ANNUAL REPORT 2011 – 2012
This is the 5th Year that I have had the privilege of being Mayor of Ottery St Mary
and this has certainly been an incredibly exciting and busy year.
With the backing of my fellow councillors I am indeed very lucky to have so much
I have to thank my Deputy Mayor – Councillor Ian Holmes, Councillor Paul Lewis
who has special responsibility for Finance and Councillor Paul Carter as our Planning
Chairman, Town Clerk and Deputy Town Clerk for their hard work, dedication and
support over the last 12 months.
In June last year many of you will remember the arrival of the Contractors for the
new Sainsbury’s Supermarket in our town. I was privileged to open this store in
October last year and I am sure many of you frequent this now. Sadly we have seen
some of our local shops close during this last municipal year but I am pleased to say I
was asked to open several new businesses in the town also. All our shops add to the
ambience of what is still a thriving town which I am sure we are all proud to live in.
COLERIDGE BRIDGE – LAND OF CANAAN
Years of hard work and dedication have been going on especially behind the scene
to achieve our new Bridge over the River Otter. This was opened on Bank Holiday
Monday in August last year. This achievement came to fruition after 10 long years
and countless meetings. The Coleridge Bridge (named by the public) has proved a
huge success giving the children from the Kings School a safe journey to school and
a very pleasant walk to the town also for the residents of Thorne Farm Way plus of
course visitors to the Hospital.
In this last year we have seen the biggest shake up of planning legislation in 50 years
replacing the Town & Country Planning Act. (East Devon Local Plan 2006-2016)
We have held many meetings, formulated Working Parties so that proposals made
would incorporate local views. Meetings were held in all the Parishes and have been
well attended. You will see below an extract from a report my Planning Chairman
gave at the Annual Parish Meeting in April this year.
We have seen a great many new development site applications although at this
present time a plan is still awaited for the Ottermill Switchgear Factory which I am
informed is imminent.
REPORT FROM COUNCILLOR CARTER, CHAIRMAN OF THE PLANNING COMMITTEE:
“We have certainly had a very busy year regarding Planning with many Major Planning
Applications as many of you will already know coupled with the Consultation for the New Draft
East Devon Local Plan 2006 – 2016. For this important consultation we have had venues in all
the Wards for this important consultation with regard to housing numbers and the future
development in the four Parishes.
It is clear from the large turnout of residents that many of you have concerns about matters
such as infrastructure, transport and building developments which may have an impact on our
community. It is only natural that living in such a wonderful part of East Devon we all want the
best for where we live and the consultations were an extremely important platform for all of us
to give a voice.
Our Planning Committee has met 26 times in this last year. Applications we receive and are on
the agenda we usually try to attend a site visit beforehand whenever possible prior to our
meetings. There has definitely been an increase at our meetings in members of the public
attending which we welcome.
Obviously some applications such as Major developments in our Parish attract larger numbers
and whilst we are given little notice we do try and hire a venue suitable to the application
received to accommodate everyone who has an interest.
The Screen supplied to us by EDDC earlier in the year has proved successful with many of you
coming to the council offices to view these plans on line. This happened last year to cut down
on excess paper usage.
There have been 176 Planning Applications in this last year. Seven of these applications have
been classed as Major Applications in our Parish. Some major applications of course come in
more than once for the same application due to Amendments or Additional Information.
Planning Applications vary from Full applications to Major, Change of Use, Reserved Matters,
Advertising, Listed Building Consents and many Tree Plans that we receive.
Decisions from East Devon District Council we received in this last year were 157 in total. Out
of this number 17 Decisions disagreed with us, 4 were withdrawn.”
QUEEN’S DIAMOND JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS
Preparation for the Jubilee Celebrations started as far back as last June when the
Council set up a Working Party which has involved so many businesses and local
residents too many to thank on my Report. This was when I saw the Community
come together and work to making the Ottery St Mary Jubilee Event so
magnificent! The Celebrations were over the long Bank Holiday weekend in June
and started with a Ball at the Tumbling Weir followed by a Church Fete at Cadhay
and an Evening Disco at the Institute.
We carried on the celebrations with a Jubilee Street Party, Songs of Praise with
the Ottery Silver Band ending with a “Proms” style Grand Finale”.
On the final day – Monday Bank Holiday there was a fun packed day at the Land
of Canaan Car Park which included a Barbeque and licensed bar run by the
Rotary Club. This also incorporated the Official Opening of the Poetry Stones.
The Town Council gave all children under 11 years living in Ottery St Mary a
Commemorative Mug as a keepsake to mark the occasion.
In November of last year I was very proud to announce that the Town Council had
achieved Quality Council status which is recognition that we conduct our business to
a high standard. Our Certificate was presented to the Council in January this year by
the Chairman of the Accreditation Panel
In this last year I am pleased to announce that the long awaited Skate Park/BMX
Park has been achieved after a lot of work and many meetings. The Skate Park
Committee has indeed worked tirelessly. The official opening took place at the end
of June this year and I know this Park will be enjoyed by our young people. Another
achievement was the opening of the Multi Gym at the Land of Canaan which is
another wonderful facility for the Parish.
I am pleased that we have a full complement of Councillors now all bringing
different skills to the council. I was pleased to welcome Councillor Paul Bartlett a
North Ward Councillor and Councillor Andy Watmore a West Hill Ward Councillor in
this last year. Once again I am privileged to work with such a great team on the
council and grateful for their support.
It has been an extremely busy year seeing a lot of past projects come together for
the benefit of everyone. Ottery St Mary Parish has so much for us to be proud of
and with all the many achievements coupled with the beautiful area we live in I
reiterate once again that it has been a great honour to serve again as Mayor of
Ottery St Mary.