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Villages in Action campaign

Villages in Action fighting for its life

The arts organisation that brings events to many Devon villages, including regular shows in Clayhidon, is in danger after Mid Devon District Council threatened to withdraw all its funding.

Bee Hill is campaigning to save Villages in Action and urged the audience that filled the Parish Hall for Ben Osborne’s Jurassic Journey on October 16 to write to the council urging it to think again.

Bee gave good news and bad news about Villages in Action, which she said had recently won three years of funding from the Arts Council, to take it from 2012 to 2015.

But she said Mid Devon District Council Community Well-Being Policy Development Group had approved recommendations to “re-align” MDDC’s grants for 2012-13. The plan is to cut the grant from £7,500 to £5,000 next year, and probably remove it completely in 2013-14.

She and Villages in Action’s director, Roger Werner, addressed the group before its meeting, reminding it that MDDC had helped to found the organisation nearly 20 years ago.

“We are funded by four other district councils who are all under financial pressure,” he said. “There is a very real danger that if we lose MDDC funding the other four local authorities will follow suit and this will mean a total (and probably terminal) loss of £42,750 in funding.”

The group refused to change its recommendations and has advised Villages in Action that its only recourse is to appeal to the council’s Executive.

Bee Hill,   who said profits from these events had helped fund improvements to the parish hall,  has suggested everyone who wants them to continue should write to the council, arguing the Villages in Action case. 

Letters should be addressed to John Bodley-Scott, MDDC, Phoenix Lane, Tiverton, EX16 6PP or email jbodley@middevon.gov.uk, and copies to beehill@hotmail.co.uk , roger@villagesinaction.co.uk and to Clayhidon’s district councillor Frank Rosamund frosamund@middevon.gov.uk

Click here for more information on Villages in Action

Click here for MDDC’s list of proposed funding changes