Boosting Beehive Funds!

Good news is we have collected 14 tokens from the Express & Echo. Bad news is – that’s not enough to help us get a bigger share of the ‘Cash for your Community’ fund !! The deadline for you to go and buy your Express & Echo newspaper & cut out the coupon (and coupon collection form) is looming, you’ve got two options:

1. Get the coupon to us by midday tomorrow
FRIDAY 22nd and we will post them all off together. Drop off or post through letterbox at Honiton Town Council office on New St) in an envelope marked FAO Cllr Sharon Pavey.

2. Post the coupon direct to the Express & Echo to arrive there by TUES 26th March. Details in the paper.

Let’s not miss this opportunity to boost our fundraising & get our new Honiton Community Centre kitted out in style! Leave us a comment on here if you can help.
P.S. New architects images of the centre on the website now!

Small Steps in the right direction…

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I asked for the issue of name badges to be discussed at the last Honiton Town Council meeting on Monday 11th March 2013. Councillor’s badges have the names of the councillor on them (Eg Cllr F. Jones) and the female councillors have their marital status added to theirs so mine says Cllr Mrs S. Pavey. I think this is an outdated, old fashioned and incredibly sexist practice, and I’m glad to say that after a very short discussion, the council agreed to offer female councillors the option to change their badges and as new female councillors join the council, this practice to be dropped and male and female badges are to be exactly the same ie Cllr M Smith regardless of whether the councillor is male or female. I also requested that we ask the company we get the badges from whether our current badges could be recycled.

I’m pleased that Honiton Town Council voted to remove gender specific titles on our name badges. Whether a female councillor is married or not has no bearing on her position as a councillor.  This is a small step in the right direction. Bigger steps include seeing equal representation on the council. The current situation sees just six female councillors outnumbered by twelve men and I’m often attending meetings where I’m the only female councillor.

Don’t forget you can add your comments too, I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Sidmouth's Annie Leigh Browne founded the Women’s Local Government Society who lobbied for the 1907 “Qualification of Women” Act. This clarified women (ratepayers) were able to be elected to Borough and County Councils.
Did you know? Sidmouth's Annie Leigh Browne founded the Women’s Local Government Society who lobbied for the 1907 “Qualification of Women” Act. This clarified women (ratepayers) were able to be elected to Borough and County Councils.

Collect coupons to help Beehive Community Centre

Honiton’s Friends of the Beehive charity supporting the building of our new Beehive Community Centre is one of the 43 finalists chosen by the Express & Echo newspaper to win a share of £25,000 !!!

We are guaranteed £450 but in order to get a larger share our community needs to pull together and collect coupons from the newspaper each week before 21st March. Can you help us?

This week the coupon is on page 28 and all you need to do is either:

1. Fill in the coupon collection form “I wish to vote for FRIENDS OF THE BEEHIVE, HONITON” and cut out the little coupon (it’s about the size of two postage stamps) then post it direct to the paper to arrive before Tuesday 26th March. Address details on the form.

2. Or collect the coupons and hand them into us by the end of Thursday 21st March so we can post them all off together. Drop the coupons off in an envelope to ‘Sharon Pavey’ at the Town Council Office on New st. This is the blue door opposite The Wool Stack knitting shop.

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Don’t forget to cut out the little coupon (see below) too – it’s easy to miss. It says SINGLE VOTING COUPON on it. Thanks everyone – please pass this on to everyone you know in East Devon and Exeter so we can collect as many coupons as possible. Add a comment on here if you can help so we have an idea of how many coupons are coming in. Thanks ever so much.

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Supporting people with brain injuries here in Honiton

Honiton Town Councillor Sharon Pavey (4th from right) with staff, volunteers and clients of Headway in Honiton
Honiton Town Councillor Sharon Pavey (4th from right) with staff, volunteers and clients of Headway in Honiton
Honiton Town Councillor Sharon Pavey visited the Headway Devon centre on Friday. The charity which has been running in Honiton for almost 18 years runs a group supporting 14 people at the St Michael’s Day Centre every Friday. Here people with brain injuries are able to come together to meet others who have had similar experiences and take part in activities to help them relearn lost skills and develop new ones. Headway also provides vital respite opportunities for carers.

Brain injury has many causes, from head injury to stroke, and brain tumour to meningitis. It can happen completely out of the blue and can leave people facing a range of complex and lifelong disabilities. Every brain injury is different, but many of the people that use Headway in Honiton experience physical, emotional and learning difficulties. Sharon said “I first heard of Headway after a family member had a stroke last year and Headway supported their recovery. I then chatted with Headway fundraiser Holly Keatings on twitter and asked if I could pop by one day for a visit. As a councillor representing Honiton Town Council, I do think it is very important to find out more about charities like Headway that work with local people who really need their support.”

“It was particularly interesting to hear from manager Natalie about the restorative justice programme Headway run for young offenders. The offenders come to Headway to talk to people who are dealing with the long term issues associated with being assaulted and receiving a head injury.”

Holly Keatings added We are very grateful to Sharon for coming along today and helping us to raise awareness about brain injury and the support that is available for people locally. Unfortunately there is very little public understanding about brain injury and the long-term effects that it can have, which means many people with brain injuries struggle with their difficulties for months or even years before getting in touch with Headway Devon. We look forward to reaching even more of the people who need us so if you or someone you care about has had a brain injury just call us on 01392 211822 or email
Read more about Headway here
Join Headway Devon on Facebook here
Follow Headway Devon on twitter @HeadwayDevon

Fairtrade in Honiton

Take a Step in 2013 lockup (small)I asked Honiton Town Council to strengthen and renew it’s commitment to Fairtrade last week and here’s a little news snippet about that on the Midweek Herald website

I spoke at the Senior Voice (formerly Senior Council) on Fairtrade last winter during Fairtrade Fortnight and have been invited back again this year. I’ll be there on Wednesday 27th February from 2pm at the Senior Voice meeting, Methodist Church on Chapel St, Honiton. Come along if you can or see the Fairtrade website for more information.

Another way I’m involved in promoting Fairtrade in Honiton is via the Transition Town Honiton Sustainable Saturdays – a monthly event in the Mackarness Hall where we give away free Fairtrade tea and coffee during the event. See

Honiton Litter Pick

Honiton litter pick 2013

After being postponed due to the snow, our litter pick took place today in the beautiful winter sunshine. It was quite windy though and we got even away without a rain shower. We spent a couple of hours picking up rubbish around Hazelwood Close, Holly Close, Spindlewood Close, Gronau Close, Brand Road and Manor Crescent. We picked up more things we could recycle than stuff for landfill, collecting a lot of glass bottles, cans and plastic bottles.

Natasha litter pick

We also found some interesting things along the way like an old umbrella, a pair of tights, gloves, socks and a broken frisbee. There were lots of sweet wrappers, can tops that have fallen out of the recycling bins, crisp packets and bits of paper. We also found loads of elastic bands in all the streets which we reckon is from the postal staff dropping them from bundles of letters, so we will be contacting the post office to ask them to stop doing this.

Jo litter pick

We have lots of Keep Britain Tidy tabards, bags etc left if anyone is thinking of doing a litter pick in their area – if you’re near us you can have some of ours. We do plan to do one again though as it was very a satisfying thing to do.

BIG TIDY UP Sun 20th Jan


I’m organising a community litter pick in the Honiton St Michael’s ward on Sunday 20th January. The litter pick is supported by the Keep Britain Tidy Big Tidy Up campaign, Honiton Town Council (where I’m a councillor) and East Devon District Council. Volunteers will be provided with tabards and rubbish bags. Local residents wanting to help clean up areas in and around Hazelwood Close, Gronau Close, Brand Road, Honiton Bottom Road and Manor Crescent should meet outside Millwater School at 1pm.

Dumped sofa at the bottom of Gronau Close
Dumped sofa at the bottom of Gronau Close

This clean up will show others that we care about the future of our local environment and that dropping litter is simply not on. I live on Hazelwood Close and walk to town through the little pathways connecting our streets. They are often littered with bottles, cans and crisp packets and not pleasant to walk through with my children. Sometimes people even dump sofas and supermarket trolleys there and I’ve phoned local supermarkets or the council to ask them to collect things which have been fly-tipped near my house. Working together like this creates a sense of community and is a good way to meet your neighbours. Please wrap up well and wear a raincoat, any queries call me on 07447597390.

‘Ridiculous’ speeds in Battishorne Way

This is a picture of my children waiting to cross the road near Honiton Bottom Road with cars whizzing past!
This is a picture of my children waiting to cross the road near Honiton Bottom Road with cars whizzing past!

Action is needed to fix a faulty speed detector sign on a 30mph road used as a rat run in Honiton. That is the view of town councillor Sharon Pavey, who says vehicles are “hurtling” along Battishorne Way “at ridiculous speeds”. See full story in the Midweek Herald

Honiton Foodbank

free-foodHad a really interesting meeting with Honiton Foodbank this morning, they do so much more than just give out food. They offer debt advice, addiction support, counselling, re-housing etc. I was there with two hats on really – as a member of Transition Town Honiton and a Honiton Town Councillor. I’m also following up on some fundraising I did with the Midweek Herald earlier this year where a team of us raised £1000 for the foodbank (see

It must surely be a sign of the times that these Foodbanks are opening up everywhere but finding out more this morning about how many people volunteer to help others, I am astonished and extremely pleased to be reassured that there really is this supportive community aspect to Honiton.

So – next time you’re doing your weekly shop, buy a couple of extra bits to donate to the Foodbank. Really doesn’t have to be much (a tin of beans!) and you can drop them off at various points around town – the doctors, banks, town council, St Paul’s Church or to the King’s Centre, Lees Buildings.

If you, like me are angry about people going without food and shelter as a direct result of the cuts this government is making – join the Green Party or at least VOTE GREEN at the next election, so you have Green Councillors fighting Tory & Lib Dem austerity cuts and making our society a fairer place for EVERYONE to live.

See our local Green Party website

Honiton Role Model for Women


I spent a lovely morning with the Honiton Senior Voice (formerly Senior Council) hearing all about a truly amazing woman – our former Mayor Juanita Maxwell Phillips OBE. I got a photo taken with Dr Julia Neville (in purple) who wrote the book Viva Juanita which was launched today. I’m really looking forward to reading it myself – when I can find a little spare time!

This incredible woman – Juanita Phillips was a suffragette, Mayor of Honiton ELEVEN times, tireless campaigner for women, the poor and disadvantaged AND an actor and theatre producer. She was the FIRST female county councillor in Devon and to be honest…..just the sort of woman I would like to sit down and have a cup of tea with !!

Who would have thought such an inspirational woman lived here in my town and everyone should really know more about her. There was a suggestion that we should name one of the rooms after her in the Beehive Community Centre (being built next year) and I think we should have an exhibition about her on in town during the week of International Women’s Day next year (4th-8th March 2013). What do you think, are these good ideas – please add a comment.

If you are interested in reading Viva Juanita – ask your local library to get a copy or you can purchase it from the Honiton Tourist Information Centre. More details on the Devon History Society website