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Case Study

Self help schemes improve the local area

Parish Lengthsman

The Highway Self Help scheme gives town and parish councils and community self-help groups the opportunity to take control of small local maintenance tasks; allowing them to manage local volunteers and maintain the local area. Examples of how the Highway Self Help Scheme has helped improve the condition of the local area:

Bideford and Holsworthy town councils hold tidy town days where members of the community do works to improve the look of the towns. As a part of the Tidy Town Initiative volunteers cleaned street signs, carried out litter picks, cleared overgrowth and cleaned, stained and varnished seats, and weeded and raked landscape areas.

During the severe weather of the winter 2013/14, the surface of the main road in to the hamlet of Harcombe was damaged to such an extent it had to be closed. The alternative access to Harcombe was inconvenient.

Meetings were held with MPs, local elected members and residents. As the necessary skills and machinery were available locally, a member of the community offered to do the work to the road if Devon Highways provided the materials. Devon Highways provides 30 tonne of stone which was laid by two local farmers, who also provided Terram sheeting for the base to reduce the ingress of ground water.

Northam Town Council has been very proactive and has employed two trained and accredited lengthsmen for a number of years. The lengthsmen carry out grass cutting and other highway-related works in the Parish and are also trained as Snow Wardens and organise salt bags distribution and spreading salt on the pavements and local roads emergencies.

Following reductions in the frequency of urban grass cutting Northam Town Council bought their own grass cutting equipment and trained their operatives to use it. They now carry out grass cutting in the parish in between the four cuts that we provide. Northam is also actively looking to participate in the Road Warden Scheme and is working closely with us to make this happen.

Willand Parish Council raised concerns about the condition of the finger post in the centre of the village. DCC was not able to prioritise renovating the post when considered against other necessary work. A member of the community and Parish Council recognised the value of the finger post and offered to do the renovation if the cost of the materials could be covered. The signs letters were supplied by South West Highways and Cllr Radford gave a contribution from his locality budget.

The parishes of Uplyme, Combpyne Rousden, Exmouth and Sidmouth successfully applied for funding from the Parishes Together Fund to provide additional Parish Lengthsman resource. DCC also agreed to provide the allocated funding which would have been used to provide the Parish Lengthsman resource for the fourth quarter of the financial year. The parishes intend to raise funds from alternative sources to continue this service in the future.

More case studies - Highway Maintenance Community Enhancement Fund (HMCEF)

workman in hi vis putting up traffic cone with road works sign

Information about the applications for the Highway Maintenance Community Enhancement Fund (HMCEF) that were approved in 2016/17. Read more >

man cutting back weeds on devon country road

Information about the applications for the Highway Maintenance Community Enhancement Fund (HMCEF) that were approved in 2017/18. Read more >

Pothole filling trials

During 2018/19, a further 16 road warden agreements were signed.  There are now 73 agreements in place across the County. Read more >

traffic cones stacked behind railings

Broadclyst Parish Council applied for funding with a proposal to convert an old BT hut in Dog Village and the surrounding ground into a storage compound for the parish council, including a safe space for road signs, materials, PPE used by the community road warden along with the dry storage of ancillary equipment (cone lights,… Read more >

Chittlehamholt country road with hedges and trees either side

Chittlehamholt, Satterleigh and Warkleigh Parish Council received funding of £2000.00 from the Highway Maintenance Community Enhancement Fund (HMCEF). Read more >

man cutting back weeds on devon country road

Stokenham Parish Council were awarded funding from the HMCEF to clear drains, grips and buddle holes within the parish. Read more >

Bench off of path at North Tawton

North Tawton Town Council were awarded £3,000 for vegetation management through the HMCEF.   Whimple Parish Council received a grant to purchase Personal Protection Equipment for volunteers and highway equipment. Read more >

Pothole filling trials

Bradford and Cookbury Parish Council received funding from the Highway Maintenance Community Enhancement Fund (HMCEF).  The sum of £1000.00 was approved and the parish council used the money to hire equipment to enable ditch clearing to be undertaken. Read more >

hedgerow along road with muddy ditchwater, with a small white dog looking into the ditch

Southleigh Parish Council secured funding from the Highway Maintenance Community Enhancement Fund to carry out extensive ditching and culvert clearance. Read more >

concrete ditch with drain

Luppitt Parish Council were awarded funding for laying a new drain within the parish, as well as funding towards a project to create a new concrete ditch. Read more >

gully on a hillside amongst plants and leaves

Diptford Parish Council received funding towards the engagement of a contractor to clear blocked gullies within the parish boundaries. Read more >

White road sign in the countryside

Throwleigh and Murchington Parish Council were granted funding through the Highway Maintenance Community Enhancement Fund (HMCEF) to enable maintenance work to sign posts within the parish. Read more >

Black multi directional fingerpost sign on pavement next to the sandy beach at Exmouth

Exmouth Town Council were awarded funding through the HMCEF to restore finger posts within the town. Read more >

footpath along roadside with greenary and trees along the path

Following their joint application to the Highway Maintenance Community Enhancement Fund, the villages of Stoke Canon and Rewe have carried out footpath improvements. Read more >

Clearing a footway in Sidmouth

Volunteering to keep the paths clear in Sidmouth. Read more >

a country lane in Doddiscombsleigh

Doddiscombsleigh Parish Council granted funding for assistance with road sweeping and gully clearing. Read more >

grass verge on sunny day along road at sticklepath

Sticklepath Parish Council received funding from the Highway Maintenance Community Enhancement Fund (HMCEF).  The money contributed towards contractor costs for verge cutting and weed spraying throughout the parish. Read more >

country road with pot holes rapired with tarmac

A number of parishes have received funding from HMCEF and have used this to carry out maintenance works and improvements to their local communities. Read more >

Grass cutting

How Bideford Town Council have made use of the Highway Maintenance Community Enhancement Fund. Read more >

cars on road with pavement and hedges running alongside coming up to a sharp left hand bend with the black and white roadsigns that symbolise this

Ilfracombe Town Council employ a town maintenance operative, whose role includes keeping the town tidy and free from weeds, cutting grass verges, pruning trees, clearing drains and filling minor potholes.  A group of volunteers also carry out minor works under supervision. Read more >

flail cutting along pavement into Knowle

Braunton Parish Council took part in a ‘Tidy-Up Community Day’ in Knowle, which included flail cutting along the pavement. Read more >

overgrown hedges on narrow country lane

Marwood Parish Council joined the highway self help scheme and uses its funds towards a parish handyman. Read more >

traffic cones and tape situated along roadside at Luppitt

Luppitt Parish Council were awarded £980.00 from the HMCEF to repair a 30 metre section of road within the parish and £860.00 to carry out works to remove water off the road surface. Read more >

black railings along Mill Street, Great Torrington

Great Torrington Town Council receive funding to re-paint railings. Read more >

estate road, shepherds meadow on summers day at

Beaford Parish Council received a grant from the HMCEF for a project to patch an estate road, Shepherds Meadow, within their community. Read more >

person filling in pothole using a spade on a road

Lustleigh Parish Council received funding for materials and equipment to fill non-intervention potholes under the Road Warden Scheme. Read more >

raised concrete ares with steps leading to a bench and parish noticeboard in Buckfastleigh

Buckfastleigh Town Council successfully applied for a grant of £700.00, through the HMCEF to enable the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) and a shed for the storage of tools and personal protective equipment. Read more >

drainage cover in road full of leaves

Ugborough Parish Council received funding over two years under the Highway Maintenance Community Enhancement Fund (HMCEF). Read more >

Many local communities have applied for funding in order to gain the necessary tools and equipment, along with the relevant personal protective equipment (PPE) in order to carry out their own maintenance works. Read more >

man in hi vis jacket with wheelbarrow and spade filling in pothole

Since joining the Road Warden Scheme early in 2018, Thornbury Hamlets has been proactive in logging and addressing the non-intervention potholes in the parish.  The response from residents and the grant received from the HMCEF has been very positive, with volunteers of all ages, who are keen to ‘do their bit’ to make our roads… Read more >

Halberton Parish Council received funding and used this to purchase equipment to enable the Road Warden and a team of local volunteers to carry out highway related maintenance. Read more >

Drewsteignton Parish Council received funding through the Highway Maintenance Community Enhancement Fund (HMCEF) towards the replacement of 4 sign posts and the repair and cleaning of several others within the parish. Read more >

road closed sign at road in bideford with road closure barriers

Bideford Town Council successfully applied for a grant of £943.68, the grant enabled the town council to purchase Chapter 8 signage to safely undertake minor highway related works and to arrange road closures during local events. Read more >

direction road sign

North Bovey Conservation Group received funding through the Highway Maintenance Community Enhancement Fund (HMCEF) to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE), signage and materials to enable maintenance throughout the village. Read more >

surface dressing of road at Sheepwash with traffic cones

Sheepwash Parish Council received two funding allocations, totalling £1152.86 in order to carry out works on the road from Sheepwash Bridge to Highampton. Read more >

team members getting out signs before commencing work

Following the receipt of a further grant from the Highways Maintenance Community Enhancement Fund, Thornbury Hamlets has been able to purchase a new whacker plate and a variety of shovels and brushes, to speed up our work. Read more >

side of road, with tools and a drrainage pipe

Clayhidon Parish Council received funding over two financial years through the Highway Maintenance Community Enhancement Fund (HMCEF). Read more >

people clearing branches on side of road in Beer

Beer, Bovey Tracey, Buckland Tout Saints, Modbury and Yealmpton parish councils have all successfully applied for grants through the HMCEF, in order to purchase tools and equipment to enable works within their local areas. Read more >

Upton Pyne self help - sign cleaning

The Parish of Upton Pyne are actively carrying out self help works to keep their area looking good. Read more >

wall on side of road cleared from weeds bramble and earth

North Tawton Town Council received funding through the HMCEF to clear a wall and hedge free from weeds, brambles and earth accumulation to make the road safer for pedestrians to use. Read more >

wooden shelter with seating on grass verge at side of a road

Talaton Parish Council have secured funding through the Highway Maintenance Community Enhancement Fund to assist with general highway related maintenance throughout the parish. Read more >

Grass cutting

Bridestowe Parish Council were awarded funding towards the employment of a contractor to undertake grass cutting, weed spraying and hedge cutting within the parish and to fund the purchase of equipment for highway maintenance work. Read more >

road leading into Hennock

Hennock Parish Council were awarded funding from the HMCEF towards the cost of employing a contractor to undertake lengthsman duties within the parish. Read more >

salt spreader

A Highway Maintenance Community Enhancement grant was awarded to Shillingford Parish Council, for the total of £820.00 to purchase tools and equipment such as the salt spreader shown to grit roads in the parish which are not treated by Devon County Council. Read more >