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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

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].

Museum wows first visitors

Museum wows first visitors

NEWTON Abbot’s new museum has wowed its first visitors.

The doors were thrown open to the public at 10am on Saturday October 3, pandemic restrictions meaning however that only booked visits are possible for the time being.

The history hunters’ heaven is located within the £2.2 million Newton’s Place project which has been led by Newton Abbot Town Council and taken shape at the former St Leonard’s Church, Wolborough Street.

The reimagining from unloved and crumbling Victorian eyesore to 21st century community facility made a more than favourable impression on those lucky enough to be there for the opening.

‘It’s absolutely amazing, for me the biggest observation is I can’t believe the level of transformation,’ said resident Andy Waites who was one of those invited to cut the ribbon rainbow with Mayor Cllr Richard Jenks.

‘It’s quite spectacular and showing the history of Newton Abbot, its also really interactive and family-friendly.

‘And what with wi-fi and usb sockets in the community rooms upstairs which will all be for free to local groups when they open, it’s great for the town.’

Shane Morris, another ribbon-cutter, said after taking part in the ceremony: ‘It’s great, I’m very proud actually. It’s the first time I’ve chopped a ribbon!’

Other first-day visitors were Ogwell residents Lindsay Cooper and her fiancé Darren Bevan who has volunteered at the museum since summer 2019.

‘It’s superb, excellent, so good for the town,’ said Lindsay who teaches at Newton Abbot College and is looking forward to the day when student trips can be arranged.

Darren added: ‘The old museum was basically two rooms in a house, a ten-minute walk away from the town centre where I don’t think many people knew about it.

‘Now it’s close to the library, close to the Tower and hopefully will get a lot of interest.’

All the visitors were impressed with the fact that despite a £2.2 million price tag, not one penny has been added to council tax bills.

Instead, the cost has been covered by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £950,000, donations from individuals and businesses, the sale of the old town hall and cash from house builders via the Community Infrastructure Levy.

It was a proud day for Cllr Mike Ryan, Chairman of the Newton’s Place Project Board.

‘It feels fantastic, it’s been a long time coming but they’ve made a fantastic job of it,’ he said.

‘Hopefully next year we can formally open the whole building which isn’t possible yet because of the Covid-19 situation.

‘I believe the big room can seat up to 200 people and it’s there to use free if you’re a charity or for a small charge if not. I’ll say it again it’s a fantastic building.

‘I’m very proud of all the people involved, particularly the Town Clerk Phil Rowe who had the initiative in the first place to come to us as a council and say, look, the building’s for sale.’

Curator Felicity Cole, whose involvement with the museum dates back more than 30 years, said: ‘It’s a dream come true. Once everything becomes normalised again I’m excited about the opportunities the building affords us.

‘To be able to have school party downstairs and at the same time perhaps an event in one of the community rooms upstairs is wonderful.

‘One of our local arts teacher came in and said, wow, we’ll be able to do so much here, and we’ve got no end of groups clamouring to do things here.

‘It’s just fantastic.’

Visits can be booked at or by calling 01626 201121.

Greater Exeter Plans – Request for more detail

Newton Abbot Council News

Date: 05/08/2020

Town Council still seeking details of extra homes plan

NEWTON Abbot Town Council has called for further information about proposed additional housing for the town.

The Teignbridge Local Plan, adopted in 2014 and already in action, demands that 621 new homes are built across the district each year until 2033.

More than 4,200 of the properties are going up in Newton Abbot.

But the Government has increased the district’s annual build figure to 760 with the plan likely to be extended to 2040.

Where the extra properties could be accommodated is being considered under a scheme called the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan (GESP).

One of the areas earmarked is Houghton Barton West along the A383 Ashburton Road.

The GESP states: ‘The wider Newton Abbot, Kingsteignton and Kingskerswell area is a significant employment and housing location… and there is potential to continue to develop its role with additional homes and employment.’

On July 7 Teignbridge District Council’s Executive agreed to proceed with GESP public consultation starting in September.

Two weeks later, Newton Abbot Town Council voted in favour of creating a task force to consider the draft plan when published.

One Newton Abbot member, Cllr Mike Hocking, told colleagues that he feared Newton Abbot becoming ‘a suburb of Exeter’.

Days afterwards one of the GESP partners, East Devon District Council (EDDC), announced it was withdrawing from the scheme.

Then on July 29 Teignbridge Council declared that its GESP involvement was on ‘pause’ while it considered the implications of EDDC’s action.

But Teignbridge warned that the higher annual build figure of 760 would still have to be met.

The two other GESP partners, Mid-Devon District Council and Exeter City Council, have yet to announce their positions.

Now Newton Abbot Town Council has confirmed its intention to scrutinise any further expansion of the town.

Mayor Cllr Richard Jenks said: ‘We acknowledge Teignbridge’s decision to put GESP on pause but Newton Abbot remains a contender for more homes.

‘We will look at the details when available and work to ensure the best outcome for the town.

‘Our powers are limited but we will be the voice of Newton Abbot, loud and clear.’

Newton’s Place – the doors are opening!

Newton Abbot Council News

Newton’s Place – the doors are opening!

THE phased opening of Newton’s Place, the £2.2 million museum and community hub project in Newton Abbot, is set to begin on Saturday October 3 – subject to any additional Covid-19 restrictions.

Initially only the museum will welcome visitors and advanced booking will be essential.

Ongoing uncertainties about the pandemic and the need to restrict numbers of people in the building mean the community space won’t be available to hire until further notice.

Additionally, residents wanting contact with Town Council staff, whose offices are also located in the former Wolborough Street church, will have to email or phone.

Although the opening has come later and in a different format to that hoped for, Project Board Chairman Cllr Mike Ryan is delighted to be on the verge of welcoming visitors.

‘We have waited for so long to announce the opening of Newton’s Place and it’s fantastic that we are now able to do that,’ he said.

’As everyone knows, there were disappointing construction delays and then of course we were all hit by the corona virus situation.

‘This is definitely not the way we had things planned but we’ll take what we’ve got and be grateful.

‘Our Town Clerk Phil Rowe, and Museum Curator Felicity Cole, will monitor the situation very closely and update us regularly.

‘As soon as they’re able to take bookings for the community space and open the Town Council front desk we’ll let everyone know.

‘Likewise, we hope to be able to do away with booked museum visits as soon as possible but for now we must make every visit safe and enjoyable.

‘To deliver Newton Abbot’s number one priority project has been a heck of a challenge these past three years and we’ve not been helped by recent events.

‘But nothing can take away from what has been achieved, and that is to conserve a landmark building, deliver fantastic community resources and all without adding a single penny to council tax payers’ bills.

’That’s a pretty decent legacy I reckon’.

Museum opening hours and booking details will be published later this summer at

Kieran Dore

Kieran Dore: an obituary

TRIBUTES have been paid to one of Newton Abbot’s unsung heroes who has died of cancer at the age of 68.

Kieran Dore was a familiar face around town having been born in Woodlands Road in 1951.

He attended St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School and later Cuthbert Mayne School, Torquay.

After serving as an apprentice bricklayer for Ipplepen building firm F A Quick Kieran signed up for six years in the Royal Engineers.

He went on to work for construction firm Hugh Mills and Gaye and assisted with the extension to the town’s market.

When Denbury Camp was converted into HM Prison Channings Wood, Kieran joined the Prison Service and rose to be in charge of the building section.

He retired at the age of 55 but secured a job with Torbay Council as a maintenance engineer.

In 2014 the authority wanted to move his post from Torquay to Brixham but Kieran didn’t like the thought so applied for the job as handyman with Newton Abbot Town Council.

In that role he was often seen around town, assisting with the busy events schedule.

Kieran, a keen athlete and marathon runner, was also the man fit and lithe enough to don the ‘Newton’ character costume when promoting town projects.

Town Development Manager Sally Henley said: ‘Nothing was ever a problem for Kieran. He would bend over backwards whenever I needed help with an event in the town, whether it was the setting up of the Christmas grotto in the clock tower or sorting out gazebos and chairs for a Saturday morning town centre performance.

‘His energy, enthusiasm and relentless good humour made light work of tasks and it is difficult to grasp that he has been taken from us so unexpectedly. I will miss him terribly.’

Kieran served as an active member of Newton Abbot Carnival Committee and treasurer for Newton Abbot Athletics Club.

He helped train youngsters, qualified as a race starter for national events and was instrumental in establishing the Bovey Tracey Park Runs.

He was a season ticket holder for Exeter Chiefs RFC.

Lifelong friend Cllr Mike Ryan said: ‘We both grew up together in Woodlands Road on Buckland as neighbours between the 1950s and late 70s.

‘We did the usual things as teenagers with our other mates but always kept in touch after we went our separate ways when we met our girlfriends and got married.

‘Kieran has been my best mate for many years and I will miss him dreadfully. He was kind, considerate and willing to help anyone at the drop of a hat and he was there if you needed a shoulder to cry on.

‘He loved all his children and grandchildren.

‘Thank you Kieran, you were taken from us far too soon you will never be forgotten God Bless.’

Kieran is survived by five children and nine grandchildren.