New face on Ottery council

EDUCATION and the environment are the top priorities for Ottery Town Council’s newest addition.

Robin Mitchell, of Ashill Road, West Hill, was welcomed onto the council on Monday evening. Having lived in the area most of his life, first in Ottery then for the past 27 years in West Hill, he has a keen interest in how it is developing.

Robin wants to try and manage and preserve the “woodland village” nature of West Hill, keeping a particular eye on any expansion that could come about as the result of the district council’s Local Development Framework.

He said: “In the LDF it seems the village boundaries have the elasticity which gives the potential for urbanisation, and that needs to be carefully monitored.”

The 69-year-old father-of-two lectured in education at the University of Exeter, and has been a governor at the King’s School since 1988, serving 14 years as chariman. By joining the council, he hopes to extend his interest in the education and welfare of young people, which links into any future development of the area.

“King’s School is on a cramped site, we can’t expand,” he said. “Within the LDF there’s no provision for a new school site, which is important because the Building Schools for the Future programme we were part of has been scrapped. So we have an expanding area and nowhere to expand the school.”

At this early stage, he is content to learn the council ropes and see how it goes.

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“It’s a new thing for me, and I’m just getting to grips with things at the moment,” he said. “But I will do my best.”