Budleigh’s watchdog OVA faces closure

PUBLISHED: 12:30 26 October 2015

Otter Valley Association chairman Roger Saunders.

Otter Valley Association chairman Roger Saunders.

Archant

A community group, which plays a key role in preserving Budleigh Salterton’s identity, could fold without more help.

The Otter Valley Association (OVA), which has 800 members, is appealing for volunteers to help run the organisation.

If help is not found, the OVA, which campaigns to protect the town against over-development, could end after almost 40 years.

Chairman Roger Saunders said the group had a stay of execution until April next year. But he said the situation was ‘serious’.

Mr Saunders said: “The numbers of people on the committee are not as many as you could expect. There are some positions we cannot function without. If we were to lose a couple of key positions, that would be the end.”

Former chairman Helen Tickle, who campaigned against plans to extend the seafront Longboat Café, said civic societies were very important in raising issues with planning.

Mayor Courtney Richards said the OVA had been ‘instrumental’ in campaigning against the controversial Longboat Café planning application.

He said the OVA had carried out a lot of research into the history of the Longboat Café and that had been ‘very useful in the case we put forward’ to try to stop planning permission.

He also said the OVA had designed and installed information boards in the seafront Jubilee Shelter, which depicted the history of the town and the Jurassic Coast.

The OVA told the Journal it was looking for members to sit on its natural committee and also needed an events person and an honorary secretary. It was also urging people from Otterton and Colaton Raleigh to come forward to become village representatives.

If the OVA folded, its popular walks and talks programme would also end.

Anyone interested in joining the OVA or volunteering should go to www.ova.org.uk or ring Robert Saunders 01395 443248.

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