Friday, 31 January 2014

Knowle relocation project: getting the figures straight

The District Council's Overview and Scrutiny Committee has overwhelmingly demanded an independent professional survey be carried out into the viability of Knowle:

EDDC watchdog calls for ‘independent’ Knowle survey

The EDDC offices at Knowle in Sidmouth as it is today. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 7705-15-12SH To order your copy of this photograph visit www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

The EDDC offices at Knowle in Sidmouth as it is today. Photo by Simon Horn.

Friday, January 31, 2014 

A DISTRICT council watchdog has called for ‘independent’ professionals to carry out a survey of Knowle over concerns about the amount of money being spent on the authority’s relocation project.
Overview and scrutiny committee members last night agreed to make the recommendation to cabinet.
East Devon District Council (EDDC) has decided to leave Sidmouth – saying Knowle is not ‘fit for purpose’.
But concerns over the £800,000 of tax-payers’ cash already spent or budgeted on the project prompted calls for a re-think.
Councillors called for evidence to back-up the main argument that is driving the argument for a purpose-built new HQ elsewhere.
Councillor Claire Wright told committee colleagues at last night’s meeting: “It does feel to me as though the council made a decision to go and its getting out of control. The finances are getting out of control. It’s very worrying.”
She said the council had a ‘huge PR problem’ and the public ‘don’t trust’ that Knowle is in a dilapidated state.
She called for an ‘independent person’ – a qualified engineer - to come in and carry out a survey of Knowle and suggested campaign group Save Our Sidmouth could be asked to pay for it.
EDDC’s deputy chief executive Richard Cohen pointed to a previous technical report by experts, commissioned by the authority, that showed £1.5 million would be needed to ‘do the basics’ at Knowle. This report is to be re-circulated to al councillors.
Committee members agreed by eight votes to none, with four abstentions, that a motion would go to cabinet recommending a professional survey of the building be carried out – not undertaken by EDDC.
The Sidmouth Herald was the only newspaper at the talks and will publish a full account of the meeting in its next edition.
EDDC watchdog calls for ‘independent’ Knowle survey - News - Sidmouth Herald

Council watchdog shows its teeth, over ballooning costs of the Knowle move

31st January
Members of EDDC’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) last night gave a resounding vote of no confidence in what a senior Conservative councillor has termed the Council leadership’s “creative accounting”,  over their proposed relocation of the District HQ. The debate preceding the vote had shown Councillors of different political persuasions, and the public, uniting in their call for more precise information about EDDC’s calculations.
A question from Richard Thurlow, Chair of Save our Sidmouth, pointed out that the sum allocated to planning the move was now over £800,000, with £350,000 already spent. There had been no public accountability. “We must be able to see how much has been wasted” he said, particularly on the abortive first  planning application to develop the Knowle site.
Deputy CEO Richard Cohen, who leads the relocation team, resisted the demand for public scrutiny of the finances. There is a difference he said, between “what is of interest to the public, and what is in the public interest”.
Many members of the Committee were not on Mr Cohen’s wavelength. CllrRoger Giles (Independent) asked how the figures had been arrived at, and referred to what Cllr Peter Halse (Con),  at the last OSC meeting, had termed EDDC’s  “creative accounting” concerning the relocation. In response, Richard Cohen admitted that he had not asked the Head of Finance for  “a full breakdown” of the costs.
Cllr Graham Troman (Conservative) said he was strongly opposed to the decision to devastate the economy of Sidmouth by relocation without clear and published accounts. “We need to know the asset values of the Knowle and Manstone Avenue so we can make an informed decision,” he argued.
Cllr Mike Allen (Conservative) said he had no confidence in the “lemming method of management” which threatened to drive the Council over a financial cliff. “We have come to the point of raiding our assets at Honiton to pay for this move……why are we willing to sacrifice so much?”  (At this point Council LeaderPaul Diviani left the room!)
Cllr Allen added that the costs of merely planning the relocation were approaching the estimate of what it would cost to repair the Knowle. “It’s time we took a second look”, he said.
Cllr Claire Wright (Independent) agreed that “finances are getting out of control” at a time of “huge financial hardship.” She added that the Council’s documents used to justify the relocation were “heavy on persuasion, light on (financial) detail”. She said EDDC faced a severe PR problem because the public did not trust consultants’ reports commissioned by the Council which claimed that the modernisation of the Knowle would be prohibitively expensive.She proposed a motion (seconded by Roger Giles) that an independent survey of the Council offices be commissioned to clarify the situation.
Cllr Derek Button (Lib Dem) added his support: “We are racing ahead on a project that may not be necessary……..Now is not the time for a massive spending of public funds.”
Deputy Leader Cllr Andrew Moulding (Conservative) tried to calm fears with the leadership’s mantra that Knowle was “not fit for purpose” – a claim echoed loyally (as usual) by Sidmouth Rural councillor Chris Wale), but no evidence was forthcoming.
Then ,by eight votes to four abstentions, the OSC voted in favour of Claire Wright’s motion for an independent survey of the Knowle offices, with an amendment by Mike Allen that the consultants’ report on the costs of Knowle refurbishment should be “republished”.
Those voting for the proposal were: Mike Allen (Con); Peter Bowden (Con) although he had argued against the proposal!); Derek Button (LibDem); Roger Giles (Ind – seconder); Brenda Taylor (LibDem); Graham Troman (Con); Eileen Wragg (LibDem); Claire Wright (Ind – proposer). Total 8, with 4 abstentions (and probably 2 non-abstention abstainers).
Included in those not supporting the motion were: Conservatives John O`Leary, and, most astonishingly perhaps, two Sidmouth Councillors Frances Newth  and Chris Wale.

The Committee then also unanimously supported a motion proposed by Cllr Tim Wood (Conservative) –whose chairmanship of the meeting was exemplary- that it should receive from the leadership a detailed breakdown of the planning costs surrounding the relocation project.
Council watchdog shows its teeth, over ballooning costs of the Knowle move | Sidmouth Independent News 
Knowle relocation….an informed decision? | Sidmouth Independent News 
“The lemming method of management ” for Knowle relocation | Save Our Sidmouth

Here are a couple of Freedom of Information requests on the subject:
Costs of relocating EDDC HQ vs refurbishing Knowle - a Freedom of Information request to East Devon District Council - WhatDoTheyKnow
Correspondence with potential Knowle developers - a Freedom of Information request to East Devon District Council - WhatDoTheyKnow

The District Council's cabinet is to meet in secret next Wednesday to discuss the next moves in its relocation project:

Home - Sidmouth Herald

A comment at independent Councillor Claire Wright's blog this evening:

At 07:12 pm on 31th Jan Conrad Black wrote:

So it is a race against time? The EDDC meats in secret to push forward its proposal to leave the Knowle, as it has made clear - by any means possible. That usually means regardless of the actual costs. And the result will be a triumph no matter how disastrous for the council tax payers.

By next year, according to the information they have published, at least £1 million will have been spent without us having anything to show for it. For not a lot more, according to Richard Cohen, we would have had a basically refurbished Knowle - and that on a project that is easily managed and very low risk.

So there we have it - EDDC want a high risk high cost project because it will move the Knowle to Honiton (I don’t believe the supposed ‘competition’) and the District will be in debt by £4.5 million. EDDCwill be forced to ‘give away’ the Knowle site because the developers know they don’t need to hurry to purchase - the price will come down as an increasingly desparate Council will sell off at any price.

Oh, by the way, it is not possible to budget £200k in a capital account without having a very specific thing or things to purchase. It is not a ‘oh I might need it’ account. It has to be highly specific. Or is this to try and disguise interest payments on a capital acquisition - which have to go to revenue, not capital. Something to do with virement of budget the auditors tell me.

What do you prefer: substantial or reasonable assurances that our council is following proper procedures? | Sidmouth Independent News
SWAT-South West Audit Travesty | Sidmouth Independent News

What exactly are 'the figures'?
Astounding figures re Knowle relocation | Sidmouth Independent News
And how 'transparent' are they?
Knowle and Staff Wishes - a Freedom of Information request to East Devon District Council - WhatDoTheyKnow

See also:
Futures Forum: Costs of relocating District Council offices vs costs of refurbishing Knowle
Futures Forum: District Council: Knowle relocation: "EDDC closes in on new office site": more reports in the press
Futures Forum: District Council: Knowle relocation.... EDDC Office Accommodation Stakeholder Event... Friday 8th November: first report
Futures Forum: Knowle: relocation... costs of borrowing......................? Another presentation to be given to 'stakeholders'................. And another ‘confidential briefing for councillors’
Futures Forum: Knowle: relocation... costs of borrowing...?
Futures Forum: Knowle: Freedom of Information requests: Relocation Working Parties: latest response from District Council
Futures Forum: Knowle: Freedom of Information requests: Relocation Working Parties
Futures Forum: Knowle plans: expense
Futures Forum: Knowle: old bricks vs new build: embodied carbon: letter
Futures Forum: Knowle: moving and improving
Futures Forum: Probity, accountability and transparency

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Solar farms and community sweeteners

Following on from the story 
Community 'short-changed by £600,000' over solar farm | This is Cornwall
Futures Forum: Solar farms in East Devon..... an approval at Exmouth.......... and a new application at Sidbury.....
and in the context of
Futures Forum: Solar, wind, fracking: "We seem simultaneously to be mismanaging the exploitation of three key decentralised energy sources."

there have been further developments in the town of Callington in Cornwall:

Councillor warns: Don’t be duped by solar farm 'sweeteners'

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 29, 2014

Communities across the South West should be wary of large cash sweeteners offered by developers hoping of securing planning consent, a Cornish councillor has warned.
Speaking at an open meeting of Callington Town Council, Jeremy Gist said residents should not be taken in by false promises.
He was responding to growing outrage in the East Cornwall town that a Community Benefit payment of £625,000 offered by a solar farm developer has been reduced to just £20,000.
The special meeting of Callington Town Council was arranged to allow members of the public to question a representative of Cornwall Council, which, as a the planning authority, granted permission for the siting of a five megawatt solar farm at Haye Road on the edge of the town.
Callington town councillor warns communities against being duped by cash sweeteners offered by solar farm comnpanies | Western Morning News
When is a community sweetener not a community sweetener? | Sidmouth Independent News

Meanwhile, central government is promoting 'community energy':

Community energy covers aspects of collective action to reduce, purchase, manage and generate energy.

Community energy projects have an emphasis on local engagement, local leadership and control and the local community benefiting collectively from the outcomes.

Community-led action can often tackle challenging issues around energy, with community groups well placed to understand their local areas and to bring people together with common purpose.

Community Energy - Detailed guidance - GOV.UK
Futures Forum: Community Energy Strategy


Fracking would “bring wealth and prosperity and jobs”... but “we have failed so far to win the public argument.”

There has been very little public consultation on how to go about fracking:

Pro-fracking planning reforms rushed through despite strong opposition, Lords warn

Homeowners will no longer be individually notified of plans to drill under their homes, as part of changes that Lords suggest received inadequate public consultation and parliamentary scrutiny

Ministers rushed through pro-fracking planning reforms without proper scrutiny and despite overwhelming opposition, a Lords committee has found. Under the reforms, which came into force as secondary legislation earlier this month, homeowners will no longer be individually notified of a planning application by an energy company seeking to drill or frack beneath their home.

Opponents fear the change, which still requires final parliamentary approval, could lead to fracking taking place without homeowners’ knowledge.

Nick Boles, the planning minister, said in December that having to notify every homeowner was “unnecessarily excessive” and instead, companies would only be “required to publish a notice in a local newspaper and put up site displays in local parishes”.

A Lords committee has now urged the Lords to look again at the reforms, raising a series of “shortcomings” with how they were rushed through and suggesting the policy had not been “adequately thought through” and may be “imperfectly achieve their policy objectives”.

Public consultation on the changes went on for just six weeks - half the time that the government’s own guidelines suggest would have been appropriate for a “new and contentious” policy such as procedures related to fracking, the Lords secondary legislation scrutiny committee said.

Planning ministers then laid the ‘order’ to introduce the changes before Parliament on December 20, while MPs were away on Christmas holiday, and brought it into force on January 13, a week after they came back, giving “scant opportunity” for scrutiny.

Pro-fracking planning reforms rushed through despite strong opposition, Lords warn - Telegraph

The public seem to be getting even less enamoured with fracking:

Public support for fracking in Britain falls for a second time

Poll shows a further increase in shale gas opposition since protests last summer – despite prime minister's support

David Cameron is losing the battle for public opinion over fracking for shale gas because of high-profile public protests against the controversial technique, polling suggests.
The latest results of a long-running survey on British attitudes towards shale gas, undertaken by YouGov and commissioned by the University of Nottingham, show an increase in the number of people opposed to fracking and a decrease in those in favour for the second time since protests at Balcombe in West Sussex last August.
The slide in support comes despite several major speeches by the prime minister in support of shale gas over the same period, including last week's address to the World Economic Forum in Davos where he said the UK needed to "embrace the opportunities of shale gas" even though he understood "the concerns some people have".
Shale gas chart
Public support for fracking steadily grew from June 2012 to a high of 58% in favour and just 18% against in July 2013, when asked the question: "should shale gas extraction in the UK be allowed?". But after the protests against an oil-drilling site run by Cuadrilla at Balcombe – which saw several thousand people marching and dozens of arrests including that of Green MP, Caroline Lucas – the number in favour fell in September to 55% and has dropped again this month to 53%. Opposition has also risen, to 24% in September and 27% this month.
Public support for fracking in Britain falls for a second time | Environment | theguardian.com
Public Pressure Puts U.K. Fracking On The Defensive | ThinkProgress

And the Environment Secretary recognises this:

Ministers have 'failed to convince the public' over fracking, Owen Paterson admits

Environment secretary says he wants to see shale gas exploited "all over rural parts of the UK" but admits "there is a large problem with public opinion"

Ministers have “failed to convince the public” over the merits of fracking and have lost ground to campaigners with “exciting” clothes and banners, Owen Paterson, the environment secretary, has admitted.

Mr Paterson said on Tuesday that he would like to see “shale gas exploited all over rural parts of the UK” on the grounds it would “bring wealth and prosperity and jobs”.

But, appearing before a Lords committee on the economic impact of shale gas, he said: “There is a large problem with public opinion, where those who are opposed have made all the running…. frankly, we are behind the curve.

“We have failed so far to win the public argument.”

Mr Paterson was speaking as new research from the University of Nottingham showed that levels of opposition to fracking had increased in recent months, despite the Prime Minister’s pledge of benefits for local communities.

Ministers have 'failed to convince the public' over fracking, Owen Paterson admits - Telegraph

In other words, despite public disquiet, the Minister would still like to go full steam ahead with fracking:
Fracking 'will bring prosperity' (From Mid Devon Star)
Environment Secretary says fracking technique would boost jobs and growth | Western Morning News

And big government in the shape of the EU is also pushing for fracking - as long as it replaces other carbon fuels:

Meanwhile, big energy feels that the biggest type of energy in terms of investments needed - nuclear - should be given precedence over fracking:
Britain needs more nuclear not fracking, says IEA - Telegraph

See also:
Futures Forum: What are the most efficient forms of energy.. at a local level?
Futures Forum: Lobbying: big business and big government in East Devon

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Community Energy Strategy

A reminder from the 10:10 campaign group:


This Monday sees the publication of the government’s Community Energy Strategy. After months of hard thinking, head scratching, and evidence gathering, DECC will reveal how they want to promote and support communities owning and generating their own power all over the UK.
We’re hoping the strategy will encourage more people to produce their own local, clean power. But, we can’t help noticing that while the government and the press are busy discussing community energy, our Solar Schools are just getting on and doing it. In the words of Richard Craft from Fitzmaurice primary school, Wiltshire, ‘we're doing something about climate change, not sitting around talking about it. Help us generate our own clean energy’.

Community Energy Strategy? The Solar Schools are on the case... | 10:10

The 10:10 campaign is five years old, with a couple of ideas

Carbon cutting for everyone
It's 2014 - let's step it up!

Here's a scary fact: this year, on September 1st, it'll be five years since 10:10 launched in a shower of aircraft aluminium and complimentary champagne. Five years.

Lots has changed on the climate front since then, but the fundamentals are still the same: we've still got loads to do, and not much time to do it.
So let's make 2014 the year we take things up a notch.
It doesn't matter where you're starting from - if you're up for pushing the boat out a bit, we'll work extra hard to help you make it happen.
Deal? OK! Here's a few ideas to get you going...

Share some know-how

Draughtbusting workshop at Transition Belsize
So, you've mastered DIY draughtproofing, or finally found the perfect LED lightbulb – don't keep it to yourself!
Find someone who's keen to do something you've done already, and take an hour or two to help them out.
I'll do it

Master a couple of low carbon dishes

Vegetable skewers
The key here is to keep it simple: it's the go-to dishes you cook every week that make the biggest difference.
You're looking for quick, easy recipes that don't need lots of cheese or red meat. And if you can vary it to incorporate seasonal veg and leftovers, all the better. Think stir friessoupsomelettes, and yes, pies.
I'll do it


Be a good citizen

We're doing our bit - let's get them to do theirs!
You're doing good stuff at home - make sure the people in power are on the case too.
Meet your MP, write to your local newspaper, vote for – or better still, campaign for – candidates who get it.
I'll do it


Do a regular journey by bike

Cycling through a park in Autumn
Like adding low carbon dishes to your weeknight cooking repertoire, the regularity is key here – even a two-mile car journey adds up if you're doing it a few hundred times a year. Here's a quick guide to bringing your old bike back to life after a long spell in the shed.
Cycling not your thing? Good headphones and a fresh playlist or audiobook can turn an uninspiring walk into the highlight of your day.
I'll do it



Help a community energy project

Little Kingshill Solar School
Small enough for one person to make a difference, but big enough to feel like a step up from home carbon cutting, helping a community energy project is one of the best ways to help tackle climate change.
Donate a fiver to your local Solar School, give some time to help a new project get off the ground, or invest in an ambitious wind co-op – there's something for everyone.
I'll do it


Join the LED revolution

Philips SlimStyle LED lightbulb
These ultra low-carbon lights have really come of age in the last year or so – with dozens of new models on the market and prices coming down all the time, now's a good time to start making the switch. Not sure where to start? Which Magazine has a good intro to LED lighting for your home.
I'll do it

Talk about climate change

Couple talking at a picnic table
It sounds daft, but having honest, friendly conversations about climate change is one of the hardest, and most important things you can do to help.
People take their cues about what matters from what others are talking about, but climate conversations can be a minefield. Not sure where to start? Try using one of the #itshappening examples as a jumping off point.
I'll do it

Your turn!

How are you stepping it up in 2014? Drop us a tweet or Facebook comment with your ideas and we'll share the best.
Here's to a year of bravery and breakthroughs!
Mal and the 10:10 team

Cutting carbon 10% at a time | 10:10
Futures Forum: Cutting carbon 10% at a time | 10:10
Futures Forum: SidEnergy latest: Power in the Community
Futures Forum: What are the most efficient forms of energy.. at a local level?

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Concerns for campaigning: Lobbying Bill to become law

After a long campaign and many voices raised in concern
Futures Forum: Lobbying: big business and big government in East Devon
Futures Forum: Concerns for campaigning: Lobbying Bill rejected by Lords
the Lobbying Bill has been been passed by both Houses:
BBC News - Lobbying Bill to become law after Lords rebellion falters
Lobbying bill passes through House of Lords | Politics | theguardian.com
Gagging law: it’s law – campaigning organisations will now have to shut up for a year before elections | Sidmouth Independent News

A message from the campaign group 38 Degrees:

38 Degrees Logo
I wanted to let you know straight away. I'm afraid we lost the gagging law vote in the House of Lords this evening. That's it - it's going to become law.

It couldn't have been closer. On the final vote, 245 Lords voted in favour and 245 against. Unfortunately the rules mean that in the case of a tie, the government gets its way.

Personally I feel pretty devastated about this. I'm worried about what it means for the future of 38 Degrees. More importantly, I'm worried about what it means for the future of democracy, and what it tells us about the state of British politics.

But I also feel proud of everything 38 Degrees members did together to fight this. I hope you do too.

There will be a lot of thinking and discussion to be done in the coming days. 38 Degrees members will need to pull together to think about how to fight this terrible law. And we'll need to work out how we can keep standing up for all we believe in - despite the restrictions the government is trying to impose.

But right now, I feel sure of one thing. We won't give up.

Sorry I'm not emailing with better news, and thank you for everything you've done,


PS: 38 Degrees members are discussing the outcome on Facebook. You can join in at https://www.facebook.com/peoplepowerchange

38 Degrees | people. power. change.

Today the former Archbishop of Canterbury has criticised legislation that could prevent charities from campaigning in the run up to elections:
Rowan Williams: Lobbying Bill is 'bad news' for democracy | Christian News on Christian Today

Local politicians have voiced concern:
Councillors attack ‘gag’ on lobbying debate (From Oxford Mail)
including in East Devon:

On the River Otter: First ever video of a wild beaver in England... but two and a half years ago...

Following on from the nationally-covered story
Futures Forum: On the River Otter: First ever video of a wild beaver in England
a statement has just been received by this blog - which raises a few questions...

Dear Editor,

The recent nationwide media coverage on television,national and local newspapers and radio with headlines such as that in the Daily Mail stating "First wild beaver spotted in England for 800 years” made a good stories, but unfortunately, in several respects, were factually incorrect.

BBC Spotlight Southwest July 6th 2011 showed a film and an interview with Michael-John Kennaway (who has beavers in a secure area at Escot) and me about the beaver which visited, and I watched,on my large pond on at least two days July 4th and July 5th when it was filmed there by a friend. (I have a copy of this showing).

The story was also reported in The Sidmouth Herald in its July 15th 2011 edition and is currently on the Sidmouth Forum website, but unfortunately this does not mention the beaver having been filmed. There was also an article in August/September Tipton Times.

At the time of “my’’ beaver visit I was reliably informed that beavers had been seen in the Otter Valley since 2007 and on July 10th 2011 there was a sighting of a beaver “6.30 a.m. this morning on the River Otter, 1/4 mile down stream from Otterton Mill, sitting on the far bank chewing the cud  whilst being watched by dog walkers’’ and another – 5.30 a.m. 13th July 2011, near a bridge in Ottery St. Mary. (These last two sightings were reported to Escot at the time)

Apart from the more recent sightings near Budleigh there was the sad story of a beaver being seen in a distressed state in the River Otter at Ottery in May 2012. It was rescued, but died, its body was sent to the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency In Bristol and I have a copy of the post mortem which states that it died from acute pneumonia and it was an adult male, weighing 18.5 kg.

Which leaves me with the question - was the beaver that died the one which visited my pond or was it the one that has been the subject of the recent publicity? If so, its current cautious behaviour is quite different from when it was seen here when it was completely un-fazed by three of us standing about 15ft. away when we had superb views as it swam about and climbed partially out of the water on to the island facing us. It had a scratch, preened its front and then smoothed its whiskers! It then climbed completely on to the island, ate some of the vegetation and enabled us to see its paddle-shaped tail confirming it was a beaver. We felt it was a great privilege to have seen it.

I hope this contribution has helped clarify some aspects of (and added to) the beaver story!

Wendy Pounce (Mrs).
Beatlands Farm.
Ottery St. Mary.

Other media have been a little more accurate:
Rare Wild Beaver Photographed In Britain – For Only The Second Time 500 Years (PICTURES)
Rare wild beaver seen by a spotter on the River Otter - ITV News

Here is the original report from the Sidmouth Herald - from July 2011:

Beaver on loose in Tipton St John

Wednesday, July 13, 2011 
A BEAVER is on the loose in the Tipton St John area.
The lone animal was spotted and videoed by a resident on an island in the middle of the large pond in her garden.
Now John Michael Kennaway of Escot Park, who introduced a pair of beavers to the park in 2007, has offered to co-ordinate any sightings of the beaver and, if necessary, trap it and re-home it.
When pensioner Wendy Pounce first saw the beaver, she thought it was an otter. Then she realised how big it was and saw its large paddle of a tail.
She said: “They are nocturnal and I sat watching it for two evenings from 8pm to about 9.30pm, hoping it wasn’t going to gnaw any trees down.”
She invited friends in who videoed it, but the next day it had vanished.
“We saw it preening itself and sorting out its whiskers. We had quite a good view of it and it was eating vegetation.”
Wendy called John Michael to see if one of his had escaped, but both are safe behind electrified fencing.
He said: “This is quite a rare and privileged sighting. They are quite solitary animals. It is not breeding time, that is winter, and they have their young in May.”
He said they could grow to 30 kilos but were no danger to people or animals.
“They are 100 percent vegetarians and not dangerous. They wouldn’t attack a person or dog, just chew your trees down if they are within 15 metres of water.
“I would be pleased to hear of any sightings to form an idea of its movements and what it is doing.”
Anyone who sights the beaver should call (01404) 822188.
Beaver on loose in Tipton St John - News - Sidmouth Herald