Your Parish Council – what we do
Parish councils are elected bodies who can help on a number of local issues, such as: providing and administering allotments; commenting on planning applications that fall within the parish; offering modest grants to help local organisations; providing a forum within which the community can discuss topical issues such as the need for local facilities, e.g. a bus shelter, play areas and play equipment. While parish councils are increasingly being expected to shoulder greater responsibilities, such as cutting grass verges, it should be noted that the upkeep of local roads – including mending pot holes! – is the responsibility of Devon Highways and problems can be reported here (https://new.devon.gov.uk/roadsandtransport/report-a-problem/).
Feniton Parish Councillors are all unpaid volunteers, and the Council meets on the second Monday of each month (except August) at 7.30 p.m. in the village hall annex. The Council is supported by two paid staff: a professionally qualified Clerk and a village handyman.
Your Councillors – who we are
Martyn Smith – Chairman
I have lived in Feniton for 33 years and I have been involved with the community in some way for most of that time.
I was Chairman of the Carnival Committee for many years, getting involved just after we moved to Feniton. It allowed me to get involved with most of the organisations within the village and have very happy memories of that time.
My three boys all went to Feniton School and during that time I was actively involved with the PTA, serving as either Chairman or Vice Chairman for 11 years. I was also a parent Governor for a number of years.
For the past 30 years, I have been involved with the Louvigny and Feniton Twinning Association, having been Chairman for over 20 years.
I am on the Committee of the Friends of St Andrews and have been since it started.
For a number of years, I was also Auditor for the Church accounts.
I have been a member of Feniton Parish Council for many years and have been Chairman for the last 10 years.
I believe my knowledge of the village and the aspirations of those who live in it, have helped me in my role as Chairman. We are very lucky to have a team of Councillors who have and will strive to make Feniton the very best place to live.
Jayne Blackmore – Vice-Chairman
I have lived in Feniton for 52 years, raised a family in the village and have seen many changes in that time.
I trained to be a nurse at Torbay Hospital and soon after qualifying I successfully applied for a nursing position on the Neonatal Unit in Exeter. I was promoted to Sister, and after 30 years of looking after these tiny babies, I retired.
Since retirement I have immersed myself in lots of activities, including as a former member of the campaign group Fight for Feniton’s Future.
I have played a huge part in organising and now coordinating the Feniton flood warden scheme. You will often see me in waterproofs and wellies during a flooding event!
I have lived in Feniton since 1984, having moved here to raise our family amid the beautiful East Devon countryside.
Since 2013, I have been privileged to be elected as District Councillor for Feniton, Buckerell and Gittisham, serving on East Devon District Council’s Development Management Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, Standards Committee and Housing Review Board.
In Feniton, I’m currently involved with the complete refurbishment of the QEII and Ely Close play areas, and am constantly pushing for the final stages of the Feniton flood alleviation scheme to be completed.
I juggle council work with my freelance work in book and journal production.
I moved here in 2014 after having lived in Exmouth all my life.
I live with my two children who attend Feniton Church of England Primary and King’s school.
I am currently employed as a teaching assistant at Feniton Primary and have also started a dog walking business.
I have recently joined the parish council and am pleased to be involved in the refurbishment of the play areas and supporting the council on all other matters.
I moved to Feniton, with my wife Rosemary, in 2002 having taken early retirement from my post as Head of Property Management and Deputy Director of Property at Berkshire County Council in 1998.
I have previously served as a Parish Councillor in Silchester (Hants.) and was co-opted to Feniton Parish Council in 2016, having been a member of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group since 2014.
I am a member of the National Trust and Devon Wildlife Trust and my retirement pleasures include playing golf, walking the family dogs and seeing my grandsons (who live next door with their parents) growing into fine young men.
I moved from Lancaster in 1999, when I was invited to be Head of a new International Office at the University of Exeter.
I was Chair of the group Fight for Feniton’s Future, which played a key role in successfully challenging the mass housing developments facing Feniton a few years ago, and have served as both Vice-Chair and Chair of the East Devon Alliance.
I took early retirement from the University in 2015, and now divide my time between being a Parish Councillor, pursuing academic research, and trying to survive as the only male member of a household comprising a wife and two teenage girls.
The registers of interests for all Councillors are available to view here: http://eastdevon.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/parish-and-town-councils/register-of-interests-for-town-and-parish-councillors/feniton-parish-council/
Alison Marshall – Parish Clerk
In 2014 I left behind 30 years of retail banking to join the world of local government. My first roles were that of Clerk to Thorverton Parish Council, a role that I still hold, and Personal Assistant to the County Officer at Devon Association of Local Councils (DALC) during which I learnt my new trade. I still remain a trainer for DALC today.
I became a qualified Clerk in 2017, after achieving the Certificate in Local Council Administration, and went on to set up a self-employed business, which I still run, providing administrative support to local Town and Parish Councils. I joined Feniton Parish Council as Clerk in August 2017.
I have grown up in Devon and have lived in Thorverton since 2009 with my husband. I have several pets, two grown up children, a grandson and no spare time!
Clerk to Feniton Parish Council
Dinneford House, Dinneford Street, Thorverton, Devon EX5 5NU
Alex Spry – Parish Handyman
I was born in Larkbeare in 1975 and moved with my Mum and Dad to Feniton in 1976, from where I was raised as a child, being joined by brothers and sister in 1979, 1981 & 1986!
I have been involved as the Parish Handyman on and off since the age of 14. The first job I remember completing was emptying the bins at the QE2 and changing old car tyres on the QE2 swings when the wires came through and started to cut the back of children’s legs!…oh the fun we had before H&S became important!
The bins I still empty on a regular basis throughout the year.
My current turn of duty began in 2003 and I still enjoy my role today as I did back in 1990!
What more can I say but, ‘Feniton Parish Handyman at your Service’