Teignbridge District Council

Election results for 2019

    Elected in 2019
    Elected in 2019
    Elected in 2019

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93,600 government-funded trees planted in Teignbridge in eight years

There have been 93,600 government-funded trees planted in Teignbridge between 2010 and 2018, Forestry Commission data shows.

This works out at 712 trees per 1,000 people.

Between 2010 and 2018 the government funded about 15 million trees in England. Figures for trees planted with private funds or by local councils are not included and the data only covers new trees, not replacements for any that were cut down.

Overall tree planting rates across the UK would need to more than double to combat rising temperatures and climate change, according to official figures.

Last year 13,400 hectares of new trees were planted across the UK, most of them in Scotland, but the Committee on Climate Change says this should rise to at least 30,000 hectares a year.

Campaign group The Woodland Trust said more trees were needed to provide summer shade, reduce air pollution, improve water quality and manage flooding.

The government said it had made it "much easier" to apply for planting grants.

Find out about tree planting across the UK here.

This story has been generated using Forestry Commission data, BBC analysis and some automation.

'Thoughtless moron' accused of regeneration schemes leak

Daniel Clark

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Major schemes to regenerate key sites in Teignmouth and Newton Abbot could be placed in jeopardy after a "thoughtless moron" leaked confidential information about them, the leader of Teignbridge District Council has fumed.

The council’s executive gave officers the green light to take forward proposals for Sherborne House in Newton Abbot, and Brunswick Street in Teignmouth at their meeting on Monday.

The regeneration proposals were discussed entirely in Part II of the meeting with the press and public excluded due to confidential financial information about negotiations being included in the report.

But prior to the meeting, a copy of the report had been leaked to the Mid Devon Advertiser newspaper, which splashed details of the proposals, including financial information, on Friday.

Council leader Gordon Hook said:"I want to run an open and transparent administration and put as much as we can into the public domain, but that are some things that should be kept in confidence, such as financial negotiations. To leak this was an act an antisocial act that potentially jeopardises the scheme."

It had previously been reported that Teignbridge was considering purchasing the former Job Centre building at Sherborne House as part of plans to relocate health provision in the town, plus convert part of the building into social rent apartments.

The council had previously agreed to prepare a business case on plans for a hotel at the Brunswick Street site and the report contained a recommendation for a national chain to be the preferred operator of the hotel.

PM urged to intervene over Teignbridge housing numbers

Daniel Clark

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A demand for the number of new homes required to be built in Teignbridge to be cut back has been made by the leader of the Devon council.

Gordon Hook handed in a letter to the Prime Minister Theresa May, urging her to reconsider the housing needs figures for the district.

The current Local Plan target, which the council has met, is for 620 new homes a year to be built.

But as the plan is now five years old, the method of calculating housing need has changed, resulting in the number of new homes that must be built a year to rise from 620 to 777 – and the council is obliged to meet that figure irrespective of whether it agrees with the number.

In the letter to the prime minster and Housing Minister Kit Malthouse, Mr Hook has urged them to reconsider the housing needs figures being imposed on the area, saying that it tied the council into a calculation which potentially penalised it meeting delivery targets.

His comments have been supported by Newton Abbot Conservative MP Anne Marie Morris.

Councillors Jackie Hook and Gordon Hook with housing letter outside Downing Street

The letter also lists constraints which affect development in the district, including:

Tory leader hits back at Lib Dem debt claims

Daniel Clark

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Cllr Phil Bullivant

The new leader of the Conservative group on Teignbridge District Council has hit out at claims made by the Liberal Democrats that they uncovered £60m worth of debt in the council’s finances.

Liberal Democrat Cllr Alan Connett, the new portfolio member for corporate services, said he was surprised to uncover a "financial mess" left behind by the Conservatives.

Speaking at Monday’s annual meeting, he said that the debt is made up of £15.5m the council spent on buying the Market Walk shopping centre in Newton Abbot that will eventually have to be repaid, in addition to a further £45m of borrowing that previous administration committed to.

But Cllr Phil Bullivant, the new Conservative group leader, who was prevented from responding at the meeting due to protocol, has questioned how Cllr Connett could possibly have made the claim.

Liberal Democrat Cllr Alan Connett

Cllr Connett said in the meeting: “The £60m debt is a shock to us and I am sure it will be to residents’ right across Teignbridge.

"Far from the council being left in good financial shape as the Conservatives claim, we are getting to grips with the financial mess and debt we have now inherited."

In response, Cllr Bullivant said: “The facts are clear that it currently has no debts.

"His claims are as unbelievable as his response to the council taking £13m from its reserves that generated an income for the council of less than £50,000 per year, and turning into one which returns almost a £1m to support council taxes, which he described as a problem.

“Over the last three years a great deal of information was provided to councillors and open discussions took place in the council chamber. While the discussions took place about the redevelopment of Newton Abbot, Teignmouth and Dawlish, there has always been a list of planned, approved and proposed projects and the cost forecast for future ones."

South Hams to consider climate request

Daniel Clark

Local Democracy Reporting Service

The South Hams will consider a request from Teignbridge to work together to be carbon neutral by 2025.

Teignbridge District Council recently declared a climate emergency and set a target of being carbon neutral by 2025, and earlier this week, sent an email to South Hams District Council asking them to join them and work together.

A packed public gallery of climate change campaigners at Follaton House saw the council eventually agree to consider Teignbridge’s request, as well as to consider working with Devon County Council.

Climate campaigners

Deposed Teignbridge Council leader speaks of "proud record"

Daniel Clark

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Teignbridge District Council's outgoing leader claims he is leaving the authority in an "excellent financial position" with "better opportunities for skills, jobs and housing for young people".

Jeremy Christophers

Jeremy Christophers, who has been Conservative leader of the council since 2011, lost his seat in last week’s elections to independent candidate Adrian Patch.

Thursday’s elections also saw the Conservatives lose control of the council to the Liberal Democrats, who won 26 of the 47 seats up for grabs.

Mr Christophers said he was "proud of our record in keeping council tax rates down in spite of having £10m per year less than in 2011".

The council now consists of 26 Liberal Democrats, 12 Conservatives, and nine Independents.

The new leader of the council will be Liberal Democrat Gordon Hook, who was re-elected as the group leader following the elections.

Lib Dems gain 15 seats on Teignbridge Council

The Liberal Democrats have taken control of Teignbridge District Council after gaining 15 seats.

The party now has 26 of the 47 seats.

The Conservatives lost 19 seats and independents gained four.

The council was previously under no overall control.