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Hello all

Thank you all who responded with your thoughts on a virtual clerks meeting in the autumn. Consensus is that a majority of you would like to have a face to face meeting in the spring where we can all meet up and have a bit of a mingle.

We have had a few suggestions for topics that you would like on the agenda but if you think of anything in the next few months, please do let me know.



Cyber Security - Phishing Emails

Attached is a handy guide, which I would encourage you to keep hold of, to help you understand what to look for when checking your emails to make sure that they are valid and safe. We all need to make this a habit.

MDDC, will continue to push out messaging, information and training about Cyber Security to officers, members and parishes to remind us all of how important it is to be careful.

Last week it was announced that a council which had been the victim of a Ransomware attack was likely to incur costs of over £10 million. So it is vitally important that you read and understand information being passed to you by ICT. In most cases, it will be general information/good practice which you should feel free to share with family, friends and colleagues.

The Woodland Trust

The Woodland Trust is currently accepting applications for free tree packs for communities and schools to be delivered in March 2021. You can apply here:

Town and Parish Charter

The Charter between Mid Devon District Council and the Town and Parish Councils of Mid Devon was finalised in October 2017 and is now due for review.

Partnership working between town and parish councils (local councils) and the district council will only be successfully achieved if both partners recognise, understand and respect the role that the other plays and work to promote those roles.

Consultation will take place with Town and Parish Councils prior to the reviewed Charter being presented to the Community Policy Development Group.

I attach a copy of the Charter and we would welcome your thoughts and comments as well as any suggestions for improvements. If you feel that the Charter is still fit for purpose and requires no amendment, please could you let us know.

Please could you respond by 30th September 2020. You can find the current Town and Parish Charter here.

Solar Panel group-buying scheme will save you money and help save the planet

Devon’s householders have the chance to help the county become net-zero by joining Devon Climate Emergency’s (DCE) solar panel group-buying scheme.

DCE is made up of Devon’s principle public and private sector organisations, and they have joined forces to draw up a Carbon Plan, the county’s roadmap to carbon neutrality.

The DCE’s latest project is Solar Together and, with group buying experts iChoosr Ltd, they are offering homeowners the chance to buy high quality solar PV more cheaply than if they were buying alone.

Led by Devon County Council, the scheme is partnered by 10 of Devon’s planning authorities, who are all members of DCE’s Response Group (DCERG).

The scheme’s partners are Mid Devon, East Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge and Torridge District Councils, West Devon Borough Council, Exeter City Council and Dartmoor and Exmoor National Park Authorities.

Solar Together is one of the ways the DCE is helping local people take a positive step to reduce their own carbon footprints.

Read more here

Meet the Parishes

Holcombe Rogus

Holcombe Rogus is a village and civil parish in the English county of Devon. In 2001 the population of the parish was 503.The northern boundary of the parish forms part of the county boundary with Somerset and clockwise from the east it is bordered by the Devon parishes of Culmstock, Burlescombe, Sampford Peverell, and Hockworthy.

The first element of the place-name is derived from Old English for a deep or hollow coomb (valley) and the second element refers to the holder of the land – at the time of the Domesday Book (1086) the tenant was Rogo or Rogus.

The manor house known as Holcombe Court was built by the Bluett family. It is situated to the immediate west of the parish church, hidden behind a high boundary wall, and was described by W. G. Hoskins as "perhaps the finest Tudor house in Devon".

The parish church is dedicated to All Saints and is predominantly 15th-century. It contains several monuments to the Bluett family, including the 1615 tomb of Richard Bluett, his wife, Mary and their eleven children. There are also several mural monuments of the 18th century.

By 1812, progress was being made with the construction of the Grand Western Canal, but it was hampered by rock cuttings at Holcombe Rogus, from which springs of water gushed, and there was a need to line some sections with puddle clay to prevent leakage. Lime kilns were constructed to provide the materials, which can still be seen beside the canal, close to the Waytown Tunnel.


The Parish is situated on the edge of the Blackdown Hills within Mid Devon District Council. Kentisbeare is located between Honiton and Cullompton. The population is around 870 residents, spread over some 320 homes. Hamlets within the Parish include Blackborough, Sainthill, Stoford Water, Croyle, Orway, Aller and Kingsford.

In the 17th century the manor of Kentisbeare was owned by Sir John Wyndham (1558– 1645) of Orchard Wyndham, Somerset. In 1810 it was owned by his descendant Hon. Percy Charles Wyndham (1757-1833), MP, 2nd son of Charles Wyndham, 2nd Earl of Egremont, who also owned the manor of Blackborough where in 1838 George Wyndham, 4th Earl of Egremont (d.1845) built a palatial villa, known as Blackborough House. The 4th Earl built Kentisbeare House in 1841, to the designs of J. T. Knowles, for his relative the rector of Kentisbeare.

Unusual, Funny and Strange Enquiries Made to Local Councils in England

  1. One query about registering the death of a person who was still alive was just one of the quirky calls received by council call centers last The inquiry to Surrey County Council was among 50m calls to local authority customer services each year.
  2. Another to Northumberland County Council asked where its pest control officers bought their
  3. One caller to East Dorset District Council's Tourist Information Centre wanted an explanation of the plot of the 18th century play "She Stoops to Conquer".
  4. Another bizarre call in Surrey was from an oddball who asked if he was allowed to roll up a zebra
  5. A German went to a council customer services reception desk in Northumberland to claim political asylum.
  6. A motorist called Sutton Council to ask if a car park was haunted. She thought her vehicle was in a different place from where she left
  7. Another resident in the borough asked whether he could put a dead fox in a recycling bin.

Keeping up to date

Press Releases Issued

Dates for Mid Devon District Council Meetings

3rd September—Cabinet—6.00pm

8th September—Environment PDG—5.30pm

9th September—Planning Committee—2.15pm 10th September—Economy PDG—5.30pm

14th September—Scrutiny Committee—2.15pm 15th September—Homes PDG—2.15pm

22nd September—Community PDG—2.15pm

22nd September—Audit Committee—5.30pm

23rd September—Planning Committee—2.15pm


Dates for Devon County Council meetings:

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