Covid-19 Tier 2 rules

West Devon Borough Council have provided the following information:

Rules under Tier 2 Restictions

Tiers

You must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.

  • you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside, including in a garden or a public space – this is called the ‘rule of 6’
  • businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs
  • pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals
  • hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to:
    • provide table service only, in premises which sell alcohol
    • close between 11pm and 5am (hospitality venues in airports, ports, transport services and motorway service areas are exempt)
    • stop taking orders after 10pm
  • hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through
  • early closure (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances  that start before 10pm
  • public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
  • public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
  • places of worship remain open but you must not socialise with people from outside of your household or support bubble while you are indoors there, unless a legal exemption applies
  • weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events such as wakes  or stonesettings.
  • organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue
  • organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes will only be permitted if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with). There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s, which can take place with larger groups mixing
  • you can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible
  • if you live in a tier 2 area, you must continue to follow tier 2 rules when you travel to a tier 1 area. Avoid travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities.You can travel through a tier 3 area as a part of a longer journey
  • for international travel see the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office travel advice for your destination and the travel corridors list

Click here for more information 

BBC Countryfile wants your videos by 2nd December!

Devon Communities Together has been asked by BBC’s Countryfile to gather 2-minute videos from communities around Devon that demonstrate our resilience during the pandemic.
The videos can be shot on mobile phones and do not have to be of professional quality – what they do need to show is how our community has come together to show huge resilience in these challenging times.

You will need to make sure you have consent from those involved that they may be featured on the BBC and other media.

If you would like to submit a film for consideration, please email your clip to marketing@devoncommunities.org.uk by 12.00pm on Wednesday 2nd December.  If you need help with how to submit a large file or any other technical support, Devon Communities Together will try to help.  Please use the above email address or call 01392 248919. 

Parish Council grants to local organisations

As in previous years the Parish Council will consider including a sum within its budget for supporting local organisations. If your organisation is thinking of asking the Parish Council for a grant then please contact the Parish Clerk by the 11 December 2020 with the following information:

  • Purpose for which a grant is required
  • Budgeted income and expenditure for the current financial year
  • Report on the use of any previous Parish Council grant

Parish Clerk :  Mrs Caroline Oxenham
1 Abbotsfield Crescent,
Tavistock,
Devon, PL19 8EY

Tel: 01822 481415 or 07846 573678 (Monday to Friday) email: brentorpc@yahoo.co.uk

A greener Christmas

Click on the image to see the waste collection calendar

West Devon Borough Council has published its waste and recycling collection dates for the Christmas and New Year period.  They have also set out what Christmas items can and can’t be recycled.  For example, unfortunately ordinary wrapping paper can’t be recycled, but they suggest finding an alternative.  For example, what about making your own using wallpaper lining paper that you decorate with watercolour or paper cut-outs?  Or even colourful leaves!  Use natural string and add natural decorations such as leaves and pine cones!

Click on the image to see a guide to Christmas recycling

Glitter and other shiny bits can’t be recycled – much of this is made from tiny plastic particles that are very bad if they get into the environment.  So please avoid buying Christmas cards with glitter on them because they won’t be accepted in the cardboard recycling bin.

New to this website! House locator

We have probably all been asked  “where is xxxxxx” by a visitor or van driver.  With more than 120 properties in the parish it’s hard to know where they all are, especially since many of our lanes also have no names.  This is especially difficult in these times where so many more deliveries are being made to houses during the pandemic.

This new feature on our website will help you locate properties in the village – 190 in total.  Just click on the name you are looking for and you will be taken to one of six large scale maps with a key to all the houses.  Feel free to print the maps for reference.

Click here to go to the House Locator

Bird Flu alert – if you keep chickens you need to act

An Avian Influenza Prevention Zone  (AIPZ) has been declared across the whole of England effective from 5pm on 11 November 2020.

All poultry keepers in England (whether they have commercial flocks or just a few birds in a backyard flock) are required by law to take a range of biosecurity precautions.  If you keep poultry (including gamebirds or pet birds) or other captive birds, you must act now to reduce the risk of disease in your flock by following the relevant biosecurity measures required within the AIPZ.  Your stock needs to be fed and watered under cover to prevent contamination from wild birds.

Good biosecurity improves the overall health and productivity of your flock by helping keep out poultry diseases such as avian influenza and limiting the spread of disease in an outbreak.  All bird gatherings within the AIPZ are prohibited therefore the general licence that had permitted bird gatherings has been revoked.

For more guidance please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-fluIf you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the Defra helpline (03459 33 55 77).

Public Health England advises that the risk to the public’s health is very low. Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said that on the basis of the current scientific evidence, avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers.  Avian influenza is unconnected with coronavirus (COVID-19).

Voluntary registration
You can choose to register fewer than 50 birds, or birds you keep as pets. The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) encourages you to register even if you do not have to by law.
By registering, APHA will be able to contact you if there’s a disease outbreak (such as bird flu) in your area and you will help prevent the spread of disease and protect the national poultry flock.

Brentor Calendar 2021 sold out!

This year’s calendar has sold out, so a huge thank you must go to Margaret Calder who organised the selection of the photographs and publishing of the calendar.

Thank you also to the sponsors, Dartprint, and to all those who contributed photographs and bought the calendar.  All proceeds from sales go to the Village Hall and Playing Field funds.

Don’t forget that packs of Christmas cards featuring local photographs are also available – on sale at the Festive Market at the Playing Field on 5th December.

Ofcom to investigate BT over rural broadband implementation

On 15th October 2020 Ofcom announced that it is launching an investigation into how BT is implementing the Universal Service Obligation Broadband scheme.  This follows numerous complaints about the high quotations being given to rural residents for connection to new fibre broadband networks being built through the scheme.  Brentor residents have received outrageous quotes for such connection, although some, in the West Blackdown area, are now to get free connection having complained about their original quotes of over £40,000 per property.

Click here to find out more about Ofcom’s investigation into BT.

Residents who have received high quotations for connections should get in touch with Ofcom to give evidence to their investigation.  They don’t resolve individual complaints but the more people who complain the better!  You can telephone Ofcom on  0300 123 3333 or 020 7981 3040
The case reference number is CW/01256/10/20 and the investigator is Ian Strawhorne.

Fibre broadband is coming to Brentor! Universal Service Obligation update

Brentor residents who currently have no access to fast broadband are likely to be getting access to a new fibre broadband network thanks to the Broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO) introduced in March 2020.  The new network will be FTTP, providing a fast fibre connection directly into each property.  In August and September surveyors made detailed plans for the new network, visiting every property in Brentor which is deemed to be eligible for the USO funding.

Getting this far has not been without its setbacks. Initially residents in West Blackdown were asked to contribute £42,457.20 each towards the cost of building the network.  After complaining to BT (who are running the USO on behalf of the government), Ofcom (who regulate it), the communications ombudsman (who police it) and our MP (who is elected to represent our interests), Openreach (who build it) miraculously found that they could after all provide the network for less than the £3,400 per property that the government provides.  The residents were contacted by BT and agreed to a £zero contract for the installation to their homes.  Residents in Station View have also been offered free connection.

However the West Blackdown and Station View residents are not out of the woods yet, since BT are now saying that, should Openreach overspend on building the network, they will once again ask residents for a contribution towards the cost!  If residents refuse to contribute apparently Openreach wouldn’t continue to build the network.  Could they really stop building it and refuse connection after already spending £100,000s of government funds? All this despite lots of us having a verbal contract agreeing to a zero priced quotation.   The communications ombudsman has judged BT not to be at any fault in this matter and unfortunately has no jurisdiction over Openreach, since the company does not subscribe to the ombudsman service (!)  So there seems little chance of changing what seems to be a very unfair situation.

Meanwhile, nearer the village centre, another group of residents with no fast broadband are  being asked to pay £8,358 each to be connected to the same network!  Others have been quoted over £30,000!  They of course are also contesting this through the communications ombudsman’s service, Ofcom  etc.  It’s very hard to see how all this aggravation is necessary and how it could be part of the government’s grand plan to provide a decent broadband service in rural communities.

An Openreach surveyor visited Brentor in August and should have produced a design for our new network, and in September a second engineer re- surveyed this work.  This has led to notices on telephone poles that suggest some are to be replaced to make them suitable to carry the fibre cable, so things are actually beginning to happen on the ground, but Openreach as a policy don’t offer any dates for connection.  There are still plenty of Openreach engineers around the village on a daily basis repairing our antiquated copper telephone cables when residents lose the dismally slow broadband they already have!

Despite all the aggravation it is nonetheless worth applying for connection to the new fibre network through the USO scheme.  It will, if built, offer very fast and reliable broadband that isn’t affected by the weather, and users will have a choice of internet service providers, potentially introducing price competition.  Let’s hope that the more of us that apply, the more is the likelihood that the network will be installed at zero cost to everyone.

To get a Universal Service Obligation grant you must register interest. To do this you should call 0800 783 0223 – the USO helpdesk.  The staff you will speak to are very helpful and sympathetic and will just require your name, postcode and address, email address and telephone number and will talk to you about your current broadband connection.  It is free to do and there is of course no obligation to take  part in the scheme, even if you go as far as asking for a firm quotation of the cost.

Local residents have produced an advice sheet to help you with the USO registration processclick here to see it.

Click here to see Ofcom’s USO factsheet

Click here to see BT’s information on the USO

If anyone in Brentor has further information please contact the website Editor, Colin Dawes, by email at  brentorvillage@btinternet.com. 

For more information about how this issue has evolved in Brentor click here

You can check your broadband speed by clicking here. (Just click the button marked ‘Start Speed Test’ below the two dials).

Brentor Village Hall closed again

Brentor Village Hall

During the second pandemic lockdown period the Village Hall will be closed completely once again.

As regulations and the law changes the Village Hall and Playing Field Committee is constantly having to adapt and provide a safe environment for users, sometimes with little notice. The committee has sought guidance from Devon Communities together and West Devon Borough Council and will continue to do so.

You can contact the Committee if you have any questions by emailing brentorvillagehall@gmail.com

Sign up to receive Brentor event reminders by email!

How often do you think ‘I wish I had remembered to go to that!’?
If you sign up for the free village event reminder service that won’t happen again.
For many special village events or activities you will receive an email reminder during the week before the event. Occasionally events are put on at short notice and may only be advertised by this service. 
As part of this service Brentor News is emailed to all members in full colour every month, and if you wish you can opt to ‘go paperless’ and stop receiving a paper copy to help save on resources and printing costs.
So why not join over 100 households who have already signed up!
To take advantage of this free service just send your email to brentorinfo@btinternet.com.
Colin Dawes

Drainage and hedge maintenance – who is responsible?

The recent storms have brought the issue of road drainage into sharp focus.  Drain and ditch clearance has always been important in Brentor, but the effect of climate change, bringing heavier and more frequent rain and storms, is now making this even more vital.
Significant public funding is invested by Devon County Council in their programme of ditch clearance to drain the water from the highway.  However, in the majority of cases, the responsibility for ditch maintenance rests with the adjacent landowner, even if the ditches take water from the highway.  Therefore local authority funding is being used to undertake works which are, in part, the responsibility of landowners!  This is reducing the funds available to undertake works which really are the authority’s responsibility.

It is often illegal to block drains that take water from the highway onto adjacent land, even if it is your property.  Also landowners and occupiers are required by law to trim any hedge next to the public highway where the growth is preventing the passage, or affecting the safety, of the highway user.It’s worth taking a look at the following documents if you own property by a road:
• A factsheet titled Roads and farmers produced by Devon County Council.
• Information regarding overgrown vegetation is available on the Devon County Council website here by clicking here.

Village Hall rebuild put on hold due to the pandemic

Brentor’s Village Hall and Playing Field Committee has been looking for ideas on how to move forward with rebuilding the main hall of the Village Hall.  They are a registered charity, whose duty is to run the Village Hall and Playing Field for the benefit of our community.s

Although the Hall was improved with a new kitchen, toilets and store in 2010, the old part of the building, dating from 1912, has significant problems with its fabric.  About 20 villagers (including most of the Parish Council) went to the meeting earlier this year about future plans for the Hall and heard from Sheryl Burroughs, the Chair of the Committee, that a structural survey of the hall has revealed that the Hall’s outer cladding will need complete replacement.  There is also a great need to address the condensation problem of the old building, relating to its lack of insulation.  Click here to read the full Village Hall Structural survey.

Many attendees at the meeting expressed a great love for the Hall in its present form, but the meeting overwhelmingly came to the conclusion that it would be far wiser to attempt to rebuild the Hall, enabling it to be properly insulated and to improve the quality of its provision for our village, rather than trying to continually repair the existing building.

The Village Hall and Playing Field Committee has set up a sub-committee to progress the rebuilding of the main hall.  It met in October 2020.  Due to the large sum of money that will be needed to rebuild, it was clear that a substantial amount would need to be won from sources such as the National Lottery and previous funders of the village hall such as the Biffa landfill tax fund.  Sadly the biggest potential funder, the National Lottery, is currently, and for the foreseeable future, only funding pandemic recovery items .

Therefore the Committee has decided to put the work on rebuilding the hall on hold.  Much of the background work has been done in planning for the rebuilding, and there is substantial experience from the initial refurbishment of the hall done in 2010, so hopefully when the financial situation becomes more easy this project will be able to do ahead.

Community Housing

There has been very little obvious progress since July 2019.  There is still no sign of a planning application, but it is understood that the scheme’s plans have been amended by the architects to reflect the views given at the open days.

Brentor Parish Council released the following statement on 18th July 2019:

PROPOSED HOUSING 

Figures have now been collated from the Housing Needs Survey conducted in July 2018 and the 2 public presentation days.  

The presentations were very well attended and figures show that the development is oversubscribed by local people who will be eligible to live there.

The latest data indicates a need for 11 affordable homes and 6 open market homes, which meet the criteria for an affordable development as required by WDBC and DNPA.  The planned development remains fixed at 12 properties.

Further progress has been slightly delayed due to the recent elections, but it is understood that the plans will be submitted to DNPA shortly with a planning decision expected in September.  Construction should then commence late Autumn or early next year.

 Further information will be published as and when it is received.

We need your contributions!

Do you have an interesting photo, an informative item about the village or an event that you need to promote?
We want to keep this website topical, local and up-to-date, so please send your potential contributions to the Editor at brentorvillage@btinternet.com .

Ongoing community issues

This section of the website sets out to provide a source of information about issues which are of ongoing concern to our village.  Often these issues first appear on this home page, but require additional space to do them justice.

Click here for information about Broadband provision for Brentor

Click here for information about Local Needs Housing provision in Brentor

Click here for information about the possible new railway line through Brentor (part of the Dawlish alternative route)

We want your recipes!

This website now has a recipes page, but there’s only a few recipes on it! 
As we all know, lot of Brentor’s social life revolves around cooking and eating with family and friends.  The recipes on the new page have been provided by Brentor residents past and present.  No doubt some have been adapted and improved as the years pass – and they are reminders of residents past and present and of many good times around the table, as well as being household favourites.
WE NEED LOTS MORE RECIPES!  So please email your contributions – a recipe with a small introductory text – to the editor, Colin Dawes, at brentorvillage@btinternet.com . 

Click here to go to the Recipe Book page