Latest News

Census 2021

Households across the nation 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.  The Census is a snapshot of who we are and how we live our lives.  The information is vital for assessing community needs for services such as schools and Doctors surgeries as well as how our communities are made up and changing.

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 and follow us on twitter and facebook at @census2021 or Linkedin just put Census 2021 in the search box and there is loads of useful information for you there.

Devon Partnership NHS Trust
Free TALKWORKS for Challenging Times Workshop

Looking after yourself during challenging times is important and TALKWORKS can help.  Learn basic day to day stress-management techniques today.  Learn how to manage worry, set routines and reduce stress.

This workshop was developed as a result of the current COVID situation (although is not specifically about COVID) – and covers strategies for wellbeing.  It is a 2 hour workshop which covers things like worry, managing routines and sleep.  It may also be a useful space for people to reflect and consider whether the service can support them in other ways, and has been a useful opportunity for many people to go on and book a one-to-one assessment with one of our Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners.

To book a place please call or email us and provide a few details to register with TALKWORKS.  For more info visit:
t: 0300 555 3344
Feel free to visit our website:

The dates for the upcoming groups are as follows:
Monday the 25th of January, 5:30pm-7:30pm
Wednesday the 10th of February, 5:30pm-7:30pm
Held on Microsoft Teams

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.


Lower Broad Park

West Down Parish Council is pleased to announce that after lengthy discussions the Planning Committee of North Devon District Council voted unanimously to hold Acorn Developments (SW) Ltd. to its original commitment to provide five affordable houses and the full financial contribution to education and recreation in respect of the Lower Broad Park development.

At the Planning Committee Meeting held on 9th December 2020, representations were made on behalf of the village by three members of the Parish Council; Mr John Stainer on behalf of the Parish Hall and the Community Field; District Councillor Malcolm Wilkinson and Mr S. Bryant.

Our thanks to all the members of the community who support us in this.


Welcome to your Newsletter for December 2020

Don’t make us ask, please wear a mask, when shopping with us.  Thank you.

Our Christmas opening hours will be: –

Christmas Eve  8am – 12:30pm.
Christmas Day  Closed.  Boxing Day  10am – 12pm.
New Year’s Eve  9am – 12:30pm.
New Year’s Day  10am – 12pm.

Tickets, £2 each available from the shop.  Draw to take place on 18th December.

Christmas orders now being taken.
Pigs in Blankets, Turkey and Stuffing, fresh Fruit and Vegetables.  Ask for you fresh Meat Order Form now.

West Down 2021 Calendar with tear-off Postcards is still available along with our own Christmas Card featuring the Community Shop.

Breaking News – Prices are dropping!
We are lowering our prices where we can to help support everyone through the following months.  Please support us so we can continue to keep them down.

Community Notices

West Down Parish Council meet every 1st Wednesday of the month via Zoom until further notice.  Please contact the Clerk or Councillors using the details on the Village Website if you have any issues you wish to discuss.

St Calixtus Church – Sunday Service will recommence on 6th December, please check the website and notice board for the locations.  Christmas Eve Family Christmas Worship will be at 4pm and pre-booking is required.  Please contact or call 01271864427 / 07940524302.  Attendance guidance is shown on the St Calixtus page.

The Crown Inn is re-opening on 2nd December Tuesday to Saturday 6pm – 10pm.  Only serving alcohol with a substantial food order until 9pm and on Sunday 12pm–2pm.  Take away available.  Booking is essential and all Covid-19 restrictions apply.

West Down Parish Hall AGM is due to be held on  Wednesday 9th December at 7pm.  We would like some more committee members and anyone wishing to join should contact an existing member.  Further details to follow.

Miles Fish and Chips will return to the square on Monday 18th January 2021 from 5-7pm.  Serving MSC Certified Fish & Chips freshly prepared and cooked on the mobile unit.

The Post Office – Your local cash point at the Parish Hall, face masks must be worn.
Mondays 1.15pm – 4.15pmWednesdays 9.15am – 12.15pm  &  Fridays 9.15am – 12.15pm.
It has the same services as a regular Post Office including Parcels, Car Tax, Banking and Cash Withdrawal from most banks and Gift Cards with a value of choice usable at most stores.

Dates for your Diary
2nd December – The Crown Inn is re-opening (details above).
6th December – St Calixtus Church (details above).
9th December – West Down Parish Hall AGM (details above).
24th December – St Calixtus Church (details above).
18th January – Miles Fish and Chips (details above).

Please note that due to the Coronavirus these details are liable to change, thank you.

Co-option onto Parish Council

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 at London House, West Down, giving reasons why you would like to be co-opted onto the Council. For more information about becoming a Parish Councillor, please speak to an existing Parish Councillor or the Parish Clerk.  Thank you.

Qualifications for Candidature
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 is nominated as a candidate occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the parish; or
(iii)   his principal or only place of work in the twelve months preceding the day on which he 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 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 Carole King, Vice Chair Sue Ayre,
Roy Drew, Keith Oades, Mike Reeves, Sue Squire and Tony Verney.
Parish Clerk:  Vanessa Hunt.

Tender for Grass Cutting and Bus Shelter Cleaning 2021

West Down Parish Council invite tenders for grass cutting and bus shelter cleaning for 2021.

For further details, please contact the Parish Clerk.
Vanessa Hunt, London House, West Down. EX34 8NH
email: or call: (01271) 863799

Tenders are to be received in time for the next Parish Council meeting on 2nd December 2020.

West Down Parish Hall Management Committee Annual General Meeting

You are welcome to attend your Parish Hall’s AGM to be held at West Down Parish Hall
on Wednesday 9th December 2020 at 7.00pm.

Click here for an AGENDA

A committee meeting will follow immediately after the AGM.

Please read the Keep Our Hall Covid Secure poster

In particular please wear a face mask and respect social distancing guidelines.

Devon Domestic Abuse Service

(see poster)


West Down Parish Council (WDPC) – Small Grant Fund

Each year West Down Parish Council allocates an expenditure budget from the annual precept in order to support local groups and organisations.  The Council’s guidelines for grant applications are now available.  This process will ensure access, openness and fairness to the groups and organisations we aim to support.  WDPC grants run within a financial year April – March.

Application forms and our Grant Fund Policy can be obtained by contacting the Parish Clerk, Vanessa Hunt, at (or by phoning 01271 863799).  Alternatively, the forms can be downloaded here:

WDPC Grant Fund Policy
WDPC Grant Fund Application Form

Completed application forms for the 2021/22 financial year must be received by the Parish Clerk by 15th October 2020.


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

From: KERR, Oliver
Sent: 06 April 2020 14:02
To: KERR, Oliver
Subject: Contact details for Selaine Saxby MP

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

The Privacy Notice for Selaine Saxby, as required by the General Data Protection Regulations, is available on our website:

Waste and Recycling Collections

The Easter bank holiday weekend is approaching and North Devon Council is reminding residents to check when to put their waste and recycling out for collection.
There will be no waste or recycling collections on Good Friday (10 April). Collections due that day will be made on Saturday 11 April instead.
All waste and recycling collections in the week commencing Monday 13 April will take place one day later that week (running from Tuesday 14 to Saturday 18 April).
Lots of homes will have more cardboard and foil than usual, thanks to a visit from the Easter bunny.  Residents are being asked to dispose of this additional waste by recycling the packaging; flatten cardboard Easter egg boxes and put them in your brown bags, and scrunch up foil before putting it in your recycling box.  Any plastic boxes (except black plastic) can also be recycled.
The council is also asking residents to place their glass recycling in a separate container from their plastic and tins to help the recycling crews during the Coronavirus outbreak.  If residents don’t have a second recycling box they can use any container they do have available, such as a bucket, washing basket or untied carrier bag.



Yesterday, North Devon Council launched a dedicated Covid Support Line (01271 388280).  This is a new telephone line which will be available for individuals to contact during normal office hours (9 am to 5pm) Monday to Friday who do not have friends, family, neighbours or contact with community groups that can provide them with support and assistance during this difficult time.  There is also an online webform for individuals to request support outside of normal working hours available on North Devon Council’s website.


Statement FROM Chair Carole King and Vice Chair Sue Ayre

Due to the Coronavirus, the West Down Parish Council will not be meeting in the usual way.
We are awaiting legal information on alternative ways of carrying out our duties. In the meantime, we are forwarding information on the current situation to those who are updating the various community websites and social media outlets. Our contact details are on the village website, please let us know if you have any concerns and we will deal with them to the best of our ability.
We are liaising with Deb Hayes who is co-ordinating the West Down Volunteer Group, and as a community, we are all very grateful to her and her team. There is some finance support available from the Devon County Council and the Fullabrook CIC to support this initiative.
Our Community Shop has been working really hard to keep us all supplied and are to be congratulated. Sue Bond and her team have put in long hours and still remain cheerful and helpful. It is great that so many new volunteers have stepped up to take over from those regulars who are over 70. There are a number of NHS workers in our community and we are sure that everyone applauds them and wishes them well.
We are a strong, vibrant community and we will come through this. We will have found new strengths and made new friends. The West Down After the Virus Party will be quite something! Stay safe!



FULLABROOK CIC have developed a package of support for voluntary and community groups, and pop-up groups supporting residents of the 13 parishes of their area of benefit during the Corona virus pandemic. If you or someone you know is delivering emergency support for people living in the parishes of Ashford, Berrynarbor, Bittadon, Braunton, East Down, Georgeham, Heanton Punchardon, Ilfracombe, Marwood, Mortehoe, Shirwell, West Down, and West Pilton during this time, please contact for more information and an application pack. Fullabrook CIC are operating a fast-track grant system at this time, so are able to make a quick funding decision. Please share this post to help us reach as many people as possible.

From: Councillor Andrea Davis

Sent: 23 March 2020 16:17
To: Councillor Andrea Davis
Subject: HWRC’s – Household Waste Recycling Centres- restricted to essential use only.

Recycling centres restricted to essential use only

Residents should only visit the Recycling Centres if absolutely necessary. Those with small amounts of waste which are suitable to be placed in the kerbside collection, those over 70, those who are self isolating (vulnerable or displaying symptoms of COVID 19) should not visit the sites from today (Mon 23 March ) until further notice.

The new measures follow thousands of people using Devon’s recycling centres over the weekend and not adhering to Government advice and the social distancing guidelines.

Staff at Devon’s 17 open Household Waste Recycling Centres are limiting vehicle access at the gates to enforce the government’s social distancing guidelines.

There will be in a ‘no assistance/no contact’ policy in place at recycling centres and users are requested to lift/handle their own waste and adopt the social distancing guideline..

People with large volumes of waste should consider alternatives such a skip hire or Hippo bags. Home composting should be practised where possible. Residents should delay projects that generate large volumes of waste such as clearing out the shed/garage. Waste should be held at home where possible.

Credit/debit cards will be the only form of payments accepted for chargeable waste – no cash. Resale shops are already closed.

Those still wishing to use the recycling centres for essential purposes should expect lengthy traffic queues and therefore should only visit if absolutely necessary.

Best wishes,


Cabinet member for Infrastructure, Waste and Development
County Councillor Combe Martin Rural.

Berry Down Cross

Works are progressing well at Berry Down but unfortunately due to an foreseen problem with our sign supplier, the manufacturing of the vehicle activated signs has been delayed and therefore they will not be installed in time for the re-opening of the road on the 20th March.
It is currently planned for our contractor to return to site during the week beginning 30th March to complete this work under temporary traffic signals. Existing warning signs will remain in place until the new signing is installed. All other works, including the new surfacing, 40mph zone and road studs should be completed by the 20th March.

Self Isolation / Avoiding Public Spaces

We find ourselves in unusual and surreal times, and with the reality of Coronavirus the residents of West Down Village are keen to ensure that we all look out for each other and offer support where and when we can.

It is expected that this situation we are now in will last for many weeks and possibly longer, so a group of very willing men and women have got together to volunteer to help in any way needed.

We are lucky to have a fabulously diverse community of both younger and older residents as well as many, many families with young children, and it has been quite clear these past few days that we also have a wonderfully supportive community who are keen to get involved and be there for each other.

In the coming weeks and months we can only hope that everybody stays well, but if any of us are affected in some way we are hopeful that having so many willing volunteers will mean that there will always be someone available to offer a helping hand.

Whether you would like someone to do some shopping, collect prescriptions, do any DIY jobs around the house or garden, give you a lift, cook some meals, collect or return library books, give some practical / physical support in the house, walk your dog, to help set up Skype, Facebook or any other social media to aid contact with friends and family, to just have someone to talk to or anything else that we haven’t thought of but that would benefit you, then please let us know.

We hope that we can all look out for each other so that none of us feels isolated or alone and that everyone has what they need to be as happy and comfortable as possible.

Click here for a window poster for those who would like to display it:   Window Poster

Please let us know if we can be of assistance to you or a friend or neighbour by calling or texting 07766001965 and Deb will put you in contact with one of our lovely volunteers.

It would be our pleasure to help.

Many thanks.

We will be regularly updating the village’s Facebook pages also – West Down, West Down Community Field, West Down Community Shop and the West Down Community Website.

The village church is closed but pastoral support is still available.

The village shop are encouraging residents to open accounts so that so that if anyone is self isolating then shopping can be ordered and collected and then paid for by BACS to minimise personal contact.

Up to date advice on Coronavirus can be found at:


Regretfully the 2020 Gardening Club meetings for March and April have been cancelled.
Further meetings may also be cancelled.


Please check out this document which contains useful advice on Coronavirus    Coronavirus-Easy-Read-Information

You can also access a Devon County Council webpage giving the latest information

DO NOT UPDATE THIS INFO (Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice in Devon)

The Post Office will not be available in the Parish Hall on 13th March 2020

From: Councillor Andrea Davis
Sent: 02 March 2020 15:05
To: Councillor Andrea Davis
Subject: Berry Down Cross

The road at Berry Down Cross will be closed for five days from Monday 16 March and is due to re-open by Saturday 21 March.

The closure will stretch from Smythen Cross to Berry Down Cross, and will also take in the section of the A3123 from the junction with Long Lane to the junction with Dudmoor Lane junction. A diversion will be signed via the B3230 to Chambercombe, A399 Watermouth and Combe Martin and then the A3123, and vice versa, although local traffic may find alternative routes.

A 40mph speed limit is being introduced as part of the scheme and new signs will be installed to highlight the change.

A number of other measures are also being installed to give motorists advance warning of the sharp bend at Berry Down. These include solar-powered road studs, which illuminate constantly throughout the hours of darkness, and high friction surfacing.

New signs, which are activated by vehicles approaching at excessive speed, will also warn drivers of the upcoming bend and the advisable maximum speed of 20mph.

Access will be maintained for homes and businesses within the closure area, although they may have to wait briefly for staff on site to let them through. Emergency vehicles will have access at all times.

Please share with anyone who may use this road regularly.

Best wishes


County Councillor
Combe Martin Rural


New Weekend Opening Hours.
Saturday 8am – 4pm Sunday 9am – 2pm.

A New Volunteer’s Perspective
I have been volunteering in the shop for just over a month. I really enjoy being part of village life and although I have kids at the school, in the shop I get to meet people from all around the village.  I only do 3 hours a week but wanted to help support the shop as I feel it is a vital hub and is much more than just a shop.  It’s also good fun! By Suse Bailey.
More volunteers are needed. There can’t be too many so please help if you can.

Pancake Day Tuesday 25th February
Nutella, Lemon Juice, Maple Syrup, Honey and Jam of many flavours.
We have gluten free flour too!

In celebration of the 75th anniversary of VE Day we are organising two events.
On 9th May Jose and the Hot Dogs, and 10th May a Big Brunch (more information to follow).

We would like to – Thank, Name and Fame
Ian Rothwell, for fitting us a collapsible table outside the shop.
Gaynor Isaac, for baking the Christmas and Valentine Raffle Cakes.
Mike Clark, for supplying manure in exchange for donations to the shop.

Exciting News!
Our very own website is under construction.
This will allow you to see our latest news, offers and products in a clickety click!

We would like to ask frequent card payers to open/use an account at the shop and pay it off before the end of each month.
Application forms available in the shop (terms apply).
This could save us an average of 40p per card transaction.

Now Stocking
Pull the Pin Spiced Rum, Wicked Wolf and Full Moon Gin.
Bottled GT Ales from Chivenor.

Recipe of the Month
Easy Jackfruit Curry
Tried and tested by our Manager Sue, who said it was lovely!
Jackfruit is a canned, good meat replacement.  In stock at the shop.
Get your copy from the shop or from our Facebook page.

We thank you for your continued support and look forward to your next visit.

Community Notices

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.

Mobile Library – on the Square. Thursday 27thFebruary 2020 at 10.50am – 11.20am. It is free to join and you can have as many books as you like with no overdue fees. If they don’t have the particular books you want you can order them online and have them delivered to the village on the mobile unit.

Bags2School – Let us have your old clothes and put them to good use.  Please bring your unwanted clothes in bin bags to the school gate at 9am on Tuesday 10th March 2020.

Quiz and Curry–hosted by West Down Community Shop on 21st March 2020.  In the Parish Hall at 7pm.

Big Breakfast – hosted by West Down School. At the Parish Hall on Sunday 5th April 2020 9-12am.

Jose and the Hot Dogs – hosted by West Down Community Shop. Saturday 9th May 2020.

Big Brunch – hosted by West Down Community Shop.  Sunday 10th May 2020.

Cream Tea – hosted by West Down School.  At the Parish Hall on Sunday 26th July 2020.

West Down Parish War Memorial, 100th Anniversary Service – Sunday 13th September 2020
At 11am followed by refreshments. Relatives of the fallen are being contacted.  Please spread the word.

Dog Waste Bins – we have 4 dog bins in the village, they are located as follows: – by the school, at the Parish Hall, on the green triangle by the Coronation Tree and on West Down Village Green Field.  Please do not put the waste in the regular rubbish bins as it could mean that they don’t get emptied.  Thank you.

Bus to Barnstaple – leaves the village at 10:00am (Not on Tuesdays or Sundays) from the square and returns from Stand L at Barnstaple Bus Station at 13:50pm, arriving back in the village at 14:27pm.

Lost Property – from around the village is often handed into the shop.  Please check if any of it is yours!!

High Chairs – available to rent for just the cost of a donation to the Community Shop or the Parish Hall.
Good quality and easy to clean.  Great for holiday lets.  Please enquire in the shop.

The Post Office – your local cash point – at the Parish Hall, Mondays 1.15pm to 4.15pm, Wednesdays 9.15am to 12.15pm & Fridays 9.15am to 12.15pm.  Their system is now connected via a land line ensuring a reliable service.  It has the same services as a regular Post Office including parcels, banking and cash withdrawal from most banks, Car Tax and Birthday Gift Cards with a value of your choice usable at most stores.  Currency available to order (order Friday/Monday collect on Wednesday; order Wednesday collect Friday).

Lower Aylescott Farmhouse Pork Produce – Traditional rare breeds reared outdoors foraging on woodland and grassland.  Frozen Belly Pork, Joints, Sausages, Back and Streaky bacon available to order now through West Down Community Shop.  Pre-ordering for fresh produce is also possible (availability notice will be given in advance) for more info please contact

Dates for your Diary 2020
27th February – Mobile Library (details above)
10th March – Bags to School (details above)
21st March – Quiz and Curry (details above)
5th April – Big Breakfast (details to follow)
9th May – Jose and the Hot Dogs (details to follow)
10th May – Big Brunch (details to follow)
26th July – Cream Tea (details to follow)
13th September – West Down Parish War Memorial 100th Anniversary Service (details to follow)


Ref: 3001311336

To Whom it may concern,

Please be advised that Wales & West Utilities are proposing to carry out essential gas mains upgrade work at “Ilfracombe Road, West Down” that will require a road closure. Wales and West Utilities are currently in discussion with Devon County Council to allow for this road closure.

Works are currently scheduled to start 4 May and it is anticipated that this closure will be in place for 18 weeks

I have attached some plans to highlight the section of roads we are proposing to close but should you require further information, please do not hesitate to respond to this e-mail.






Click on image to enlarge










Kind regards,

Simon Lee
Wales & West Utilities
Wales & West House
Celtic Springs
NP10 8FZ

Climate Action Week planning

Some information for you about the Climate Action Week that NDC are co-ordinating across N Devon.

It is agreed that:
• The week will start on Sunday 22nd March and end on Saturday 28th March
• NDC will publicise activities planned during that week across North Devon
• There will be a hashtag for everyone to use (likely to be #NorthDevonClimateAction – awaiting confirmation)
• This will be billed as North Devon’s First Action Week (there’ll be more…)
• NDC will set up a Facebook page & Twitter account (N Devon Climate Action, not just for the week)
• NDC will link in to the Journal campaign to get people taking action, and will contact the Gazette.
• NDC posts through the week will relate to the following themes : Biodiversity (Life on the verge/wildflower meadows); Circular Economy (including consumerism); Waste & Recycling; Energy Saving; Transport

Initial suggestions for drop-ins, workshops etc during the week in Barnstaple and parishes across N Devon:

• Parks & Gardens team to hold community meadow-planting
• Seed swaps, making seed bombs
• Talks (various topics)
• Films (e.g. Biosphere’s Journey to the Sea)
• Neighbourhood Planning (energy efficient housing, climate change mitigation)
• Waste & Recycling (ref N Devon Show)
• Partner offerings, e.g. 361 Home Energy Assessment offering, Biosphere Pledges for Nature, Plastic-free information/workshops
Suggested kick-off on Sunday 22nd March with junior marching band, and youngsters with placards, marching from the Market Square to the Pannier Market; stalls in Pannier Market from partner organisations and local food stalls; a speech or two; placards left against Pannier Market walls for the duration of the action week.

The primary purpose of the week is to engage the wider community, to inform, educate and inspire them to action. NDC will also be contacting schools and colleges in N Devon.



Next Meeting at the Parish Hall on Wednesday 8th January 2020 at 7.30pm




Martin Rich – Devon Communities Together, opened the meeting by explaining Emergency Planning, as follows:

• Devon Resilience Board comprises Councils and emergency services and came about as a result of the Civil Contingency Act in order to ensure efficient responses to emergencies such as severe weather events, (floods, snow etc) terrorism and disasters such as foot and mouth disease. Systems have been put in place to plan and co-ordinate responses and this has included encouraging the formation of local resilience groups which have a variety of skills and resources.
• A template has been constructed which acts as a local plan and is put on the county data base. This standard format allows the emergency services responder to access all the relevant information and engage with local teams. Personal information is redacted and is only available to selected personnel. The data base also helps to identify communities at risk.
• This template includes a community risk assessment, and indicates the resources and skills that are available. It is put together by a response team comprising members from various sectors of the community and details convenient areas to act as a base and/or refuge centre. The response to an emergency could be simply to alleviate the situation, to evacuate from a dangerous situation, or to facilitate rescue, by removing snow etc.
• The importance of local awareness was stressed and having an action plan to follow in the event of issues such as prolonged loss of power; heavy snow fall, flood, loss of utilities.
• Personal action plans are also important, such as individuals having adequate medical supplies when hazardous events are forecast; knowing the whereabouts of stop cocks etc., having basic supplies to sustain during extreme weather events etc. Emergency services will look for ‘ICE’ details – ‘In Case of Emergency’ – comprising contact details of near relatives; medication needs; information on pets. It is suggested that these can be on a mobile phone, or in a ‘message bottle’ to be kept in the fridge.

Martin explained that there is help and some funding available for setting up such plans, including workshops, advice and support groups and a Resilience Forum which meets twice a year and has guest speakers.
It is necessary to update the plan once a year and have a contact system that affords discreet assistance to vulnerable members of the community.
It was felt that climate change could mean that more extreme weather events could be experienced and that outside assistance would not necessarily be available.

There was a general discussion which covered topics such as the inclusion of Mullacott Industrial estate and flood risks. The question of insurance was raised and it was explained that training was given and volunteers acting in good faith would not be prosecuted for any action taken.

Further consideration will be given to the formation of a response team.


Are you interested in becoming a bellringer?  West Down has a long tradition of campanology and really needs new bellringers.  Age, gender, immaterial so please get in touch.  Leave your contact details at the Community Shop.


At: Parish Hall
On: Friday 11th October 2019
Starting at 7.30 p.m.


1. Apologies
2. Open Meeting – Public Speaking
3. Planning Application:
a. 70366 Willingcott Valley Holiday Village
Bradwell Road, Woolacombe. EX34 7HN

The public and press are cordially invited to be present.

Next meeting at the Parish Hall on Wednesday 2nd October 2019 – 7.30pm
The public and press are cordially invited to be present.

For an agenda of this meeting please click here



From MONDAY 2 SEPTEMBER 2019 for a maximum of 5 days
Anticipated Finish WEDNESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 2019
No person shall cause or permit any vehicle to proceed or wait on the sections of Affected Roads.
This temporary restriction is considered necessary to enable – DEVON HIGHWAYS – PATCHING WORKS
For additional information contact: SKANSKA UK Telephone: 0330 105 2807
Meg Booth Chief Officer of Highways, Infrastructure Development & Waste Devon Highways Devon County Council Lucombe House County Hall Exeter EX2 4QD

Ref:  TTRO1931519 – click here for additional information.

Temporary Traffic Order – Road from The Long House to Pullands House, West Down (TTRO1931444)





NOTICE is hereby given that Devon County Council has made the above titled order.

From MONDAY 4 NOVEMBER 2019 for a maximum of 18 months

Anticipated Finish FRIDAY 15 NOVEMBER 2019

No person shall cause or permit any vehicle to proceed or wait on the sections of Affected Roads.



This temporary restriction is considered necessary to enable – RENEWAL OF SEWER PIPE

For additional information contact: KIER MG LTD Telephone: 0344 346 2020

Dated: MONDAY 28 OCTOBER 2019

Meg Booth Chief Officer of Highways, Infrastructure Development & Waste Devon Highways Devon County Council Lucombe House County Hall Exeter EX2 4QD

Big Breakfast

Many thanks to everybody who supported the Parish Hall Big Breakfast on Sunday 28th August which raised £519.32.  A special thank you to Mark for all his hard work in the kitchen along with all the other people who helped staging this successful event.

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


Results of West Down Parish Hall Treasure Hunt held Sunday 23rd June 2019

10 teams braved the rain to take part in the fund raising event.

Congratulations to Martin, Sarah and Andy who managed to answer all 28 questions correctly – please click below for full results.

Results Treasure Hunt – P Hall 23.6.2019



This will be the 7th Annual Members Meeting of West Down Community Shop Limited (WDCSL), which is the registered society that runs the village community shop.

The business to be dealt with at the Meeting will include—

  • Presentation of the Annual Accounts for WDCSL’s financial year that ended on 31st December 2018
  • Presentation of various reports by WDCSL’s Management Committee, including plans for the current and future years
  • Deciding whether to dispense with full professional audit of Annual Accounts
  • Election of members to the Management Committee.

Afterwards there will be an opportunity for a general discussion on matters relating to the shop.

You are a member of WDCSL if you own at least one WDCSL share.  West Down residents who are not members are also invited to come to the meeting, but only members will be able to vote.  If anyone would like to become a member, please request a prospectus from Peter Knowles, WDCSL’s Secretary.  Shares cost £1 each.

Anyone who would like to stand for election to the Management Committee, which oversees the running of the shop, should let Peter Knowles know no later than 17th June.  The Committee needs to have between 4 and 12 members.

Finally, it would be very helpful if anyone intending to come to the meeting could, if possible, let Peter know ahead of the meeting so that there is an opportunity to check that there will be adequate seating for those attending.  We need a lot of members to attend in order that the meeting can proceed.

Peter can be contacted via the shop or its email address (

West Down Community Shop Limited is a registered society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014
Registered in England No. 31609R

West Down Parish Council wishes to appoint a Parish Clerk/Responsible Finance Officer to work 18 hours a month.  The Clerk will work from home but will be required attend 12 meetings a year and other meetings as necessary.  The pay will be within the NJC pay scale SCP15-22, £9.77 – £11.77 per hour, depending on qualifications and experience.  The applicant should possess good administrative; financial; computing and communication skills.  Experience of Local Government and Parish Council work would be an advantage.

Applicants should email a CV and also a supporting letter explaining their ability to meet the requirements of the post to

Closing date for applications is Monday 20th May 2019.

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 Amateur Productions

The management committee are delighted to announce that the following donations have been given from the proceeds of Cinderella

West Down Parish Hall – with thanks for use of hall for rehearsals and performances – £800

West Down Community Shop – with thanks for selling tickets …and sourcing Covent Garden ballerinas! – £400

West Down Church – with thanks for being able to use the Iron Room if/as/when needed – £200

Total £1,400

Thanks to everyone who support the Panto

West Down Parish Council

January 2019
County Councillors report

A361 roadworks North Devon Link Road

Major resurfacing work will resume on the A361 North Devon Link Road near Tiverton early in the New Year.

Work on the current phase of the £5 million project ended on Thursday 20th December and all lane closures were removed from the A361 for the Christmas and New Year holidays.

When the scheme resumes on Monday 7 January, the outside lanes of both the eastbound and westbound carriageways will be closed, from east of Gornhay Cross to west of Sampford Peverell, for one week.

There will also be overnight closures from 7pm until 7am each evening during this first week. Overnight on Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 January, the westbound carriageway will be completely closed, between east of Gornhay Cross to Junction 27 of the M5. Then on the evenings of Wednesday 9, Thursday 10 and Friday 11 January the eastbound carriage way will be closed from east of Gornhay Cross to west of Sampford Peverell. On the night of Saturday 12 January, the eastbound carriageway will be closed until 1am, before the closure is switched to the westbound carriageway until 7am. Signed diversions will be in place during all night-time closures.

From Monday 14 January to Sunday 3 February, a contraflow will be in place from east of Gornhay Cross to west of Sampford Peverell while work is carried out on the westbound carriageway.

From Monday 4 February to Sunday 24 February the contraflow will swap to the other carriageway while work is carried out on the eastbound side between west of Sampford Peverell and east of Gornhay Cross.

Andrea Davis
County Councillor Combe Martin Rural

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


War Memorial Ceremony at St Calixtus Church

Once again the children from Oak Class, West Down School joined West Down’s Women’s Institute for a ceremony at the War Memorial at St. Calixtus Church. The Reverend Stephen Painter officiated and the ‘silence’ was marked by the school bell. This is the same bell that would have called to the men and boys on the memorial when they went to the school. Roy Drew (ex RAF) spoke the lines of remembrance at the beginning and end of the ‘silence’. The children then took the poppies knitted by the WI and placed them on the graves and memorials of the fallen and of the veterans who returned. The church gates were decorated with more poppies knitted by the WI.



You will be pleased to know that the West Down WI raised £600 at their Cream Tea on Sunday 29th July to help raise funds for the Air Ambulance Landing Lights that will be located in the Community Field.

Many thanks to all our members who donated goodies and their valuable time (no expenses claimed).

Many thanks to Tony of the Pantry Bakery in Ilfracombe who donated 100 scones.

This event was a resounding success and as such a very special thank you to everyone who came along to support the occasion and to those who gave extra donations.

Catherine Williams
President West Down WI

Volunteers needed for West Down Community Shop

The West Down Community Shop is calling for Volunteers to work Weekdays and Weekends.

All we ask from you is that you can commit a couple of hours a week and enjoy serving customers.

The West Down Community Shop is looking for enthusiastic people to help us create a great atmosphere where people want to come to shop.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer contact us on:

T:        01271 864264



Village Forum

A Village Forum Meeting was held on 12th December, 2017, attended by representatives from the following organisations.

Parish Council

Community Shop

Gardening Club

St Calixtus Church

West Down Green Field Association

West Down Parish Hall Management Committee.

Women’s Institute

They reported as follows:-

Parish Council – Thanked Fay Hookway for retrieving the tiles that had fallen off the West Down Village sign at Dean Cross and Keith Oades and Roy Drew for replacing them.

It was noted that a representative from Devon Air Ambulance had attended the last meeting and had given positive assurances about the viability of using the Green Field as a night landing space with a lighting mast which would be supplied with power by a resident. Money would need to be raised to cover this. It would be just over £3,000, but District Councillor Andrea Davies has already promised to donate £1,000 of this.

Community Shop – had experienced a couple of poor months, but was breaking even. Volunteers for a variety of jobs, long and short term, are always needed. Organisations were reminded that the defibrillator is situated in the shop porch and training in its use has been given to many villagers.

Gardening Club – is doing very well with 79 members, some of whom have come from Braunton. It has an interesting programme of speakers with the additional room at the Parish Hall providing the necessary extra space. The screen and projector are proving to be very useful. Forthcoming speakers include Andy McIndoe of Chelsea Flower show fame coming in February and Chris Beardshaw later in the year. New members are always welcome and guests can attend for two meetings before joining. As well as a varied and interesting programme the members enjoy a number of outings and a holiday. Committee members are needed and the web page on the West Down website needs to be updated.

Green Field is currently holding a Christmas raffle and dates for events will be circulated. The children’s play area had been completed and a seesaw is to be installed shortly. It was noted that the entrance is very muddy due to recent bad weather and this will be discussed at the next committee meeting. Provision for the Air Ambulance will also be on the agenda. In the immediate future they are just raising funds for maintenance of the existing facilities.

Parish Hall Phase 1 of the redevelopment of the hall has been completed and other organisations reported that the extra room was very useful. The redevelopment had come in under budget and the current income is able to cover the basics costs of running the hall. It is hoped that the second phase will begin in June, this will involve the removal of the stage which will be replaced by a movable stage to be kept in the store room. While this is being done, the hall will be out of use for 2 weeks. It was felt that the trollies used to move chairs and tables were a real help. Two long serving members of the committee had retired, Eric Nott, who began working for hall by fund raising to help build the hall and Pete McGahran who, as well as being a committee member has been the booking clerk. Future events are:-

27 January annual quiz night

17 February Dave Edgecombe – fascinating talk illustrated with old and new photos of the North Devon coast.

3 March Rick Tucker – the popular local musician.

West Down Women’s Institute has over 30 members, but over 50% of the members come from outside the village, which means that it is not easy to ask them to do things for the village. However, they usually support all the initiatives and will continue to help when needed. Meetings are now held in the afternoons and although this could make it difficult for younger members to join, the support really comes from the older generation, so their interests have to come first. They have had joint ventures with the school, notably the recent remembrance ceremony when the children of Oak Class placed the poppies made by the WI on the graves and memorials of those who served in both world wars. The WI is offering to do a coffee morning to help raise funds for the Air Ambulance. The West Down WI is celebrating its 70th year in 2018 and the time capsule, which is currently in safe keeping will be opened. Concern was expressed about the Coronation Tree and its metal fence and this will be checked. The meeting to be held on the 8th November 2018 will be celebrating the 1918 Armistice and all are welcome.

St Calixtus Church is currently without a vicar and has been combined with a number of other local churches. Appreciation was expressed for the illuminated star currently on display and details of the carol service were given. It is hoped that attendance at the church will improve as it is an important part of the village. It was noted that the Iron Room will be available when the Parish Hall is out of action.

West Down School was unable to attend, but had recently hosted an excellent Christmas Dinner for older residents and supporters. The school is happy to support local issues and currently circulates the Community Shop Newsletter to all parents. The school also offers the use of its premises when needed.

Mobile Library – 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.

Outreach Post Office – This service has been resumed after the Post Office had technical problems. Again, this service will be withdrawn if there is not sufficient support.

West Down Website This supports all local organisations and is happy to publish minutes of meetings, news and forthcoming events.

Fund Raising – It was suggested that Tesco provides funds for local causes, but it was felt that the application process was too complex.


The National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting of the Asian hornet at an apiary near Woolacombe in Devon. The Asian hornet is smaller than the UK’s native hornet but poses the risk of destroying honey bee colonies. For more information please read the attached guidance notes.

West Down Parish Hall Clean Up and Improvement Works

As you are probably aware, the Parish Hall Committee are in the process of planning building works to improve and up-date the Hall.  Details will be available to view on the West Down website in due course.

We spent a morning cleaning up and removing unwanted items (rather a lot) from the main storage room a couple of weeks ago and Saturday (7th January) spent the morning removing items from under the stage.

Meanwhile, we had a visit from one of the 3 builders who have expressed an interest in the proposed works.

We are hoping for a late Spring completion and plan a “Grand Opening” combined with the celebrations of the 60th Anniversary of the Hall.

Any suggestions/ideas for inclusion in this momentous occasion would be most welcomed.

As is the nature of these types of plans, all works will be subject to the continuing Fund Raising and your support is much appreciated.

Parish Council Clean Up

Once again the Parish Council is going around the village and doing some clearing up.


This has included picking up litter, but Councillor Sue Ayre has really gone beyond the call of duty by tackling the litter bin by Pulland Bridge.  Sadly, this has been used to deposit bags of dog excrement, even though there is a bin specifically for these just 50 yards away on the ‘triangle’.


Sue removed 204 such bags from in and around the bin, cleaned the bin and put in a new bag.  She has put up a notice reminding people that the bin is for litter and not dog excrement and it is hoped that this will do the trick as we cannot expect the staff who empty the litter bin to empty it when it contains waste of this nature.


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.


Dog Fouling2

We are well aware that this notice does not apply to the majority of dog walkers – but unfortunately the minority are spoiling it for the majority



West Down Parish Council invite tenders for grass cutting and bus shelter cleaning for 2021. For further details, please contact the Parish Clerk. Vanessa Hunt, London House, West Down. EX34 8NH email: or call: (01271) 863799 Tenders are to be received in time for the next Parish Council meeting on 2nd December 2020. Vanessa Hunt.