile phone contract.  Options for voting have expanded over the years with many people finding the convenience and simplicity of postal voting an appealing alternative to attending a polling station.  Whichever way you decide to vote make sure you don’t miss out and apply before the deadlines stated.”

Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance at the Electoral Commission says: “The choice on how to vote at next May’s 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

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 the elections team at or

Beware of Census 2021 Scams

Braunton Neighbourhood Police Newsletter April 2021

(Click here for PDF)

West Community Shop Newsletter April 2021

Once again a big thank you to all our customers for your continued support.  Please check out our Facebook page for new products and let us know if there is anything you would like us to stock.  Orders are very welcome and delivery can be arranged within the village.  You can order meat and veg as well as grocery items.  Easter Raffle – tickets are £1 from the Shop.

Your Village Shop – do you want to make a difference?
The Community Shop is run by an elected management committee and the next Annual Members Meeting will be on 7 June.  Would you like to get involved?  To vote at the meeting or become a member of the committee you need to be a shareholder (shares are £1).  Please email the shop for more details or a share application form.

In the shop Volunteers are always needed, but now more so than ever.  We have many shifts that we are having difficulty covering and staff shortages mean we may need to adjust our opening hours.  Please can you help us to avoid this?  Minimum slot of 2 hours. Please call Sue on 864264.

Outside the shop
We are also looking for someone to help us further improve our web site – please get in touch if you can help.

We are constantly reviewing how we do things in light of the changing Government advice on Covid so please look out for any notices and work with us as we try to keep the Shop safe for customers, staff and volunteers.  We now require all customers to wear a mask in the shop.  If for any reason you don’t feel able to do this we are happy to take any order by phone or email for you.

Community News

Mobile Library in the Square
Every first Thursday of the month 10.50 to 11.20 am, limited to one person at a time with a face mask.

Dog Waste Bins – please use them – thank you!
Located by the school, at the Parish Hall, on the green triangle by the Coronation Tree and on West Down Village Green Field.

The Post Office
Your local cash point at the Parish Hall Monday: 1.15pm – 4.15pm / Wednesday & Friday: 9.15am – 12.15pm.  Services include post & parcels, car tax, banking and cash withdrawal (most banks) and Gift Cards with a value of choice, usable at most stores.  Facemasks must be worn.

Miles Fish and Chips is back!
Every Monday from 5-7pm, starting 18 January.  MSC Certified, freshly prepared and cooked in their mobile unit.

The Crown Inn
Open for takeaway (pre-order preferred).  Friday & Saturday 6pm – 8pm / Sunday 12pm – 2pm.

St Calixtus
Sunday services have resumed at St Calixtus but they are not held every week for the time being.  Check posters and the website for up to date information.  This is being reviewed and it is hoped weekly services will commence soon.  The Easter Sunday service will be by bookings only.  Please let Andy Odell know if you wish to attend – 864427 or
Plans are now recommencing for the deferred 100th Anniversary of the erection of our war memorial.  Please look out for details soon on the website.  Save the date – Sunday 12th September at 10.30 am.

Gardening Club
Hoping to start again on Thursday, 17th June with a talk at the hall on Fuchsias.  For more information contact Jan Oades on 01271 865554

Parish Council Meetings
Via Zoom until further notice.  Please contact the Clerk or Councillors via if you have any issues you wish to discuss.

All of the above a subject to change to reflect current Covid restrictions.

Useful links

Pharmacy 2U
You can order prescriptions which are delivered direct to your door at no extra cost, please visit

West Down Covid Volunteer Group
Here to help anyone who is shielding or self-isolating.  If you need confidential help with shopping, prescriptions or errands please contact 07795529711 or

NHS Volunteer Service
Available to help those who are vulnerable to Covid, especially those over 70 or who are pregnant or have a disability, and are also there if you just need someone to talk to.  Contact 0808 196 3646 or visit

Live Well in Braunton 

Live Well has been tasked by One Northern Devon, to identify gaps in food provision for families and children with the aim to see how the community sector could step in to help.

The Survey… 
During the current Covid 19 pandemic, it has been recognized by many agencies that not only have peoples’ food habits changed but that food insecurity has become an issue for many people.  In order to gauge the impact of this Live Well in Braunton are working with One Northern Devon and the Devon Community Foundation to engage with the community around the issues being faced in our local area.  From this engagement it is hoped that specific issues may be identified which Live Well in Braunton can then help to address in some small way.

We would love to have your input and would be grateful if you could answer the questions in this short questionnaire.…/Live-Well-in-Braunton…/

A361 Road Closure for Structural Maintenance from 4th May for 4 weeks

(See details)

Everything you need to know for School on Monday 8th March

(See details)

Devon Libraries

Devon has been placed in National Lockdown, Libraries Unlimited has decided to temporarily close our buildings.  Our Choose & Collect, mobile library and computer services have been suspended until further notice.  Learn more on our Covid-19 updates page.

Devon Domestic Abuse Service

(See poster)

Notice from West Down Parish Council

We have received a great many complaints about


Please watch where your dog ‘goes’ and pick up after it.
If you have more than one dog off lead you can’t expect to watch them all.
All dog owners have an idea of when their dog needs to go. We are just asking you to be responsible for the mess and remove it.

There are 4 dog waste bins around the village –
Parish Hall, School, Community Field and Coronation Triangle


We live in a lovely village and it is in everyone’s interest to keep it that way,
so, it is important that we all do our bit.

Urgent appeal for community equipment

If you’ve got any community equipment you no longer need, please can you return it?

We urgently need commodes, walking frames, shower stools, and raised toilet seats, as increased demand during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak means these items are in danger of being in short supply.

Please contact Millbrook Care on 0330 124 4491 to arrange a free contactless collection

Selaine Saxby MP Contact Details

Dear Clerk,
I hope you are keeping safe and well at this challenging time.
I write on behalf of Selaine Saxby, MP for North Devon to share her contact details and ask if you would mind adding these details to your website and/or community newsletters.
At this time of uncertainty communities are coming together and relying on parish councils and each other more than ever, and Selaine wanted to ensure that if anyone wished to contact her for help, they were able to find the information easily. Parish websites and newsletters are a great source of information and I know are widely distributed, particularly in our villages. In particular, newsletters are important for those who may not be able to access the internet or send emails, much like the posters you were recently sent.
Selaine’s website, which is updated constantly with new information, is:
Her social media channels are:
• Twitter: @SelaineSaxby
• Instagram: @selaine_saxby_mp
• Facebook:
She can also be contacted via email at and at her office in Barnstaple for urgent cases at 01271 327990.
If you could pass these details on to the editors or administrators of your parish website and/or newsletter I would be very grateful, and if I could be copied in on that email I would also be grateful, so I might have the contact for them as well.
Please excuse the generic nature of this email, I have sent it to every clerk in North Devon.
If you or the editors should have any questions, or want more information, please do not hesitate to get back in touch with me.
Thank you for all your efforts in supporting our communities at this difficult time.
Kind regards,
Oliver John Kerr
Communications & Engagement Manager to Selaine Saxby MP
Member of Parliament for North Devon

Church House, Church Lane, Barnstaple, North Devon, EX31 1DE
01271 327990 | 07514 158914

Parish Council – Ash dieback

Ash die-back is becoming increasingly prevalent and landowners are reminded that it is their responsibility to ensure public safety. Dead or diseased trees need to be removed or made safe where they could fall across roads or pathways. Advice and information can be found on

Air Ambulance

West Down has become one of the latest villages to provide a safe landing space for the North Devon Air Ambulance.  Having already experienced the need for casualties to be evacuation using the Air Ambulance, the community came together to ensure that the helicopter could land safely by day and night.

The success of this initiative is a real tribute to the community spirit that exists, with all sections of the community coming together to provide the necessary facilities.

The Trustees of the West Down Village Green Field Association offered the landing site and the Parish Council obtained the necessary planning permission.  Fund raising for the lighting mast was aided by County and District Councillors.  West Down Women’s Institute held a cream tea which raised a substantial amount as well as being a most enjoyable event.  A grateful parishioner, who benefitted from the services of the air ambulance, was among the donors.  A local resident is providing the electricity for the mast and the air ambulance has already completed a test run.

The general Feeling is a hope that it will not be necessary to use the landing site, but it is reassuring for villages in remote locations to know that they are accessible and that aid is within easy reach.

West Down Parish Council

West Down Parish Council wish to make everyone aware that we have a fully operational AED in the village.  This is a Zoll machine and it is sited in the porch at the West Down Community Shop.  It is stored in a plastic box with an alarm on it, but there is no code to access the box and the alarm is for noise purpose only.


This machine is simple to operate and once open you follow the instructions provided by the machine – with good quality CPR the best possible care is provided to a casualty and chances of survival in a life threatening situation are raised considerably.

If anyone would like further information regarding the machine or you wanted to consider some training, please do not hesitate to contact:

Sue Ayre – 07980 182317