Recent activities and reports
We had a stimulating talk on Ageing Well from the keynote speaker at our AGM in April, Bob Jope, one of the regular Community Matters columnists from the Herald Express and a Trustee of Torquay Community Development Trust (CDT), which, with the support of Torbay C.B. was recently awarded a £6m grant, one of 16 competitive special awards in the country from the Big Lottery for the awakening of voluntary community action in local authority areas with proven need. Read the report – Teignmouth branch 2015_
On the 22nd August, the Alice Cross along with members of Volunteering in Health and other care associations enjoyed a cream tea treat at Bitten House. With the sun shining and blue sky it turned into a garden party with the added bonus of being able to go inside the orangery which gave a touch of the tropics with its banana and orange trees. Our delightful Mayor June Green gave a short speech making all aware of the value of volunteers and gave £100 towards the event. Julia Street, manager of the Alice Cross, thanked all those who had helped put on the event.
JOHN Parkes left his job teaching at a Devon school one Friday. The next Monday he launched a new business – making beer. Five and a half years later, his Red Rock Brewery at Bishopsteignton is so successful, some of his products can be found in some of the big supermarkets.
Mr Parkes described, at a meeting of Teignmouth Senior Council in the village, how he got started and how the venture has progressed. Luckily, a friend let him use an old barn at Higher Humber Farm at the back of Bishopsteignton in February 2006. Fortunately, the main ingredient in beer, water, was freely available from springs nearby.
Mr Parkes, together with his daughter Hollie and elder son Lewis add barley, hops, malt and yeast, using a number of fermentation tanks. The business soon outgrew the original barn, Mr Parkes said, but another larger barn was pressed into use on the same site.
“We struggled a bit for the first couple of years,” Mr Parkes said. “But we prospered when we moved into bottled beers and soon our beers were available in several supermarkets. We now send out 5,000 bottles a week. We make 10 kinds of beer – they are all different. And we have set up a hospitality area for organisations to use when they have trips round the brewery.”
DOZENS of questions were asked when Teignmouth Senior Council held a public meeting about a new plan being drawn up for the town. The topics ranged from affordable homes to traffic problems and from new housing developments to new jobs.
Teignbridge Senior Planning Officer Marie Stainwright explained how the district council had devised the new proposals after examining the background and consulting local groups. The council was working towards the Teignbridge-wide plan being submitted to the council’s Executive on Tuesday November 1st. The document, which would shape the community for the next 20 years, would set out future planning growth for houses, jobs, roads, leisure facilities, green spaces and shops. Miss Stainwright said a steering group made up of local community representatives had been formed which is leading the way in looking at a future planning strategy for Teignmouth and a workshop held to find out what people wanted.
The council, along with the steering group, had held drop-in days and a workshop and had produced a “Find Out the Facts” booklet and a questionnaire inviting comments.
The views from these events and from the local community had helped inform the Core Strategy document. The council was always looking at how they can consult better and were looking at additional ways for the next consultation including social networks.
“We hope to start the consultation in the middle of November. Our website will have a number of messages to let people know what is going on. We have a fantastic town. We want to make it better.”
On specific issues, Miss Stainwright said one aim was to reduce traffic by attracting more jobs to the town, thus reducing the need for people to commute to Newton Abbot or Exeter. We need three hectares for business use. We want to enhance the Broadmeadow industrial estate.
“We have an amazing transport system. We are trying to encourage people to use the train and bus services, as well as walking and cycling.”
On housing, Miss Stainwright said nearly 50 new affordable houses would be needed in the town each year for the next five years. To achieve the council’s target average of 40 per cent affordable homes, about 120 new properties would be needed in Teignmouth every year.
Because of reduced public funding, it was being suggested that a community infrastructure levy could be introduced, This would be paid by developers and would go towards providing community facilities.
PEOPLE will be able to hear at a public meeting about how Teignmouth Coastwatch operates in the town.
Former station manager Anne Channing is to give a talk to Teignmouth Senior Council on Friday September 16. Teignmouth Coastwatch, which overlooks the main beach, keeps an eye on walkers, swimmers, surfers, fishermen and boaters. There are about 60-70 volunteers who take a turn on duty when they are available.
PENSIONERS unable to use their free bus passes on long journeys before 9.30am have been advised how to overcome the problem. If they, for example, catch a bus to Exeter which leaves Teignmouth at 9.10am, they are urged to pay only for the stage to Dawlish Warren where the bus arrives at 9.31am. Then they can use their concessionary card for free travel to Exeter bus station. The advice, following a change in regulations, comes from Teignmouth Senior Council, which represents the over 50s. Professor Frank Hartley, chairman, told the council’s annual meeting at the Carlton Theatre: “We persuaded Teignbridge District Council to fund the bus passes from 9am.
“Funding has now been moved to Devon County Council and Devon has reverted to the national minimum start of 9.30am. “In the current financial climate, I’m sure we won’t be able to get back to 9 o’clock, but don’t forget that if you catch a bus before 9.30, you only pay the fare to where the bus will be at 9.30”.
Councillor Sylvia Russell said: “There is a national policy of 9.30 am, so we have to toe the line.”
Professor Hartley said notices had been put up at Torbay and Exeter hospitals reminding patients that they could ask for appointments to suit their bus services.
In his report, Professor Hartley paid tribute to Mrs Mary Awcock for her work as secretary. The council was still looking for a successor.During the year, the council had done a lot of work, led by Jim Corben, on inter-generational issues, getting young and older people to work together.
“As a society, we really do have to help older people not to be scared or upset by young people and helping the young to work with and look after the elderly. We have helped set up practical programmes in computing and information technology, cooking and sport.”
“In Bishopsteignton we have been adding our voice to those of the village over the future of their doctors’ surgery.”
“Tragically, the village opposition has driven out Huntly, a care home for ex-service officers that could have provided a replacement surgery. Work is still ongoing over the surgery with our local MP and ourselves very much involved.”
Gillie Newcombe, chairman of the Senior Council for Devon, praised the work of the Teignmouth branch, especially in the inter-generational field. She said her two main aims were to increase the membership – currently at nearly 2,000 – and to make the Council more widely known. Elderly people were the biggest users many of the services provided in the county, particularly health and social services, and were also the biggest users of buses. “Without them, there would not be half the services there are today.”