Ottery St Mary Review of the Year - October to December

PUBLISHED: 11:30 02 January 2012 | UPDATED: 11:09 03 January 2012

Carl Richmond chairman of Ottery allotments at the presentation of the Bob Johnson trophy by his wife Rita Johnson to this years winners Barrie and Betty Bull in their first year. Photo by Terry Ife ref sho 0948-39-11TI

Carl Richmond chairman of Ottery allotments at the presentation of the Bob Johnson trophy by his wife Rita Johnson to this years winners Barrie and Betty Bull in their first year. Photo by Terry Ife ref sho 0948-39-11TI

Archant

A look back on events in Ottery St Mary in 2011.

OCTOBER

The ladies of Ottery were able to get to the church on time after the council altered the new bus timetable for them.

When the timetable for the increased 381 service, it meant six elderly women would miss their weekly Holy Communion at the parish church.

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A new path to help fish reach their spawning areas is being created at Head Weir by the Environment Agency.

The operations delivery team began work on a new fish pass on the River Otter, which will allow salmon and sea trout to migrate upstream.

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The ribbon was cut at Sainsbury’s by the Mayor as Ottery shoppers got their first taste of the town’s new supermarket.

Glyn Dobson was on hand to cut the ribbon on the Hind Street store with manager Warren Knight who said: “Today is a big day for us and for the town, and one we have all been looking forward to for some time.”

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Ottery’s first ever literary festival to celebrate poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge took place with a weekend of events in honour of the famous romantic, born in the town in 1834.

Beginning with an official service at the Parish Church there were guided walks around town, a special reading of the ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ an official anniversary lunch and a candlelit supper.

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The King’s School thought they had better pull out all the stops in a bid to celebrate National Poetry Month.

And what better way than to invite the Poet Laureate herself Carol Ann Duffy to speak to pupils.

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Ottery’s town band were facing eviction after failing to agree to a new tenancy agreement at the old town hall.

The town council said it had no choice after the band failed to respond to letters.

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The town council was still without a treasurer after the sudden departure of former councillor Paul Lewis in September.

There was no proposer for the position at the monthly meeting, meaning it would remain unfilled.

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A vital community service looked set to be lost unless £45,000 was found to buy a new ambulance.

The Ottery St Mary Hospital League of Friends said it needed to replace the vehicle it had bought 11 years earlier as it had become unreliable.

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Former headteacher and dedicated foster parent Rod Crook, who had received an MBE, went to Tipton Primary School to show it to pupils.

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NOVEMBER

Ottery’s carnival was lauded as a ‘fantastic night’ after 70 entries and more than £2,000 raised in donations.

Steve Pearcy, from the Ottery Carnival Committee, said he wanted to thank the public for their support, and paid tribute to all the floats and walkers, who had come from across Devon and beyond to enter the event.

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The band can strike up once more after a last-ditch agreement stopped Ottery’s musicians from being evicted.

The Ottery St Mary Silver Band was given its marching orders by the council over failing to agree to a tenancy agreement last month but the matter was resolved, allowing them to keep their home of more than 35 years in the Old Town hall.

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Tar Barrels was a flaming success as the Ottery November 5 tradition went off without a hitch.

The evening of flaming tar being carried through the town attracted thousands of visitors, but the chairman of the organising committee said their behaviour meant the event went extremely well.

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Plans were unveiled for a flood prevention scheme to protect properties damaged by waters in 2008.

The Environment Agency (EA) displayed proposals for a relief channel and divert the Thorne Farm stream.

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The mayor said it was a ‘very proud day’ for him as he announced Ottery had been awarded ‘Quality Council’ status.

Councillor Glyn Dobson said the application had been accepted, giving the council some planning powers and possible funding streams.

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Just hours before the 15-home plan for West Hill was due to be heard, it was withdrawn from the agenda after news of a controversial appeal came through.

It followed the rejection of an appeal by Blue Cedar Homes to the Planning Inspectorate for a different application.

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Both the young and old paid their respects at the Remembrance Service.

Representatives from various organisations including Brownies and Scouts laid wreaths.

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Crunch talks were arranged for Ottery’s unfinished skatepark amid concerns the project was stalling over contract negotiations.

The contractor in charge of providing the ramps was confident a deal could be done.

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Schools in Ottery were closed due to the national teachers’ strike.

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DECEMBER

A landowner said he would pay £100,000 for a bus service if his planning application won approval.

The cash pledge was a last-ditch attempt to salvage the 15-home West Hill scheme.

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The results were in after residents voted for which of the outdoor gym designs they wanted to see built in the town.

More than 300 people made their views known on which gym they would like to see developed on the Land of Canaan.

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A huge crowd went to watch the chairman of a controversial district council committee defend criticism it hadn’t listened to Ottery.

They listened to Councillor Mike Allen address concerns about future housing growth and apologise for his behaviour towards Ottery councillors.

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Despite a major agreement being reached, Ottery’s skatepark was still in the balance, as it could, once again fall short of the cash it needs.

After crisis talks between Ottery Skate and BMX Park Trust and supplier GBH reached a positive outcome, there was a warning funding still needed to be found.

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Almost 100 residents turned up to scrutinise proposals to build 140 homes in the Butts Road area.

Redrow Homes put on an exhibition at Ottery St Mary Football Club, close to the land where the homes would be developed.

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A vital community ambulance was chosen as the focus of the Ottery Herald’s CAMPAIGN 2012, as they hoped to raise £50,000.

The Ottery St Mary Hospital League of Friends bought an ambulance 11 years before, which they used to pick up around 50 people week, but it had started to suffer from mechanical faults.

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West Hill residents said they would take part in the ‘snow warden’ scheme this winter, despite Ottery Town Council opting out.

County councillor Roger Giles promised to spend several hundred pounds from his ‘locality budget’ to purchase a towable grit spreader to be used in the village.

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Despite last-minute offers, the plan to build more than 100 houses on the outskirts of Ottery was unanimously rejected by the district council.

Council officers dropped several reasons for recommending refusal in the light of the pledges of cash for a new school and 40 per cent affordable housing, committee members were strongly against the proposal.

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The New Year’s Day meet of the East Devon Hunt was moved from Ottery, with organisers saying shooting restraints had meant they had to move it.


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