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Great Torrington Town Council

Co-Option of Town Councillor

The Town Council has vacancies for 2 Co-Opted Councillors to join us. 

Becoming a Town Councillor will give you the opportunity to get involved with various projects and interests within the community of Great Torrington.  If you are passionate about the town, prepared to get involved, and meet at least one of the criteria below, we invite you to contact us to discuss the application process. A written form is available on our website and encourages you to demonstrate why you are interested in volunteering to become a Town Councillor and what you believe you can bring to the role. If you are interested but a written application or form filling is a barrier to applying, please get in touch (01805 626135). 

If the answer to at least one of the below statements is “yes”, you are eligible to apply to be a Town Councillor: 

  1. I am registered as a local government elector for the parish; or 
  1. I have, during the whole of the twelve months preceding the date of my co-option, occupied as owner or tenant, land or other premises in the parish; or 
  1. My principal or only place of work during those twelve months has been in the parish; or 
  1. I have during the whole of the twelve months preceding the date of my co-option resided in the parish or within 3 miles of it. 

Application forms can be obtained from the Town Council office or downloaded here.

Cllr Dave Parish says, “I am proud to be a Town Councillor I immensely enjoy the experience and I’ve learnt so much in the process. 

It is a pleasure to work with a truly dedicated team of Councillors who volunteer their time to contribute to making Great Torrington a ‘Great’ place to live. 

There is so much more we can do. Be part of the future, ‘Come and join us.”

For an informal chat with one of the team, please call the office on 01805 626135. 

Applications can be posted to or dropped in to our offices: Great Torrington Town Council, Castle Hill, Great Torrington, EX38 8AA or sent by email to admin@great-torringtontowncouncil.gov.uk

Jennie Smithson, Town Clerk 

Evening Food Concession Opportunity

Just started a new business❓

Own an existing business❓

Torridge District Council is inviting business owners to register their interest in an evening food concession for the upcoming spring and summer season!

????Three temporary pitches have been made available – Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity!

???? Bideford Quay (Opposite Post Office)

???? Great Torrington South Street (Sydney House) Car Park

???? Holsworthy Manor Car Park

???? The concessions will be let from April to September with a license to trade running from Monday to Sunday between 4pm and 9 pm.

Click on the link below to apply, or call the Council Estates Officer if you would like to know more:

????www.torridge.gov.uk/lettings

☎️ 01237 428738

Applications close on Monday 11th March.

Grant & Funding Opportunities – February 2024 – New Posts!

Learn Devon – Digital Boost for Adult Learners

Never has it been more important to build your digital and IT skills.

Learn Devon offers a range of courses to suit a variety of abilities. Join one of our courses and see what new tips and tricks you can pick-up for accessing online services.Having a basic level of digital skills can help you to:???? Access digital banking and other online services???? Connect with friends and family⌨ Develop useful skills to further access the digital world and employmentWhat courses are available?Course: First Steps to Getting OnlineThis single-session course is perfect for those who are looking to take their first step into the digital world. We have a number of First Steps to Getting Online courses starting this year, below are a few coming up soon.

  • Holsworthy – 21st February, 9.30am – 12.30pm Tavistock – 15th April, 10am – 1pm Okehampton – 16th April, 10am – 1pm Sidmouth – 18th April, 10am – 1pm 
  • With more First Steps courses starting in April to June 2024.Course: Beeline for Digital SkillsOur Beeline for Digital Skills courses are ideal for those who can use a computer but would like to build their confidence and gain more skills. These courses are usually five sessions long and will enable you to develop and practise your skills.
  • Holsworthy – 21st February, 1.15pm – 4.15pm Ilfracombe – 27th February, 1pm – 3pm Tavistock – 28th February, 10am – 12 noon Bideford – 6th March, 10am – 12.30pm 
  • With more Beeline for Digital Skills courses starting in April to June 2024.Enrol now at: Courses – Learn Devon

    Meet the Funder SW event lands on Access to Finance SW platform

    A new event, Meet the Funder SW, has been added to the Access to Finance SW platform, helping boost businesses in the South West.

    In partnership with the British Business Bank and Exeter Science Park, the event offers attendees the opportunity to discuss all things investment with local angel investors on the 22nd February.

    Delve into the investor’s mindset and their decision-making process, gain a deeper understanding of how they assess opportunities, and challenge their perspectives on your business proposition.

    As well as an open Q&A session, with active angel investors, Dave Gough and Nick Sprague, selected businesses will have the exclusive chance for personalised 1-2-1 conversations with post the fireside chat.

    This event is tailor-made for businesses at various stages of growth and development. Whether you are actively exploring the realms of angel or equity investment, seeking alternative funding avenues for existing opportunities, a founder in the process of raising or contemplating angel investment, or an SME keen on delving into the world of alternative financing, this gathering is designed to meet your specific needs.

    In partnership with Tech South West and the Heart of the South West LEP, Access to Finance SW serves as a dynamic and free community hub dedicated to empowering businesses. Members can benefit from extensive support, gain insights into various financing options, and foster meaningful connections within a vibrant network.

    Join Access to Finance SW for free to find out more about Meet the Funder SW and other exclusive events and opportunities at: www.accesstofinancesw.co.uk.

    Coastal Fountain Fund 2024

    Community organisations in coastal locations can apply for a grant towards the cost of purchasing a drinking-water fountain.  The grants are being made available by Sea Changers in order to reduce the use of non-reusable plastic drinks bottles which have a negative impact on UK coastal and marine environments.

    The grants are for water fountain/ bottle filling stations at or near UK beaches/marinas/coastal locations. The fund will cover the purchase of one fountain per successful applicant. The funding will only cover the cost of purchasing the water fountain unit up to £2,500 and does not cover installation or maintenance costs.

    The proposed fountain must be in an area that has significant public use, a lot of littering or is of particular environmental importance or status.

    Non-profit organisations of all types can apply, including town, parish and community councils. 

    Application deadline is 23 February 2024.

    Devon Community Foundation

    Devon Community Foundation (DCF) is inviting applications in another round of the Communities: Local Action on Suicide Prevention (CLASP) grants.  The scheme supports projects that directly contribute towards the aim of reducing the number of preventable deaths across Devon and Torbay. DCF is working with the Public Health teams at Devon County Council and Torbay Council to run this programme.

    Applications from £2,000 to £10,000 that address the following priorities will be considered:

    • improve data and evidence to ensure timely interventions
    • provide tailored, targeted support to priority groups
    • address common risk factors linked to suicide
    • promote online safety and responsible media content
    • provide effective crisis support
    • reduce access to means and methods of suicide where appropriate and necessary
    • provide effective bereavement support to those affected by suicide
    • make suicide everybody’s business to maximise impact

    This round of funding is for new and/or innovative work as well as the extension or expansion of activity that was funded in the previous rounds of CLASP.

    Grants are for activities in the Devon County Council and Torbay Council administered areas of Devon. 

    Applications will be accepted from not-for-profit voluntary or community groups, registered charities or social enterprises, schools, faith-based organisations and town and parish councils that are providing services or activities for the benefit of people and communities in Devon and Torbay.

    The application deadline is 28 February 2024.

    Delamere Dairy Foundation – Deadline 29th February 2024

    Community organisations can apply for grants for projects that are for the benefit of the public and fit with the objects of the Delamere Dairy Foundation. These are:

    • advancement of agriculture and of environmental protection
    • advancement in life of young people by developing their capabilities so that they may mature as contributory members of society
    • relief of financial hardship
    • advancement of education
    • relief of sickness

    The foundation welcomes grant applications from not-for-profit organisations such as charities, community and voluntary groups, as well as social enterprises.

    You can apply for grants from £250 to £5,000.

    The next deadline is 29 February 2024.

    Siggery Fund – Remaining Deadline 29th February 2024

    Grants of up to £1500 area available which facilitate peer support for the visually impaired in Barnstaple and the surrounding areas.

    The fund is in honour of Brian Siggery for his works in the blind and visually impaired community.

    Originally launched with four deadline dates the remaining application deadlines are:

    • 29th February 2024

    To apply, of to find out more about the fund, contact admin@ndvs.org.uk

    Community Library Support Fund

    Devon County Council is inviting applications to a new fund to support the creation and enhancement of community libraries in Devon.  The aim of the fund is to provide more community spaces for local people to enjoy and expand their love of reading.

    You can apply for a grant of between £100 and £300, which can be used for a range of things including shelving; seating; books; lighting.

    You need to have an open accessible space for readers to enjoy; this might be a room that is used as a book swap/library or an area where you would like to create one.

    Applications are accepted from voluntary, community and social enterprise sector groups and organisations, town and parish councils, charities or businesses (that have an eligible sponsor), or a combination of such groups working together.  Your project must serve communities within the Devon County Council administrative area of Devon. 

    The fund closes on 31 March 2024 or sooner if the funding has been spent!

    Peter Harrison Foundation – Next Deadline 1st April 2024

    Small Grants of up to £5,000 and Major Grants of between £5,001 and £30,000 are available to UK registered charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) for sports-based projects providing sport and physical activity opportunities for disadvantaged children and young people and/or people with a disability.

    The programmes are:

    Opportunities Through Sport and Physical Activity – the Foundation supports sporting activities that provide opportunities for people who are disabled, or for disadvantaged children and young people to fulfil their potential and develop personal and life skills. Applications are accepted from registered charities throughout the UK.

    Positive Futures for Children and Young People – applications are accepted from charities where the beneficiaries are children and young people with special needs in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey; East Sussex and West Sussex.

    The Foundation also operates a Discretionary Grants Programme.

    The Trust will consider applications for capital, revenue or project funding and welcomes applications for physical activity initiatives that:

    • Give a focus for skills development and confidence building through the medium of sport
    • Have a high degree of community involvement
    • Have a strong training and/or educational theme within the sporting activity
    • Help to engage children or young people at risk of crime, truancy or addiction, and
    • Provide sporting equipment or facilities for disabled or disadvantaged people

    To apply, eligible organisations are advised to follow the guidance on the Peter Harrison Foundation website.

    Applications may be made at any time and are considered every three months.

    Further application deadlines for 2024 are: 1st April, 1st July, and 1st October 2024.

    Contact details for the Foundation are: The Opportunities Through Sport Programme, The Peter Harrison Foundation, 2nd Floor, Foundation House, 42-48 London Road, Reigate, Surrey, RH2 9QQ  Tel: 01737 228000 enquiries@peterharrisonfoundation.org

    For a full list and downloadable / printable versions of ALL current funding opportunities please click the “Full List” link below:

    Full List of Grant Funding Opportunities

    New Member Joins Great Torrington Town Council

    At our first meeting of 2024 members welcomed Councillor Jason Isaac to Great Torrington Town Council. Jason has been working on the Regeneration Strategy for Great Torrington since September 2023, and has been a key local representative. He then applied for a Co-opted seat on the Council in December. Members voted unanimously in favour and were keen to welcome Jason with his broad local knowledge and experience.

    Councillor Isaac said “As someone who both lives and works in Great Torrington, I am deeply invested in our town’s success. I’m driven by a strong desire to ensure Torrington doesn’t lag behind neighbouring towns but prospers equally.

    My focus includes fostering economic growth, attracting businesses, promoting tourism, and safeguarding our unique natural environment and historic character. Together with fellow councillors and the Mayor, I am dedicated to advancing Great Torrington’s interests and ensuring our town flourishes alongside our neighbours.”

    There are still two vacancies on the town council so if you are interested in becoming a councillor, please contact us on 01805 626135 or admin@great-torringtontowncouncil.gov.uk to find out more.

    Trafalgar Drive

    You may have noticed that during a very wet and windy week in January the Town Council Technicians and Chops Tree Services were busy removing the wooden fort in Trafalgar Drive play park. The fort was about 15 years old and it was rotting and becoming dangerous, so Council members decided to remove it before it deteriorated further.

    At the Environment Committee meeting in January, Alan Williams gave an update on Jubilee Wood and mentioned that Devon Wildlife Trust had suggested some nesting boxes would be a good addition to the area. With the planned dismantling of the fort, we were able to work with Alan, his team of volunteers and Torrington Men’s Shed to organise the transfer of some of the better planks from the fort, to be used to make the nesting boxes for Jubilee Wood. This is a great example of coordinated community working to reduce waste and enhance the natural environment.

    We are now considering how the space at Trafalgar Drive could be used and what equipment people would like to see there. If you would like to tell us your thoughts, come along to our Annual Parish Meeting on March 21st, 2024, 7pm at Great Torrington Town Hall. We will also be gathering views and ideas outside of the Bluecoat Primary School on March 5th.

    We are interested to hear from all members of the community who may have ideas about this: if you know of a young person who likes drawing or making models, perhaps they could create a plan or model of their ideas. These could be brought along on March 5th or bring them to the Town Council offices before March 21st.

    Howe Plate Award

    Each year the Town Council gives an award to the person or persons whom it feels has provided a local public service that has benefitted local people. This could be something that they have done over a number of years, or something that has made a big difference in a short space of time.

    The criteria states that the time given is voluntary and the people benefiting are within the parish of Great Torrington.

    If you would like to nominate someone for consideration for this award, please get in touch. Nominations should be accompanied by a written explanation as to why you believe the person or persons should be considered, what they have done, how long for and who has benefited. Please limit explanations to no more than one side of A4 paper.

    Please send or drop-in your nominations to Great Torrington Town Council, Castle Hill, Torrington, EX38 8AA or email to admin@great-torringtontowncouncil.gov.uk, all nominations to be received by midday on Tuesday 26th March 2024.

    Commons Allotment Charity Grants and Precept Grants – Budget 2024/2025

    The Town Council has allocated its Commons Allotment Grant Funding (£6,600.00) as well as Precept Grant Funding (£22,400.00) for 2024/25. A full list can be viewed on the Town Council’s website.

    As per last year, Members decided to keep a small pot of reserve grant funding to be made available during the period 1st April 2024 – 31st March 2025 for adhoc urgent requests for funding.

    At the January Town Council meeting Members agreed a budget for 2024/25. The agreed precept reflects an increase of 3.65% on the Town Council element of council tax bills in Great Torrington for 1st April 2024 – 31st March 2025.

    The increase of 3.65% equates to an increase of £3.16 per annum for a Band A property and £3.69 per annum for a Band B property compared to last year. (Town Council element of increase only). Full details of increases for all Bands will be available on the Council’s website in due course.

    Reporting Antisocial Behaviour

    A number of residents have reported to the council that they have witnessed incidents of antisocial behaviour in the town centre recently. If you experience any issues you are concerned about, we have been advised by the police and Torridge District Council that you should use the following reporting tools:

    CRIME:

    NON-EMERGENCY CRIME: E.g. assault, anti-social behaviour, damage, harassment, or theft can be reported:

    · By calling 101

    · Online via the online crime reporting form or by emailing 101 at: https://www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/

    Crime can also be reported ANONYMOUSLY to CrimeStoppers:

    · By calling: 0800 555 111 · Online at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/

    In an EMERGENCY, always dial 999

    LICENSING:

    Concerns with licensing issues can be reported directly to Torridge District Council:

    · By calling 01237 428700 and asking to be put through to the licensing officer · By email: licensing@torridge.gov.uk · Online at: https://www.torridge.gov.uk/licensing-complaints