Environmental Health Officers are on the case!

flies on fly paper(2)Latest update from Environmental Health at East Devon District Council concerning the fly problem affecting some properties in the village:

Further to your report to us regarding high levels of flies at your property, I have detailed below an update regarding our investigations so far. We are sending this email to everyone who has contacted us as well as Susie Bond, your local councillor.

We received our first reports from a few Feniton residents concerning high numbers of flies around the third week in May which we investigated straight away and arranged visits to both residents and potential breeding grounds. At this stage we had only been contacted by a small number of residents who were predominately being affected by Common Housefly (CHF). For those residents who haven’t contacted Environmental Health before concerning this, CHF are probably the most versatile fly (hence the word ‘common’ in their title) and can develop within a number of rotting materials both inside and out. When they appear in large numbers and within a number of different properties, there may be a relatively large breeding ground close by, so we tend to look at farming where there is potential for breeding to take place within manure housed on site and within relatively close proximity of the residents.

We inspected the poultry sheds shortly after receiving the first fly reports in May and there was no evidence of a fly infestation or issues within the manure which would provide a good breeding ground. We kept in contact with residents over the next few weeks and levels did drop for a period of time at nearly all of the properties. We were not able to confirm where the breeding ground was over this period, but it did appear to coincide with some muck spreading in the surrounding fields.

Since then, the closest shed to residents has been empty for a number of weeks (mostly all of July) and after receiving new reports during mid to late July, more inspections were carried out at sheds further afield to try to identify a breeding ground and again, we found no evidence of a fly infestation within these buildings.

After speaking with more residents during this period, it was ascertained that a high number of flies had emerged during a period of time when more muck spreading had taken place and since then, we have made contact with farms intending to spread manure and given advice regarding how best to minimise problems. Unfortunately, due to the hot temperatures, some manure had been stock piled for a period of time as the ground has been too hard to plough it in. We are hopeful this advice will now improve the situation.

FlyAs it stands at the moment, we would be grateful for updates on fly levels as well as any evidence you have collected for us so far, e.g. fly papers which show a snap shot of what you are experiencing in your homes or flies which you have knocked down over a certain period of time and we would be grateful if they could be posted to us. Unfortunately we do not have staff availability to collect these at the moment. Any evidence (including fly papers) should be placed inside a clear bag, similar to a food bag with a zip seal and your details written on the front which should include your name and address, along with details of how long it took to collect the flies. Please mark for my attention and send to the postal address below. This evidence has always helped us in the past, as it can show a link between the source and the resident’s home; if we can capture a physical picture using the papers, along with details of dates, etc., we can link that in with spreading in the area or an issue elsewhere.

We always take on board information provided by residents as they are usually best placed to know what is going on in their area and this is how links can sometime be made. Any information on this can be referred to me by email.

Lastly, I would be grateful if you could copy in any responses to the main Environmental Health email address environmentalhealth@eastdevon.gov.uk as I am out of the office next week and they can pass on any relevant information to colleagues in my absence.

Address to send the fly papers is: Environmental Health Department, East Devon District Council, Knowle, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 8HL

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Feniton Neighbourhood Plan is ‘made’

The final step in the journey of Feniton’s Neighbourhood Plan was taken at a meeting of East Devon District Council’s Cabinet last night (11 July).

The Plan has been nearly four years in the making and involved considerable consultation with the residents of Feniton, East Devon District Council, professional advisors, local businesses and national bodies. Links to the many reports associated with the formation of the plan are available here.

On 17 May 2018, a referendum was held in Feniton where one in three of those eligible to vote came out to make their views known. They were responding to the simple question:

Do you want East Devon District Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Feniton to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?

462 voted for and 30 voted against.

The final version of Feniton’s Neighbourhood Plan is available here.

Last night, East Devon District Council Cabinet members voted unanimously that Feniton’s Neighbourhood Plan should be ‘made’, i.e. enshrined in planning policy. This was not a surprising result, given that an overwhelming 94% of voters were in favour of the Plan, and the only thing which could have stopped the Plan at that stage was if there had been a breach of EU obligations or Convention rights.

The Council also commended Feniton Parish Council’s Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group for the hard work it had put in, and for the “considerable community engagement” it had undertaken.

The amount of work involved in producing a Neighbourhood Plan cannot be underestimated. Numbers on the Steering Group waxed and waned as time restraints, ill health or frustration took their toll.

But we made it … and as residents we are truly grateful to the Parish Council for its vision and tenacity in leading the process through to the end.

This was really a community project of epic proportion!

NP front cover

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Complete refurbishment of the QEII and Ely Close play areas in Feniton

Feniton Parish Council has resolved to undertake a major refurbishment of the QEII and Ely Close play areas, as neither have been upgraded since the early 1990s.

Several sources of funding have been identified by councillors:

  • An in-lieu payment by Wainhomes, given that they decided not to provide a play area on their Winchester Park site
  • Monies from East Devon District Council (EDDC) compensating for the loss of play equipment on the QEII site when the flood scheme runs along the length of the play park
  • Grant applications currently submitted by the Parish Council , e.g. Big Lottery Awards for All and Viridor Credits
  • Grants from local businesses
  • Donations from residents
  • Grant from County Councillor Phil Twiss’s Locality Budget

The timescale is such that refurbishment cannot commence until the flood scheme work in the QEII play area has been completed: while we are at least a year away from delivery, we can still prepare and make plans.

As part of the consultation process EDDC’s Community Engagement officer and Parish Councillor Zoe Flockhart will be talking to children at Feniton Primary School on 3 July. The older age group (11–14-year-olds) are being invited to drop in at the QEII on 4 July at some point between 4.15 p.m. and 6.15 p.m. to share their thoughts with EDDC officers and members of the Parish Council. There will also be consultation with the village’s Baby and Toddler Group on 2 July to hear their views.

The consultation exercise is entirely led by the wishes of the children: the Community Engagement officer will not be consulting the parents directly, apart from in the case of the toddlers where parents and carers will need to be involved.

For more information and an update on the consultation exercise, come along to Feniton Parish Council meeting on Monday 9 July, 7.30 p.m., in the village hall annex. Alternatively, contact any member of the Parish Council for more information.

Aged 11 to 14 Flier

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