Ottery St Mary news review 2012 - April to June

PUBLISHED: 07:00 31 December 2012

sho 0432 Pixie Day. photo by Phylliss Baxter.

sho 0432 Pixie Day. photo by Phylliss Baxter.

Archant

Some of the stories that made the headlines in Ottery St Mary between April and June.

April

The person who Ottery voted as their Citizen of the Year was not handed the accolade, because they didn’t live in the parish.

Mayor Glyn Dobson said rules prohibited the individual in question, who netted the most votes in a public vote, from formally receiving the honour.

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An Ottery road has been branded ‘Fly-Tip Hill’ by a resident after a garden full of building materials was causing an ‘eyesore’.

East Devon District Council confirmed it would be issuing an ‘Untidy Land Notice’ after repeated requests to clean up the property had been ignored.

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Ottery’s skateboarders and BMX riders finally got the chance to use the town’s long-awaited facility after its ‘unofficial’ opening.

Youngsters had waited years for a dedicated skatepark in Ottery, and despite many setbacks, including a contractual issue only the previous month, it was finally here.

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The price of becoming Ottery’s Lord of the Manor was slashed after a lack of interest in buying the 1,000 year-old title.

The lordship was put on the market in the autumn of 2011, for just over £9,000, but Manorial Auctioneers, who were handling the sale, said the owners had dropped their valuation.

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An Ottery teenager was to cycle the length of Britain with his two cousins for a trio of cancer charities.

Chris Williams, 16, was taking on the 900-mile challenge from Land’s End to John O’Groats, after being asked to join a team riding in memory of a cycling-mad great-uncle.

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A cyclist who had an unlucky encounter with a cat wants to highlight the importance of wearing a helmet when it saved him from serious injury.

David Morris, 61, was still left with injured ribs and damaged ligaments from the bizarre collision, but said it could have been a lot worse without his helmet.

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Tesco admitted to approaches to buy its factory land off them as the site’s co-owners readied an application for houses.

A spokesman for the supermarket giant said it was ‘reviewing options’ on its Ottery interest, after failing with its own application to build a supermarket several years ago.

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A campaign group formed to fight a housing application wanted to create Ottery’s first civic society and promote resident’s views on other contentious issues.

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There were job fears at Ottery Hospital as plans were considered for staff to double up roles to save cash.

May

Parents were still in the dark as to why the headteacher of 16 years at Ottery Primary suddenly stepped down this month.

Nobody at the school would comment further on why Doug Rylance made the shock announcement he was leaving with immediate effect.

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Controversial plans to build 130 homes in Ottery were thrown out without even reaching a committee.

Redrow Homes said it was ‘disappointed’ the proposals to build on land behind Butts Road were not even debated by councillors before being dismissed by planners at East Devon District Council.

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Ottery could have no police with powers of arrest within a year it was claimed.

PC Phil Thomas said he and his sergeant would not be replaced when they retire, due to planned cuts to neighbourhood policing.

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Glyn Dobson was re-elected for a record sixth year as Ottery’s Mayor as the council also welcomed back its former treasurer.

At the Annual Council Meeting, Cllr Dobson was returned to the position he had held since 2007, making him the town’s longest-serving Mayor.

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Ottery Town Council was to set aside £80,000 for a sports pavilion and a neighbourhood plan in a bid to justify its hefty cash reserves.

A meeting of its finance committee revealed it holds more than the recommended amount of cash in the bank, and to appease the auditor, was setting aside money for capital projects.

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The Secretary of State for Education came away ‘very impressed’ from a visit to The King’s on his tour of schools in East Devon.

Michael Gove, accompanied by local MP Hugo Swire, was given a tour by sixth-formers, and engaged in a lively debate with the school parliament.

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Ottery was officially welcoming to walkers after the town received special accreditation to help boost tourism.

Toni Williams, the town crier, announced the Walkers are Welcome status had been reached on the steps of the Old Convent.

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The mystery of the Ottery peacocks continued after more sightings of the colourful birds in the town.

Russell Southern captured two of them on camera as they flew over his garden in Franklea Close, and another resident had spotted them across the other side of town.

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Ottery painter John Puckey was chosen to be artist-in-residence at High Cross House, on the Dartington Estate.

June

Councillors clashed again over plans to build affordable housing in Tipton after a revised application came back in front of Ottery Town Council.

In January its planning committee controversially supported the proposal at Barton Orchard on a split decision, after it was amended in favour of more low-cost homes.

In June, after another narrow vote, the committee again chose to support the further amendments to the 15-house plans, despite criticism from residents.

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Ottery’s Jubilee celebrations went off in style despite the poor weather as the Mayor paid tribute to all those who attended the weekend’s events.

Across the parish, residents flocked to street parties, a jubilee ball and the lighting of beacons to mark 60 years of the Queen’s reign.

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A 10-year-old girl from Ottery landed a role on a new children’s television programme with presenters Dick and Dom.

Erin Clarke, who had been attending Stagecoach in Honiton for five years, impressed producers with her homemade audition tape and was to start filming Dick and Dom’s Hoopla.

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Members of Ottery in Bloom were left heartbroken after their special Diamond Jubilee plants were stolen just days after they were put out for the town’s celebrations.

Keith Spittlehouse said it was not the first time floral displays on St Saviours Bridge had been targeted, after they reported plants being dumped in the river last year.

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A food bank was to be launched in Ottery to provide respite for families struggling to cope in the present economic climate.

Churches Together in Ottery joined forces with a similar scheme in Honiton to provide a service to residents who could not afford to feed themselves.

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A history teacher from The King’s School was runner-up in a prestigious competition after being nominated by his own pupils

Mike Bunney, who teaches year seven pupils at the Ottery academy, narrowly missed out on becoming the South West’s Secondary School Teacher of the Year at the 2012 Pearson Teaching Awards.

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The ‘Pixies’ had their revenge as the annual Ottery event took place through the town’s streets.

The re-enactment of the ancient tradition pits local children dressed up as ‘Pixies’ against the Ottery Parish Church bell-ringers.

More than 80 brownies, cubs, beavers and rainbows dressed in fancy dress and faces painted charged up the hill.


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