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Newton Abbot Town Council News

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

Bee happy – a green New Year resolution for Newton Abbot Town Council

MEMBERS of Newton Abbot Town Council have voted unanimously to declare the authority pesticide-free.

The change means replacing harmful chemicals for weeding with an eco-friendly state-of-the-art hot foam machine.

In addition, the council will consider reduced mowing and plant removal to allow wildflowers to flourish and provide a greater nectar resource for bees and other pollinators.

The authority is also working with Green Futures Newton Abbot, Teignbridge District Council and SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK to pilot the Pesticide-Free Bradley initiative, encouraging the use of insect-friendly alternatives in gardens and homes.

A Pesticide-Free Gardening Guide is due to be published and will contain guidance from organic gardeners and growers.

A ‘Pesticide Amnesty’ will be held later this year with a kerb-side collection service across Bradley ward for residents to dispose of unwanted weedkillers and similar products.

Mayor Cllr David Corney-Walker, an experienced beekeeper, said: ‘I am delighted our town council has voted to adopt this new and much greener.

‘Across the UK and globally we have been experiencing a concerning decline in pollinating insects over the last 50 or more years.

‘I’m told that in parts of the world the populations of some insects have plummeted by 98 per cent since the 1970’s and across the UK there have been declines of between 45 -91 per cent in butterfly populations and an average of 11 bee species lost per square kilometre.

‘Newton Abbot Town Council is now doing its bit to help reverse this worrying decline and I’d encourage all households to follow suit.’

Andrew Rothery, Green Futures Newton Abbot Co-ordinator, said: ‘Pollinators are essential for maintaining the fertility of most plant species across our ecosystem and are estimated to be needed for at least 75 per cent of global crop production.

‘This means that declines in pollinators have a direct impact on our ability to feed ourselves, as well as impacting on most other animals and birds in our local environment.

‘One of the main causes of pollinator decline across the UK and the rest of the world is the increasing use of pesticides. I welcome the town council’s decision to be part of the solution.’

The below image shows NATC Facilities Maintenance Officer Tony Little using the hot foam device to remove weeds at Town Quay.

Election of one Town Councillor for Newton Abbot Bushell Ward.

Newton Abbot Town Council

There is a vacancy for one Councillor in the Bushell ward of Newton Abbot Town Council. As we have received the requisite number of requests to fill the vacancy by election, an election will be held on Thursday 8 February 2024.

Important dates:

  • Publication of Notice of Election – Thursday 4 January
  • Delivery of nomination papers – from 10am on Friday 5 January until 4pm on Friday 12 January
  • Deadline for registration applications – 12 midnight on Tuesday 23 January
  • Deadline for applications to vote by post – 5pm on Wednesday 24 January
  • Deadline for applications to vote by proxy – 5pm on Wednesday 31 January
  • Deadline to apply for Voter Authority Certificate – 5pm on Wednesday 31 January
  • Polling Day – 7am to 10pm Thursday 8 February

Please remember that all voters must now show suitable photographic ID at the polling station. 

Information for candidates can be found HERE

For more information see

Voters in Newton Abbot urged to turn out for February 8 election

VOTERS in Newton Abbot have been urged not to miss an opportunity to take part in a forthcoming ballot for a vacant seat on the Town Council.

The Bushell Ward position has become available just six months after the May local elections as sitting member Simon Walker has stepped down for personal reasons.

Eligible candidates can submit their nominations between January 5 – 12 ahead of the vote on February 8.

Polling stations will be set up at the Salvation Army Community Hall, Newton Abbot Children’s Centre and Abbotsbury Church, although polling cards will not be issued.

Town Clerk Phil Rowe has urged the public to take the opportunity to elect a member they believe will best serve their interests.

‘A recent parish election elsewhere in the district resulted in just 14 per cent of the electorate turning up, that’s a disappointingly low figure,’ he said.

‘While I’m not saying the successful candidate isn’t up to the role, it is a fact that only a small proportion of those eligible to vote bothered to do so.

‘Effectively, a staggering 86 per cent of residents let a very few people speak on their behalf, can that be right?

‘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.

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

‘What I’m saying, is that if people in the town want their concerns to be voiced faithfully in the chamber, then they need to look at who’s standing for election and cast their vote for the individual they think will most faithfully represent them.

‘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.’

Further information is available at or

Town Criers Competition – 9th September 2023

After a dismal summer the sun had decided to shine upon Newton Abbot for the Competition, however it had not only decided to shine but to generate temperatures not normally found in September in Devon.

The Mayor, competitors, escorts, family members and judges assembled at the Royal British Legion to renew old friendships and to provide a suitable venue for the draw of who and when each would perform their cries in the competition.

Once all the appropriate pre-competition procedures were completed we left the RBL and to prevent the appearance of excessively perspiring Town Criers at the start of the competition a coach was arranged to transport the gathered “host” to a bus stop close to the competition site instead of the usual parade through the town.

Once at St Leonards Tower, the assembled criers and consorts provided picture opportunities for residents and visitors alike prior to the welcoming cry by the host Nigel Kenneison and a welcome from the Newton Abbot Mayor David Corney-Walker.

The competition then proceeded in the usual format, of a hometown base cry from the host followed by a hometown cry by the competitors in the previously drawn order.

Upon completion of the hometown cry the criers, escorts and officials were provided with vouchers for a refreshment at either the Clock Tower Café or the 1220, a local hostelry to relax and refresh their vocal cords prior to the second cry.

The second cry was themed “Sweets” as Sunshine Sweets, a local market trader, was providing a take home pack for the competitors. As with the first cry the host commenced with a base cry – a variation upon “Bring me Sunshine” reworded as – “Bring me Sweets” – we had had enough of actual sunshine by this time anyway.

The winner of the second cry, who had presumably spent a considerable amount of time getting a list of the possible sweets and had worked them into his cry, he came with a true Bounty of Topics causing several Snickers and a Boost to the gathered crowd, which had been judged by Sally-Ann Walker and John Thomas of Sunshine Sweets. A basket of confectionary was presented by Sunshine Sweets whilst numbers were compiled by the score collators, Dulcie and Ken Purchase.

The winners were presented with their appropriate envelopes (stuffed with cash courtesy of the Lord of the Manor, Keith Stokes-Smith) and cups, shields, and perfumery which was kindly donated by Austins department store.

  • 1st Place – Andrew Fox (Ilminster)
  • 2nd Place – John Pitt (Plymouth)
  • 3rd Place – Mark Wylie (Calne)
  • Best Dressed Crier – Chris Smirthwaite (Liskeard)
  • Best Dressed Escort – Angie Bishop (Frome)
  • Best Dressed Couple – Phil and Rose Northcott (Penzance)
  • Loudest Crier – Andrew Fox
  • Best Devon Crier – John Pitt
  • Sweet Cry Winner – David Green (Torpoint)

There was plenty of things happening in the town as well as the competition on Saturday. From the Clock Tower being open for tours, free crafts with Creative Newton Abbot and free face painting and balloon modelling.

Once all the presentations had taken place, all criers reboarded the bus and returned to the RBL for a cold buffet, refreshments and chatter prior to departing for their homes.

Newton AbbotTown Council would like to thank the following for their help:

  • Lord of the Borough Keith Stokes-Smith, sponsor of cash prizes & consort gifts;
  • Natalie Hicks & Kelly Burridge, Town Council Events Co-ordinators;
  • Nigel Kennieson, Newton Abbot Town Crier;
  • Newton Abbot branch of the Royal British Legion;
  • Austin’s Department Store, gifts for the ‘Best Dressed’ categories;
  • Twelve Twenty & The Clock Tower Café;
  • Tony Little, Steve Ryan & David Samson, Town Council Maintenance Officers;
  • PA – ‘The Booze Brothers’;
  • Sunshine Sweets.

Newton Abbot Town Council paves the way for affordable eco homes

Newton Abbot Town Council

MORE than 20 affordable eco homes look set to be built in the heart of Newton Abbot after the Town Council signalled its support for the scheme.

The proposals for 23 one and two-bedroom rented apartments on Sherborne House Car Park have been tabled by Teignbridge District Council.

All would be built to internationally recognised ‘Passivhaus’ standards meaning maximum energy efficiency and low running costs.

Two will be wheelchair-friendly and have the only car parking spaces with other tenants encouraged to use alternative means of transport.

In the planning application documents it states: ‘These new flats will be constructed to the highest quality and environmental standards to reduce energy costs and create attractive, healthy homes.’

It adds: ‘The site as a whole is a brownfield urban site, and as such should be considered favourably in the search sequence set out in the Local Plan Policy.

‘It is in walking distance from the town centre with good connections to public transport in close proximity on Kingsteignton Road and a local cycling route to the south.

‘Within two minutes walking distance residents will have access to local amenities, shops, green spaces and sport and leisure facilities.

‘Being a town centre site, it offers the opportunity for highly sustainable residential development in close proximity to shops, public transport routes, amenity and leisure facilities and as such should be developed with a high density to maximise the opportunity, whilst being respectful in scale and massing within the urban grain of Newton Abbot.’

Members of Newton Abbot Town Council’s Planning Committee considered the scheme on December 13 and voted unanimously not to object, local government rules preventing an actual vote in support.

Cllr Nick Yabsley, who chaired the meeting, said: ‘This is a project to deliver energy efficient, well-built homes right in the town centre and it’s important our council gets behind it.

Teignbridge District Council is expected to grant planning permission in the new year.

Details of the planning application, including visualisations, can be viewed at, case number 23/02036/MAJ.

Vision Zero South West

Motorcycle legend and TV presenter Henry Cole is the face of a new publicity campaign aimed at motorcyclists in Devon and Cornwall.

Henry, who is best known for his eccentric antics on ITV’s ‘The Motorbike Show’ and ‘Find It, Fix It, Flog It’ on Channel 4, fronts the powerful new campaign from the Vision Zero South West road safety partnership.

Town Criers Competition

Oyez oyez oyez, town criers set to descend on Newton Abbot

A PARADE of richly-clad participants and civic dignitaries will launch the Newton Abbot Town Criers’ Competition on the morning of Saturday September 9.

Events are due to get under way at 10.15 a.m when the representatives of 15 towns from four westcountry counties will make their way from the Royal British Legion to Courtenay Street.

The first ‘home town’ cry is to be heard at 10.45 a.m, with more following until a break at 11.45 a.m.

The second ‘sweets’ cry will begin at 12.45 p.m and last for an hour, after which the judges will announce the winners and present trophies and prizes.

Mayor Cllr David Corney-Walker and his consort, Cllr Tom Corney-Walker, will make special presentations for the best dressed crier, best dressed escort and best dressed couple.

The host will be Newton Abbot’s own town crier, Nigel Kenneison, who is prevented from taking part in the competition by Guild rules.

Flying the flag for the Manorial Borough of Newton Abbot however will be Eveline Davies.

Also featuring on the day will be free family craft activities in Courtenay Street, courtesy of Creative Newton Abbot, plus the ancient St Leonard’s Tower will be open to visitors.

Another draw will be the offer of free face painting and balloons between 10am – 2pm.

‘This is a real taste of tradition in Newton Abbot and we’re looking forward to welcoming the criers from as far afield as Penzance in West Cornwall and Calne in Wiltshire,’ said Natalie Hicks, Events Co-ordinator for Newton Abbot Town Council.

‘We’re also opening up the clocktower as it’s a popular destination with locals and visitors alike, and in addition our Outreach Worker Kate Green will be providing a great free crafting event close by.

‘And we certainly know from previous events that the free balloons and face painting will go down a storm.

‘The actual cries will be taking place outside Austins but I’m sure no one will need directions, just follow the very loud voices coming from the town centre!

‘As a matter of interest, the traditional ‘oyez oyez oyez’ used by town criers to introduce themselves comes from old French and means ‘hear ye, hear ye, hear ye.

‘Believe it or not, it’s still used in American courts but thankfully you’ll not need to travel any further than Newton Abbot to hear it said on September 9.’

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

Tunnels of love: art by the community for the community

RESIDENTS and schoolchildren in Newton Abbot have been praised for the key role they played in transforming the town’s unwelcoming subways.

Four vandalised underpasses at Penn Inn have been given an artistic makeover with much of the creativity coming from those who use the site every day, an important pedestrian and cycle link which avoids the busy A380 road above.

Colourful ceramics, professional graffiti, fairground mirrors and photos are complemented by uplifting poems and prose, centred on the themes of air, water, fire and earth.

The Tunnels of Love project has been more than three years in the making, led by Newton Abbot Community Interest Company (CIC) and supported by The Arts Council England, Teignbridge District Council and Newton Abbot Town Council.

Project artist Kate Green told a gathering of invited guests at the unveiling on July 25 that the impressive results, already winning huge support on social media, had come about because of the community’s involvement. ‘It was more than three years ago, before Covid, that I was asked by the CIC and Cllr Jackie Hook if I could do something to brighten up the subways and I said, yes I will, but on one condition, it needs to be artwork made by local people and which is uplifting and means something. Everything here has been made by children from local schools and people from local groups. The subways also feature photographs of pedestrians, dog walkers and cyclists passing through Penn Inn’.

Two other locations in the town are set to benefit from similar makeovers later this year.

For more information or additional comment from key stakeholders please email Emily Farrell via [email protected] or call 07501889100

Below is a selection of images from the tunnels.