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Community News - 29/05/2014

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: May 29, 2014

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Leaking roof

ALPHINGTON Primary School needs a new roof.

Local councillor Roy Hill has reported to Community News that buckets have had to be used in some classrooms to catch the rain water leaking through the roof.

Cllr Hill said: “A survey found that the whole roof needs replacing and it is an absolute priority of mine that money must be found for this work to be done

“The school must be made fit for the 21st century.”

A spokesman for Devon County Council said: “The school commissioned its own report from NPS Property design and management services, not Devon County Council.

“This basically says the roof is deteriorating and that the solution involves replacement. “This will now come up for consideration for financing through the Devon County Council capitalised maintenance funding programme.”

B bus changes

COMMUNITY News has been asked by Stagecoach to remind passengers that the recently announced changes to the B bus timetable begin on Monday, June 2.

The changes have been deemed necessary after complaints that not everyone who wanted to get on the bus in Alphington could do so at peak times in the mornings because the bus, starting in Dawlish, was already full.

Now the buses will arrive in Exeter before 9am (at 8.26am and 8.46am) in a bid to split the morning peak loading.

Jumble sale

THE Moose International Ladies 283 have organised a jumble sale which will be held at Alphington Village Hall on Saturday, June 7, between 10am and 12 noon.

The sale will raise funds for dementia care in Exeter.

The entry price is 50 pence to include tea or coffee.

Anyone who wants to donate items should phone Mary Bodley on 01392 926076 to arrange collection.

City centre

Chess anyone?

HOSPISCARE has organised a Big Chess event to take place in Bedford Square, Princesshay, on Saturday, May 31.

Between 11am and 3pm, chess players will be able to challenge their friends to a game or try their hand at speed chess.

The Exeter book

AVID readers in the city are being given the rare chance to view the 1,000 year old Exeter Book

The ancient volume – the largest of only four surviving books of Anglo Saxon poetry and riddles in the world – is being offered for view by Exeter Cathedral.

The book is housed in the Cathedral’s library and archives and it is to be publicly displayed this summer, for one afternoon a month.

The Exeter Book was given by Leofric, Exeter’s first Bishop, between 1050 and 1072. It is thought to have been 100 years old when he gave it, and so is the oldest surviving collection of English literature in the world.

In addition to such famous longer poems as The Wanderer and Widsith, it contains 96 riddles – some of which are ribald – while some are religious in tone and content.

The next Exeter Book open afternoon is on June 4.

For more details call the Library and Archives on 01392 421423 or look on www.exeter-cathedral.org.uk


BT mural?

IT is early days but there has been a suggestion for a mural to be painted on the wall of the BT telephone exchange which faces Exeter Central Library.

The library re-opened last week after a £4.1m facelift and a newly landscaped approach to the front entrance.

Now a spokesman for BT has told Community News: “It is very early days but there has been an initial approach from the local authority about the possibility of a mural on the building.

“We are waiting to hear about the date of a site visit to discuss this in more detail.”

Library dates

LOCAL clowns, the award-winning Le Navet Bête, will lead a workshop and give outdoor performances of their show Extravaganza, including clowning, acrobatics, circus skills and live music at Exeter central library on June 14. This will mark the launch of the city-wide initiative Exeter Reads, which is a summer-long project that will encourage people in the city to join in reading and discussing one of two books, chosen for their World War One connections. Exeter Library will stock several hundred copies of the books for loan.

The project hopes to bring new visitors to the library, particularly those who are not current library-users.

It is being supported with an award of £10,475 from Arts Council England’s National-lottery funded libraries Grants for the Arts scheme.

Homes’ grant

ST Petrock’s, Exeter’s charity for people who are homeless, has received further funding for its Private Rented Service which, so far, has successfully accommodated and continues to support 62 individuals who were previously homeless, in the local area.

The award has been made by Crisis, the national homelessness charity, as a result of additional government funding and aims to help 2,250 people who are homeless, over the next two years, by financially supporting projects around the country, such as St Petrock’s.

Leslie Morphy, chief executive of Crisis, said: “We know that private renting has the potential to provide decent and stable homes for homeless people. But many will struggle to do this on their own.

“The projects Crisis supports are crucial. They help vulnerable people find suitable, lasting tenancies while setting the standards for others to follow.”

Crisis has received £40,000 funding over two years and Mel Hartley, project manager at St Petrock’s, said: “We’re delighted that we are able to secure this valuable service for a further two years as it’s proved an invaluable resource in providing much needed accommodation.

“Our Private Rented Service has been really successful in bridging a gap in available services for many of our clients.

“Our worker supports both local landlords and individuals who are either facing homelessness, or have experienced homelessness, in finding the appropriate accommodation. We are then able to help with deposits and provide on-going support to that individual and landlord to help ensure successful tenancies.

“This approach has managed to achieve a 92 per cent rate of long-term tenancy sustainability – which is a real achievement when compared with other services and highlights the importance of giving individuals some choice in their accommodation as well as providing on-going support.”

Run for Mayor

ARE you taking part in this year’s Great West Run?

If you are and have yet to decide who to run for then Exeter’s new Lord Mayor, Cllr Percy Prowse who takes up the office on June 3, is asking that you consider supporting his charity – Exeter Leukaemia Fund. Sponsorship forms are available by contacting the Lord Mayor’s office on 01392 265524.

Silver birthday

FOR the diary – in August Exeter’s Farmers’ Market will celebrate 25 years in the city.


New showroom?

BERRYBROOK Motors is seeking planning permission from Teignbridge District Council for a new car showroom building at its premises on the Dawlish Road.


Yes, we CAN...

...HELP promote healthy living in a practical way.

A new project based at Heavitree Health Centre in South Lawn Terrace is to be known as the Heavitree Community and Activities Network (Heavitree CAN) and the idea could not be simpler.

The health centre is hoping to provide an information point for everything that is going on in the ward – youth groups, church groups, social and activity groups that GPs will be able to point their patients towards.

And it wants to hear about your group so that the information can be put on a data base, ready to pass onto whoever would benefit.

The project is being run in a partnership formed by Heavitree Parklife, the health centre, Heavitree Community Association, and the Friends of the Heavitree Health Centre.

GP Niall MacLeod explained to Community News the thinking behind the scheme and how it will work.

Dr MacLeod said: “The NHS is overloaded and the forecast is for increasing demand.

“We need to look to a different model and promoting health and wellbeing in the community through healthy diet, social connections and activity, is one of the best ways of doing that. It is about improving people’s mental and physical resilience.

“The evidence is that the more social connections you have, the more physically and mentally resilient you are.

“Elderly people with no social contact have as high a risk of dying as those with cancer who do have a social network.”

The plan is to have a community link person in the surgery on selected days helping signpost people to community activities of their choosing. The model already exists elsewhere in the Devon and the UK but has not as yet been set up here.

Dr MacLeod said: “There is much good work already going on in this field but as yet there is no, one centralised database and it is not co-ordinated. We are trying to make it easier for patients attending the GP surgery to be linked to community groups and activities in a more formal way and to promote health and wellbeing in the community at the grass roots.

“We are in the process of trying to collect as much information about clubs, facilities and activities in Heavitree and surrounding areas.”

Because the health centre’s patients come from further afield than just Heavitree, it wants to hear from groups based within a mile radius of the ward.

As a starting point the information point is open on Tuesdays between 10am and noon in the Roseland room at the front of the health centre.

To let Heavitree CAN know about your group, contact Jackie Minto on 01392 277409, or email J.minto1@btconnect.com or send to Jackie Minto, The Friends of Heavitree Health Centre, South Lawn Terrace, Exeter EX1 2RX. Dr MacLeod added: “Please contact us if you would like to know more about the scheme or if you would be interested in helping run the scheme.”

If successful it is hoped that it will be the first of many schemes in Exeter and indeed across Devon, linking GP surgeries with healthy living and wellbeing in the community.

Eats for all

THE Pleasure Ground is the venue for the Big Lunch on Sunday, June 1, between noon and 3pm.

Take along a picnic for an afternoon of games and competition.

There will be a cake competition and it costs just £1 to enter. It will be judged by a professional chef and there is a £20 Marks & Spencer voucher for the best tasting cake, another for the best looking, and a £15 Toys R Us voucher for the best decorated cake by someone under the age of 16.


Sowing seeds

IT seems that the idea of planting the grass verges in Prince Charles Road with wild flower seeds is a welcome one.

The idea was put forward by local councillor, Percy Prowse, to make the area more attractive since the grass cannot be cut until later in the year to ensure that the many daffodil bulbs will result in flowers the following year.

Residents have been contacting Cllr Prowse to say they think it is a good idea after the idea was first mooted in Community News two weeks ago.


Bigger store?

SAINSBURY’S in Hill Barton Road is looking to increase its sales area by some 3,153sq ft.

If the plans are given the green light by the city council there would also be 14 more car parking spaces made available, taking the total to 512.

The food store has told the city council that it is looking to build ‘a minor extension’ which would involve moving forward the current cafe and relocating the customer toilets.

This would allow the store to move the checkouts forward as well as reduce their number, giving more floor space for its sales area.

The plans include the re-laying of the car park as well as landscaping.


LANGATON Lane, Station Road and Church Hill will be closed overnight between June 6 and 9 while the road around the mini roundabouts is resurfaced.

A resident, who did not wish to be named, told Community News: “This is a complete waste of money as the road lay out at the roundabouts is to be changed.”

Jumble bargains

BARGAINS galore will be on offer when the Pinhoe Scout Group holds its annual jumble sale to raise funds.

The sale is being held at the Pinhoe Scout Hut, in Langaton Lane, on Saturday, June 7, starting at 2pm with a 30p admission charge.

The usual stalls will be there.


Rat run woes

FOLLOWING an accident in Monks Road last week, in which a car overturned, several residents have contacted local councillor, Richard Westlake concerned about the speed of vehicles in the road.

Cllr Westlake has asked highways bosses for an urgent site visit to look at the problem.

He told Community News: “A number of people have contacted me, including parents of young children, to say that they are really concerned about the speeds of cars and that the speed humps in the middle of the road are totally ineffective.

“Some four or five years ago there was a suggestion that a small portion of the road could be made one way to stop the rat running but this was rejected two to one by the residents.

“We are going to have to look at doing something once we have the report on the cause of the accident from the police and highways officers.”

Cllr Westlake added: “I think there is more rat running now compared to when we asked residents previously about closing off a small part of the road.

“I was in Pinhoe Road the other day and noticed a number of cars turning into Abbey Road – they then drive up Monks Road and into Thurlow Road to avoid the traffic lights at Mount Pleasant Road.

“Monks Road has speed cushions but there is one in particular which is completely ineffective.

“The road needs a full safety audit.”

Polsloe Bridge

CLLR Westlake wants to thank everyone who turned up to help with the tidying up of the railway halt at Polsloe Bridge at the weekend.

He had earlier appealed for volunteers and he was very pleased with the response – and with the support given to those doing the work from the passengers using the halt on Saturday.

Cllr Westlake said: “We did a reasonable amount of work but there was a huge amount to do.

“We have a lot more ideas and I hope to organise another such day in about two to three weeks time.

“We planted a few flowers and would like to go up the other side of where we were working and we will be talking to Devon Wildlife Trust about planting a wildlife garden.”

Cllr Westlake added: “We received a huge amount of support from the passengers who were using Polsloe Bridge, and it was very busy.

“I would like to thank them very much as it was really nice to see that people were so interested in what we were doing.

“We also received a lot of support from the staff at First Great Western.”


Access road

A planning application from a well-known Westcountry firm of funeral directors is causing some concern in the ward.

Walter C Parson Ltd have sent in an application relating to 206 Topsham Road – in the parade of shops opposite the Barrack Road junction – to provide a garage and replacement rear extension following demolition of existing rear extension and detached garage.

The premises, close to the existing Exeter & District Funeral Service offices in 210 Topsham Road, is served by a private cul-de-sac at the rear.

Some residents living nearby are now worried about access both to and from that private road as well as the problem a funeral cortege may have in joining busy Topsham Road.

One resident, Terry Griffin, said: “It is certainly something we would expect the planners to consider. Where are people going to park and will there be access for such things as refuse collection.

“There is little room to park at the front and Topsham Road is already very busy and likely to get busier with the new developments going on.

“It is just something we feel needs to be thought through.”


Neonatal funds

MUM Jenny Grice has raised £500 for the Royal Devon & Exeter hospital’s neonatal unit by holding a charity fun day.

Jenny’s son Jack, now two years old, was born two months premature at Torbay hospital and weighed just 2.2lbs.

On the day of his birth he was transferred to the RD&E, and was cared for by staff at the neonatal unit for just over three months.

As a way to say thank you for the care Jack received, Jenny organised a charity fun day at the White Ensign Club in Teignmouth. With the help of club manager Nicky Howarth, Jenny put on live music, a raffle, games, food and a cake sale. Guests also enjoyed a country music class from Nick Mansell.

Jenny and Jack, recently popped back to visit staff at the neonatal unit and donate the money raised by the fun day.

Sue Prosser, senior nurse, said: “I would like to say a big thank you to Jenny for all her hard work and to everyone in Teignmouth who came out to support the event.

“This generous donation will make a big difference to the unit and will be used to improve the environment and facilities for the babies and families during their stay with us.”

St David’s

Planning plea

THE St David’s Neighbourhood Partnership has objected to plans for a block of 130 student flats in Queen Street.

A planning application has been lodged with the city council for the flats to be built on the car park of the Rougemont Telephone Exchange.

The partnership have listed their objections which include the fact that they believe such a large number of students will “seriously impact community balance in St David’s” and they cite other such developments in the ward – Brunel Close, Point Exe, and the converted block next to Premier Inn all in Bonhay Road; Ann’s Well/Brewery and Iron Bridge Studios, both Lower North Street; and two major conversions in Richmond Road.

Members also believe there is an over-supply of student accommodation in the city and says the imbalance created by the introduction of “high student numbers must also be seen in the context of a neighbourhood which also has dual alcohol/drug rehabilitation blocks, youth offending team, YMCA for homeless young people, asylum seekers’ accommodation and social housing for vulnerable people”.

Another objection is on the grounds that it will mean the loss of green space and they say that “the student block proposal appears to result in town cramming”.

Members of St David's Neighbourhood Partnership with apartments in Marcus House say they are dismayed that the proposed development is close to their homes, taking light from their properties and hemming them in in a way that is in contravention of council's own award nominated residential guidance.

Mouldy flats

RESIDENTS in Southgate and Watergate say that their flats are mouldy after cavity wall insulation was installed.

Local resident, Marian Snow told Community News: “Due to the council inserting cavity wall insulation about six years ago and the wet weather, we have mould growing on our walls and my wardrobes are damp and my clothes have turned white.

“The flats smell awful and some of us had only decorated last year.

“Also, leaseholders in Southgate have received notification that the council are undertaking repairs and re-decoration to these blocks and have been informed that our share is £1,038.01 each but on asking leaseholders in Watergate just below us, a block of flats identical to ours, who had their block renovated last year, I have been told that they have received no such bills.

“The damp problem has been on-going since December last year and we have had various people around looking at it and some taking pictures, some leaseholders have received letters concerning it and some haven’t.

Mrs Snow added: “Two years ago we were told that we had to have new flat doors and that we would not have to pay but then I know of one leaseholder who had to pay £200.

“It really seems to me that the council is in a financial fix and we leaseholders are suffering.”

A spokesman for the city council said: “Work is under way to establish the full extent of the problems caused by the damp ingress and identify the best way of dealing with them.

“This will be a significant programme of work, however, and we need to get it right.

“Leaseholders in Southgate are currently being consulted on the estimated costs of external decoration and maintenance work in accordance with their leaseholder agreements.

“This is not related to the damp ingress works (which have yet to be agreed by the council) but is part of the general maintenance programme, but will need to be co-ordinated with the damp ingress works in due course.”

The spokesman added: “Leaseholders in Watergate have not been billed for their works as yet because we are awaiting the final costs, but they will be recharged again in accordance with the leaseholder agreements.

“We are not aware of any leaseholder being charged for a new front door.”

The spokesman further stated: “None of this has anything to do with the council being in a ‘financial fix’.

“Any recharges made are in accordance with agreements and the damp ingress works will be a major project which needs to be properly planned and costed.

“We regret the problems that the wettest weather for 250 years has caused tenants and leaseholders alike and we are working to tackle them as quickly as we can, but any delays are being caused by the complexity of the project, not financial issues.”

St James

English Heritage

THEY decided not to list it but English Heritage are nevertheless objecting to the demolition of Exeter’s cricket pavilion.

Exeter Cricket Club has applied to the city council for planning permission to demolition the pavilion and replace it with blocks of student accommodation.

The club believes selling the land will safeguard its future and will cover the cost of building a new pavilion.

The old wooden cricket pavilion in Prince of Wales Road, was opened at the turn of the century by legendary cricketer Dr WG Grace.

A local resident applied to English Heritage to have the pavilion listed but the response from the statutory body was that it “does not meet the criteria for listing because, although pre-1914 cricket pavilions are rare, this is a relatively modest example architecturally, and it has been subject to a higher level of alteration than many listed pavilions”.

Now, English Heritage has written to the city council objecting to the proposed demolition, saying they are not convinced of the need and saying that while they “would not die in a ditch over the retention of the present cricket pavilion” they are nevertheless recommending “firm refusal” and describe the pavilion as being a “building of character set in a commanding position, still serviceable and in harmony with the character of the conservation area whose homes and first inhabitants it was partly built to complement”.

The club says that the pavilion is costly to maintain and is no longer fit for purpose.

In addition, English Heritage does not support the design and scale of the flats and says it would “expect something that was either genuinely homely or of crisp contemporary design”.

Both the plans for the flats and the demolition have received 50 letters of support, and Sport England is not objecting, provided the new pavilion is provided prior to the loss of the old one.

Forum’s AGM

On June 14 there will be the third annual meeting of the Exeter St James’ Forum.

The business part of the meeting will be preceded by an update regarding the plans for the Queen’s Crescent Garden.

The meeting will be held in St Sidwell’s C of E School and will begin at 4pm.

St Thomas

HGVs taking toll

THE number of HGVs using Buddle Lane and Cowick Street is being put on the agenda for the next meeting of the city’s highways committee in July.

The problem has been raised in Community News previously by a local resident who has now contacted local councillor, Rob Hannaford, who said: “Really these big lorries should be using Cowick Lane rather than Cowick Street.

“Cowick Lane is much wider – in Cowick Street we have small cottages right on the street.

“I will be adding this issue to the next highways agenda.”


Fancy a chat?

THEN pop along to the Chatter Cafe.

The cafe is based in the Old Post Office in Wonford Street and runs every Friday from 11am until 2pm.

On offer is cake and a cuppa for any members of the community, especially those older members of the community who might get not get out quite so much.

The cafe is hosted by the Wonford and St Paul’s Project (Wasp) but hosted by the St Vincent de Paul Society.

Wasp is also promoting the Old Post Office as a venue for small groups to meet.

If you would like to find out more about using the venue then please contact Andy Shiach on 07740 107600 or email andy@heavitreeteam.org.uk

Thank you...

THEIR grand sale in the community centre raised £460 and now the Pinhoe and Broadclyst friends of Hospiscare would like to say a huge thank you to all those who supported them on the day. And the good news is that they are doing it all again on Saturday, September 13.

Watch this space for more details.

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