Skip to main content

Newton Abbot Town Council News

Annual Town Meeting

Free ice cream among laws suggested at annual town meeting

TONGUE-IN-CHEEK laws suggested by youngsters at the Newton Abbot Annual Town Meeting on Saturday [May 19] included free ice cream, daughter and mother days every day, and for strawberries to rain from the sky on Fridays.

A more reflective idea was to plant three trees for every one felled while one dad, Sean Kirby, called for the legalisation of pot… hole filling.

The proposals were captured on rosettes created by the children who wore them with pride to spread the ‘vote me’ message.

The free fun activity reflected the more serious aim of the day which was to gather public opinion about services and facilities in the town.

Each community is legally bound to hold an annual meeting but most take place in halls or council chambers, often during the evening, meaning very few residents attend.

For several years Newton Abbot Town Council has instead erected a gazebo in the main shopping centre during the busiest part of the day, resulting in thousands of people having their say on countless topics.

Saturday’s event was another success with hundreds of conversations taking place between elected members, council staff and passers by.

‘I’m thrilled with the number of people we’ve engaged with, yet another very worthwhile exercise with the town council reaching out to the public,’ said Mayor Cllr David Corney-Walker.

‘Most comments I heard were about our changing high streets, something being seen across the country of course, as more businesses go online.

‘But the good news in Newton Abbot is that our shop vacancy rate is well below the national average and the Town Council is constantly adding to the events programme so people still have plenty of reasons to visit.

‘We’re listening to the public and will do everything we can to keep Newton Abbot streets ahead of the web.’

Town Clerk Phil Rowe said more than 150 engagement forms had been handed out, in addition to the face-to-face conversations.

‘There’s not a council chamber in the country that would attract an audience that size,’ he said. ‘Staging the Newton Abbot Annual Meeting in the street is here to stay.’

The Annual Town Meeting is not a council meeting, but one hosted by the authority to enable residents to quiz members and officers on their past year’s work or raise matters of interest to electors.

It is a requirement of Local Government Act 1972 for town and parish councils to stage such events between March 1 – June 1 inclusive.

Below: Facilities Maintenance Officers Tony Little (L) and Steve Ryan show off some of the low and high tech cleaning kit

Below: Families enjoy the rosette and law-proposing activity with Mayor Cllr David Corney-Walker in attendance

Below: Mayor Cllr David Corney-Walker prepares to meet with the public

Below: Sean Kirby and three-year-old son Ellis wearing their rosettes. Sean wanted to legalise pot… hole repairs while Ellis asked for free ice cream.

Classic car show returns to Newton Abbot

THE motoring clock is due to be turned back a few decades in Newton Abbot on Saturday May 27 when the town centre plays host to its latest classic car show.

From 9am – 4pm scores of cherished vehicles are expected to gather around the Clock Tower and neighbouring streets in a free display that has always wowed the crowds in previous years.

While proud owners swap notes with fellow enthusiasts and chat to visitors, the retro atmosphere will be boosted further by live performances from The Liberty Sisters and popular local vocalist Simon Prince, singing a selection of hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s.

The event is being organised by members of local car club, Teignbridge Classics, in partnership with Newton Abbot Town Development Manager Sally Henley.

‘There has been a great deal of interest in the show already, our town centre is a popular destination for classic car owners as we know from past events,’ said Sally.

‘It is a great day out for both them and shoppers, there’s always a great atmosphere in town.

‘This will be the second year that Teignbridge Classics is in charge of the show and I know that, weather permitting, it’s promising to be a full house.

‘It’s going to be a real treat for everyone and I’m sure the town will be buzzing all day.

‘But if you can’t make it, or one show just isn’t enough, don’t forget that we’ll be staging another classic car gathering in September, again thanks to Teignbridge Classics about whom you can find out all at their website,

‘Parp parp, as Mr Toad would say!’

For more information please email [email protected].

The above image shows members of Teignbridge Classics with a selection of Minis outside Austins!

Funky free highway frames to help Newton Abbot’s hedgehogs

HEDGEHOGS in Newton Abbot are being given a helping hand by the town council.

The authority has thrown its weight behind a scheme to create ‘hedgehog highways’ meaning the threatened creatures are able to roam freely to find food and life’s other essentials.

All they need are holes in garden fences, large enough to let them pass through.

To encourage householders to get busy with the saw, Newton Abbot Town Council is offering 50 free hedgehog highway frames to give the gaps a funky look.

Town Clerk Phil Rowe said: ‘The council was approached by the ELM Wildlife Rescue charity who gave a presentation on the threats faced by our hedgehog population and we decided to get behind their call for help,’ he said.

‘We know that Britain has lost as many as 75 per cent of its native hedgehogs in just the last 20 years so it’s critical we all do our bit.

‘Creating a highway is as simple as cutting a 13cm x 13cm gap in the bottom of your fence. Decorating the hole with one of our funky frames will help get children interested and might encourage them to take other steps such as creating bug hotels or planting flowers that attract bees and other pollinators.

‘What’s more, we’d love to see photos of the hedgehogs and other wildlife in Newton Abbot gardens and share them on our Facebook page.

‘So please, come on over to Newton’s Place in Wolborough Street and pick up one of our free highway frames.’

The frames will be given away free of charge on a first come first served basis, proof of residency will be required.

The council offices are open 8.30am – 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

The above image shows Phil Rowe with the box of hedgehog highway frames.

Right royal buzz for Newton Abbot Mayor Carol

Newton Abbot Mayor Cllr Carol Bunday has officially opened new beehives named in honour of King Charles III whose coronation takes place on May 6.

The colony is cared for by Newton Abbot Beekeeping Association and located near heathland in Chudleigh Knighton.

The group’s aim is to strengthen the species’ presence in the area and encourage more people to take up the hobby with support and guidance from experts.

Cllr Bunday was shown inside one of the hives and taken through some of the detailed aspects of successful beekeeping.

‘I was made very welcome by the Newton Abbot Beekeepers and was amazed to find out hard these little pollinators work to sustain their colonies,’ she said.

‘We all know just how much our lives depend on bees and them having access to a healthy natural habitat so it’s wonderful to see people prepared to spend time and energy on projects such as the King Charles III hives.

‘It was really fascinating and we owe a debt of gratitude to both the bees and those who promote their welfare.’

As the official mayoral engagement took place outside Cllr Bunday’s own patch she first sought approval from Hennock Parish Council.

‘It’s only correct that I respect another council’s jurisdiction and I thank them for allowing me to wear the chain of office beyond Newton Abbot’s boundaries,’ said Cllr Bunday.

‘After all, I don’t anyone thinking that I see myself as queen bee everywhere I go!’

The attached images show Cllr Bunday at the hives

Please Note : Neither Cllr Bunday or Cllr Hocking are seeking re-election.

Jazzy windows in Newton Abbot herald the King’s Coronation

BUSINESS operators in Newton Abbot have been praised for their coronation creativity.

Shop and office windows across town are starting to sport an array of red, white and blue adornments in celebration of the forthcoming crowning of King Charles and Queen Camilla on Saturday May 6.

In Austins the main tableau captures a garden party atmosphere while at Bill Opticians a hand-crocheted crown takes centre stage.

And having witnessed the first displays taking shape, Town Development Manager Sally Henley has decided to stage a lighthearted competition to see whose royal display takes the honours.

‘I’m always impressed with our shop and business windows in Newton Abbot, we’ve a lot of creativity in town,’ she said.

‘This is abundantly clear as we approach the coronation with some great displays emerging after the wonderful Easter windows we had.

‘I do encourage people to take a look, perhaps like their favourites on social media using #newtonabbot and posting a photo.

‘Alongside the ‘people’s vote’ we’ll also have our Mayor, Cllr Carol Bunday, judging the windows and offering a small prize for her favourite.

‘We look forward to seeing everyone’s efforts and announcing the winner on May 5.’

Sally is creating a special category for charity shops as they often sell items displayed in the window and need to change the contents daily.

‘It was important that we recognised charity shops’ needs,’ she said.

‘They really do put on a good display and their stores are a big draw for shoppers who love to grab a preloved bargain.’

Newton Abbot Town Council has published its coronation events programme, available at and Facebook page

It includes live music in Courtenay Street 9am – 3pm on Saturday May 6, balloon modelling and character walkabouts.

On Sunday May 7 Party in the Park will take place in Courtenay Park from 12 noon – 4pm with a band concert, cocktail bar and ice cream vendow, craft activities, giveaways, magical bubbles, face painting and balloons.

From May 2 – May 6 St Leonard’s Clock Tower will be open for ‘Coronation selfies’ and signing the book of congratulations 11am – 1pm.

All events are provided free of charge, excluding refreshments.

‘We know Newton Abbot is streets ahead of the web and never more so when it comes to great community get togethers such as the Coronation,’ said Sally.

The above image shows Austins Sales Supervisor Leilah Henson (left) and Fashion Manager Julie King who created the display. ’It took quite a few hours and we had some problems such as forgetting to put the bunting up but we got it sorted and it’s worked out well in the end,’ said Julie.

The below image shows Barney White at Bill Optician where Manager Fran Hughes made the knitted crown. ‘I’d very much encourage other businesses to dress their windows, it will look fantastic,’ said Barney.

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

The Kings Coronation – weekend celebrations

LIVE music and free family-friendly activities will be at the heart of Newton Abbot’s celebration of the King’s Coronation weekend.
On Saturday May 6 Courtenay Street will host morning performances by The Hot House Combo, a much-loved four-piece whose repertoire features foot-tapping jazz and swing from the 1930s.
In the afternoon the equally popular Cahoots will take to the stage while walkabout characters will mingle with the crowds and free balloon modelling can be enjoyed.
St Leonard’s clocktower will be royally equipped and open for ‘Coronation selfies’ with visitors also able to sign the book of congratulations for King Charles and the Queen Consort.
On Sunday May 7 the festivities will move to Courtenay Park with a 12 noon – 4pm Party in the Park featuring a band concert, face painting, magical bubbles, balloon modelling, make and create children’s activity stall, Coronation selfie frame and free giveaways.
Families will be encouraged to bring picnics in line with the Coronation Big Lunch theme and there will also be a cocktail bar and ice cream van.
All the attractions, except the refreshments, are being provided free of charge by Newton Abbot Town Council.
Mayor Cllr Carol Bunday said: ‘A Coronation is a rare event in our national life and we want to ensure that the people of our town have the opportunity to share the experience.
‘The beauty of modern technology means we’ll all be able to watch the events at Westminster and Windsor Castle at a time of our choosing yet also come together to enjoy the party atmosphere.
‘And we’re fully aware of the tough economic times which is why we wanted to create a truly affordable weekend with no charge for any of the activities.
‘We’ve also learned from our Jubilee celebrations last year and booked an extra face painter as it proved to be so very popular then and we don’t want any disappointed children this time.
‘We hope, of course, for good weather and to see Newton Abbot coming together to experience this wonderful milestone in our country’s history.
‘God save the King!’

Easter Train in Newton Abbot

A FREE ‘Eggstraordinary Easter Trail’ in Newton Abbot has proved to be a hit with families.

The adventure, organised by Town Development Manager Sally Henley in conjunction with museum and library staff, involved a hunt for 15 egg-related objects placed in the windows of shops and businesses throughout the town.

Children had to note where they’d found the hidden treasures then hand their completed forms to staff at the library or museum.

Hundreds of people took part and on April 19 the first name to be drawn from the winner’s hat was that of nine-year-old Jack Purver from Kingsteignton.

He was presented with a £40 Austins voucher, a Lego kit and giant Easter egg.

‘I feel quite good about winning,’ he quipped as the prizes were piled into his arms.

‘The trail was something to do rather than being stuck inside and I look forward to the next one.’

Pleased with the trail’s reception from the public, Sally said: ‘We had a huge entry to this event and lots of feedback saying that participants had really enjoyed themselves.’

‘I certainly saw lots of families out and about over Easter, clutching their entry forms.

‘Participating businesses were equally enthusiastic with some saying it was the first time families had come across them.

‘It’s fair to say the trail was a great success and I thank everyone who took part, not least Austins for their sponsorship which also included a £20 voucher and Easter egg for second place contestant James Heiss, also nine years old.

‘I’m looking forward now to setting up another free trial for the summer holidays so watch this space!’

Pictured outside Austins

Left – right: Sally Henley, Austins Senior Manager Deborah Maloney, Charlotte Dixon, Jack Purver and Matthew Lovell from Libraries Unlimited.