Friday, 19 April 2019

Community Action on Climate Change

No doubt you are aware that climate change has become the focus of a great deal of public attention.

You may not, however, be aware that the Rattery Environment Group (REG), a newly created charity, has begun to consider how the parish might play its part in dealing with environmental challenge.

The REG and several parishioners have suggested that, to begin with, the Parish Council follow Devon County Council and a number of neighbouring local councils in making a Declaration of Climate Emergency.

A copy of the Declaration, and of the accompanying fact sheet, and links to other websites with more information are available on the parish website.

The idea was broadly supported at the recent Parish Assembly and we will be discussing the matter at our next Parish Council meeting on May 14th.

The Parish Council is minded to make the Declaration but before we make that decision we are interested in hearing your views. We therefore invite you to reply to this email or to email/write to any of the parish councillors, whose contact details are on the parish website. You are, as always, very welcome to come along to the Parish Council meeting on May 14th.

If you are interested in joining the REG, you would be very welcome. Contact Kim Howard, who chairs the group, on 01364 642511 or at

We are also considering holding a public meeting to talk about the climate emergency and what we might do in Rattery to help make our community more resilient. Please let us know if you would you be interested in coming to such an event.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Monday, 25 February 2019

Update on the latest meetings of the Parish Council - Road Safety

Our latest meeting was at the beginning of February and we spent some time on the question of road safety in the Parish. We discussed car parking in the village centre and problems at Marley Head but we concentrated on routes where speeding traffic is causing problems.

One is the A385 and, in particular, the dangerous junction at Rattery Mill. Over the years we have tried to get Devon County Council to take measures along this stretch of road but they are constrained by their budget and the rules governing signage. Nevertheless the Parish Council will continue to press for improvements and have asked Peter Smerdon, our South Hams District Councillor, and Richard Hoskin, our Devon County Councillor to raise the matter on the joint road safety committee on which they both sit.

The other route is that from Drybridge to Mill Cross and along Culver Lane. This is becoming a bit of a rat run and Mill Cross is a hazardous junction as recent accidents demonstrate. The Parish Council, with the help of Nick Colton, our local DCC Highways Officer,  is preparing a plan to improve signage along the route. We have also asked Cllrs Smerdon and Hoskin to pursue the idea of extending the 20 MPH zone to include the houses at  Mill Cross.

Further details are on the latest news section of the Highways page of the Parish Website.

If anyone has any ideas about road safety please let us know - just contact any of the Parish Councillors.

Monday, 17 December 2018

Fibre Broadband Connection for Rattery

The Parish Council has now received very good news from Openreach.  

They have confirmed their intention to extend their fibre network to premises in Rattery.  This should mean much better Broadband speeds for everyone connected via the Buckfastleigh exchange – the majority of households in Rattery.

Although detailed plans are still being developed, the likelihood is that the work should be carried out in early 2019.  We have been promised regular updates as plans progress and we will keep you informed.

This good news is very welcome given the recent disappointment regarding delays to Gigaclear’s plans to bring a fibre network to Rattery and represents a triumph of persistent lobbying by the Business and Telecoms Advisory Group led by Michael Jack. Well done to them.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Electricity Supply to Rattery: An update from Western Power

We recently asked Western Power Distribution for an update on the situation in Rattery.
Here are their Area Manager's answers to our questions.

Is Rattery particularly vulnerable in any way?
Rattery is now in fact more secure than it was in the past because previously the network feeding the village was a spur arrangement but it is now part of a ring. In that we laid an interconnecting cable between the line to Rattery and a line from Buckfastleigh. Connecting at Pennywell Farm in 2013. This gives the network the capability to be fed from either direction in case of a fault at any time. This interconnector can be operated by remote control from our control room saving the need to rely on staff physically visiting site.
We also renewed the poles and lines to the surrounding area at Parklands Farm in 2014. As part of our ongoing maintenance program which for information is that we inspect and change the poles every 7 years. Cut the tree’s within proximity every 5 years and inspect the line by helicopter every 2 years.

Are there any issues affecting the reliability of power supply in the Parish?
None that I am aware of at present. We did experience back in the end of October a pole that failed in service we believe due to a previous lightning strike near Parklands Nursery. These things do happen from time to time due to the majority of the circuit being constructed in overhead line which is exposed to the elements and wild life.

Do we experience more or fewer power cuts than other areas ?
 Reliabilty has definitely improved over the last 10 years and most definitely due to the work we have carried out. You have no more cuts than any other rural overhead network.

What should we do in the event of a power cut ?
Please let us know as soon as possible by calling 105. We don’t always know your power has been cut in localised incidents.
The system in your locality on the high voltage network works on an auto-reclosing set up. In that if the line is struck by lightning or hit by a falling tree it will immediately cut off and wait for 10 seconds and then try to switch back on in the hope that the problem was only transient.
Before this system the line would cut off and stay off while local staff members travelled  to site to investigate and isolate the problem and in the majority of cases the problem had since passed.
 If you have a series of these short interruptions this possibly means there is a more persistent problem  and staff will be called by our control room to attend. We aim to restore supplies to 85% of customers within the first hour.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Maintaining Hedgerows along the Highway

The Parish Council has produced a guide to the maintenance of hedgerows bordering the highway. As you probably know landowners have a responsibility to keep the the highway and footpaths clear of overhanging hedges and trees. 

The guide explains the legal requirements and includes links to websites with useful information.

You can read it on the Parish Website 

or pick up a printed copy from the Village Hall or from any  parish councillor.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Preparing for Winter Storms and Dealing with Floods

If you have any problems with flooding help is available.

South Hams District Council holds a supply of sandbags and householders can usually collect up to six of these from the depot in Babbage Road, Totnes.
Telephone: 01803 861234 

Rattery Parish Council has, in addition, purchased filled sandbags which can be made available for parishioners to protect their property from flooding. If you need them simply get in touch with any of the parish councillors. 

We are in constant liaison with the Highways Authority, Devon County Council, about maintaining good  drainage so if you have a problem or encounter  flooding on the roads please let the Parish Council know and, ideally, also report highways flooding on the DCC website – the link is on the roads section of the parish website.

Contact details for the Parish Council are on the parish website.

If you have already experience flooding, or you believe you may be at risk, there are steps you can take to protect your property. Further information is available by following the link below. 

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Website Changes

You may have noticed some changes to the structure of the parish website and, in particular, to the Parish Council and Parish Plan sections.

We are in the process of simplifying these pages to make sure parishioners can find the information they need more easily,  and editing them to make sure that the information on them is up to date.

The process will take a week or so but by the end we hope that the Parish Website is even more informative than before.

If you have any ideas about these matters please get in touch - contact details are on the website.

Best wishes,
Richard Haigh
Chairman, Rattery P.C.

Community Action on Climate Change

No doubt you are aware that climate change has become the focus of a great deal of public attention. You may not, however, ...