Fillace Park was the main theme at this week’s meeting of Horrabridge Parish Council.

First, the council had second thoughts about making a big investment in new paths and benches.

Second, the debate about the dog dirt problem was shelved because nobody had a suggestion anybody else was happy with.

Third, the council gave the nod to plans for a concert on the football fields on the evening of Saturday August 3 – following on from the Radio Walkham Party In The Park already lined up for Weir Park on the afternoon of the same day.

The proposed evening do, which would also involve Radio Walkham, was said to be a fund-raiser for Horrabridge School and supported by the PTA.

Cllr Mike Huda, manager of the London Inn, said it was far from certain that the event would get a licence. And Cllr Eric Hemsil said the organisers would have to fix their own public liability insurance. But nobody objected to the idea and it was left to go forward.

The meeting was the last of the existing council line-up. Five of the nine councillors attended. Chairman Paul Beard was missing and so were the two councillors who are standing down on election day (May 2) – Adam Minns and Doreen Keane. Cllr Tracey Lear, busy with lambing, was also absent.

On Tuesday May 14, at 7 pm, the annual parish meeting, open to all villagers, will lead into the annual meeting of the new council – seven returning councillors plus Fiona Peart, pictured below, who was formally proposed for election and will be appointed unopposed on May 2. On May 14, the new line-up will choose a chairperson and make committee appointments for the next 12 months.

                                                   Fiona Peart. Read more about her HERE

All West Devon Council places are also up for refilling on May 2 but there are only two candidates for the two seats representing Burrator Ward, which includes Horrabridge. So there will be no polling station in the village and the poll cards which were posted out last week are redundant. Cllr Diana Moyse (Conservative) is coming back. Cllr David Cloke (Independent) is standing down but his place will be taken by Tim Bolton, of Crapstone, (Liberal Democrat).

One item for the parish meeting agenda will be unused silverware, including a cup for best village garden, rescued from a cupboard in the parish hall office. Jill Fitzsimmons of Station Road asked for the cup collection to be brought out for thoughts on how it might be repurposed and councillors would like to see some discussion of possibilities over the coming month. Jill suggested a civics prize and there was some talk after the meeting about reviving a village gardening club. Register interest here or on the village Facebook pages – or at the parish meeting.

On Tuesday this week …

Cllr Steve Roche took the chair and opened with congratulations to Lee Spencer for his “absolutely amazing” Atlantic row.

Another application for grant aid towards £15,000 worth of proposed spending on park accessibility, especially in Fillace Park, was on the agenda. But Cllr Steve Roche, chairing the meeting, admitted there was no detailed estimate to work from and several members of the public, including an invalid buggy driver, said they thought there was no real need. Cllr Eric Hemsil said a new path from Walkhampton Road into Fillace Park, on the other side of the stream, would be less dark at night. But the whole idea was shelved for further discussion.

A decision was taken to ask the handyman to patch up the wall between the cemetery and South View, rather than hiring a stonemason to rebuild a stretch. It was agreed to ask the WI to chip in for a repair of the hearing aid loop, which is mainly used by them.

Cllr Andrew Moorhead said he had been talked out of the idea of free poo-bag dispensers in Fillace Park. Cllr Roche wanted more restrictions on where dogs could go but other councillors said there was no point without an enforcement plan. Eric Hemsil said there were already by-laws which could be used against fouling if people would help enforce them. It was agreed to talk to West Devon Council about better siting of the existing poop bins.

A discussion on what bills could be paid from the Walkham Meadows windfall was re-opened, in the light of legal advice saying the rules were not super-strict. Last month, the public was told there was £77,720 of the original £100,000 pot still untouched. But this month the council voted to transfer just under £70,000 into a new savings account set up for the money – leaving a bit extra in the current account to cover money already spent.

There was a question from the public about why the lights were still up on the Christmas tree in Weir Park. The answer is that the ground has to dry out enough to take a cherrypicker.

allfornow …

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Editor of The Horrabridge Times.