WEIR SAFETY, BRIDGE WORRIES, MAGPIE & MORE AT LATEST HPC ZOOM-IN

Horrabridge Parish Council conducted business with five councillors and the clerk this week. Three more  were absent and there are four vacancies to be filled in the long run. They were told of one new possible volunteer for co-option but he was not present at their computerised conference and they decided to take no action at this stage. Cllrs Moorhead and Huda said they would suggest volunteers attend a few meetings before joining.

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Christine Edmondson was appointed chair of open spaces and recreation.

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Eric Hemsil said the departure from office of Paul Beard meant having a reappraisal of the council’s snow clearance policy, which lately has depended on Mr Beard working as a volunteer. The parish council could not continue to try to get to all roads, said Mr Hemsil. But there might be a deal to be done with Devon Highways. If they would extend their usual gritting run as far as the school, from Church Corner, the parish would chip in for costs. The high street from bridge to A368 and the Whitchurch Road are already on the county programme and the parish has the kit to tackle a few tricky corners on top.

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Clerk reported that the Environment Agency had taken note of signs of breakdown in their weir and would be working on it September.

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Some work approved on tidying up the old chapel memorial ground on Chapel Lane and Cllr Moorhead said he had found a volunteer to do a bit more for free. Meanwhile, suspected escape of Japanese Knotweed in one corner to be checked out and reported to Environment Agency.

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Steve Roche said a planning meeting had recommended the council object strongly to any more consolidation of permanent residences at Magpie Caravan Park.

He said: “DNPA is allowing open market housing outside settlement areas when nobody else can do it.”

His committee also raised a mild objection to a blue cladding idea for a house in Bedford Road and asked for it to be white or grey

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Council chairman Hemsil said a mother had been through an awful scare when her son was off his feet and struggling and had to be rescued from the middle pot in the fish ladder after rain. A new Deep Water sign has been proposed but there are three existing warning signs. Cllr Hemsil said it was the Environment Agency’s liability and the council’s job was to make sure they were aware of it and leave them to decide on the solution. This was agreed.

Steve Roche said the Environment Agency would want to fence the whole area off. Eric Hemsil said they knew they could not get away with it though …

“They recognise that kids always have and always will go in the river and the weir.”

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Cllr Hemsil said he had started out opposed to new picnic tables in Weir Park but had to agree they were popular. A decision on concrete bases was deferred for now.

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Mention was made of an effort to raise £325,000 for the church roof. Steve Roche said it seemed a lot. Cllr Hemsil said no target or plan had been agreed yet and the council should wait and watch developments, which was agreed.

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Devon Highways has turned down an application by the parish for signage on the approaches to the central bridge, warning of its width. HPC to ask Highways for a quote for doing the work and offer to pay for it out of village funds.

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Digging started yesterday (Wednesday) on Commercial Road, by the bridge.

All sorts of services meet at that crossroads and a lot of work went into drawing a location map on the road surface before work started, for cable nodes, pipes, drains, fuel supply, etcetera. But the reason for the digging is simple road repair, it seems.

Devon Highways told us: “We dug a trial hole yesterday to look into the cause of a pothole that occurred in the road, during last year’s winter period. All the markings on the road are to highlight what utilities surround the area, to make sure workers don’t hit anything and to help get an idea of what may be the cause of the issue.

“Trial pits have also been excavated to locate services and carry out waste testing.

This should be a one-day closure but, depending on the result, we may need to return at a later date to carry out further work.”

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stop press 1 Since the last government reporting agency for online scams was exposed as useless, an attempt has been made to relaunch the idea now everyone has had a pep talk. Forward dodgy emails to report@phishing.gov.uk

stop press 2 Interesting pub world news from Buckland Monachorum, where Mandy Robinson has bought the Drake Manor off Punch Taverns, after running it 30 years.

stop press 3 Horrabridge Boot Sale on again this Sunday 16th, 2pm to 5 pm, as weather permits. Everyone thinks it’s a good idea so giddorn down for the village.

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And a picture …

For anyone who missed it, this one is from village snapper Max Law’s chronicle at Max Dailypics on Facebook – immaculate capture of a female blackbird in good light:

allfornow …

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Editor of The Horrabridge Times.

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