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A NEW initiative by Newton Abbot Town Council to promote grass roots arts and cultural projects has got off to a flying start according to the organiser.

Kate Green, Community Outreach Worker with Newton Abbot Museum, set up her stall in Courtenay Street on Wednesday [April 17] to share information about local events and organisations.

Dubbed ‘Creative Newton Abbot – What’s Happening?’, the pop-up gazebo attracted plenty of interest from people ranging from aspiring authors to film-makers and those simply looking for something to do other than stay at home watching television.

Kate’s arrival was announced by Town Crier Nigel Kenneison whose sonorous tones soon had passers by stopping to find out more.

‘Creative Newton Abbot – What’s Happening?’ really started out as an idea that the museum should have a presence in the town centre on market days which is why I’ve brought some items from the collection with me,’ she said.

‘I talk to so many people who say they didn’t realise what events were taking place in the town or that they’re lost for something to do in the evenings or at the weekend, so this is a brand new initiative to fill that gap.

‘We’ll be in Courtenay Street every Wednesday between 11am – 1pm with information about workshops, exhibitions and any other creative or cultural opportunities people tell us about.

‘For example, today we’ve got loads of information about Teign U3A who have 60 different interest groups, Irish ceilidh dancing at The Jolly Farmer, the next performance at the Alexander Theatre, a new local film about cycling, plus leaflets about the museum as amazingly some people still don’t realise we have one in town.

‘Hopefully on future stalls we’ll be joined by members of the arts community who can tell the public all about their projects and in time this will be known as the go-to place for knowing what’s on, all the more important now we have no tourist information office.

‘Already on the first day I’ve talked with lots of people which is great start and I look forward to meeting many more.’

Anyone wanting to join Kate or have information on display at the weekly stall can leave leaflets at the museum or call 01626 201121.

Alternatively email [email protected].

Newton Abbot Museum and its outreach programme are funded by Newton Abbot Town Council, both located at Newton’s Place, Wolborough Street.

The below photo shows Kate and Town Crier Nigel at the stall in Courtenay Street.

For more information please email [email protected]..

Newton Abbot Town Council pledges steps to end biodiversity emergency.

Newton Abbot Town Council

NEWTON Abbot Town Council has pledged to do its bit towards creating a greener future by reviewing working practices and collaborating with environmental groups to safeguard and improve threatened habitats.

In January the authority declared a Biodiversity Emergency in line with the Government’s aim of halting the decline in native plants and wildlife by 2030 and achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The move was made by the Town Council to recognise the need for a healthy environment that can support future prosperity and the wellbeing of residents, workers and visitors.

Short term aims could include the installation of rainwater harvesting tanks at council properties and staging community projects such as bird box building or the creation of wildflower meadows.

It has already banned the use of pesticides in weed control and thrown its weight behind a pesticide ‘amnesty’ set to take place in Bradley Barton.

It will work with Devon County Council and Teignbridge Council to consider the potential biodiversity impacts of planning applications and infrastructure proposals, as well as supporting businesses and residents in their bids to green up the parish.

A Working Party has been tasked to consider the Town Council’s action plan and will report back to members in the spring.

Mayor Cllr David Corney-Walker said: ‘We are all becoming ever more aware of the pressure our natural environment is coming under and the need to reverse at least some of the damage caused by human activity.

‘While I recognise that the Town Council has little clout compared to larger authorities and the Government it remains our responsibility to set the tone for Newton Abbot and to show some leadership in this critical manner.

‘We will look at all our working practices, assess their likely environmental impact and take advice on means to improve our performance.

‘We already work with Green Futures Newton Abbot on several initiatives and would welcome the public’s thoughts on other projects we might consider.

‘Even the longest journey starts with a single step and that is one I’m pleased to say we’ve now taken by declaring a biodiversity emergency.

‘We look forward to taking many, many more and having the people and businesses of Newton Abbot right beside us all of the way.’

New Newton Abbot to Ogwell walking, wheeling and cycling route.

Newton Abbot Town Council

An important project to better connect Newton Abbot and its surrounding area is underway, with work to create a safe and convenient route that will enable residents and visitors to walk, wheel or cycle between the town centre and Ogwell.

Once completed, the Ogwell Link project will increase opportunities for families to be active, enjoy nature and reduce their car journeys by walking or riding a bicycle to school or work, or to the town centre’s facilities.

CLICK HERE for more information.

Devon County Council Proposed works to Bakers Park and Steppes Meadow.

Newton Abbot Town Council

Ogwell to Newton Abbot – National Cycle Network – Proposed works to Bakers Park and Steppes Meadow.

The proposed phase 1 scheme is to provide a section of shared cycleway/footway between the tennis courts in Bakers Park and Steppes Meadow, leading to the pedestrian bridge over the River Lemon. The works will include the construction of shared route within Bakers Park adjacent to the existing tennis courts and improvements to the carriageway construction of Steppes Meadow.

CLICK HERE for further details

CLICK HERE for the map

Newton Abbot Town Council calls for Queen Street plans to be abandoned

Newton Abbot Town Council

NEWTON Abbot Town Council is to make ‘very strong representations’ that formally call for plans to restrict parking and traffic access in Queen Street to be abandoned.

The proposals by Teignbridge District Council and Devon County Council would remove much of the on-street parking in Queen Street and prevent most vehicles from travelling further than the junction with Albany Street.

Wider pavements would be installed and other traffic restrictions imposed in nearby streets.

Although the Town Council has already objected to most of the Traffic Regulation Orders that would introduce the changes, on Wednesday February 27 it staged an Extraordinary Meeting attended by 15 members.

Two motions were put by Cllrs Mike Ryan and Alex Hall which stated: ‘(A) That Newton Abbot Town Council do debate the proposals by Devon County Council and Teignbridge District Council for ‘enhancements’ to Queen Street, Newton Abbot, in relation to concerns raised by the businesses situated in the area, the loss of car parking and in particular disabled parking, and (B) That Newton Abbot Town Council should consider making very strong representations to the County and District Councils for the scheme to be abandoned in the light of the many concerns expressed by businesses and users of Queen Street.’

Opening the debate Cllr Mike Ryan said: ‘As a council we have been misled from the start. We were never asked beforehand what we would want to do in Queen Street.’

He later added: ‘It’s our town not yours.’

Another opponent, Cllr Janet Bradford, questioned the abilities of Teignbridge District Council saying: ‘Look at Market Walk, destroyed by mismanagement and interference.’

Taking a different position was Cllr Colin Parker who claimed the scheme was in line with long standing aspirations to improve the town.

He siad the Queen Street proposals were ‘the most widely consulted’ Devon County Council had ever undertaken and told the meeting: ‘Public realm improvements would enhance this area, it will be a real asset for the town.’ He added: ‘It would encourage visitors to linger longer’

Cllr Phil Bullivant took a similar stance saying it was in the ‘medium to long term interests’ of the town to bring about the changes.

‘This process is fundamentally about how we drive footfall into the town,’ he said.

Having heard the arguments for and against, members voted 9 – 4 with two abstentions in support of the motions meaning the Town Council will now officially call for the Queen Street plans to be abandoned.

After the meeting Mayor Cllr David Corney-Walker, who chaired the debate, said: ‘Members have had their say and the Clerk will draft a letter expressing their wishes.

‘It is up to Teignbridge and Devon whether or not to act on what has been said.’

Job Vacancy – Facilities Maintenance Team Leader

Organisation:      Newton Abbot Town Council 

Grade:                    SCP 18 – 23

Salary:                      £29,269 – £32,076 per annum

Hours:                      37 hours per week; mostly Monday to Friday with some weekend/Bank Holiday and evening work required for events and to meet service demands.

Term:                        Permanent (following a successful 6-month probationary period).

Location:                 Newton Abbot Town Council, Newton’s Place, Wolborough Street, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 1JQ.

  • Closing date: 5pm, Wednesday 28th February 2024
  • Interviews to be held week commencing 11th March 2024

Newton Abbot Town Council is seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic Facilities Maintenance Team Leader to lead its maintenance team and oversee the management, and maintenance of the council’s property portfolio.

The Facilities Maintenance Team Leader role is a new post and will play a key role in delivering a high standard of service to both visitors and residents.

 The post holder will be working within the parish boundaries of Newton Abbot and its localities, providing an enhanced and responsive level of service, resulting in improvement to the environment within Newton Abbot and any other areas as directed by the line manager.

The position requires ‘hands-on’ operational experience combined with a flexible approach to meet the ongoing seasonal demands. The ability to be self-motivated and work unsupervised while leading a small team is a key requirement of the role. The successful applicant will have the physical ability to lift, carry and perform other physical tasks daily. The Facilities Maintenance Supervisor will be expected to lead the team to deliver high standards of work and ensure safe and efficient working practices are adhered to, and to ensure the security, maintenance, and management of the Town Council’s assets.


  •  Proven experience in facilities maintenance, with a minimum of a year in a supervisory or leadership role.
  •  Excellent leadership and team management abilities, with a track record of fostering a positive work environment.
  • Excellent working knowledge of the requirements of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.
  • Effective communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to interact with team members, management, and external partners.
  • Willingness to work flexible hours and respond to emergencies as needed.

The successful candidate will enjoy a supportive team environment where your leadership skills are valued and recognised and the chance to play a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth operation of our facilities and enhancing the council’s success, in addition to 25 days annual leave, and the option to join the local government pension scheme.

For more information and an application pack, please visit our website

For an informal chat about the position please contact either Linda McGuirk or Samantha Scott via      01626 201120 or via email  [email protected]

Please note – no CVs accepted. Only formal applications will be considered.

Police slam ‘unforgivable’ 99mph in Newton Abbot 30 zone

Speeds of more than 99mph have been recorded in a Newton Abbot street where the limit is 30mph.

The shocking figures were detected in St Marychurch Road, captured on portable equipment, provided by Newton Abbot Town Council with a grant from the Police and Crime Commissioner, after residents expressed concerns about road safety.

It has prompted hope of new permanent speed cameras meaning those who break the rules there could face hefty fines or driving bans.

The VASS – vehicle activated speed signs – were set up in St Marychurch Road between June 1 – July 3 when more than 20,000 vehicles exceeded 35mph and 119 drivers topping 60mph.

Between December 8 – January 2, more than 22,000 drivers ignored the 30mph limit with speeds of 89.05, 89.37 and 99.24mph being detected.

During a Speedwatch session in Ashburton Road on Sunday February 4, Speed Detection Officer Dave Burrows of Devon and Cornwall Police slammed the behaviour.

‘It’s disgraceful, it’s unforgivable,’ he said.

‘That sort of speed, 100mph, you covering nearly 150ft of road surface per second.

‘I’ve spent the last 30 years dealing with serious and fatal road accidents, I’m an experienced collision investigator, and at that speed the occupants of a car or anyone else wouldn’t stand a chance.’

The man responsible for much of Newton Abbot’s Speedwatch activity is former Mayor, Cllr Mike Joyce.

He and his volunteers have spent several years supporting the police.

‘Ninety-nine miles an hour in a 30 zone, that is frightening,’ he said.

‘It scares me to death, to think someone could be doing that speed.

‘But the results of all the statistics we’ve sent to the police is that county highways have said they’re going to recommend installing a static camera there.

‘There’d be no need for this if people abided by the speed limits, they’re there for a reason.

‘I still don’t understand why people don’t get that.

‘But it’s good news that our efforts are being rewarded and the problem taken seriously.

‘We look forward to more success stories elsewhere in town such as Ashburton Road and Torquay Road where residents have also expressed concerns.’

The below image shows Dave Burrows with volunteers Cllr Mike Joyce, Cllr Laura Wood and Deputy Town Clerk Sam Scott.

Newton Abbot Museum offers ‘Pastport’ to success

AS Newton Abbot Museum re-opens for the 2024 season, visitors are being offered the chance to make return trips a ‘Pastport’ to success.

In what’s thought to be the first scheme of its kind in the country, staff have created their own version of the more commonplace passport required for overseas travel.

With the Newton Abbot Museum Pastport, people have each visit marked with an official sticker and once ten trips have been made, a history-themed prize can be claimed.

Visitors are also being encouraged to draw their own passport-style ‘photos’ together with images of their favourite exhibit.

‘More people are visiting the museum than ever before with a good number coming several times a year,’ said Curator India Jolly.

‘We thought it would be good to offer them something extra, a bit of fun that also encourages looking closely at everything on display.

‘The prize for recording ten visits in a year will be items such as history-themed drawing kits, no throwaway toys that just end up as plastic waste.

‘I’m sure the Pastport will be popular with children but have equally no doubt it will also appeal to people of all ages.

‘There’s no reason visiting a museum shouldn’t be fun as well as informative and, of course, entry is completely free as are the Pastports and prizes.

The Pastport scheme is being launched on Monday February 12 to coincide with the first half term of the year.

New exhibits for 2024 include two local wedding dresses, one from 1954 and the other from 1970.

Recently donated cartoons drawn by the 20th century leather and wool magnate Charles Vicary have also gone on display.

They depict scenes from Newton Abbot Hospital in the 1930s and had been presented to Miss Eleanor Higham at the close of her working life there.

The museum shop now stocks unique Newton Abbot mementos such as bookmarks, town trail guides, fridge magnets and stickers of official town mascot, Newton.

‘Pocket money gifts are always popular and we’re delighted to offer a little bit of Newton Abbot for people to take away or send to friends and families,’ said India.

Museum details are available at

Image below shows India Jolly with one of the new Pastports in the museum.

An extra 61p per week to safeguard services in Newton Abbot

BAND D households in Newton Abbot are being asked to contribute an extra 61p per week to help the Town Council keep on top of tasks such as street cleaning, running the Museum and staging events including the hugely popular Christmas festivities.

The weekly rise for Band A, B and C properties will belower at40p, 47p and 54prespectively.

The decision was taken in January as part of the authority’s legal requirement to set its share of the Council Tax bill for 2024/2025.

Among the duties undertaken by Newton Abbot Town Council are maintenance of various footpaths and public seats plus the care of Town Quay, Victoria Gardens, Golden Lion Square, Vicary’s Mill Leat and Queen Street War Memorial.

Looking after the historic St Leonard’s Tower is another responsibility as is the funding of the Museum and Newton’s Place community rooms.

The Town Council pays for floral displays and looks after bus shelters, provides allotments, awards shop improvement grants and employs Town Development Manager Sally Henley.

Each year it gives grants to grass roots organisations and arranges the annual events programme, including the Christmas festivities and classic car shows.

None of the Town Councillors receives a salary.

The new rates for 2024/2025 will take the Town Council’s total charge for a Band D property from £150.26 to £181.88, up 21 per cent.

Mayor Cllr David Corney-Walker said: ‘Any increase in our share of the precept is regrettable but the Town Council needs, as a minimum, to maintain services.

‘Residents expect a clean and tidy town and we are determined to keep providing an attractive programme of free family events throughout the year.

‘Today, 61p doesn’t even buy half a cup of coffee but it’s amazing what Newton Abbot Town Council can do with that weekly investment, particularly when our district and county councils are having to cut services in response to falling revenue from central government.

‘And it would give a false impression to focus on the percentage increase.

‘What’s more, if we shy away from taking responsible decisions now we’d be failing our community and storing up problems for the future.

‘That’s not going to happen under our watch.’

 The below photo shows NATC Facilities Maintenance Officer Tony Little tackling weeds at Town Quay.

Don’t miss out on February 8 Bushell election

VOTERS in Newton Abbot’s Bushell Ward have been reminded not to miss out on the chance to elect a new member of the Town Council on February 8.

The seat includes Broadlands, Abbotsbury, Knowles Hill, Sandford Orleigh, Jetty Marsh and much of the town centre south of Newton Abbot College through to East Street.

Those eligible to vote include residents and business owners on the Electoral Register.

The seat is one of 18 on the Town Council and became available less than a year after the May 2023 local elections after sitting member Simon Walker stepped down for personal reasons.

Candidates hoping to fill the vacancy have until January 12 to submit their nominations.

Polling stations will be at the Salvation Army Community Hall, Newton Abbot Children’s Centre and Abbotsbury Church.

Although polling cards will not be issued, photographic ID will be required by those wishing to take part in the ballot.

Town Clerk Phil Rowe is hopeful the turnout will be better than that experienced elsewhere in the district where in one recent election only 14 per cent of the electorate cast their vote.

‘There are plenty of topics in our town that have given residents and businesses cause to express very strong opinions of late and although the Town Council has limited powers, only by serving as a member do you get a seat at the table where the meaningful discussions take place,’ he said.

‘Keyboard warriors might get plenty of likes on social media but that counts for nothing in the formal business of local government.

‘The UK system of democracy might not suit everyone but it’s the only one we have, make it work for you by taking part and being part of the election on February 8.’

The deadline for applications to vote by post is 5pm on Wednesday January 24

Applications for a Voter Authority Certificate (photo ID) or to vote by proxy must be submitted by 5pm on Wednesday January 31.

Polling will take place 7am – 10pm Thursday February 8.

For further information contact Teignbridge District Council Electoral Services on 01626 215104 or email [email protected]. or see