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Hello all

I hope you are all staying safe out there. If you get chance to look at the Town and Parish Charter mentioned in last months newsletter please do and let me know any suggestions for improvement or inclusion as the Charter is currently being reviewed.

Carole or Tel: 01884 234209


DALC are going to be holding virtual Q&As which clerks and chairmen can attend to ask questions about anything to do with the new regulations. It’s not training, but they hope will be useful for those who have concerns. The dates are below, and any member councils are welcome to attend, you just need to email to register your interest.

  • Tuesday 2nd June 11am
  • Thursday 4th June 11am
  • Tuesday 9th June 11am
  • Thursday 11th June 11am

Virtual Meetings—Tips

We are now well into the swing of virtual meetings and are quite enjoying the experience, it’s not nearly as scary as we all made it out to be in our heads. We have found a few things that help with running a virtual meeting and put in place things to ensure that they are secure for all participants.

  • Use an iPad or Tablet if at all possible as the picture and sound quality are far superior
  • Check your background and change this if Most platforms have a facility for you to have a virtual background (better than looking at your washing)
  • Check whose behind you, partners, children and pets can be quite distracting when trying to run a formal meeting
  • DON’T allow all participants to share their screen to all as this has caused issues in other public meetings of people high jacking meetings with unacceptable All platforms have the ability to shut this down as host
  • Keep Members of the public muted and turn their videos off if they are not You can ‘unlock’ them when it’s their turn to speak and then ‘lock’ them again when they have finished
  • Check your lighting—Make sure you are not too dark or light and sit facing a light source (not one behind you)
  • Use headphones, it really does improve the quality of the
  • If someone had a dodgy internet connection get them to turn their camera It then doesn’t use as much of their broadband and you will be able to hear them clearly.

Devon councils launch new Discretionary Grant Fund to support businesses not eligible for the COVID-19 grant schemes

A new Government Discretionary Grant aimed at supporting small businesses launches on 1st June and will be administered by local district councils.

Following further Government announcements, Devon councils have quickly organised to launch an additional package of funding aimed at helping small and micro businesses.

Importantly, this includes all those that have not been eligible for any other grant, with the exception of the furloughed Job Retention Scheme and the self‐employed income support scheme, and who were trading on 11th March 2020.

One of the key criteria for eligibility is businesses who have high ongoing fixed property- related costs, and who can show that they have suffered a major fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Grants will range from £1,000 to £25,000 but it is expected that the vast majority of grants awarded will be below £10,000, as this is a much smaller scheme than the previous one.

All businesses are required to meet the same evidence based tests of need and the following business types will be prioritised for funding support, in line with Government requirements:

  • small businesses in shared offices or other flexible workspaces;
  • regular market traders with fixed building costs, such as rent, who do not have their own business rates assessment;
  • bed and breakfasts, which pay Council Tax instead of business rates, and;
  • charity properties in receipt of Charitable Business Rates Relief, which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

Each local council also has the discretion to extend their grants to business sectors in their area, which they feel need additional support in the interim, for instance tourism sectors within Devon. Check your local council’s website for information on the business types prioritised in your area.

You can read more information here

Online challenges a hit for leisure customers

Mid Devon Leisure’s doors may be closed, but some of their customers are enjoying classes and fitness videos from their own homes.

The team of instructors - who used to energise customers with their workouts in the Council-run leisure centres - have taken their enthusiasm to social media instead, and in just eight weeks they have amassed more than 9,000 views of their 28-day challenge videos.

Most of the instructors were unfamiliar with performing to the camera, never mind the process that goes into editing the footage, but they are enjoying the challenge and the interaction with their supporters.

Leanne Vicary spent 12 years working in finance before following her passion and becoming a fitness instructor with the Council. She only joined Mid Devon Leisure in the autumn, but despite the closure of the leisure centres has loved the chance to showcase her work online.

Leanne said:

The first time I did a video it took a while for me to get used to it. I was worried the house wasn’t tidy and there would be a mess in the background but I’ve enjoyed it and after the first few got more comfortable with the camera. We’ve done a fair few retakes between us but I love helping people keep active.”

Leanne added:

“We know we aren’t on the frontline of this crisis and I am so grateful to my leisure colleagues who are delivering food parcels and helping the really vulnerable, but I also know in times like this it’s really important to keep busy and to maintain or start an activity. This is not about money or business but it is all about people’s well-being.”

Meet the Parishes


Copplestone (anciently Copleston, Coplestone etc.) is a village, former manor and civil parish in Mid Devon in the county of Devon. It is not an ecclesiastical parish as it has no church of its own, which reflects its status as a relatively recent settlement which grew up around the ancient "Copleston Cross" that stands at the junction of three ancient ecclesiastical parishes of Colebrooke, Crediton and Down St Mary.

The small parish is surrounded clockwise from the north by the parishes of Sandford, Crediton Hamlets, Colebrooke, Clannaborough and Down St Mary. According to the 2001 census the parish had a population of 894, increasing to 1,253 in 2011. It is situated right in the middle of Devon half way between Exeter and Barnstaple on the A377, nestled in a valley. Copplestone is a major part of the Yeo electoral ward whose total ward population was 3,488 at the above census.

The Tarka Line railway goes through the middle of the village and calls at Copplestone Railway Station. Copplestone is surrounded by hills and is not far from Dartmoor, visible to the east and Exmoor to the north, a little farther away. The surrounding countryside has been used for agriculture from before Roman occupation of the area.


Culmstock is both a village and a parish and is located in Mid Devon on the border with Somerset just 7 miles NE of Cullompton and 6 miles SW of the Somerset town of Wellington. The parish comprises of the village Culmstock and the hamlets of Nicholashayne, Prescott and Woodgate.

Historically it fell within the boundaries of the Hemyock Hundred. It was at one time prosperous as a centre of weaving and the wool trade, but this prosperity, and the population of the village, declined considerably with the onset of the Industrial Revolution.

A large part of the parish now lies within the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It has one public house, The Culm Valley Inn and one shop called The Strand Stores located in Culmstock village next to the river Culm . There are two churches, a village shop/cafe and a garage.                                                                                     


Keeping up to date

Press Releases Issued

Dates for Mid Devon District Council Meetings

Please see the MDDC Website for upcoming meetings

Dates for Devon County Council meetings:

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