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Welcome to www.Upottery.com

This is the website for all things to do with the parish of Upottery in the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Devon and comprising the villages of Upottery, Smeatharpe and Rawridge.

 
If you run a club or society in the area and would like your own page on this website to advertise your activities please email the Editor. 
Similarly if you run a business which you would like the site to list on the Businesses page please send an email also. 
Any other comments or feedback are also very welcome at any time. 

 Please see the Help page if you have any problems viewing our website.

Effective March 30, 2015, Notices of Election, May 7, 2015 for 
Upottery Parish Council, 
The Otterhead Ward of East Devon District Council and the
 Tiverton & Honiton Parliamentary Constituency are available on this website.


A Neighbourhood Plan for Upottery Parish is being created with the support of Upottery Parish Council and in conjunction with 9 other parishes in the Blackdown Hills. 

During August 2014 a questionnaire was delivered  to all properties in the parish to understand what is most important to local people and what the Neighbourhood Plan should focus upon.

Thank you to everyone who attended the second consultation event in Upottery Manor Rooms, February 6,7 & 8. All comments will be carefully considered by the Neighbourhood Plan Team and you will be hearing about the plan  shortly.

For more information see:



For the latest news of what is happening in and around Upottery, Smeatharpe and Rawridge,
see the Latest News page.

Have you seen the new page where you can list unwanted items for free collection or things you wish to sell?




Broadband Public Meeting (Organised by Upottery Parish Council)

Friday, February 6, 2015, 6pm to 8pm in Upottery Manor Rooms EX14 9PL

Andrew Leadbetter (DCC & CDS), Paul Coles (BT) and Ross Henley (SCC & TDBC) attended along with Neil Parish MP who chaired the two hour long meeting. Since none of the speakers wanted to make any presentations, Graham Long (Upottery Praish Councillor) updated the audience of over 100 on the current status of Upottery parish with respect to the CDS Phase 1 (90% coverage) programme and the Phase 2 programme which should have gone to open tender last November, but is now going to fund a contract with BT through a closed tender process where BT will be the only company allowed to bid. Copies of the PowerPoint slides shown at the meeting are available here.

Many detailed questions from parishes in both Devon & Somerset were asked but no new information was provided by BT or CDS other than stating that they and CDS were "working hard" to reach 90% coverage and would then be doing same to reach 95% coverage. Ross Henley was critical of the Phase 1 programme saying that it was behind schedule and that many people in Taunton Deane and Somerset were also very concerned at the inability of CDS and BT to deliver faster broadband to rural areas. Neil Parish MP promised he was doing everything possible to speed up the programme and talked about "holding BT's feet to the fire"

The question of why the open tender process for Phase 2, announced November 13 by CDS, has since been abandoned in favour of a closed tender process using "The BDUK Framework" which means that only BT will be allowed to bid was overtaken the following day (February 7) by the article published by the Western Morning News which makes it clear that BT said they would withdraw from the programme completely if CDS did not award the contract to them on a closed tender basis. This is a very serious allegation and plans are being drawn up to refer this to the Competition and Markets Authority .

By opting for a closed tender process, CDS prevent other companies from bidding. Twenty companies attended the bidder day in November and according to the Western Morning News, two companies other than BT would have submitted bids had CDS allowed them. CDS and Andrew Leadbetter claim that this was two few, but one of those companies is Broadway Partners who are running THE ONLY 100% Phase 2 Superfast Broadband Project in England (West Oxfordahire) and for over a year have been knocking on CDS, DCC and SCC's door saying "We simply ask for a fair procurement process, that allows us to present our solution". CDS's decision to only run a closed tender process, (outside of the two National Parks) as BT has now made them do by saying they would withdraw, bars Broadway from even presenting their bid with the consequence that the Phase 2 programme is unlikely to cover anything more than 95% of the two counties leaving 45,000 properties without fast broadband perhaps for the rest of this decade.

Read recent press articles following the Public Meeting:

Calls for market watchdog to investigate CDS Phase 2 contract

Big question marks over BT Phase 2 contract

Villages in the Dark over Broadband Plan 

BT refuse to join in an open tendering process

Call for CDS to be put into "special measures" as DCC Scrutiny Committee investigate them.

Sign up to this Facebook Group for information on Phase 2 tendering over the coming weeks


This is the August 2014 map from the CDS website showing that Upottery, Smeatharpe and Rawridge are all now "OUT OF PROGRAMME" (the grey area on the map) Blue = "under evaluation". Orange = "coming soon".
This map shows the Upottery parish boundary overlaid on the CDS map.

See more details on the CDS maps at: CDS release new broadband deployment maps

Read what the media are saying about the Broadband Public Meeting and the U-turn by Connecting Devon & Somerset who have now decided to hand the Phase 2 SEP 95% coverage contract to BT. This is not in the public interest!

A new On-line Petition has been set up requesting Devon & Somerset County Councils to ensure that the chosen Superfast Extension Programme supplier(s) provides superfast broadband to as close to 100% of all properties in the two counties as is possible by requiring supplier(s) to invest in the project and not simply settling for the easy option of just spending public money only to get 95% coverage, thereby leaving 45,000 properties with no improvement in broadband until the end of this decade. 
Please add your name to this petition. 

The SEP invitation to tender (ITT) was supposed to go out November 20 with suppliers required to respond by January 12 and contract(s) signed April 1st 2015. No ITT has yet been published.

Two new pages on broadband issues have been added October 5:

East Devon District Council have released the Final Report of their Broadband Scrutiny Panel set up in January 2014 to examine the CDS/BT contract. It is a blistering attack on CDS/BT secrecy. Read the full report at: http://issuu.com/gglong/docs/broadband_taff_final_report_161014/1

For the latest news on fast broadband in rural Devon & Somerset, please see our Facebook page:
and join our Facebook group:

Use the BT Wholsale Speed Tester to test your broadband speed.
Use the BT ADSL Checker to see what download speeds your line is capable of delivering.
Use the Rightmove Speed Meter to see what Rightmove advertise to propsective home buyers as the broadband speed available at your postcode. 
The Countryside Alliance, in collaboration with a Software House in Bath & Queen Mary College, University of London, are offering free software that continuously monitors the performance of your broadband service and allows you compare your service to national benchmarks. The software, which runs in the background, does not record email or web use and will not degrade the performance of your computer. NB It works on PC or Mac desktop or laptop computers but does not yet work with tablets or smartphones.



Why not join us on Facebook where you can chat to many other people in the parish, post your own information or ask questions about anything that is going on in the parish. Click the link or logo to join us.
 
https://www.facebook.com/groups/upottery/


Over 6,000 people have visited our website in the last year, including visitors from the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and China. We hope you enjoyed reading about our parish. If you have found our website, whether from within the UK or from another country, please let us have your feedback - what items do you like, what would you like to read more about?
Please email your comments to the Editor at: upotterywebsite@gmail.com


The Parish of Upottery

(pronounced "Up-Ottery") in

The County of Devon

and comprising the villages of Upottery, Smeatharpe and Rawridge

 Nestling at the centre of the 

Blackdown Hills AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty)

and at the head of the River Otter which flows to the sea at the western end of Lyme Bay 

BEST KEPT VILLAGE 2011


Upottery weather forecast.

Click on each day for more weather details from the BBC & Met Office

This website is supported by Upottery Parish Council.
The views of contributors are however not necessarily those of the Parish Council.
The website Editor reserves the right to withdraw any contribution from the website at any time.
The website Editor can be contacted at upotterywebsite@gmail.com