Thursday, 13 February 2020

Resilient Rattery

The outcome of the well-attended public meeting at the end of January was a clear mandate to the Parish Council and Parish Plan Steering Group to concentrate on our collective response to the Climate and Environment Emergency.

We have given some thought how best to do this and worked out a way forward that gives each of the various groups in the parish a clear focus.

The Parish Council as a whole will concentrate on its regular responsibilities and take the lead Lobbying - making sure the parish's voice is heard by higher layers of government. In addition, our Environment Advisory Group will take the lead on Biodiversity and our Highways Advisory Group will focus on Emergency Planning.

The Parish Plan Steering Group will continue to function as the Resilient Rattery Group and will continue to hold the Parish Council to account, be a forum for debate, coordinate collective action and take the lead on providing useful Advice and Information. To start with the focus will be on Energy, Re-cycling and Transport.

So, depending on your interests, there are opportunities for you to join in. Meetings and activities will be announced on the Email Exchange and Website.

In March we are hoping to send out more information to every household together with  a simple questionnaire to collect your views and ideas.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Public Meeting 14th January

Planning for a challenging future

It is almost 4 years since we held the public meeting at which Rattery decided to have a Parish Plan. We created a plan, collectively agreed it, told the Parish Council to get on with it and set up a Steering Group to keep an eye on progress.

We have progressed and completed much of what we set out to do in that plan. So we are now at the point when we need to have another collective review of our situation, especially given the urgency of the climate and environment crises. 

Rattery Parish is only a small community of about 400 people, so each of us should not find it too difficult to have our say.

The meeting on Tuesday 14th January at 7.00 - 8.00 pm in the Village Hall is the start of the process of discussing what we want to achieve in the next few years.

What should we do together over the next few years to preserve what we value about living in Rattery? 

How can we make Rattery resilient to the inevitable challenges ahead? 

What changes and improvements can we make?

The meeting will very briefly review progress with the Parish Plan actions under the headings: Business and Economy; Children and Young People; Building Development; Drainage; Roads, Traffic and Transport; Telecommunications; Parish Council and Village Hall.

We will also discuss ideas for new areas of action such as provision for the elderly.

The major area for discussion will be that of making Rattery resilient to the climatic and environmental challenges ahead by considering the local impact of issues such as increases in weather extremes, and increased rainfall in particular, loss of wildlife, loss of trees, carbon-free transport, energy costs, and so on. There is a lot we can do to make a Resilient Rattery.

It is very easy to conclude that there is little any of us can do in the face of the climate and environment emergency and, of course, a small community like Rattery cannot solve the World's problems. We can however take collective action to do what we can, and be proud of doing so. We can then, with confidence and moral authority, lobby our local and national governments to play their part.

Monday, 23 September 2019

Responding to the climate emergency

1.      The Parish Council and the Parish Plan Steering Group are working on ideas about  how Rattery might take collective action in light of the climate emergency.

v    Over the next few months, the various advisory groups will:
  •       assess the current state of affairs;
  •       suggest things that the Parish Council and other bodies might do directly;
  •       ways to encourage and support action by individuals; and 
  •       ways to lobby local/national government.
You could help by send us your ideas or joining one of the groups  - the parish website has all the details. Or simply send an email to any of the parish councillors.

The aim is to have a clear plan of action early next year.

One thing we could do is to plant more trees in the parish. The UK national target is for 17% of landcover to be woodland by 2050.  Currently 12% of the parish is woodland and to reach the national target we would need to plant 50 hectares of woodland  - roughly 80,000 trees!

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Declaring a Climate and Environment Emergency: creating a Resilient Rattery

In advance of our meeting on June 11th, the Parish Council received only messages of support for our proposal to follow Devon County Council, South Hams District Council and our neighbouring parish councils in making the emergency declaration, which we formally did at the meeting.

Nick Ferguson, who chairs the Parish Plan Steering Group, was at the meeting and we agreed that the best way forward is to review and revise the Parish Plan in the light of the emergency. This will provide the opportunity to involve a wide range of people in setting an agenda to follow over the next few years.

We expect the process to take a few months and we hope to coordinate our plans with those of the County and District. We will be working closely with the newly established Sustainable South Brent Zero Carbon Group.

We would like to involve as many parishioners as possible and, over the coming weeks and months, we will be publishing details of how you can help. 

Best wishes,

Richard Haigh
Chairman PC

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.

Resilient Rattery

The outcome of the well-attended public meeting at the end of January was a clear mandate to the Parish Council and Parish Plan Steering Gro...