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Hand knitted poppies provide backdrop for Remembrance Service

MORE than 500 hand-knitted poppies will provide the backdrop for this Sunday’s Remembrance Service in Newton Abbot.

The woollen tribute was put on the War Memorial by Natalie Hicks, Kelly Burridge and Michele Webber from Newton Abbot Town Council, Museum Volunteer Bridie Snelling and Nicola Cair, Chair of the town’s Royal British Legion.

‘It took quite a while to create the poppies then attach them to the memorial but seeing them in place makes it all worth while,’ said Natalie, the council’s events coordinator.

‘We hope people will enjoy the display which has been created with respect and gratitude for all those who sacrificed thoughts of their own comfort and welfare so that others could enjoy the freedom life has to offer.’

The Remembrance Sunday service is to be streamed live via the Town Council’s Facebook page for those unable to attend in person.

Proceedings are set to begin at 10am in Courtenay Street with an assembly for the 10.30am parade to the War Memorial led by The Plymouth Maritime Corps of Drums Band.

The first hymn will begin at 10.45am with two minutes’ silence at 11am.

The live stream is due to start at approximately 10.40am, search for Newton Abbot Town Council on Facebook.

Full details of the service can be accessed via the website.

Drivers have been encouraged to seek alternative routes through the town centre on the day as Queen Street and parts of The Avenue will be closed to traffic.

Reducing Traffic speeds in Newton Abbot

Newton Abbot residents welcome new speed reduction scheme instigated by Town Council

RESIDENTS in Newton Abbot have welcomed a £10,000 traffic-calming initiative instigated by the Town Council.

New mobile speed indicators, known as Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS), have had their first outing on St Marychurch Road.

They were positioned in a 30mph area close to the junction with Aller Brake Road at a spot popular with walkers who cross to visit Ben Stedham’s Woods.

Approaching drivers were made aware of their speed and urged to slow down.

Those who exceeded the limit triggered an automatic recording with the data being saved for the police and highways authorities when considering schemes such as 20mph zones.

‘The VAS signs are another tool in the box to help us make the roads of Newton Abbot safer,’ said Cllr Mike Joyce who, together with Town Clerk Phil Rowe, successfully requested a £10,000 grant from the Police and Crime Commissioner to cover the cost.

‘The Commissioner was supportive of our scheme as it fits perfectly with her Vision Zero ambition to eliminate road deaths in the county.

‘I’m delighted we can now provide the accurate data we need when requesting road safety measures across Newton Abbot.’

David Samson, one of Newton Abbot Town Council’s Facilities Maintenance Officers, helped erect the signs which will be relocated every 28 days to gather information across town.

‘The feedback from residents has been fantastic,’ he said.

‘They’ve thanked us, saying drivers just don’t slow down when people are crossing the road.

‘They’re really pleased something is being done.’

Roads officer MPC Ian Harvey said: ‘In 2021 we had 47 fatal collisions in Devon and Cornwall and 647 serious injuries, so through education, engineering and enforcement our aim is to bring those numbers down drastically.

‘We get a lot of complaints about excessive speeds in residential areas so if we can use devices such as these to bring down speed then the financial cost is a small one compared to that of human lives.’

Cllr Joyce can regularly be seen around town, helping to implement other aspects of the Community Speed Watch initiative which reports speeding drivers to the police for investigation.

Pictured left – right at the VAS launch are MPC Ian Harvey, Neighbourhood Officer PC Charlie Haggerty, FMO David Samson, Neighbourhood Team Leader Sgt Jason Morrison, Cllr Mike Joyce and Cllr Stuart Hughes of Devon County Council. A mobile speed ‘gun’ is also in position.

For more information please email [email protected] or call 01626 201120.

Full steam ahead for Newton Abbot street clean!

Newton Abbot Council News

STAFF at Newton Abbot Town Council have been hard at work giving the streets an early spring clean.

Maintenance engineers Harry and Les have been trying out their new Foamstream jet blaster, removing grime, chewing gum and weeds from the pavements in Courtenay Street.

The nifty piece of kit uses a mixture of steam and environmentally-safe chemicals to shift the muck that inevitably builds up in what is usually a busy town centre.

The transformation is quite remarkable with dirty grey walkways replaced in moments by bright, clean surfaces.

‘Thanks to lockdown the town centre is obviously much quieter than normal but when shoppers do return they will notice a fantastic improvement,’ said Town Clerk Phil Rowe.

‘We decided to invest in the Foamstream cleaner as we’re keen as a town council to make sure that Newton Abbot is an attractive destination not only for residents but people living elsewhere too.

‘We know from our research that people living in many nearby towns choose to shop in Newton Abbot and we intend to not only keep them coming in but to attract even more people too.

‘Having a clean and tidy street scene is an important part of our strategy, as will be our events programme that we intend to resume whenever the pandemic allows.

‘One particularly exciting project we’re still working on is a children’s street theatre event that will combine fantasy and history, right in the town centre.

‘We’ve plenty more up our sleeves too such as the return of our carnival and plenty more town centre entertainments.

‘Our essential shops remain open of course and we’d urge residents to keep using them, remembering at all times the ‘hands, face, space’ motto of course.

‘Life is far from normal right now but your town council promises to keep planning for the future and to make Newton Abbot a place to be proud of.’

Other parts of town are set to benefit from the Foamstream magic with ward members compiling a list of priority spots in need of attention.

A video of the cleaner in action can be seen here

Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) – Latest Situation

Avian influenza (bird flu): Latest situation

New housing measures will come into force in England, Scotland and Wales on 14 December.

The Chief Veterinary Officers for England, Scotland and Wales have agreed to bring in new measures to help protect poultry and captive birds, following a number of cases of avian influenza in both wild and captive birds in the UK.

Government Chief Veterinary Officers are encouraging bird keepers to use the next 11 days to prepare for new housing measures, including taking steps to safeguard animal welfare, consult their vet and where necessary put up additional housing.

Whether you keep just a few birds as pets or thousands, from 14 December onwards you will be legally required to keep your birds indoors, or take appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds. We have not taken this decision lightly, but it is the best way to protect your birds from this highly infectious disease.

Poultry and captive bird keepers are advised to be vigilant for any signs of disease in their birds and any wild birds, and seek prompt advice from their vet if they have any concerns. They can help prevent avian flu by maintaining good biosecurity on their premises, including:

  • housing or netting all poultry and captive birds
  • cleansing and disinfecting clothing, footwear, equipment and vehicles before and after contact with poultry and captive birds – if practical, use disposable protective clothing
  • reducing the movement of people, vehicles or equipment to and from areas where poultry and captive birds are kept, to minimise contamination from manure, slurry and other products, and using effective vermin control
  • thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting housing at the end of a production cycle
  • keeping fresh disinfectant at the right concentration at all points where people should use it, such as farm entrances and before entering poultry and captive bird housing or enclosures
  • minimising direct and indirect contact between poultry and captive birds and wild birds, including making sure all feed and water is not accessible to wild birds

Register your birds

We encourage all keepers to register their birds with us so we can contact you quickly if there is a disease outbreak in your area and you need to take action.

If you have more than 50 birds, you are legally required to register your flock within one month of their arrival at your premises. If you have less than 50 birds, including pet birds, you are still strongly encouraged to register.

Find out how to register your birds.

Poultry and captive bird keepers and members of the public should report dead wild birds to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77 (option 7), and keepers should report suspicion of disease to APHA on 03000 200 301. Keepers should familiarise themselves with our avian flu advice.

Public Health England advise the risk to public health from the H5N8 and H5N2 strains of bird flu is very low.

The Food Standards Agency has said that on the basis of the current scientific evidence, avian influenza poses a very low food safety risk for UK consumers. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.

Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) – Prevention Zone

All poultry keepers in England (whether they have commercial flocks or just a few birds in a backyard flock) are required by law to take a range of biosecurity precautions.

If you keep poultry (including gamebirds or pet birds) or other captive birds, you must act now to reduce the risk of disease in your flock by following the relevant biosecurity measures required within the AIPZ.

Your stock needs to be feed and watered under cover to prevent contamination from wild birds.

Good biosecurity improves the overall health and productivity of your flock by helping keep out poultry diseases such as avian influenza and limiting the spread of disease in an outbreak.

All bird gatherings within the AIPZ are prohibited therefore the general licence that had permitted bird gatherings has been revoked.

For more guidance please visit

If you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the Defra helpline (03459 33 55 77)

Public Health England advises that the risk to the public’s health is very low. Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said that on the basis of the current scientific evidence, avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers

Avian influenza is unconnected with coronavirus (COVID-19).

Voluntary registration. You can choose to register fewer than 50 birds, or birds you keep as pets. The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) encourages you to register even if you do not have to by law. By registering, APHA will be able to contact you if there’s a disease outbreak (such as bird flu) in your area you’ll help prevent the spread of disease and protect the national poultry flock

Newton Abbot Town Council urges good causes to apply for grants

Newton Abbot Council News

Newton Abbot Town Council urges good causes to apply for grants

CHARITIES and community groups in Newton Abbot have been urged to take advantage of a financial support scheme operated by the Town Council.

Each year the authority sets aside a modest pot of cash to help organisations with their work in the town.

For 2020/2021 a total of £9,000 has been earmarked with some of that already having been claimed and put to good use.

Now with little more than four months to go until the end of the financial year, a call has gone out for the rest of the cash to be pumped into community projects.

Chair of the council’s Finance and Audit Committee, Cllr Colin Parker, said: ‘This money has been put aside with the express intention of supporting our town’s good causes.

‘While it may not be a huge sum we know what a difference even a grant of a few hundred pounds can make.

‘Groups don’t have to be registered charities to apply, provided you are genuine in your desire to help the people of Newton Abbot and can demonstrate how you go about that, then we’ll happily consider your case.

‘It’s easy to apply, we usually limit grants to £250, but as long as it’s within our remaining budget which currently sits at approximately £4,000, we will consider it.

‘There are so many residents trying to make a difference in Newton Abbot and as your Town Council we want to ensure that we help whenever we can.

‘It won’t be a case of first come, first served, but I’d urge people to get in touch sooner rather than later as we’re all having to work remotely at the moment and decision-making can take a little longer than normal.

‘We’re very proud of our town and delighted to be in a position to offer a little financial support, we look forward to hearing from anyone who thinks we might be able to assist.’

To apply call 01626 201120 or email [email protected].

Newton Abbot Town and GWR Museum Closure

Newton Abbot Council News

NEWTON Abbot Museum is due to be closed indefinitely from Thursday November 5 in line with conditions expected as part of the Government’s second national lockdown.

On Wednesday parliament will vote on the proposal which was set out by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday.

The Labour Party has indicated it will support the motion meaning it’s likely to be carried, despite some opposition from MPs including Newton Abbot representative Anne Marie Morris.

The museum, a central part of the £2.2 million Newton’s Place project, opened to the public on October 3 and has been a huge hit with nearly all the visitor slots booked until the scheduled Christmas break.

Curator Felicity Cole said: ‘We are hugely disappointed to see the doors closing only a month after opening but the matter is out of our hands.

‘Anyone with bookings for November 3 and 4 will still be able to come but thereafter all visits will be cancelled I’m afraid.

‘We don’t yet know when we’ll be able to re-open so for now we’ll not take any further bookings.

‘As soon as the situation becomes clearer we’ll make sure that everyone knows how and when they can visit.

‘Until then keep safe and we look forward to seeing you as soon as possible.’