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Tony Allen


Thu 1 Aug 2019

By Tony Allen

Since I wrote my previous column, there have been a few changes around the place, which have raised eyebrows no doubt. Our local councils have had changes in representation at the May elections. Firstly, Teignbridge District has a new Leader with the Liberal Democrat now taking control. It will be interesting to see whether the incessant rate of approval of new housing developments will now be pulled back, with an eye to retaining our green spaces and countryside as part of the action against destruction of our wildlife and eco-systems that are threatening the very future of our planet. I know many of you have very strong views on this and will be welcoming any positive action being taken (more below).

There has also been a change in representation on our Town Council, with eight new members elected to the Town Council (seven in Bovey and one in Heathfield). I am one of the old guard who kept their place on the council, and through this column I would like to thank those who voted for me. I did say before the election that I would be happy to work with the new councillors to help them settle in, and that’s what I will do. Knowing that some of the existing councillors were standing down this time, we did ask for people to consider putting their names forward, and I think everyone was surprised at the number that did. As a result, we have a younger group elected, with a new councillor as Deputy Mayor, and others as Chair or Deputy Chair of the main standing committees. Some new ideas on matters relevant to all of us that live in Bovey Tracey and Heathfield are already being put forward, and fresh minds are helping review matters already in hand before the elections.

However, I must stress that we have a lot to thank our outgoing councillors for, both those retiring and those not re-elected, for the extensive amount of time they have put in, on a voluntary basis remember, to help make Bovey Tracey the town that so many of us enjoy living in. Their expertise and commitment have been generously given, and when you look around the town at the many positive things the council has created and has responsibility for, please recognise that none of this is there by chance, and our former councillors had a big part in making it happen. Thank you for all you’ve done for us.


The Plastic-Free Bovey team arranged another weekend litter pick in Bovey Tracey recently. This event was organised by Natalee Tina who managed the co-ordination of all the volunteers and the pickers and high viz jackets for those needing them. Residents old and young joined in, collecting over 12 large sacks from our roadsides and parks. This was sorted into items for recycling and included rubbish the team subsequently learned could be recycled when it was believed it couldn’t be. As usual, the most common litter found was bottles, cans, cigarette butts and wrappers. Two car hub caps, large pieces of metal and an old pavement bollard were also brought in. All of this was taken to Teignbridge’s recycling unit on the Monday after. Well done to everyone who made the effort on behalf of our community.


At last, in the light of the extraordinary publicity gained by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg and the “strike action” taken by thousands of schoolchildren across Europe, official bodies are sitting up and taking action to try to prevent the disastrous impact predicted by the out-of-control human generated climate change that is happening. National governments and local authorities “from the top down” are beginning urgently to address the problems caused by businesses operating under their jurisdictions, while a “from the bottom up” approach is being encouraged so that individuals and communities can make changes to their lifestyles and activities on the basis that we all have a part to play in this, whether enormous or minute.

I’m sure that in the days and weeks ahead, we will all be advised on things we can do to help in our small way to turn the situation around before it is too late. As I write this article, I know that Town Councillors are considering joining the general declaration of how urgent the situation is and will be seeking to work with our neighbouring local authorities and public bodies to take appropriate actions.

 I’m also certain that most of you will have your own ideas on this and will want to make your views known. No doubt these could fill all the pages of this magazine for this edition and many more to come. For example, one of our new councillors, Kate Morgan-West, has set up a Bovey Environmentally Conscious Group on Facebook (look it up if you would like to join it) for people to make recommendations, ask questions, and network with each other on small things that can be done to make an impact locally. Kate must be given full credit for her initiative, as she, together with schoolteacher Rosie Stephens, should be for establishing the new local charity “Bovey Family Storehouse” (based at our PPT Parish church). This is all aboiut recycling baby and children’s clean usable clothing, toys, and similar grown-out-of items, to those throughout the wider parish who could benefit from help with obtaining them. More debate and information on local issues and campaigns such as these are becoming more visible in the media (social, radio, TV and the press). As an example, as those who have watched this season’s “Springwatch” on BBC TV will know, there are so many things that can be done by individuals to improve the proliferation of all sorts of wildlife in our gardens and green spaces, that really do make a difference to nature and the future sustainability of the planet. At last, people really are taking action to make a difference.


What's the address of the local police station? – 999 Letsby Avenue.

Why were the centuries before the Norman Conquest called the Dark Ages? – Because there were so many knights.

“Doctor, doctor, I keep seeing images of Donald Duck and Micky Mouse.” – “When did you start getting these Disney spells?”

“What’s the difference between ignorance and apathy?” – “I don’t know and I don’t care.”

If there’s one thing I will not put up with for a moment, it’s intolerance.

Johnny’s ambition was to be a procrastinator. But he could never quite get around to it.

Definition of teaching: the greatest act of optimism performed by mankind.

Did you hear what happened to the paper company? – It folded

Ted’s son is a bit soft. Ted worries that his son hasn’t been prepared for his first day at school. So, before the lad sets off for his first day, Ted beats him up and steals his dinner money.

How many local council officials does it take to change a light bulb? Fifty, one to change the light bulb, and 49 to go on a fact-finding mission to the south of France to see how they change light bulbs there. IF ONLY!!!

Tony Allen is a Bovey Tracey Town Councillor. This column is written in a personal capacity and not on behalf of any group or organisation. The jokes are all in the public domain, so you may have seen some or all before! If you’d like to contact me about my column, please do so via the Cottage Magazine website: www.cottagemagazine.co.uk.

Other columns by Tony Allen

IDEAS & SUGGESTIONS FOR THE FUTURE........ - Thu 24 Jan 2019
Young people in the community - Thu 15 May 2014
Moving Bovey Tracey forward - Tue 4 Mar 2014
Is Bovey Tracey too shabby and run down to attract visitors? - Mon 9 Sep 2013
A public consultation should be just that - Mon 11 Mar 2013
Athletes, young people and rural watch - Tue 13 Nov 2012
Bovey Beats Most Of The Summer Weather - Wed 5 Sep 2012
What sort of Town do you want Bovey to be? - Sun 1 Jul 2012
Awards, Traffic, Policing & another Top Shop! - Thu 3 May 2012
RUBBISH, SPEED, LIGHTS OUT, BADGERS and more! - Mon 7 Nov 2011
Newspapers, Tragedy, Cheques and MORE! - Sun 11 Sep 2011
Community Matters - Mon 11 Jul 2011
Growth of Neighbourhood Watch In Bovey Tracey - Tue 3 May 2011
Which would you rather have: A PC (Police Commissioner) OR Several PCs (Police Constables)? - Thu 10 Mar 2011
Helping Ourselves In Time Of Austerity - Sun 9 Jan 2011
Security in the current Economic Climate - Thu 4 Nov 2010
Security Matters - Spelling it Out - Mon 6 Sep 2010
The Ultimate Deterrent or Not - Tue 6 Jul 2010
NHS Summary Care Records  Will Your Personal Health Information Be Secure? - Mon 3 May 2010
Social Networking - A risk or a good thing? - Sun 28 Feb 2010
Security Matters - Back to Basics! - Thu 3 Dec 2009
Security matters - are you being conned? - Wed 4 Nov 2009
Security matters - ID cards and hotel key cards - Wed 4 Nov 2009
Security matters - Personal security - Wed 4 Nov 2009
Security Matters - Who owns your identity? - Wed 4 Nov 2009
Security Matters - Victim of crime - need help? - Wed 4 Nov 2009

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