Council Responsibilities

Council Services & Activities - Parish, District and County

Local services are provided by one (or more) of the local government organisations. Here in East Devon there are 3 tiers of local government: Parish Council, District Council, and County Council. This is just a brief summary of which council does what:

Newton Poppleford & Harpford Parish Council

The parish council is the lowest tier of local government so is the closest to residents of the area. Some parish or town councils provide additional services or facilities, depending on the size of the parish/town and the needs of the area’s residents. There are very limited services/facilities that a parish council must provide, but there are many that they may provide if the need is identified and if the money is available. Much of the responsibility of the parish council is to represent the views of the residents to the other tiers of government, such as in the planning process, responding to consultations (e.g. the East Devon Local Plan, Devon County Structure Plan), and requesting services when needed (e.g. clearing gullies, street cleansing). The parish council can also request additional facilities or changes to the status quo (e.g. reducing a speed limit, introducing traffic calming, imposing local by-laws) but cannot force action.

The statutory duties of the parish council include provision of:

  • Allotments - which are located in the Venn Ottery Road, about quarter of a mile north of Newton Pop.
  • Cemeteries - one near St Luke's Church in Newton Poppleford, and the new cemetery adjacent to the allotments in Venn Ottery Road.

Other services and facilities provided by the PC include provision of bus shelters, with additional financial support from the DIstrict and County Councils, and running the public conveniences in the car park off School Lane. The PC also owns the small branch surgery building in the south-west corner of the car park, and which is rented to the Coleridge Medical Centre.
The parish council also supports local facilities by providing grants, e.g. to

  • The Village Hall
  • The Playing Field Foundation including the Pavilion. The PC is also the Trustee of the PFF.
  • Ottery Help Scheme
  • The Ring & Ride Service
  • The Citizens Advice Bureau Service

The land to the east of Back Lane known as 'Webbers Meadow' was purchased by the Parish Council to provide a public amenity, including dog walking.

A comprehensive table of the functions and powers of a parish Council is available HERE

East Devon District Council

This tier of local government has greater powers and responsibilities.

  • Finance - including collection of Council Tax on behalf of the County, District, and Parishes/Towns, Fire & Rescue, Police, and collection of Business Rates.
  • Housing - council housing (lettings, repairs etc.), housing benefit.
  • Economic development.
  • Tourism services.
  • Planning - Planning policy, all planning applications (including agricultural developments and those under Permitted Development Rights), building control, listed building consents etc.; conservation, planning enforcement.
  • Street lighting in some areas (most is provided by DCC).
  • Off-street car parks.
  • Public conveniences. (Some, like those in Newton Poppleford are owned/managed by the town/parish councils.)
  • Leisure centres and pools.
  • Refuse collection and collection of materials for recycling.
  • Street cleansing.
  • Environmental Health - including food safety, health and safety, Dog Warden service.
  • Licensing - for pubs and restaurants, taxis and hackney carriages, special events etc.
  • Electoral registration - also includes running parish/town council elections.
  • Cemeteries - maintenance of closed cemeteries.

Devon County Council

  • County Structure Plan - Strategic planning, outlines the future development of the county over the next 10 years.
  • Mineral and Waste plans and waste disposal.
  • Roads and Transport - Highway construction and maintenance; traffic management; support and co-ordination of public transport; bus passes and concessionary fares.
  • Street lighting.
  • Education - nursery, primary and secondary schools; school transport; adult and community education.
  • Libraries - including local and mobile libraries, archives, and Devon Records Office.
  • Social Services - including services for the elderly, disabled, registration and inspection of residential care home and nursing homes, fostering, mental health. Also meals on wheels.
  • Trading Standards and Consumer Protection - also including animal health enquiries, loanshark hotline.
  • Economic development.
  • Tourism services.
  • Civic amenity sites - including recycling centres; also waste disposal.
  • Youth services.
  • Museums and the arts.