Colyford wants split from Colyton

Colyford could break away from Colyton and have its own parish council.

A welcome reinvigoration of local politics, when many parishes are struggling to find councillors – Owl

Joe Ives, local democracy reporter

East Devon District Council (EDDC) has agreed to review the way local decisions are made in the East Devon village  following  a request by Colyford Village Residents Association.

Speaking ahead of a vote by the district council’s cabinet, Ian Priestly, chairman of the association, said: “Colyford is now one of the largest settlements in East Devon without its own parish council. We have our own sense of identity, a deep sense of pride and a history dating back over 800 years.

“We have different issues, different aims and a different demographic make-up to that of Colyton. Colyton is expanding fast and we believe that by creating our own parish council it would be advantageous to the current council by reducing their workloads so they can focus on their own unique needs.

“Times have moved on and Colyford would like to transition from its historic 100-year-old arrangement with Colyton and grasp its own initiatives to make a positive difference.”

It’s thought around one-third of Colyford residents signed a petition in favour of a review into creating the new breakaway council. Mr Priestly said Colyford was well-prepared to handle the next stages of the process, with a steering group of residents from all walks of life ready to help EDDC with its community governance review.

Councillor Paul Hayward (Democratic Alliance Group, Yarty) said: “The fact that Colyton and Colyford could be ripped asunder actually doesn’t mean they’ll be at each other’s throats, it actually means it gives an opportunity for two separate communities to coexist very happily and work together for the mutual benefit of all their residents.”

Councillor Jack Rowland (Democratic Alliance Group, Seaton) added: “I fully understand the reasons for this request and I totally support it.”

EDDC’s cabinet voted unanimously in favour of carrying out the review, which is needed before plans for a new parish council at Colyford can be created. 

The review, which is set to cost around £5,000, will be concluded within 12 months of its terms of reference being published – one of the first stages of a community governance review.

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