Horrabridge Parish Council and some of their advisers paused for this picture before starting their November meeting, on Tuesday this week (Nov 13, 2018).

picture by Maxwell Law of


The line-up, from left, starts with parish councillors Andrew Moorhead, Eric Hemsil and Adam Minns. On the crossways table are deputy chairman Steve Roche, chairman Paul Beard and clerk Shane Honey. On the right-hand table, regular guests Philip Sanders, local representative on Devon County Council, and David Cloke, who speaks for the village on West Devon Council, are sat either side of parish councillor Christine Edmondson.

Missing from the picture are Mike Huda and Doreen Keane, who arrived a little later, and Tracey Lear, who was absent.

Spending decisions included go-ahead for a £4,000 tarmac topcoat on the broken concrete path through the cemetery and a decision to get quotes for repair of the boundary wall on South View.

An application for a donation from Citizens’ Advice was put on ice for the January meeting, when the council will consider all similar requests. Local organisations are called on to get their presentations ready for then. A proposed deal with the football club, over rental for Fillace Park, was moved to next month’s agenda, for further discussion meanwhile, after Steve Roche said he was not convinced the club was being asked to pay its fair share.

Further talk about redevelopment of the pavilion was also deferred, while Cllr Roche prepares a report on options.

He said: “I am not quite happy that we are going the right way about this, so we are hanging fire.”

Devon councillor Philip Sanders, who represents Yelverton Rural ward at county level and reports back to Horrabridge PC regularly, said he knew people were concerned about the state of play at Hemerdon, where the new tungsten mine has been closed by finance problems.

He said it was likely the Drakelands Mine would start again. But if not, the county had a watertight bond, worth £10 million, which could be cashed in for restoration of the landscape.

The other big local industrial worry at the moment was the Ambrosia factory at Lifton, where 300 people are waiting for a rescue offer.

Mr Sanders also said that the county council shared local concerns about the performance of the Devon Highways service since it was contracted out. The parish council is left trying to scratch together its own resources for some necessary drains clearance. Jordan Lane is due for some work in December however and Devon is talking about January for jetting at the bottom of Torbridge Road, which has been flooding since early November.

Flood advice day in the village hall on Tuesday (Nov 20) – see our Noticeboard page for poster

Mr Sanders mentioned that Grenofen residents were putting a forceful case for a new speed limit on the back road to Tavistock and that might bounce into a limit applying down through Horrabridge too on the Whitchurch road. Some people were asking for 20mph but he doubted they would get that. There is not actually much of an accident record, although there was a narrow squeak recently.

Nobody had any further news on the proposed redevelopment of the Magpie Park caravan and chalet site.

In public question time, Jill Fitzsimmons asked for assurance that there would be no flashing lights on the Christmas tree at the corner of Weir Park and Station Road. Cllr Beard said all lights would be static except for a top star which would “twinkle”. A traffic order allows closure of Station Road for three days at the start of December, but in practice will be in force for only four hours for the switch-on finale, 4pm to 8pm on Sat December 1.

Improvements to the Christmas lights this year are being paid for by £1,181 raised in a donations drive last year and the council is once again chipping in £300 for free mulled wine and mince pies at the London Inn. But for next year, the financing of lights and party will be handed over to a community committee operating separately from the council.

The window of opportunity for more co-option to the council has now closed, and the next opportunity for new candidates will be to stand for election next May.

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Editor of The Horrabridge Times.