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A host of fundraising events held over 2021 by garden centre staff in Ottery St Mary has raised more than £14,000 for Hospiscare. The business this week thanked all who had supported the events to raise much-needed funds for the charity, totalling £14,700. It was the third  consecutive year the garden centre in Ottery has backed Hospiscare through fundraising. Jacqui Taylor, Otter Garden Centres managing director, said: “This is, quite simply, a brilliant total. It shows just how much this local charity means to our team and customers. “We are so incredibly grateful for the ongoing support and enthusiasm shown…

A town in East Devon is celebrating better broadband for 120 homes and businesses previously left with poor connectivity. People in Topsham living and working in the Greatwood Terrace area, the High Street, and surrounding streets,  have successfully been connected to a Gigabit capable fibre broadband after a two-year campaign. The community effort was led by Topsham resident Andy Rook, supported by funding from the Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) programme. Andy said: “Around Christmas 2019 I was reading all sorts of erroneous comments on our local Facebook group about broadband in Topsham, because whichever supplier you went to it…

A temporary one-way layout on Queen Street in Exeter to encourage social distancing amid Covid-19 is to be made permanent at a cost of £250,000 The ‘pop-up’ layout, which has split public opinion, was implemented early last year to help with social distancing and to encourage walking and cycling. Exeter City Council has agreed to spend £250,000 constructing a layout similar to the current single-traffic track design, with additions of a widened pavement and two cycle lanes. Will Pratt, the council’s lead for transport, strategy and infrastructure delivery, said traffic volumes had reduced by 25 per cent on Queen Street…

Police in Exeter are warning cyclists about thieves targeting locked bikes left outside shops at a city centre retail park. Officers said they have received reports of thefts of bicycles and parts, such as quick-release wheels, while they were locked in racks at the front of Boots, on the Exe Bridges Retail Park, in St Thomas. Devon and Cornwall Police are urging cyclists to use specialist locks to secure bikes left outside in Exeter. William Malcolm, a police community support officer in Exeter, said: “The Cowick and St Thomas team have been receiving reports regarding theft of cycles and theft…

Convenience stores in Exmouth, Cranbrook and Exeter are giving customers the chance to buy food past its sell-by date. Southern Co-op has announced it is expanded its Reducing Our Foodprint scheme, selling fresh food up to two days after its ‘best before’ date at a reduced price of 20p. Non-perishable ‘ambient products’ – such as tinned fruit and vegetables, dried pasta, rice, jams, tea, coffee confectionery, selected condiments, sugar and sweeteners,  plus and chilled products such as soft fruit and fruit juices – will be sold up to seven days over the sell-by date. The stores in Devon now included…

Network giant EE has announced it will upgrade 4G in rural areas of East Devon by June 2024. ‘Partial not-spots’ around the village of Branscombe have been identified as among 35 rural locations across Devon to have 4G upgrades over the next 18 months. Branscombe and nearby areas of East Devon are among 69 rural county-wide locations expected to receive the upgrade between now and June 2024, as part of the Shared Rural Network (SRN) programme agreed last year. The network provider said: EE will expand 4G in 69 locations across Devon by June 2024 to improve rural connectivity as…

The chief executive of one of the companies behind scores of homes in Cranbrook has labelled the new East Devon town a ‘real success’, despite the lack of a town centre. Paul Crawford, chief executive of LiveWest, one of the two main providers of affordable housing in Cranbrook, says a lack of confidence by retailers is the reason for the decade delay in building a town centre. He said: “If commerce and retail don’t have the appetite to let that space and therein lies the problem. It’s a bit like asking LiveWest to build houses that no one wants to…

Football-mad brothers from Honiton who went without presents so their family could afford to buy their own home have been rewarded for their selflessness. Schoolboys James and Dean Manvell, who recently moved into a new-build three-bedroom home, at Hayne Farm, in Honiton, helped their parents save for a deposit through forfeiting birthday and Christmas presents. When developer Baker Estates heard of the brothers’ sacrifices, site manager Robin Palmer stepped in and gifted footballs and a goal post for the boys’ new garden. The youngsters’ mum, Michelle, said the boys had given up treats for almost a year while the family…

Fees in council pay-and-display car parks in East Devon have been slashed until the end of March 2022 in a bid to boost winter trade. East Devon District Council (EDDC) has announced a £2 all-day deal from now until the end of March 2022, valid at its car parks in Exmouth, Seaton, Sidmouth, Budleigh Salterton, Beer, Axminster, Honiton, Ottery St Mary, Lympstone and Colyton. Tickets bought in one town can be transferred and used in another area’s car park on the same day, the council said. The council said its parking cost cuts were as a result from feedback from…

Major roadworks lasting months are set to start in January until April for the town centre and main route into Sidmouth, the county council has revealed. Devon County Council has announced major resurfacing and drainage improvements will begin on the A375 in Sidmouth, from Monday, January 10, with some evening and overnight road closures. The 12-week roadworks will cover around a 1.2km distance, be carried out in 10 sections, closing stretches of highway as the repairs are carried out, with the finish date expected to be Friday, April 1, 2022. The county council has launched a dedicated webpage highlighting work…

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