Photo from left to right starting with the man wearing the red and blue check shirt (the first two ladies are residents); EDDC Cllr Tom Wright; Brian Martin, Chairman of the local Tennis Club; EDDC Cllr Alan Dent; John Shaw, Chairman of the Village Hall; Professor Stan Roberts, Chairman of the Neighbourhood Local Plan Committee; Jane Buckland-Wright, Secretary to All Saints Parish Church. Photo credit: Peter Bowler

Batting away at East Budleigh with Bicton

Anyone for table tennis? People are going batty in the parish of East Budleigh with Bicton now they have their own outdoor table.

The new table has come about after developers who built two new homes in the parish gave £3,450 to fund a sports facility in the community, as part of a Section 106 legal agreement with East Devon District Council.

In a joint project between the district and parish councils, parishioners were asked what they would like to see in the village and two proposals came forward. Around 130 people in the parish voted on the proposals and the new table tennis table – costing £2,500 - topped the poll.

The table has been installed outside East Budleigh Village Hall and was officially unveiled at this year’s Scarecrow Festival.  Anyone can use it with their own balls and bats, or balls can be bought for 50p and bats can be borrowed from the East Budleigh Community Shop with a small refundable deposit.

The idea originally came from East Budleigh Village Hall Committee who have worked hard to get the table installed in time for this year’s Scarecrow Festival. Brian Martin, who co-ordinated the project on behalf of the Village Hall Committee and the parish council said:

The table tennis table has already proved to be a huge success and is very popular. The children, in particular, really enjoyed the Table Tennis Challenge at the Scarecrow Festival after the formal opening.

Councillor Iain Chubb, East Devon District Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, said:

Thank you to everyone that has made this project happen, including all the residents that took part in the voting and the Village Hall Committee who took the project forward.

East Devon District Council chose to involve the community in how it spent this Section 106 funding and now the residents have exactly what they wanted. I’m looking forward to having a game of table tennis next time I’m passing.