Proposed merger between Parracombe and Trentishoe

The History:

In December 2019, Members of Trentishoe Parish Council, attended our monthly Parish Council meeting at Parracombe and asked if there was a possibility of merging with Parracombe because of proposed boundary changes.

They explained that the rationale for the proposal arose from a request received by Arlington Parish Council some time back to merge with Kentisbury and Trentishoe. This had been favourably received by Kentisbury Councillors.

However, while Trentishoe Councillors recognised the rationale for Arlington to merge with Kentisbury they felt that it was inappropriate and irrelevant from the point of view of Trentishoe Parish.

The advantages for Trentishoe:

The existing merger of Kentisbury and Trentishoe is not ideal geographically but the new proposal was deemed to be impractical; the result being a long thin parish running North/South with elements geographically isolated from one another.

Accordingly, proposals were looked at as to whether it would be more appropriate to merge Trentishoe Parish with other neighbouring Parishes. Combe Martin and Parracombe were the two possibilities but for several reasons it was felt that Parracombe was the obvious choice.

Additionally, Trentishoe is part of the National Park while some of Kentisbury and the whole of Arlington’s are not, and Trentishoe forms part of the Lynton Ward at local government level while Kentisbury and Arlingrton are part of Bratton Fleming.

Kentisbury, Parracombe, Trentishoe Parishes

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Firstly, both parishes lie in the National Park which means both fall within the same Planning Authority. Secondly, recent boundary changes mean that Trentishoe and Parracombe are part of the same Local Government boundary. Thirdly, it makes sense geographically, particularly regarding responsibility for the Heddon Valley area and its surroundings.

From North Devon District Council dataset, the Kentisbury and Trentishoe combined parishes consist of 164 properties, 12 of which are in Trentishoe post codes with around 40 residents.  It is not possible to determine the detailed precept for Trentishoe as there is only a single precept for the combined parishes. 

Whilst there is no obvious advantage for Parracombe there is also no apparent disadvantage for our village.

It will mean the addition of 12 or so properties being included within the combined parishes of Parracombe and Trentishoe. It will also mean the precept, we receive at the moment, (£10,049.74 per annum), will also be used in Trentishoe but their amenities are negligible, a notice board, grit bin and local signage comes to mind. In turn we would expect part of the precept that Kentisbury and Trentishoe receive now; but we don’t think this will amount to a vast sum.

We would have one extra Councillor representing Trentishoe on Parracombe Council. At present we have seven Councillors but one of these places has been vacant for some months now with no one in Parracombe currently wishing to fulfil the post.

The geographical setting makes sense together with the conservation of the Heddon Valley, the River Heddon and environment of a larger area carries more weight when working together.

The future:

It was decided to canvass the village to try and find out what the village views are, hence this open letter on the website. The Councillors had hoped to canvass opinions but due to the Coronavirus shutdown this has not been possible.

If you have an opinion on this topic, either for or against, please contact one of the Council Members in Parracombe or myself at the address below

Yours sincerely

David Hatherley (Clerk to Parracombe Parish Council)

Please write to:

The Parish Clerk of Parracombe

2 Spurway Gardens ‘Lovely Cottage’, Combe Martin, Ilfracombe, Devon, EX34 0PL

Email: ppc_clerk@outlook.comTel: 07788 950583

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