‘We have our own sense of identity’ – Colyford bids to break away from Colyton and form own parish council

Colyford could break away from Colyton and have its own parish council after the bid was backed by East Devon decision-makers. 

The district authority’s cabinet unanimously agreed to review the way local decisions are made in the village  following a request by residents, writes Local Democracy Reporter Joe Ives.

Speaking ahead of a vote, Ian Priestly, chairman of the Colyford Village Residents’ 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 is thought around one-third of Colyford residents signed a petition in favour of a review into creating the break-away 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 East Devon District Council with its community governance review.

Yarty representative Councillor Paul Hayward 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.”

Seaton ward member Cllr Jack Rowland added: “I fully understand the reasons for this request and I totally support it.”

A review is needed before plans for a new parish council at Colyford can be created.

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

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