Read here the latest news from Uplowman Parish. It also appears in the Sampford Peverell Parish Newsletter. Bulletins are given with latest at the top.
News from Uplowman October 2019
The Parish Council's meeting on 19th September covered a wide range of topics and agreed on several projects for the coming year.
The Devon Air Ambulance is proposing to establish a night landing site on the recreation field. This would require setting up a light that would be used only on the very rare occasions when the helicopter needs to land. The PC considered that this would be a huge benefit to the community and will be looking into more details of what will be required and how it may be funded.
As part of the on-going refurbishment of the bus shelter the PC will obtain bicycle racks for youngsters who cycle to the school bus from Whitnage and other corners of the parish. A suitable location for the rack is being investigated.
We heard from our DCC councillor, Colin Slade, about Devon's drive towards zero carbon. UPC decided that our initial contribution to the climate change emergency will be to investigate installation of an electric car charge point in the village. This was also a suggestion made in the parish planning consultation last year. Watch this space!
There was considerable discussion of the challenges posed by the Uplowman Road diversion up Putson Lane and the conflicts with construction traffic in the narrow sections. We will be writing to DCC to explain how this is affecting lives and businesses in Uplowman.
Cllr Nicky Branton has obtained a number of 'footpath' and 'please close the gate' signs from DCC. If you have footpaths on your land and would like one then please contact her or email the PC address and I'll forward the request.
News from Uplowman Dec 18
Our PC meeting on 15 November discussed a range of issues.
Top of the list was a universal admiration of and gratitude to all who contributed to making the Armistice Centenary weekend one for the whole village to come together to remember those dark days 100 years ago and to celebrate their ending. The councillors agreed that the whole weekend of displays, remembrance and community celebration had been a wonderful time and they formally wished to thank everyone involved. There were too many involved to single out any individual. The photo shows a terrific collection of WW1 memorabilia put together in the church by Uplowman residents to commemorate the sacrifices and achievements of their forebears.
There was also considerable debate about the planned changes to Uplowman Road when construction of Braid Park starts on the eastern edge of Tiverton. UPC had a meeting with developers and is now satisfied that the improvements to Putson Lane (the road past the golf course) will provide a suitable route once Uplowman Road is closed. The long term plan is for a new route through Braid Park that exits through the Post Hill hospice site but it's unclear when that will be available.
Thanks were expressed to the SP magazine for their grant that has enabled the purchase of a digital projector for the village hall. This was first used during the Armistice Centenary weekend and will be much appreciated by village groups.
The PC voted to increase the precept next year by £100, roughly 3%, in line with inflation. This amounts to 60p per household in the parish and will be the first increase for 4 years. Now that UPC has achieved its planned reserves, it will be able to fund small projects around the parish. For any parishioners who feel an urge to get involved in promoting such projects, elections to the PC will take place next May. If you'd like to know what's involved then please get in touch.
Our next PC meeting will be on Thursday 17th January in the Hall, starting at 7.30pm with any contributions from the public. In the meantime, may I, on behalf of Uplowman PC, wish you all a very joyful Christmas and a prosperous New Year!
News from Uplowman May 18
We've had no meeting this month and I've been busy dealing with the Annual Audit. In case you wish to examine the books, the period set for for the exercise of public rights is 4th June to 13th July, by when all the audit information will be on our website.
The 'Celebrating Uplowman' community planning process is underway. Residents of Uplowman Parish should have received an invitation to our first open evening on 18th May, when we will share refreshments and ideas on Uplowman as a place to be and its future. This will be a great opportunity to meet people, learn what's already going on here and to contribute to shaping our community.
Our next meeting will be on Thursday 17th May in the Hall starting at 7.30pm with the PC's Annual Report and your chance to raise burning issues.
News from Uplowman April 18
Since the last time of writing we have had 'The Beast from the East' and 'Return of the Beast', both of which events resulted in significant snowfall and travel disruption around the parish. At Uplowman PC's meeting last week our councillors expressed all our gratitude to a number of public spirited individuals who got out their Manitous, excavators and other heavy equipment to clear the roads on both occasions and help get us moving again!
The 'Celebrating Uplowman' community planning process is almost ready to be launched. Please watch out for more information coming to you soon in your letter box and let us have your views on what makes our parish such a great place to be and how we can help shape it for you.
The Public Rights of Way definitive map review continues. The main change being considered is to upgrade the Whitnage Lane (that runs past Newhill Farm) to a bridleway. There will be a consultation process in due course but if you have other suggestions for changes to the definitive map then please let DCC know via the link https://new.devon.gov.uk/haveyoursay/.
News from Uplowman February 2018
We had a full house of councillors and 14 members of the public for our meeting on 18th January. The great interest resulted from two recent planning applications for new development in Uplowman; Most were not in favour of the applications and the parish council reiterated its policy that there should be no new residential development because Uplowman's isolated location and lack of transport links and shops make it an unsustainable community.
UPC confirmed that it will be seeking an annual Precept of £2,900 for the coming year. This means that Uplowman's Precept has been pegged at the same rate for four years, although there will be an apparent increase because our share of the Council Tax Reduction Grant (which forms part of our Precept request) will reduce. Local council funding is a bit of a Mastermind topic!
A steering group of 8 members of the parish has met to start work on our Parish Planning process. We will welcome further offers to help - it might be that you could represent a particular interest in the parish and could help spread the word among your group in which case please get in touch. We will get together again in the Hall on 15th Feb.
It's not too late to comment on the Uplowman Footpath Review. If you're a regular or occasional walker and have views on which footpaths are most relevant or suggestions for new rights of way then please tell Devon CC via their website. You can find it all at https://new.devon.gov.uk/haveyoursay/ and click on box number 8 (Public Rights of Way) then follow links to Uplowman Definitive Map Review or the corresponding link for Sampford Peverell if you wish to comment on theirs.
I'm sure that we will all miss Charlie Jackson and I expect there will be other tributes to him in this magazine. Charlie was a parish councillor in Uplowman when I was born and remained one until after I took over as Clerk some 45 years later, by which time he'd been Chairman for longer than many remember. He was always there whenever anything needed doing or anyone needed help. Charlie, you did a lot for Uplowman and we will miss you!
News from Uplowman December 2017
The Parish Council meeting on 16th November discussed the proposed development of a Parish Plan, as outlined at our special meeting in October. It was noted that there was considerable interest shown during the October meeting and the PC decided to make a start on the process.
In essence, the aim will be to develop a vision for Uplowman's future and an action plan for achieving that vision. What that vision is will depend on the level of involvement of everyone in the parish and what issues are identified over the next couple of years.
This community-led planning process is sponsored by the Parish Council but will not be run by it; a number of parishioners registered their interest on being involved and you should have heard from us by the time you read this with suggestions for a get-together to talk through what's needed next to guide the consultations and develop the plan. This group will need to reflect the views and interests of all the parish and must include some vital skills to make sure all goes smoothly. Thank you to those who have already offered to help; if any others would like to join them or want to hear more about the proposal then please get in touch (email to UplowmanPC@btconnect.com or phone 821239) .
The foot path review continues. The Definitive Map is available on the DCC website - there is a link below - and DCC are hoping that all who use and care about the parish foot ways will take a look and join the discussion about how our public rights of way should be defined for the next 50 years. That might include adding well-used but unrecorded paths, deleting unused ones, changing their designations (for example, to prevent vehicular use or to enable use by horses) or making diversions. Uplowman is being reviewed with Sampford Peverell as the two parishes have some footpaths in common. The PC aims to have a response for DCC after our January meeting and will welcome suggestions by all walkers in Uplowman.
News from Uplowman October 2017
Uplowman PC met on 21st September with a full house of Members and a number of parishioners. We started with a presentation by Tania Weeks, the Devon County Council Public Rights of Way Officer, who outlined the process for revising a now very long-standing Definitive Map of the footpaths of Devon.
The current Definitive Map dates from 1964 and the Uplowman paths were surveyed by the PC in 1950. Thus, while some changes have been made over the years, a full revision is long overdue! UPC will post copies of the present map on the noticeboard and in the hall. There is a summary map here. It is also available on the DCC website and DCC are hoping that all who use and care about the parish footways will take a look and join the discussion about how our public rights of way should be defined for the next 50 years. That might include adding well-used but unrecorded paths, deleting unused ones, changing their designations (for example, to prevent vehicular use or to enable use by horses) or making diversions. Uplowman is being reviewed with Sampford Peverell as the two parishes have some footpaths in common.
UPC decided last night to take a first step along the road to developing a Parish Plan. This process could lead to a very useful examination of all aspects of life in the parish and to the development of a range of UPC strategic policies. We hope that all who live in Uplowman and regard it as their home will want to get involved. We will be setting up a public meeting to outline the process in the next month or so - please keep an eye on the noticeboard or website for more details.
I can report that our Annual Audit has been completed to the satisfaction of the auditor, albeit with a couple of very minor 'advisories' covering details of how items are recorded. Please see here for the Auditor's full report.
News from Uplowman - August 2017
The Council met on July 20th for a lively discussion about development in the village, during which the Council's policy of no new residential developments was confirmed. The village is not considered suitable for development due to its lack of facilities such as bus services and shops, resulting in a high dependency on the use of private cars for access. If you have views on this then please get in touch!
Funds are available from several sources for small projects around the village. If you have ever thought 'why doesn't someone do/build/change... (something)' then please tell us about that something that troubled you and the PC might be able to find the money to sort it out.
One issue that's been raised is parking around the cross-roads at school drop-off/pick-up times. Parked cars force pedestrians to walk in the road, an obvious hazard when other cars are passing. Parents have been asked by the school to park in the Hall and we hope that this will result in safer walks to school. However, we'll monitor the situation and consider what other measures might be needed.
The defibrillator is now in place on the outside wall of the Hall (village end) and is ready for use. Two training sessions have been carried out and more could be arranged if there's demand. If you missed the previous training and would like to know more about how the defibrillator works then get in touch.
We noted that there is no longer a legal requirement to post Parish notices on the board - everyone is now deemed to have access to the Internet and can find everything on our website! However, we appreciate that some still don't use the internet and we will continue for the time being to put up printed copies of minutes, agendas and financial records on our board opposite the Redwoods. Your views on this will be welcomed too!
News from Uplowman Dec 16
Uplowman PC met on 17th November with a full house of councillors and a full Agenda to cover. This included our budget for the coming year. Although Mid Devon DC continues to reduce the Council Tax Support Grant element of the Precept, the PC anticipates maintaining the same overall level of Precept as last year, for the third year running.
The PC can apply for small grants under the Town & Parish (TAP) fund, supported by DCC. If you have an idea for a project or something needed to enhance life in the village costing around £500 then please get in touch with a councillor.
Uplowman has newly-established Tree Guardian. An enthusiastic parishioner has taken on this role to look out for our forests and woodlands and her first comments follow this report. Uplowman PC considered the matter and decided to look into ways of replacing the potential loss of trees to ash die back, sudden oak death, and the many other threats faced by our numerous parish woodlands. Please let us know if you can offer locations for replanting trees or support in other ways and watch this space!
The new Parish information centre in the former telephone box at the cross-roads has proved quite a hit with you all. The numbers of books for borrowing and exchange is rising fast and in the Spring we will be suggesting new walks for those wishing to explore the Parish. Keep an eye out in the information centre for more details.
Our next PC meeting will be held on Thursday January 19th, starting with any matters raised by parishioners at 7.30pm in the Village Hall. Meanwhile, I take this opportunity, on behalf of Uplowman PC, to wish you all a very joyful Christmas!
The Tree Health of Uplowman Parish - Preliminary notes from our Tree Guardian.
These are informal notes and observations made around Uplowman Parish over the past few months. I have lived here for fifty two years and have noted many changes throughout that time.
The main concern countrywide is ash die-back and though there is no evidence of it yet, it is bound to arrive sooner or later as numbers of affected trees elsewhere are increasing. The general height of forestry in the skyline will be dramatically reduced as it was after the Dutch elm disease. To counteract the loss the planting of taller types of trees should be started as soon as possible. Devon Wildlife Trust is already pushing forward with and initiative to protect the nation's tree heritage with a wild tree seed collecting movement set up by the Royal Botanic Gardens. Also, the Woodland Trust is aiming to plant one million trees over the next year or so.
Of course, tall trees such as oak, ash, sweet chestnut and black poplar take up room and we have to have the land. Looking at some of the older trees around Uplowman House, Chieflowman and Stagg Mill can give a good idea of which species to grow and what land is needed.
The present health of our trees is very good with increased leaf cover this year and very few 'stag headed' oaks, dead trees or ailing ones. There are some notably magnificent examples of great age that have been (and still are) well looked after and several pockets of more recently planted groups dating from the 'plant a tree in '73' movement, the Queen's Silver Jubilee and the Millennium. If anyone wishes to see how rapidly trees grow in ideal conditions I recommend a trip to the Silver Wood in Kentisbeare – quite amazing. Last, but not least, many farmers have allowed saplings to grow in hedge lines, which have helped to form desirable wildlife corridors, enabling birds to further their habitat.
Mass plantings by councils on motorway embankments, etc, have been transformed into glorious technicoloured ribbons this Autumn but the word is not to plant continental imports as has been done until recently. There are difference in the species which don't help our indigenous counterparts with pollination or wildlife.
The photo shows a fine skyline of well-established trees in the parish. New plantings now can help to mitigate their potential loss when sudden oak death and ash die-back start to take their toll.
News from Uplowman Nov 2016
There's been no meeting this month but some things have been moving on.
Thanks to a Town & Parish Fund grant, we have cleaned and repainted the telephone box and fitted it out as a local information centre. It now contains information about the village, about local walks and things of interest and the start of a book-swap collection that will grow with use and, we hope, provide something for all the village to enjoy. It's just opposite the Redwoods Inn - please take a look next time you are passing and let us know your suggestions for how to use this new village resource to maximum effect!
Winter's coming, along with icy roads and power cuts and similar hardships. If you have concerns about the effects of inclement weather on your local infrastructure then please talk to your local councillor and we will see what can be done to keep everything moving this winter.
News from Uplowman March 2016
We haven't had a meeting this month so there is little news to report.
As you may have noticed, work is well advanced on the signpost. The upright has been undercoated and probably will be completed by the time you read this and we are most grateful to John for doing the upright so patiently and to PHS Engineering for their magnificent work on the repairs to the fingers. Next month we should be able to include pictures of a grand restoration!
A reminder that Highways have given warning that closure of the road between Uplowman and Stag Mill Cross between 28 and 30 March is planned to enable replacement of some electricity poles.
You may like to know that minutes of PC meetings dating back to 2003, our various policies currently in force, a record of our financial transactions since last April and various other documents are available to view at www.middevon.gov.uk/uplowman. We are upgrading our website and will give more details next month, when the address will change.
News from Uplowman Feb 2016
Our meeting on 21st January enjoyed some lively and fruitful discussion. As Uplowman Parish Council prepares for the coming Age of Transparency, when you will be able to access all the parish documents on line, it is reviewing and developing its standing orders and policies. This time we talked through all the possible financial needs that the PC might have to cover from its financial reserves - it is quite a large list!
Repairs to the sign post are underway. the fingers have been done and work on the upright will have to wait for more clement weather... don't hold your breath! We plan to have it ready by Easter, resplendent in new paint.
You will have noticed a couple of emergency road closures recently. These were to fix broken pipes so no warning could be given. However, Devon Highways have given warning that closure of the road between Uplowman and Stag Mill Cross between 28 and 30 March is planned to enable replacement of some electricity poles.
You may like to know that minutes of PC meetings dating back to 2003, our various policies currently in force, a record of our financial transactions since last April and various other documents are available to view at www.middevon.gov.uk/uplowman.