East Devon village’s campaign success: Colyford is given the go-ahead to form its first-ever parish council

Colyford village, in East Devon, will next year begin making its own community decisions after months of campaigning to form its first-ever parish council.

Colyford has been given the green light to break away from Colyton Parish Council and launch its own authority after East Devon District Council (EDDC) last week gave the go-ahead.

Colyford Parish Council will formally, and legally, take affect on April 1, 2023, with elections being held in May next year.

The move comes after residents launched a bid to break away from neighbouring Colyton, and set up the village’s own governance and identity.

In launching the new parish council, EDDC has proposed a new boundary for the area, which will go before a public consultation.

East Devon

A map of the proposed boundary for Colyford Parish Council (in red).
Image: EDDC.

Colyford residents lobbied the district council for change at the end of 2021, highlighting the village’s sense of identity, pride and history, dating back more than 800 years.

EDDC learned Colyford was one of the largest settlements in East Devon without its own parish council.

Councillor Sarah Jackson, EDDC portfolio holder for democracy, transparency and communications, said: “It is evident from the recent consultation that the residents of Colyford feel a sense of identity separate from that of Colyton, and a clear desire to be self-governed via the formation of a new parish council, and so I am pleased to see this decision which enables the communities of both Colyford and Colyton to move forward with complete autonomy.

“I sincerely hope that both parish councils will work collaboratively where the need arises in the best interests of all of their residents.”

She added: “I’d like to thank everyone who took part in the consultations and governance review. I look forward to seeing the new parish Councillors elected in May.”

The move was agreed at EDDC’s full council meeting on December 7, where it was also decided the number of Colyton Parish Council members would be reduced from 13 to 11 Councillors.

The community governance review was prompted by a 249-signature petition, received by EDDC in late 2021.

The residents’ petition said: “We have shown that Colyford has its own identity and sense of place, and that community cohesion will be enhanced by having its own village council.
“We have shown that a village council for Colyford will be effective and convenient, and will provide strong and accountable local government and community leadership.”

Separate consultations, held in February and May this year, revealed how more than half of residents responding voted in favour of Colyford forming its own parish council.

The findings resulted in EDDC publishing draft proposals, followed by public consultations in August and November 2022, and some changes to the proposed boundary.

 

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