Village Hall Committee February 2024

Date6th February 19.30 at the Village Hall
PresentNick, Alex, Stephen, Stella, Pierre, Bill, Sue
ApologiesJanet, Hamish, Maggie, Cordelia, Terry
Next meetTuesday 5th March?
Actions outstanding from previous meetingAgreement with Len about dismantling shed – see ‘Maintenance’ section below. Hamish to sort through box of files and share relevant with Janet. Advertise for a new Treasurer – note to go into March Gazette, including details on stipend.
Treasurer’s reportAccounts reviewed see bellow. Thanks to Janet for including savings account details in the summary. Concern at the rate at which outgoings are outstripping income. This will still be true (though less stark) once community kitchen grant monies of £2,244 are paid into the account at end of March. Agreement to discuss at subsequent meeting with follow-up actions on the following points. Noted that our charging costs are lower than other local village halls – also to discuss fees in March.
● Hamish to being analysis of costs and income (action from January minutes).
● Janet to clarify what is driving the sharp increase in miscellaneous charges – new hob?
● Alex to run a uSwitch comparison of electricity and gas suppliers to inform decision on new contract due end March.
Grant applications discussed. Devon Communities Together training session on grant writing, Tuesday 20th February, 10am-1pm, thank you Alex for circulating.
Hamish to apply again to ‘Growing Communities Fund’ for a further grant for community kitchen, as per request from Parish Council. Fund opens for applications on 1st April.
Alex will try again for £20k Lottery Fund grant. Priority items for investment to be discussed at March meeting.
Gittisham Parish Hall Accounts – 1st April 2023 to 31 March 2024Gittisham Parish Hall Accounts – 1st April 2023 to 31 March 2024
2022/231.04.22- – 31.01.242022/231.04.22-
Balance brought forward6,258.80Insurance643.79643.79690.38
Non-domestic rates0.000.000.00
Hire of Hall4,953.504,490.755,090.30Cleaning/grass cutting748.57718.57803.62
Social Events1,791.041,219.54956.75Maintenance/Equipment3,624.973,198.043,840.11
Miscellaneous175.9825.985.91Miscellaneous(inc. bank charges)269.50256.37986.84
Redwood Deposit A/c£26,811.22
MaintenanceChildproof fence for hirers, Len taking forwards. Ideally needs to be in place by end of February. What type of fence – committee not clear without Hamish present? Hamish to ensure taken forwards. Shed removal. Yes wait for warmer months but steer from committee was to pay a firm for removal and get it all done in one go. Stephen to get quote from Hani for full removal. Second shed has leaking roof. No action. Boiler installation taking place this Thursday morning, 8am. Well done everyone and especially Nick and Alex for getting us to a solution. Committee agreed that funds for the boiler should be taken from the savings account, not the current account, and authorised Treasurer to make that transfer. There was some debate about what our long-term investment / refurbishment priorities are. For instance, how much of a priority is the sewage pipe works? Can we agree a prioritisation list at the AGM, which we can use as a touchstone throughout the year?
BookingsWell done to everyone and especially Sue and Alex for organising a fantastic Burns Night. Warm feedback from Honiton Carers and other guests all obviously had a brilliant evening.
Future eventsAuction of promises 10th February. Proceeds will raise money for the church. The committee agreed to reduce the booking fee to nothing. Nick to message Helen, copying Carol so she can invoice accordingly.

Friday 1st, skittles and darts. Stephen to add a note to the Gazette and advertise on WattsApp. Alex offered to help set up. Mav is down to collect the Skittles again. Committee agreed to not charge for entry, but possibly a raffle. If successful, run again another evening in March? Agree in March.

Fete, 31st August. Can the village hall committee run the bar? – yes we can.

Cabaret in December.

Other ideas: The Committee was keen for a quiz in April and possibly a regular monthly quiz booking. A regular slot gets on calendar and brings people from wider? Share load of quiz-setting around the village? Return to this in March. Father’s Day BBQ?
Cream tea with art exhibition.
AOBStephen volunteered to take on some secretariat duties, including publishing historic minutes on GVH website.

Gittisham Gazette February 2024

A monthly community newsletter published by St Michael’s Church and Gittisham Parish Council
    What’s On?   
Village hall  

Auction of promises Saturday 10th February  

Pierre’s Kitchen
Sunday, Feb 11th  

Tip Tip Toe
Tuesday, Feb 13th 4.30 pm Open to all children from the parish. Bring a plate of party food.  

Skittles and family fun
Friday 1st March  

Church Services

Sunday, Feb 11th 11 am Holy Communion, St Paul’s Honiton with Bishop Jackie  

Ash Wednesday, Feb 14th Holy Communion Imposition of Ashes St Paul’s Honiton 11 am & 7 pm
St Michael’s Imposition of Ashes 7pm  

Sunday, Feb 25th 11 am Holy Communion  

  Job Vacancy

Village Hall Treasurer Details from Hamish Hall
07880 178297    
Haggis and dancing at the village hall (Midweek Herald)  Hamish Stabbing Haggis
A wonderful write-up in the Midweek Herald about our legendary Burn’s Night celebration at the village hall “Haggis, mashed potatoes swedes were served followed by a trio of tray bakes with ice cream. To say the food was delicious is an understatement as it truly was outstanding and there were even seconds for everyone who could manage it after the generous first helpings.” A well-stocked raffle followed, with lovely prizes. Winnie from the Honiton Carers said “Folk dancing followed with caller Mary who as usually kept us going nonstop. This is definitely a highlight of the evening as so much fun is had by all the participants who try to carry out Mary’s instructions with much enthusiasm.
Village hall committee serve burns night food
“Thank you to organiser Hamish and the committee for allowing us to join them all again this year. We will definitely be back next year, as this is an evening not to be missed for sure.” Get in touch with Win on or phone 07974 636926, to find out more about the Honiton Carers.   Honiton Youth Club are looking for a fun and dynamic person to join our youth club sessions as a paid, part-time support worker. You’ll be supporting the Lead Youth Worker on Tuesday and Thursday evenings to support and engage the young people and children of Honiton. Experience with young people is highly desired, qualifications are not essential.

Table Talk

A Game of Conversations

Do you like to ponder on the big questions of life and wonder what others think? There will be an opportunity to think about a topic a week over five weeks to do just that!

Bring a friend, grab a drink, join a table and pick a question you fancy.

At the Otter Inn, Weston every Wednesday 7pm starting 21st Feb and continuing throughout Lent. Convened by Julia Barrett

Changes to the 200 Club

The 200 club was first started in1984 as a way of raising much need funds for the upkeep and maintenance of the Church and it remains a popular way of enabling everyone within and beyond the Parish to maintain a connection with our beautiful village church. However, the value of £1 since 1984 has depreciated considerably – the equivalent value today of £1 is 25p! During which time, the 200 subscription cost of £12 per annum (£1 per monthly draw) has not changed while the running costs have risen considerably. St Michael’s PCC has therefore carried out a much-needed review in order to ensure that the 200 club remains viable while at the same time fulfilling its original purpose and has decided to raise the subscription fee while at the same time also raising the prize money to ensure the 200 club remains attractive to its members. We really don’t want to lose you! A tall order, one might think! But having discussed this at length and consulted with our ‘Coffee Together’ members who are also enthusiastic 200 Club members, we believe we have come up with a solution that will enable the 200 Club to thrive for many more years! The timetable for implementation of changes is as follows:

February – all present 200 Club members will receive letters informing them of the changes, new subscription rates and increased prize money.

March – the last draw under the present system will take place March 16th at Coffee Together at the Coffee Together Club in the Parish Room.

April – no draw to allow time for the set-up of the administration of the new 200 Club

May – May 18th Launch of new 200 Club with first draw at ‘Coffee Together, Parish Room.

If you are not already a member of the 200 Club and would like to join please contact Janet Twist at for further information.

February 200 Club

Prize Winners

1. Jackson King

2. Jonathan Aylen

3. John Boswell

4. Emma Fuller

5. Phyllis Broadhurst

The Beehive, Honiton

March is packed full with live music at The Beehive Honiton.

We have the sensational Elton John Show on Saturday 2nd March. If French music is your thing, why not come along to our evening show with Fifi La Mer and be transported to Paris on 7th March. We have the brilliant Gary Moore Blues Experience coming to Honiton on Saturday 9th March and The Beehive’s residency – Deane Big Band on March 21st, expect an evening in the 1970’s from Fusion to Disco!  Dance the night away with From Gold To Rio on Friday 15th they’ll take you on a nostalgic journey back to the New Romantic era which ruled the charts for over a decade- Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran. Baskery will be performing on 16th March who play a combination of classic ‘roots music and Americana’. 

Come and visit us at The Beehive Honiton where you can find out lots more about our other shows including A Country Music Songbook theatre show as well as The All Seasons show celebrating the work of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons.

01404 384050. The Beehive, Dowell Street, EX14 1LZ. 


Please share your experience of issues caused by the continuing delay in installing superfast broadband in Gittisham village with your Parish Council via or telephone 07535 233558.


Five councillors met for the February meeting. Alasdair Bruce (EDDC) was also present.

Water quality. The focus on seawater bathing quality is a hot topic at present and rightly so, said Alasdair Bruce. He explained there is much anecdotal evidence from outdoor swimmers of a major deterioration in the quality of our coastal waters. Many experience stomach illness and ear infections, even dog walkers tell him their animals are sometimes poorly after a stroll on the beach. With this in mind, Alasdair Bruce thought the parish might be interested in some figures recently released by the EDDC coastal officer:

Permitted Discharges from CSOs (storm overflow discharge): In total in 2023 there were the following (the number in brackets is the number that fell within the formal bathing season May 15th  September 30th) Sandy Bay 21 (8), Exmouth 40 (15), Budleigh 44 (15), Sidmouth 28 (10) Beer 32 (13), Seaton 31(12). Given that in their Water Fit document South West Water commits to achieving no more than 20 discharges at any given beach, this is pretty poor performance.

Devolution. In his absence, Phil Twiss sent a report explaining that the Government had published proposals for a deal that could re-draw the future relationship between local government in Devon, Torbay and Whitehall. It’s hoped that additional powers with the cash that follows will happen in future years. This would enable more decisions to be made locally by people who know their areas best and on things that matter to local people such as building more affordable homes, investing in new quality jobs and skills, and improving public transport.

Finance. Members agreed on the finances.

Crimes. Due to an ongoing error on the Police UK website, it is not possible to report crime statistics.

Planning applications.

a) 8 Campion Way, Honiton – T1, Oak approx. 14 metres high and 14 metres wide at all points; to pollard back to the previous pollard position when work was last carried out in 2016. No objection.

b) Rapshayes Farm, Gittisham – Variation of condition 2 (approved plans) of planning permission 20/0782/LBC (Conversion of barn to holiday accommodation) to change the proposed roof covering from clay Roman tiles to natural slate. No objection.

c) Kings Arms Farm Nags Head Road, Gittisham– House of multiple occupation (HMO), that provides individual living-rooms for vulnerable people; the facility includes communal areas for socialising, cooking and dining set with private and secure gardens. No objection.

Road closures. 20 March: the road to Catshayes closed to install sewer-level equipment.

Broadband. Adam Powell said he had drafted a letter to Richard Foorde MP regarding the continuing delay of installing superfast broadband in Gittisham village. Councillors agreed he should use the village WhatsApp group to build a picture of the issues people experience. To share your experience, please contact or telephone 07535 233558.

Play area. The clerk reported that she had accepted the offer of a free silver birch tree from Devon Wildlife Trust. The organisation is offering parish councils in East Devon, North Devon and Torridge a “landmark” tree to help combat the devastating effect Ash Dieback is having on the landscape.

Next meeting. Thursday 7th March at 7.30 pm in the parish room.

Parish Council links      Who’s who                

Emergency Plan     

Parish Council Clerk       Email:                   Tel: 01404 851442

Gittisham Gazette January 2024

A monthly community newsletter published by St Michael’s Church and Gittisham Parish Council

    What’s On?  

Weds 9th Jan 5.30-7.30pm Pizza Van at the church  

Sunday 14th Jan 10-4 Pierre’s Cafe  

Sunday Jan 14th 11am
Holy Communion, St Michael’s Church, Gittisham  

Tuesday 30th Jan 5.30pm
Fete meeting. Come along if you’d like to get involved  

3rd Feb
Burns Night     at the village hall. Tickets from       Hamish Hall  

Saturday 10th Feb    
Auction of Promises  

Sunday Feb 11th   11am
Holy Communion at St Paul’s Honiton with Bishop Jackie  

Sunday Feb 25th   11am
Holy Communion at St Michaels  

Skittles at the village hall 1st March    

January 200 Club Winners 1.Vicky McLachlan Clark
2.Julia Barrett
3.Ann Stansell
4.Auralia Wakley Beddows 5.Paula Madden  

Gittisham Cabaret 13&14 December Contact                      Sara Agg-Manning if you’d like to be involved with acting, writing, etc. All welcome  

Connor’s Graduation

Connor Graduation photo

Connor passed his degree in Rescue and Emergency Management. His graduation was on the 10th November and was held in Truro cathedral. We are extremely proud of his accomplishments over the last few years. Looking forward to see what other goals he will achieve. Well done

Community Kitchen Meeting

Directly following the meal on Thursday 25th January we will be having a short meeting to discuss the progress of the community kitchen and arrangements for the coming year.  We hope to start the meeting at about 7.30pm so please stay on after the meal or for those who don’t want to eat, feel free to turn up at around that time.  If you are not able to make it on the day please pass on any views you may have to someone who is going to attend.  The following are usually a pretty safe bet: Sara and Bill, Sue and David, Stella or Alex. It would be good to have as many views as possible from all interested parties so we’ll hope for a good turnout!

Superfast Broadband

Jurassic Fibre (now All Points Fibre) will not be installing superfast broadband to Gittisham Village. The Parish Council asked their Head of Strategic Partnerships to join their recent meeting but due to issues with broadband it was not possible to connect to enable this remote meeting. Councillor Phil Twiss said that the company Airband will now be the most likely to deliver fibre. The Parish Council is writing to Richard Foorde MP to explain our situation and the delays we’ve experienced.

Pierre’s Café

Banish the January blues with a visit to Pierre’s pop-up café, Sunday 14th January.  We’ll be open from 10am until 4pm in Gittisham Village Hall, serving a range of homemade meals including croissants, pastries and cakes.  Please book if you’d like to come for lunch so we can have an idea of numbers.  Pierre will be making galette des rois for one of the desserts, a sweet puff pastry pie made with almonds traditionally eaten at this time of year in France.  For further information or to book, call 07545 214940.  Bon appétit!

St Michael’s Church, Gittisham

Nativity photo

All our Advent and Christmas Services including our Advent Concert and Carols at the Lychgate were well attended and enjoyed by everyone. The concert was a wonderful start to the season and raised over £700 with the proceeds donated to the Force Cancer Charity and St Michael’s Church. And so a big ‘Thankyou’ to all who came, support and helped to make it such a lovely occasion and also of course to David and Alison and her fellow singers!

Our Carol Service with the Children’s Nativity Tableau also proved popular as did Carols on the Green with the Honiton Band which has become an annual event with the band already booked for Christmas 2024! Finally, it was lovely to see you so many at our Christmas Midnight and Morning Services and again thank you to all who gave so generously with fifty per cent of the collections taken going To the Force Cancer and Hospiscare Charities.

With all good wishes for the New Year from Julia and all at St Michael’s.

Gittisham Fete

The fete will be on August 31st this year. We will be having a planning meeting on Jan 30th at 5.30pm in the hall. All are welcome.

Auction Of Promises Saturday 10th Febuary 7pm, Gittisham Village Hall

Gittisham Village Hall

Tufty Tots

Hello! My name is Jasmine, I am a great niece of Uncle Reg and Pam Chown and have strong family connections with Gittisham. My family and I now live in Honiton but enjoy visiting the park. My husband and I have two young daughters- who keep us very busy. Tom is a graphic designer and I am a primary school teacher. During my childhood visits and family parties  I often visited the Gittisham Village Hall. The beautiful building and space has now inspired me to start up TuftyTots, baby and toddler classes.

I will be running- Tufty Tots – on a Thursday morning. The classes will run from 9.30-11.30 with inclusive activities tailored for children from 6 months- 4 years old. The sessions will include stories, songs, sensory activities and tuft tray activities to ignite curiosity and imagination. To look after the adults there will of course be a selection of homemade cakes and strong coffee!  And time for a good natter. 

TuftyTots classes will be informed by the Early Years Framework- to develop a love for learning and help children to reach their milestones.

On the last Saturday of each month we will also be running a family  – stay and play brunch – these will be themed, based on books and children’s interests such as dinosaurs or princesses! No age limit. 

TuftyTots is still in the planning stages, but soon we will have a website and more information available. TuftyTots will be launched in March, but booking will be available from February. During the Thursdays in February I will be running pilot sessions for families and friends so you may see and hear little people mischief in and around the hall! I ask for your patience with families parking in and around your lovely village. If there are any problems or parking queries please do not hesitate to pop in and see me or ask Carol Hall for my contact details. 

Kind regards and best wishes, Jasmine Chugg-Rogers

Beehive Honiton Whats On


Six councillors met for the January meeting. One member of the public was also present.

DCC Budget. In his report Phil Twiss (DCC) said that setting DCC’s budget for the next financial year would once again be a challenging task. More than 79% of the net revenue budget of £743.4 million proposed for 2024/25 is spent on children’s and adult service areas i.e. £588.5m with £154.8m for the others. The council is identifying savings and alternative sources of income, including grants, but the majority is derived from council tax and business rates. He explained that social care provision is particularly impacted by increases to the national living wage, which at first glance a 30p per hour increase announced by the Government does not seem vast. However, it will add an extra £25.7m to the DCC wage bill, which will need to come from further savings and efficiencies.

Broadband. Following the acquisition of Jurassic Fibre and three other internet service providers, All Points Fibre (APF, part of Fern Trading) has looked again at the business case for bringing full fibre broadband to Gittisham village. A representative of APF was due to join the meeting remotely, but due to issues with broadband it was not possible to connect. Members expressed their profound disappointment that the company would not be pursuing its roll-out, which APF explained was no longer commercially viable. Phil Twiss indicated in a recent email that the contract for Airband to deliver the roll-out under the Connecting Devon & Somerset scheme appeared to be the most likely option.

Finance. Members agreed the budget for 2024/25 and the parish precept was increased to £10,139.08; as the population of the parish has increased, this should not represent a rise at the individual level.

Crimes. Due to an ongoing error on the Police UK website, it is not possible to report crime statistics. In his report, Alasdair Bruce (EDDC) said the ongoing issue of anti- social behaviour on the Hayne Farm development has been raised with Sovereign Housing and the council officer whose brief it is.

Donations. Members agreed to donate money to Force, Diabetes UK, TRIP, Citizens Advice and Hospiscare.

Road closures. 20 March: road to Catshayes closed to install sewer level equipment.

Play area. The Chair and Vice Chair signed the grant funding agreement for EDDC to release S106 funds to allow the parish council to go ahead with the purchase of the outdoor ping pong table.

Limited residential development. David Valentine said Gittisham Community Land Trust was drawing up a memorandum of understanding with Combe Estate. The planning application is due to be submitted very soon. Research into a possible housing association partner is ongoing.

Footpath. Councillors discussed how they could take forward the proposal for a permissive path connecting the Hayne Farm development with Gittisham village. All agreed it would fit with the parish council’s climate change agenda and take cars off the road. Adam Powell (new parish councillor, Gittisham Vale) highlighted the success of a recently created path linking Feniton and Colestocks.

Next meeting. Thursday 1 st February at 7.30pm in the parish room. The Chair wished everyone a happy New Year.

Parish Council links      Who’s who                

Emergency Plan     

Parish Council Clerk       Email:                   Tel: 01404 851442

Gittisham Gazette December 2023

Gittisham GazetteDec ‘23 Edition  
A monthly community newsletter published by St Michael’s Church and Gittisham Parish Council

What’s On?

at St Michael’s Church, Gittisham

Carol Service

Sunday Dec 17th 4.45 pm

Festive drinks and mince pies during the interval

Carols on the Green

Friday Dec 22nd 5pm

at the Lychgate with the Honiton Town Band, Sausages and Mulled Wine

Christmas Eve

Midnight Eucharist at 11.30pm

Christmas Day

Holy Communion at 11am


Village dogs Reggie and Fig, both celebrated their 2nd birthdays this month

And this little chap paid an unexpected visit after about 400 years of absence:

Christmas Message from Julia Barratt  

As I write, we are still at the beginning of Advent when we are reminded of God’s time breaking through into our ordinary human time as we prepare to celebrate God’s coming among us in the form of vulnerable human baby‘ God with us’, entirely dependent on our care. The infinite breaking into the finite as glimpsed in moments of joy and wonder at the Advent Sunday Concert in our beautifully decorated Church filled with people, music and song, when it felt like Christmas Day had already arrived! God’s time ‘Kairos’ that is not dependent on ‘Chronos’ – human clock time. How often do we arrive at Christmas Day exhausted after weeks of preparation, of shopping and baking, making or buying and wrapping presents, writing cards, racing to catch the last post, cleaning and decorating the house so as to be ready for guests- only to find that we are disappointed, that somehow our expectations of the day itself are not fulfilled? My own experience of Christmas is that special moments of ‘wonder and awe’ come when I’m not expecting them. At a time unbidden, as it did a year or so ago when out for a walk one late December afternoon, as I describe in this poem ‘Winter Solstice’.   Winter Solstice The sun, low in the sky, winter’s bride, trailing shadows of our former selves, freshly bared branches – the thin end of the year. Slant-eyed, down little-used lanes, byways to a forgotten world – a hidden path; a flash of wings, scattering the hedgerows, anticipating our arrival. A long barn, peep-through slats, horned head of cattle, early lambs, wary mothers sensing our presence; a farmer mucking about with hay, a child watching – as if dreaming. Turning for home, a screech owl haunting, the sky smoking red, returning another way.   Whenever Christmas comes for you, may you be ready to recognise and receive the gift, to accept with the Shepherds and the Wise Men of Old, the invitation to ‘Come and See! To Come and Worship!   With Love and Christmas Blessings from all at St Michael’s Julia Barrett. Licensed Lay Minister in the Honiton Team Ministry. Dec 2023.
New year’s resolution? Do you need to improve your posture, balance and mobility?   Fit for Life – Margaret Morris Movement International (MMM) Classes are held in Gittisham Village Hall on Tuesday morning 10am to 11am. Cost £4 a session plus a retainer of £6 for each group of sessions. I run a group of six sessions with one week break throughout the year. My aim is to improve posture, breathing, balance, mobility and more. Our next session is on the 9th January 2024.   Margaret Morris Movement (MMM) is a unique system of exercise, dance and movement training. It encompasses recreational, therapeutic, athletic and creative elements of dance and exercise for all ages. Developed by Margaret Morris a Scottish dancer and choreographer it achieves a perfect balance between set exercises and free movement expression.   Contact Marjorie ( 01404 41090 07870530766     Presentation to Carol McCann   We had intended to make a presentation Carol McCann for almost 30 years of service as Churchwarden earlier in the year at the Fete and Flower Festival Service but sadly Carol was not well enough to attend. However Sarah Agg-Manning recently visited Carol at Sunningdale House in Honiton where she is at present residing and where on behalf of the PCC, Sarah presented her with two pictures representing her long term tenure as Churchwarden at St Michael’s.   The picture, showing aspects of the church, is now proudly hanging in her room. The other – a portrait taken by Julian Barjzert will be hung in the church alongside the portrait of Fred Blackmore who was another stalwart of the church in Gittisham. Carol was delighted with the pictures and the many donations from those who wanted to show their appreciation of her service. She sends her love and thanks and would be pleased to receive phone calls or visits though please note that the policy at Sunningdale is that all visits should be booked 24 hours in advance.
A message from Carol McCann
I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. As I’m still in Sunningdale care home I can’t do much about cards etc. I do hope you all have a wonderful time.  I think I will be here for a while and hope not forever.  It would be good to have visitors. I’m allowed out when I want but not on my own, I’m hoping to have a go at driving. I need to go to West Point to practice in my own car, it will give me more freedom and will help me to get out and see more people. Look forward to seeing you soon.  Much love C xxx

Oh! Christmas Tree

Over the Christmas period in our village church a Christmas tree (kindly donated by Combe Garden Centre) will be placed by the alter with lights and beside it will be tags that everyone is welcome to write a prayer or memory of someone or something special and place it on the tree.

Auction of Promises

Saturday 10th February 7 pm at the Hall

Do you have a service or skill you could donate as a lot? This would be placed in a catalogue for Auction in February in the village hall, bar and nibbles available on the night

Helen Hayman is preparing catalogues for viewing. Lots which will also be for sale with a glass of wine for entry!
Details from Helen Hayman. 07806480246


Five councillors met for the December meeting.

Flooding Councillors noted the recent flooding along the Honiton Link Road which has made it impassable. They highlighted the statement in the outstanding planning application for the proposed Combe Farm shop that the development will not increase the flood risk elsewhere. Councillors expressed serious concerns that the recent rainfall and surface water flooding have shown this proposed development to be unsuitable, and will highlight this to EDDC planners.

Councillor Walker reported that the lengthsman had been clearing the drains up Parsonage Lane, and he had also dug a hole along that stretch which had kept one entrance to Gittisham village free from flooding.

Finance. Councillors noted the finances.

Crimes. Due to an ongoing error on the Police UK website, it is not possible to report crime statistics. However other sites report 1 x violent crime in Aug 2023 for Honiton Rural, which covers several parishes. Alasdair Bruce (EDDC) said he had passed on information to EDDC and Sovereign Housing regarding an incident of anti-social behaviour at Longlands Way at Hayne Farm. Apparently this has been aggravated by unnamed residents removing the security locks on the main doors.

Road closures. 7th January 0930-1530 road through Alfington closed for BT pole work

Trains. The railway line between Salisbury and Exeter St David’s is expected to re-open on 11 th December, following work to remedy a landslip at Crewkerne. Rail replacement buses have been affected by the recent flooding.

Buses. Phil Twiss (DCC) said the £2 bus fare is to be continued until end 2024 (although there

are still cheaper fares available, depending on the journey). Not only does this help with the cost of living, it also encourages more people to use buses thereby reducing congestion and helping with decreasing carbon emissions. The revised Stagecoach timetables beyond the parish are now bedding in and there are a lot fewer complaints. Unfortunately, the changes coincided with an increase in illness, mainly respiratory infections amongst bus drivers. Resilience will improve as Stagecoach now has a full cohort at the bus training school.

Councillor vacancy, Gittisham Vale. Adam Powell was elected parish councillor for Gittisham Vale by an unanimous vote.

EDDC Local Plan. David Valentine reported that East Devon District Council has decided to proceed with the development of a second new town of 8,000 homes between Exeter Airport and Crealy. He said this was likely to have some sort of impact on the reallocation of development sites in the Local Plan.

Scam awareness. Janet Twist said WhatsApp users are being encouraged to be vigilant after scammers

hacked into accounts and asked their victim’s friends and family for money.

Beavers. Following the visit of a beaver to the River Gitt for the first time since their re-introduction, the clerk said she had reported this to the Devon Wildlife Trust who have suggested giving a presentation on how parishes can manage beaver colonies.

Next meeting. 4 th January in the parish room at 7.30pm. The Vice Chair wished Councillors, their families and all those who support the parish council a merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy New Year.

Parish Council links      Who’s who                

Emergency Plan     

Parish Council Clerk       Email:                   Tel: 01404 851442

Auction of Promises

Auction of promises in the Gittisham village hall

  • Catalogue with draw entry and drink on night- Helen Hayman
  • 07806480246
  • Plenty of lotts for everyone!
  • Proceeds towards St.Michaels, Gittisham
  • No need to book- pre Bid form available

CLT June 2021

Welcome to the June 2021 Newsletter

The Story so far

The project has been 11 years in the making. It began with the identification of the housing need by the local community, through the parish plan back in 2010. From these beginnings, the Community Land Trust has now emerged.

An initial CLT steering group began by identifying the housing need within the parish/village of Gittisham. They held several events in 2016, the outcome of which identified a need for 6 affordable houses for the community. The survey helped crystallise the view that affordable housing was needed to serve the village. The GCLT was formally registered as a Community Benefit Society in October 2018.

The GCLT then undertook a site selection process and evaluated four possible sites in the village. The preferred site was identified as the former farm buildings serving Town Farm on Exeter Hill and was subsequently endorsed by the community at a public meeting. In planning policy terms, there is no clear village boundary. The site sits outside the conservation area but it is washed over by the AONB. It is considered a rural exception site due to the local, affordable housing that it would provide for the community. This is supported in the EDDC local plan strategy 27 and through the recently adopted Affordable Housing, Supplementary Planning Document. The site also benefits from a previous planning permission granted in 1999 for offices and storage buildings. Whilst the currently proposed use for the site is very different to the historic approval, many of the same issues of access and landscape impact remain the same.

Discussions with EDDC Housing resulted in a mix of units, 4 x 2 bed and 2 x 3 bed, being agreed to provide the best balance of accommodation for the need identified. Throughout the project, the land owners, the Combe Estate have been entirely supportive of this community project. They have provided the site and will benefit by the provision of 3 serviced plots for estate usage. They have signed a heads of terms agreement for a conditional land purchase with the CLT. They have also asked the community to lead the project as much as is possible and the architects appointed by the CLT are also acting for the estate. This has all helped derive a scheme that has been directed entirely by the needs of the CLT.

The architect’fs (ECA) have been given a clearly defined brief and a ‘eclean’f site. Following numerous meetings on Zoom the project has evolved into a unique scheme that picks up on aspects of the village in terms of layout, materials, setting and scale.

We are now at a stage where we can present a preferred scheme through a public consultation with the community. The details of the preferred scheme will be on display for public viewing and comment in the Village Hall on Friday 11th June 2021 from 3.00pm to 8.00pm. Representatives from the architects, the GCLT, Combe Estate, and our Housing Association partner, will be on hand to answer questions and receive comments. On behalf of the GCLT I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible.

I anticipate that there will be enquiries about allocation procedures and I will issue more details in the next Newsletter but for the time being here is a very basic summary.

The properties will be allocated through Devon Home Choice. Anyone who wishes to apply for occupancy of one of the dwellings MUST be registered with Devon Home Choice. This process will result in establishing the level of “housing need” that should be allocated to the applicant. Potential applicants are assessed and placed into one of 5 priority bands, ranging from band A (emergency housing need) to band E (no housing need). In addition to “need” applicants will also be required to show that they have a “local connection” to the village and/or parish. A “local connection” is a connection to the “community area” – that is within 1.2 km of St Michaels Church tower as a first priority and to the “adjacent area” which is the rest of the parish and the surrounding parishes (except Honiton town) as a second priority. Within the “local connection” requirement there are also further priorities regarding existing/previous residency or employment within either the community or adjacent areas, e.g.

4.2.1 Persons who have been permanently resident in the “gCommunity Area”h for a continuous period of three years out of the five years immediately prior to the affordable housing being offered to them;

4.2.2 Having his or her place of permanent work (normally regarded as 16 hours or more a week and not including seasonal employment) in the “Community Area” for a continuous period of at least 12 months prior to being offered the affordable dwelling;

4.2.3 Persons who can demonstrate a close family connection to the “Community Area” in that the persons mother, father, son, daughter or sibling has been permanently resident therein for a continuous period of five years immediately prior to the affordable dwelling being offered to them and where there is independent evidence of a caring dependency relationship.

4.2.4 Being formerly permanently a resident in the “Community Area” for a continuous period of five years at some time in the past.

The picture can appear complex and this is a very general summary. It will be formalised in a Housing Allocation Plan which will be endorsed through the Section 106 Agreement which will be attached to the planning permission.

David Valentine

Company Secretary:
Helen Hayman, Gittisham Farm, GITTISHAM. EX14 3AX

Categories CLT

CLT May 2021

Welcome to the 2021 Spring Newsletter

I hope you are all safe and well. The last Newsletter was issued in November last year and a lot has taken place over the last 5 months.

Having appointed our architect (ECA Architects) and housing association (South Devon Rural HA) partners, we established a Project Team which includes ECA, SDRHA, Consulting Engineers (Craddy’fs), Combe Estate, 3 members of GCLT Board and Wessex CLT Project (our long suffering adviser’fs). The Project Team meets regularly and the notes of the meeting are circulated to the GCLT Board for information and comment.

The architect has probably been the busiest member of the team with the consulting engineers running a close second.

The site itself presents a number of challenges not least those which relate to finding a point of access which meets highway authority (DCC) standards and how to deal with surface water runoff. There is also an interesting challenge for the architect in that they are having to respond to 3 clients – the expectations of Gittisham CLT, the Combe Estate and the financial constraints imposed on the Housing Association which arise from the Government funding for the construction costs.

The initial work of the Project Team focused on footprint design. A number of options have been assessed and debated within the team. The Zoom channel has been pretty busy! There was an initial brief provided for the architect which, in short, required the architect to come forward with a proposal which respected the sensitivity of the location and the setting of the site in relation to the village and the form of development within the village. Work has now been extended to looking at design, construction and surface materials. The village has a wide range of traditional materials and elements taken from this palette of materials are being considered in the onsite design. Thatch is not on the agenda!!

Alongside the work of the Project Team discussions have continued with EDDC and it has been encouraging to have received support for the GCLT proposals from the Housing department. The normal practice regarding engagement with the Planning department involves the making of a Pre Planning Application (Pre App) submission which outlines the case for the application together with the design evolution and gives the planning officer the opportunity to identify any additional areas of information (or possible areas of amendment) which would benefit the consideration of the planning application following its formal submission. After burning some midnight oil the Pre App submission was made on 25th February. We have now received the Pre App response which has put forward a number of points to consider and concludes:

“The principle of development is acceptable providing the application is accompanied by the relevant needs survey and supporting information. The layout and design may require some alterations however the general concept is supported.”

The  Project Team have submitted further comments addressing the points made within the EDDC response and as mentioned earlier, is now putting together the detail of the dwelling design, ground treatments, on and off site technical infrastructure, landscaping and boundary details etc.. Please don’ft expect ‘eGrand Designs’f and remember that building costs have to be controlled in order that rentals are truly at an affordable level. The full application submission will include the designs for the 3 estate plots (Combe are employing the same architects) so we will have a comprehensive picture of how the development will appear.

A date has now been set for a Public Exhibition displaying all the details of the development including the 3 estate dwellings. This date is 11th June in the Village Hall between 3.00pm and 8.00pm. The architects together with the Housing Association, the Estate, Board members of GCLT and hopefully a representative from EDDC housing, will be in attendance to answer questions. Comments will be recorded and considered after the exhibition date. As an initial stage to this period of public consultation I am circulating details of the proposed site layout and these are attached as a PDF. These details are also being circulated with the May Gazette. If you would like to make any initial comments then please send them to me at

David Valentine

Company Secretary:
Helen Hayman, Gittisham Farm, GITTISHAM. EX14 3AX

Categories CLT

CLT November 2020

Welcome to the 2020 Autumn Newsletter

I hope you are all safe and well.

At the Annual General Meeting held on the 10th November 2020 the following Directors were reappointed:

Maggie Walker
John Adamson
Russell Hayman

The other Directors are:

David Valentine
Helen Hayman
Damian Furniss
Carol Hall
Andy Wilkins
Owen Morgan
Terry Kitchen
Fiona Clampin

Subsequently, the Board has reappointed David as Chairman, Helen as Secretary and Damian as Treasurer.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE NEXT BOARD MEETING WILL START AT 7.00 pm on Tuesday 8 th December (via Zoom – details to follow shortly)

It has been quite a challenging time – I can’ft think why!!! The work of the GCLT has carried on throughout the various lockdowns. We have spent the past 6 months appointing consultants to undertake onsite surveys which are a necessity for the architects and engineers acting on our behalf and are required as part of the package of information required in the preparation of, and, to support the planning application. These surveys are nearly complete. We spent a very interesting time over the summer months looking at a number of architect submissions before we shortlisted, interviewed and subsequently appointed ECA as our architect partner.

More recently we have been interviewing Housing Associations with a view to becoming our partners in constructing and subsequently managing the tenancies of the new dwellings. In this respect we have now appointed South Devon Rural Housing Association. These appointments have enabled us to establish a Project Team which will meet on a monthly basis and which, initially, will inform and take forward the important design stages. The Project Team includes the architects (ECA), the housing association (SDRHA), the engineers (highways, foul and surface water drainage and onsite ground conditions, etc), Wessex CLT Project (our advisers), 3 members from the CLT Board and Combe Estate. The Project Team will report back the GCLT Board.

The land for this development is being provided by the Combe Estate at no cost to the GCLT however the Estate will have the benefit of 3 serviced plots as part of the development. The total number of units to be built will be 9 dwellings (6 for GCLT and 3 for the Estate). The support of the Estate is crucial to this development and it is intended that the planning application will be submitted as a comprehensive development of 9 dwellings. The architects, ECA, are acting on behalf of both GCLT and Combe Estate which makes life a lot easier.

We are now in the design stage and the Project Team will shortly be looking at options prepared by the architects. I am hoping that we can bring forward from the options a Preferred Proposal which we can then present to the community for their comment and endorsement. The details of this public consultation are yet to be finalized but will be advertised widely once we are in a position to satisfy any COVID 19 restrictions.

The progress has been steady over the past 6 months and there are still a number of challenges to overcome. The planning process with EDDC is perhaps the biggest challenge. The case for this development has been informally presented to the Planning Team at EDDC and we will be having pre-application discussions with the officers early next year with a view to presenting a full planning application during Spring 2021.

OK that’fs all for now. There are a number of festive village events coming up in December and it would be nice to say hello and have a chat either virtually or socially distanced in the village – I guess it will depend on which tier we are placed.

David Valentine

Company Secretary:
Helen Hayman, Gittisham Farm, GITTISHAM. EX14 3AX

CLT August 2020

Welcome to the August 2020 GCLT newsletter

Morning everyone. I see most of you around the village and it is a relief to see that the village and Vale is in pretty good health and, as far as I know, Covid-19 free. I thought that I should circulate to you all an update on progress and activity that we within GCLT have been up to since the last March Newsletter.

The direction is, of course, steadily forward together with a lot of paddling going on just beneath the surface.

We were due to have an AGM on 19th March but the “glock down”h prevented that taking place. At the moment the AGM is postponed. The legal basis for the GCLT is that we are registered as a Community Benefit Society and our current society Rules require the society to hold an AGM. In theory, therefore, a decision to postpone the AGM would mean that the society is in breach of its Rules and Members of the society could challenge the CLT through the courts on this point. I would hope that this is unlikely given the circumstances but it would be good practice to invite you as Members to comment should you so wish. Any comments to

An important item on an AGM agenda is the approval of the annual accounts. In the absence of an AGM the annual accounts for 2018/19 have been submitted to FCA and HMRC and the accounts for 2019/20 are currently in preparation. The 2018/19 accounts, in reality, covered a mainly dormant accounting period which was reflected in the returns. As far as the 2019/2020 returns are concerned the vast majority of accountancy has been in respect of income from grants received together with minimal expenditure. 2020/2021 will look a little different as we have appointed solicitors to act on our behalf and are now in the process of appointing architects and site investigation consultants. These consultants will be preparing reports on ground investigations, ecology, trees and other engineering and topographical detail – all essential items which will inform the design process.

The site investigation works are due to commence during August and we hope that architects will be appointed early in September. A number of architects have expressed an interest in acting on behalf of GCLT and we will be undertaking an interview process before finalizing the appointment. Once appointed the chosen architects will become part of a Project Team which will include representatives from GCLT, the Housing Association (HA), the architects, Combe Estate and Wessex CLT Project. Other advisors/consultants will be co-opted as necessary. The Project Team will report back to the GCLT Board and the village/parish community will be consulted at appropriate stages during the design process. The work of the Project Team is key to the management of the project throughout the next period prior to and during construction. Within this period the planning application will be submitted. We need to be realistic in our expectations in relation to the completion of the planning process but I would like to set a target of June/July 2021 for this to be concluded.

Once planning permission has been obtained it will be for the HA to apply for the funds to facilitate the construction of the dwellings, to appoint contractors and manage the construction. The level of funding provided by Government for construction may require additional financial support and we have identified 2 potential sources of funding which could help to support the design/construction costs if necessary.

That’fs all for now. Stay safe and well.

David Valentine


Company Secretary:
Helen Hayman, Gittisham Farm, GITTISHAM. EX14 3AX

CLT March 2020

Welcome to the March 2020 GCLT newsletter

The following is the Chairman’s Report which will be reported to AGM on Thursday 19th March at 7.30 pm.

Chairman’s Report

In October last year the GCLT Board celebrated its first year of Board activity since being registered with the Financial Conduct Authority as a Community Benefit Society. The registration with the FCA was followed in March by a Special General Meeting which formally appointed the GCLT Board. The GCLT Board has met frequently and attendance has been very good. We have been given full support by Jay Lambe from Wessex CLT Project and Janice Alexander from Devon Communities Together.

It has been a busy period and I would like to thank the Board Directors and our advisers for their hard work and support during the past year.

So what have we achieved – well, we have completed all the legal formalities necessary with the formulation of a CLT, undertaken negotiations with the Combe Estate regarding the identification of a preferred site, this is the former agricultural buildings at Town Farm, and agreed Heads of Terms with Combe Estate for the sale of the site to the GCLT. At a well attended public meeting in May we gained endorsement of the preferred site from the village community. In October we held a housing need “gdrop in”h event to re-establish the level of affordable housing need in the village. In November we successfully submitted a start-up revenue grant application to East Devon District Council and subsequently in December we successfully applied for a second stage grant.

The identification and subsequent endorsement by the community of the preferred site was a key event in the year which provided confidence and momentum for the CLT Board.

The “drop in” event held on 10th October focused on revisiting the key area of understanding the level of housing need within the village and its surrounding area. A number of households came along and were able to have a discussion with Janice Alexander from Devon Communities Together. The results confirmed that the affordable housing need of 6 units previously identified 3 years ago, continues to be the case. This result provided a further confidence boost for the Board and together with the successful grant applications the Board has been able to progress with the appointment of solicitors and accountants to act on behalf of the CLT.

In order for the Board to progress with the appointment of a Housing Association (HA) partner – it is the HA that constructs the dwellings – it has been necessary to prepare an Allocation Plan. This has to be agreed with EDDC and the HA and will ultimately become an integral part of the Section 106 Agreement which will accompany the planning permission. Any person who applies for an affordable dwelling must show that they are in Housing Need and that they have a Local Connection. The Allocation Plan sets out the criteria which will be taken into account when allocating the dwellings when they are ready for occupation. All applicants must be registered with Devon Home Choice. The initial priority is to establish an applicant’fs level of need. Once this is established the local connection criteria can then be applied. After careful consideration the Board at its last meeting agreed a draft Allocation Plan which will be submitted to EDDC for consideration after this AGM. There is an item on this agenda which seeks to clarify an aspect of the local connection criteria.

Work has already commenced in preparing documents for issuing to architects and Housing Associations inviting expressions of interest in working in partnership with GCLT. Later this year consultants will be appointed to undertake site investigations and a Project Team will be established which will co-ordinate the day to day progress with the initial objective of submitting a planning application. The Project Team will report back to the CLT Board.

There will be a further public meeting to enable the community to view and comment on designs which come forward for development of the site.

There has been an ongoing positive relationship with the Combe Estate over the past 12 months and their support for this project has been a key factor in achieving the progress made so far.

My final thanks goes to you, the Gittisham community, for your continuing support for this project. This is a community led project and without your support we would not have been able to achieve the progress made over the past 12 months. Thank you.

There is a lot to be done and the prospect of many obstacles to overcome but, on behalf of the GCLT Board, I am confident that we will be able to maintain the momentum currently in place and I look forward to providing a similar positive report in 12 months time.

David Valentine


Company Secretary:
Helen Hayman, Gittisham Farm, GITTISHAM. EX14 3AX