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Oak trees planted to commemorate 50 years of Newton Abbot Town Council

TWO native oak trees have been planted to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Newton Abbot Town Council.

On Saturday April 14, Mayor Cllr David Corney-Walker was joined by colleagues past and present for the ceremony in Courtenay Park.

Following a proclamation by Town Crier Nigel Kenneison, Cllr Corney-Walker and Deputy Mayor Cllr Alex Hall scattered mulch over the Quercus Robur specimens before heading to Newton’s Place for a civic reception.

The audience was addressed by former Town Clerk, Rod Tuck, who highlighted some of the many extra responsibilities the Council has taken on in its 50-year history.

The current Clerk, Phil Rowe, added to the list including items such as increased street cleaning and the development of Newton’s Place with its museum and community rooms.

Both men’s observations chimed with those in a national news report published in The Guardian. The article quoted Councillor Keith Stevens, chair of the National Association of Local Councils, who said: “England’s parish and town councils are the unsung heroes of local government, stepping up to play a more active role in improving their communities, and increasingly taking on more responsibilities from financially challenged larger local authorities.

‘While their small share of council tax is just 1.9 per cent of overall council tax, they are investing five times more in local communities than they were two and half decades ago, helping tackle some of the biggest challenges our communities face – from health to housing, the climate and cost of living crisis, and supporting younger and older people.”

Cllr Corney-Walker added: ‘Another significant initiative from Newton Abbot Town Council was the creation of our Town Development Manager role.

‘Retailing has changed beyond recognition in recent years and our decision to appoint Sally Henley has meant our town centre is fairing so much better than many other communities.

‘I thank her and all our officers for their tireless work on behalf of our town, and of course all councillors past and present whose time is given willingly with no financial reward in return.’

Newton Abbot Town Council came into being in April1974, at the same time as Teignbridge District Council was formed.

Both came about as as a result of the Local Government Act 1972.

The below image shows the ceremony in Courtenay Park.