PEOPLE in Sampford Courtenay are being invited to say how they think the parish council should be spending their money – and what projects the community should be focusing on.

Sampford Courtenay Parish Council is asking all residents over 14 to give their views in a parish survey, to be found on the website at

Parish councillor Michele Wilson said that take up had so far been quite low, with just over 50 responses received in a parish where more than 500 people are eligible to vote.

‘We are doing this survey to understand what the important issues are for people,’ she said. ‘The last survey we had was over 14 years ago so it may be that the population has changed, that people’s issues have changed. If we are getting into spending money or applying for grants we need to know what people want us to focus on.’

The village has both a church hall and a village hall, so parishioners are being asked to say how they want to see both used.

‘We spend quite a bit of money maintaining the village hall; are we using it to its full potential?’ she said.

‘We want to understand what people would like to see.’

The church hall, next to St Andrew’s Church, has a rich history connected with the Prayer Book Rebellion of 1549.

However, Michele said it needed funds to safeguard its future.

‘Do people realise that it’s under threat?’ she asked. ‘It is costing a lot to maintain, and realistically the church can’t afford to do that.

‘There’s a lot of history there and we could end up losing it and selling it off to the highest bidder, when there are opportunities to do things.’

Residents have until the end of January to complete the survey. The parish council plan to publish the results on their website in due course.

Help completing the survey online, is available from parish clerk Marion Pratt at [email protected] or by calling 01837 82285.

She can also supply printed copies to those who prefer to fill them in by hand.