A rural parish in North Devon, England including Brayford village, High Bray and Charles, and a part of Exmoor National Park


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From the December 2004 Newsletter:

Parish Council News
Affordable Housing
Following the November meeting, and recognising the continued concerns of may parishioners, the Parish Council feel it appropriate to re-affirm the action taken to date in order that you are aware of the situation:
1.  The 1998 Village Appraisal recognised a need for Affordable Housing
2.  2001, the Parish Council re-affirmed its 5 year priority plan and highlighted Affordable Housing as a main objective, posted in Minutes on the notice board.
3.  January 2002, Chair Brian Symons asked through Parish Council minutes and Newsletters for parishioners to advise on suitable sites. There was no response.
4.  2003 proposal and need survey by housing enabler, Trudy Robinson, reaffirmed this need
5.  2004, The Parish Council have adhered strictly to advice and guidelines laid down by statutory bodies involved in this process. All procedures have been adhered to.
The Parish Council has listened to the points made by parishioners, but the original need was identified and then re-affirmed five years on to ensure it was still the case, we are, therefore, acting in the public interest. Although North Devon District Council ruled out highlighted sites, on visiting Brayford with a view to suggesting sites they felt appropriate at our request, they themselves re-identified the same sites as possible, and in particular the Little Bray Lane site. All Parish Councillors with a personal interest have declared this and attended a meeting with the independent monitoring body of the council. They found that the Parish Council have acted correctly and in the appropriate manner. Finally, the time to voice any objections will be when the NDDC post any planning application for development. Although the Parish Council have input into this process, we are not empowered with regard to the final outcome, and therefore, parishioners must channel any concerns to the NDDC.
Public Participation at Parish Meetings
The Parish Council welcome and like to see parishioners at our monthly meetings. It is your opportunity to have your say and express any or all concerns you have relating to our Parish. However, in accordance with meeting guidelines as laid down by the DAPC, we are only able to allocate within a meeting agenda fifteen minutes for public participation. Outside of this time, we are unable to open the meeting up further to public comment or contribution. We realise this can be frustrating and bureaucratic, but it is how we have to run the meeting. Please do not allow this to deter you from following up afterwards with an appointed councillor or attending the next meeting to pass comment. We value your opinions, views, concerns or issues. We are there to serve you, so do not feel that we are not open to approach.

Exmoor Ranger
Ione Wilcock, Exmoor Ranger, attended the October meeting to talk about her work. Ione works in 14 parishes in North Devon and is particularly concerned with paths, routes, rights of way, stiles, bridges and signage. She also works with primary schools, including Brayford, talking about flora and fauna of Exmoor and conservation, taking the children out at least once a year. Questions were asked and answered and Ione left a variety of leaflets.
Parish Paths
If you would like to help us assess the impact of the parish path project by giving up some time to walk the pathways, please contact the Parish Council.
Parish Lengthsman
If you are aware of any jobs that need doing around the parish with regard to clearing drains, road repairs or trimming of hedges, then please contact the Parish Council.
Projects Update
Work on The Pound commenced in October and is proceeding well. The land by the bridge will be levelled when the weather is suitable and then planting can commence.
Green Sweep
The Parish Council would welcome feedback on the recent introduction of black wheelie bins and the perceived advantage/disadvantage of this with green bins to follow. Would everyone please note that cardboard should not be left around the Recycling Shed. This applies to any items that are unsuitable for the Shed. These should be taken to a suitable waste management site in town. The potential loss of our Recycling Shed will have an impact.
North Devon District Council
District Council are setting up a number of enforcement surgeries in 2005 relating to planning issues and similar queries. These will be bi-monthly and held on the following dates:
South Molton 1.3.2005 Council Hall
Barnstaple 3.5.2005 Civic Centre
South Molton 6.7.2005 Council Hall
Request for Grants
Please note that all bodies applying to the Parish Council for grants must submit a copy of their accounts. Without these, we are unable to action a request.
Vacancies for Parish Councillors
It is with great regret that we have received two resignations. Fiona Tyson has served on the Council with integrity and dedication for ten years and will be greatly missed. Amongst her many accomplishments during her term of office is the upgrading and re-establishment of the Parish Footpaths and the new gates and signs which involved many hours of work along with Geoff Collier. This has resulted in a valuable network of walks through our local countryside that are available to all. Also, and probably most memorable, was her organisation and co-ordination of the Queenís Jubilee Celebration Day in 2002; the dayís events in the village were enjoyed by all who attended and showed clearly how we, as a community, can come together. If one can retire from office with a complement to their contribution, then this will surely be Fionaís and we all wish her, Richard and James our very best and sincere thanks. Although Pat Folkes has only had a short term if office, she has made a valuable contribution to Council business and has helped as neighbourhood watch co-ordinator. We wish her and Rosemary well in their new venture and offer our thanks on behalf of us all for her time and support.
Fionaís vacancy has been advertised but with no response to date, so this position will now be considered on a co-opted basis. Patís vacancy will, in accordance with procedure, be advertised shortly and posters put up. If anyone is interested, please reply to Margaret Hartnoll or Bryan Symons. To apply, you must have lived in the Parish for twelve months, be over 21 and prepared to declare all interest where appropriate.

Gardening Club
David Hopkins came to the rescue at our November meeting and spoke, with his usual enthusiasm and knowledge, on Clematis.

At the December meeting, Brenda Davison will be demonstrating lovely Christmas flower arrangements, which will be raffled, and we will be producing supper! Tickets are £3 and the date is Wednesday, 15th December, at 7.30pm in the Village Hall. You do not have to be a member of the Gardening Club to come, everyone is welcome.

The 2005 programme includes talks on Ponds and Water Features, Roses, Bees, and visits to Hartland Abbey and Brenda Davisonís garden.   Full 2005 Programme

Charles Bring and Share Party

The Charles Parish Ė Bring and Share Ė Party will be held on Friday, 10th December, at Church House, from 7.30pm.
All are welcome.

Dance The Night Away

Come and dance or listen to super band "COVERíD" from 9pm to 1am on Friday, 4th February at the Village Hall.
Promises of draw prizes or food gratefully accepted. Tickets are £6 including buffet and all proceeds go towards North Devon Hospice. Tickets will be on sale after Christmas.

High Bray & Charles Church
The Community Harvest was a great success and a good social evening, which also raised £235 for Christian Aid Funds. Candle lit Carols on Christmas Eve is, for lots of us, the minute of calm when Christmas begins. Please bring your own candle and holder at 6.30pm on the 24th December. There will be a Christmas Day Holy Communion service at Charles Church at 9am, and the School Nativity on 14th December at 6.30pm at High Bray. There is a Cards at Home evening at Fullacott on Thursday, 16th December at 7.30pm. A warm welcome is assured

Methodist Church
Our Carol Service will be at 6.30pm on December 19th with mince pies and coffee after. The Christmas Morning service will be at 11am. On Old Christmas Day, 6th January, at 7.30pm, the Harmony Choir will be coming to sing. We hope many people will come and join us to celebrate these events. Our normal services are at 11am and 6.30pm every Sunday.

Christmas Carol Service
This yearís service will be held in the Nook on Tuesday, 21st December at 7.00pm. There will be a musical accompaniment for the hymns and also mince pies and mulled wine. The Parish Council are collecting during the service for North Devon Hospice in recognition of loved ones and friends who have been lost to us during the past twelve months. We hope you can join us.


Brayford Boomerangs
The Boomerangs children are holding their Christmas Play on 16th December and everyone is welcome. There will be an admission fee of £1 to include a cup of tea/coffee. Some of the mums and children will be Carol Singing around the village on 21st December from about 5.30 pm. So, if you get a knock on the door, please come and listen. We will also be collecting on the night, so if you feel you can give anything, we would be grateful.
The Boomerangs Calendar is now available, priced £5 each, to raise funds for Pre School.
The Fashion Show was a great success and raised £354 for the School.
Committee Members
We are desperately in need of volunteers to sit on the Committee. With the departure of four mums at Christmas, we are very low. The more people on the Committee, the less work for everybody. At the present moment, we are seeking two people to be Grants Co-ordinators. This is a very important part of the group, as we rely heavily on donations, grants, etc. and if we had two people able to give this some time, it would only take a few hours each week.
We could also do with a Vice Chairperson and a Vice Treasurer. The Vice Chairperson is just to help out when the Chairperson is unable to make a meeting, etc. The Vice Treasurer will shadow our current Treasurer with the intention of swapping roles next year. We would really like to hear from you with regard to these roles.
Playleaderís Assistant Job Opportunity
We are seeking applicants for the post of Assistant in the Pre School. This is a fun and rewarding job, exceeding minimum wage. The hours are 9am to 1.30pm, with some additional work outside the session times with the Playleader.

Community Craft Club 
The Club will be meeting in Lydcott on Monday, 6th December at 7.30pm. Please join us for coffee, chat and a few stitches!

Mother's Union
The School Nativity and Carol Service will be held at High Bray Church on Tuesday, 14th December at 6.30pm. We will be providing food afterwards and would be grateful to anyone who can bring some.
We all enjoyed Rosemary Tullís talk "A Joy Shared" at the November meeting. Our next meeting will be a coffee morning 19th January at Purbrook Cottage, Brayford at 10am.

Women's Institute
We will all be feeling festive on 8th December, the Christmas meeting, so friends are most welcome to join us in making table arrangements followed by a delicious high tea and Christmas music!  Meetings are held in the Village Hall at 7.15 pm.
The 2005 Programme is now complete and is full of interesting lectures and outings, and these will be available on Wednesday, 8th. The meeting on 12th January is a talk by John Hughes, entitled Life with the Lions. 

Promises Auction
This event was an overwhelming success with well over 200 people bidding for 115 Pledges of all kinds. Goodwood race tickets were even secured for £500 by a telephone bid. Two of the Promises, a Formula 1 Chief Mechanicís suit and a designer wedding dress have gone forward to further fund raising events for the North Devon Hospice, possibly with Lantern Radio, but are still available. Over £8,000 was raised, including donations from the bar and food takings, and although this amount will be placed in The Val Boddington Memorial Fund at the North Devon Hospice, it is also a tribute to Angela Hopkins, Pauline Butt and many others. The Boddington family would like to thank everyone concerned for their support.

Special thanks to the Newsletter Editor for providing extracts from the December Newsletter.

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