Torridge District Council provide £100K funding to larger towns to support recovery post Covid-19

Torridge District Council provide £100K funding to larger towns to support recovery post Covid-19

Torridge District Council provide £100K funding to larger towns to support recovery post Covid-19

Torridge Councillors have approved the transfer of over 62% of the £161K funding it received from central government under the “Welcome Back Funding” scheme to the Town Councils of Bideford, Great Torrington, Holsworthy and Northam. The money will be used to support the Towns respective reopening projects as the country begins to emerge from lockdown and restrictions.

The move recognises the important role Town Councils will have in helping high streets to reopen safely and help the economy “build back better” from the pandemic. Torridge Council will also be using the retained part of the funding to support coastal resorts and important tourism sector as they prepare for a surge in summer visitors this summer. This will include additional Street Marshals in Bideford supporting the night-time economy and increased public toilet provision and waste and cleansing services in resort hot-spots. Other projects have already been implemented such as the painting of the Sea Wall in Westward Ho! to create a more appealing entrance to this important Blue Flag resort. The District Council will work with the Towns through delivery partnership arrangements but the expectation is that Towns will also manage their own opportunities and priorities, decided at a more local level.

The formula for allocating the funding was based on an allocation of 70% based on the number of properties in each area and 30% on the geographical area of each Town Council. Under these arrangements Bideford will receive around £40K, Northam £34K, Great Torrington £18K and Holsworthy £8K. Accountability for the money spent will be managed by Torridge.

Torridge District Councillor Bob Hicks – Lead Member for the Economy said:
“We very much hope that the easing of restrictions on business operations will see a resurgence in their fortunes and the funding will go some way to ensuring that this return to normality can be achieved safely. Giving Towns some autonomy over the spending will allow them to focus on local priorities with support from the District Council in the mix as well.”



Northam hairdresser Sandra Ramsay, who runs Urban Wave Hair in Fore Street, recently welcomed stylist Helen to the salon who moved to the county all the way from Essex.

Sandra said, “I would like to say hello to everyone again as we reopen after the restrictions and look forward to seeing all of our loyal clients. Work since reopening has been amazing but very busy, so I felt now is the time to introduce Helen to Urban Wave to help the salon catch up with demand.”

Helen has three decades of experience since starting her training at a French salon based in both Essex and London during the 1990’s. From there she managed one of the UK’s top salons of the time before opening her own.

Helen said, “The business was based near where “The Only Way is Essex” was made so I have met and provided services for many of the original cast members and maintained the locks of several footballers wives, as well as many other high profile clients.”

However, Helen decided to take things a little slower two years ago and retired from the buzz of her hectic life as a salon owner. “Along the way I met the lovely Sandra who I am looking forward to working with here in the beautiful county of Devon.”

Visitors can rest assured that Covid safety measures, safety and cleanliness remain the hallmark of the salon and it will continue to stick to the rules as illustrated by the notice on the salon’s front door that UW participated in the BARBICIDE® COVID-19 Certification Course which is pertinent to the Professional Beauty industry and shows dedication to infection control in salons, spas, and barbershops.

Advance notice of road closures

Advance notice of road closures

A39/B3236 Buckleigh Road Junction remodelling

Advance notice has been given of Devon County Council’s proposed scheme to carry out the remodelling of the A39/B3236 junction at Buckley Road Bideford.

The proposed scheme will require two road closures.

The first closure will be the B3236 from the A39 to the Abbotsham Road Junction and will remain in place from 6th September to 10th December 2021. The diversion route will be signed via Abbotsham Road to Abbotsham Cross roundabout and the A39 and vice versa.

The second closure will be the A39 from Heywood roundabout to Abbotsham Cross roundabout and will remain in place from 22nd November to 10th December 2021 between the hours of 7pm to 7am daily. The diversion route will be A39 to Stratton, A3072 to Holsworthy, A388 to Stibbs Cross and A388 to Bideford and vice versa.

This is something that will affect everyone including businesses who have deliveries so start to make your plans now.

If you require any further information contact Ian Sweetland at Engineering Design Group (North), Taw View, North Walk, Barnstaple, EX31 1EE or email

Member’s update – May 2021

Member’s update – May 2021

Since our last update, we have seen Step 3 of the Govt roadmap be rolled out and it has been great to see businesses re-open. And, whilst we wait with bated breath for news on Stage 4, the Executive have been discussing ways of getting members together once we are permitted to all meet.


The Town has been busy and everyone’s efforts in getting the “Shop Local” message across seems to have paid off. With the beautiful hanging baskets being installed at the beginning of June, we will be resplendent in colour – all we need is some sunshine!


What we know is most important to you, is to finish with zoom and virtual events and to actually meet with others to network and generally have a chat about how everyone has coped during the past year. So, we are looking at our first meet as being more of a social event, a glass of wine (or two!) find out what else the Chamber has in store and just enjoy being with other business people.


John Puddy, one of our Vice Chairmen, has been regularly attending the ASB Steering Group meetings. These are where representatives from the Police, Chamber, Torridge District Council and Councillors meet to discuss ways to improve the Town, especially concentrating on the more anti-social behaviour that occurs, and affects both business and residents. He has been somewhat disappointed that Councillors have not been attending but is positive that improvements can be made and that funding is available to assist with this.


Some of you may receive a letter from us explaining that you have not cancelled your standing orders and have continued to make a membership payment. If you do receive one of these and need to discuss it, do please contact our lovely Natalie at


During the last 12 months, our President has been conducting meetings with Geoffrey Cox MP for Torridge and West Devon, with a selection of members across the various business sectors. These have been to feedback to Geoffrey on how business is coping. The most recent meeting was at the end of April and Geoffrey was very much in favour of visiting Bideford and chatting to businesses owners. 

This continued dialogue with Geoffrey is something the Chamber is determined to progress and asks you – do you have a question for Geoffrey? It doesn’t matter what your politics are, he is our MP and is in the right place to lobby for us all. He has, throughout the pandemic, worked tirelessly to secure funding for our area and has been successful in his efforts.


Finally, you may know that Bideford was unsuccessful in its bid for the Future High Streets Fund, for the project known as Isaac’s Yard. All is not lost though, there is a second chance, and the bid has been put forward for the Levelling Up Fund. We will know more about this later in June/early July.


It just remains to say, good luck and good business. And, remember to check onto our website for news, events and support or follow us on Facebook.

Torridge Councillors meet at AGM and re-elect Councillor Ken James as Leader

Torridge Councillors meet at AGM and re-elect Councillor Ken James as Leader

Torridge Councillors met recently at the Councils AGM to elect the leader and fill other key positions across the Council’s decision making committees. This included the positions of chair and vice chair of the Council as well as the chair and vice chairs of committees.

One of the key outcomes from the night was the decision by Councillors to unanimously re-elect both Councillor Ken James as Leader and also Councillor Claire Hodson as Deputy Leader.

Other posts decided at Full Council included the following chair and vice chair positions:

  • Chair of the Council – Councillor Doug Bushby
  • Vice Chair of the Council – Councillor Peter Christie
  • Chair Community and Resources Committee – Councillor Bob Hicks
  • Vice Chair Community and Resources Committee – Councillor Anna Dart
  • Chair Plans Committee – Councillor Chris Leather
  • Vice Chair Plans Committee – Councillor Margaret Brown
  • Chair Audit and Governance Committee – Councillor Philip Hackett
  • Vice Chair Audit and Governance Committee – Councillor Ruth Craigie
  • Chair Internal Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Councillor Pete Watson
  • Vice Chair Internal Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Councillor Tony Inch
  • Chair External Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Councillor Joanne Manley
  • Vice Chair External Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Councillor Cheryl Cottle-Hunkin
  • Chair Licensing Committee – Councillor Jamie McKenzie
  • Vice Chair Licensing Committee – Councillor Richard Wiseman
  • Chair Standards Committee – Councillor Nick Laws
  • Vice Chair Standards Committee – Councillor Judith Gubb

Re-elected Leader of Torridge District Council – Councillor Ken James said:

“I would like to thank my fellow Councillors for their support in what has been a unique and unprecedented period of time in this Councils history in dealing with the Covid pandemic. However as far as I am concerned, I am just the head of a team of 36 Councillors and Council Officers and our achievements are as a result of this team effort. While there are still many hurdles to overcome, I feel that we are in a good place and together we can continue to move forward”

Re-elected Deputy Leader of Torridge District Council – Councillor Claire Hodson said:

“I have enjoyed working alongside our leader, other members and officers to support our communities and residents through the recent crisis. While there are still many challenges to be met, I look forward to working with everyone in delivering our vision and strategy for Torridge and to a return to more normal times.” 

Councillor Doug Bushby – newly elected Chair of Torridge District Council said:

“I would like to thank my fellow Councillors for placing their trust in me and electing me to the office of chair of Torridge District Council. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our outgoing chair Councillor David Brenton for his sterling work as our chair through the recent extraordinary times, we all appreciate everything that he achieved. I look forward to working with colleagues on the many exciting projects that we are currently working on.”