Logo search icon

SHDC councillor has apologised after misspending her locality fund on a garden waste collection

SA Updated
SHDC councillor has apologised after misspending her locality fund on a garden waste collection

A SHDC councillor has publicly apologised for “an error of judgement” after she wrongly spent more than £3,000 of her Locality Fund to provide a one-off garden waste collection for her ward. 

Cllr Nicky Hopwood, the ward member for Woolwell, wanted to “arrange a one-off collection for her residents”. She asked officers if this would be possible, but “misunderstood the advice she was given”.

A spokesperson for SHDC said that Cllr Hopwood “has publicly apologised for an error of judgement when trying to act in the best interests of her residents and has agreed to pay £3,105 for the waste collection out of her own pocket”.

When SHDC suspended garden waste collections, Cllr Hopwood then arranged for a private contractor to make a one-off collection of garden waste within her ward, funded by her Localities’ fund.

This arrangement was actually in breach of the council’s requirements of her Localities’ funds. Upon realising she had acted in error, Cllr Hopwood “offered an unreserved apology to residents, members and officers”.

At the beginning of the meeting, Cllr Hopwood gave a full and unreserved apology. She said: “Members and officers may be aware that I organised a collection of brown bins within the Woolwell Ward which I represent.

“I sought officer advice about paying for this to be done out of my *Locality budget after misunderstanding the advice given and went ahead with what I had organised in all good faith.

“I have since been contacted by the Monitoring Officer and subsequently met with him. He advised that not only was the organising of waste collections within my ward against what the Executive had agreed, which was to suspend the garden waste service, but I informed residents that this would be paid for out of my Locality Budget as I genuinely misunderstood the advice given by officers.

“I offer an unreserved apology to both officers and members and have assured the monitoring officer that this will not happen again.”

After the meeting, Cllr Hopwood added: “Today I felt backed into a corner and my only option was to either resign from the council or pay the bill for the garden waste collection. I have been a ward member for Woolwell for 20 years, I am passionate about my ward, and the South Hams, and the last thing I want to do is to let my residents down. My residents are my priority and therefore resigning is not an option for me, so I will pay the bill.”

The council’s Monitoring Officer accepted the public apology. He was satisfied after speaking with Cllr Hopwood that the councillor was aware of her wrongdoing and this would not be repeated. Cllr Hopwood subsequently agreed that she would pay the contractor’s invoice personally.

Although this was an error of judgement by Cllr Hopwood, South Hams says that the collection in Woolwell has also demonstrated to them why employing small private companies to collect garden waste from the whole district is not an option.

The SHDC spokesperson said: “The one-off collection organised by Cllr Hopwood was for 1,300 properties, in a Ward that is suburban and not typical of the South Hams; houses are closer together over a smaller geographic area. 

“The South Hams garden waste service is provided to 43,350 households in the district at no additional charge to residents.

“In September, an operational decision was taken to suspend the collection of garden waste collections so that other statutory services, such as recycling and general household waste could be prioritised.

“A number of factors contributed to this decision, including staff sickness, the direct impact from the round review undertaken in October 2020, as well as the highly publicised national HGV shortage.”

In October, the Executive made the “regrettable decision” that this suspension should remain in place until Spring 2022.

South Hams District Council officers continue to look at options for improving the service they are offering and are constantly taking on board ideas being put forward by other councillors.

For information about the suspension of the garden waste collection, please visit:


*Localities Budget Each Ward Councillor within the South Hams has been allocated £2,000 in the current financial year to support community projects that benefit their Ward or the wider local community. This Fund can support any project or activity which in the view of the Ward Councillor will improve the community and enhance the quality of life for local residents. Existing projects can be supported, but this Fund cannot be used to replace any withdrawn public sector funding (withdrawn within the previous two financial years) or provide or imply any ongoing financial support or support projects promoting religious beliefs.

Applications for funding can only benefit not-for-profit groups or organisations and not individuals.

User comments

There are no user comments for this listing.

You might also be interested in

Diversions in place after crash near Frogmore
Category: General News
Roads around Frogmore are closed and diversions are in place after a crash. 
Livestock worrying increased in May
Category: General News
Incidents of livestock worrying increased in Devon and Cornwall throughout May according to Police.
Dog rescued from house after decking fire
Category: General News
A dog was rescued by firefighters after a decking caught fire in Plympton. 
Nicholas Haulage is a family owned business with an incredible range of services - find out what they can do for you
Category: Members' News
Nicholas Rowell Haulage has been a family run business for 50 years, with the next generation now running the show - even if the...
Lloyds Bank in Kingsbridge is closing
Category: General News
Lloyds Bank is closing its Kingsbridge branch on 11 October. 
Coast and Country Cottages runs pop up shop in aid of The Wave Project
Category: General News
Coast and Country Cottages ran a charity pop up fun day outside of their office on Island Street, in aid of The Wave Project....

Featured Members

Beauty by Jazz Kelly
5.0 (8)
A professionally trained and fully insured Beauty Therapist and Advanced Makeup Artist working in...
Kingsbridge Eye Care - Opticians
5.0 (1)
Category: Opticians
Kingsbridge Eye Care offer a comprehensive range of eye examinations and a vast array...
Sea Kayak Devon
4.9 (3)
Sea Kayaking Devon - Providing guided sea kayak trips and kayak courses for all...
RW Plumbing and Heating - Kingsbridge
5.0 (2)
RW Plumbing and Heating is one of the local plumbers based in Chillington but...
LTM Building
0.0 (0)
LTM Building and Building Contractors in Kingsbridge, a South Devon based company offering the...
South Hams Renovations Ltd
0.0 (0)
Design and Build, Home extensions, Refurbishments and Renovations, Loft Conversions, Roofing, Kitchens, Bathrooms and...
Marchand Petit Estate Agents
0.0 (0)
Proven track record in selling and letting quality homes in the South Hams. With...
Sea Breeze Salcombe
0.0 (0)
Property Management, Co-Hosting, Property Maintenance, Key Holding, Changeover Cleaning, Commercial Cleaning, Residential Cleaning, Gardening...
Bespoke Devon - Holiday Home Management
0.0 (0)
Providing a bespoke property management service for your holiday home in Devon. Our Services...
Arrow Cars Taxi - Kingsbridge
0.0 (0)
Arrow Cars Taxi is a fully licensed and insured taxi company based in Kingsbridge....
Gibson Construction - Building Contractor - Kingsbridge
0.0 (0)
Gibson Construction, Kingsbridge offer reliable building services to domestic and commercial clients including New...
Elliott Construction
0.0 (0)
Elliott Construction is a family owned and run company operating in Dartmouth, Kingsbridge, Salcombe...
Church House Inn - Stokenham
0.0 (0)
Category: Pubs, Clubs & Bars
The Church House Inn is located in the pretty village of Stokenham, conveniently located...
Hippo Plumbing & Heating
5.0 (1)
Plumbing and Heating services throughout Kingsbridge, Salcombe, Dartmouth, Modbury and the whole of the...
LMC Recovery and Vehicle Repair
0.0 (0)
LMC Recovery & Vehicle Repair, a mobile mechanic based in Frogmore, Kingsbridge, in the...
SR property Maintenance
5.0 (3)
SR Property Maintenance is a trusted Kingsbridge based company serving everywhere between Dartmouth and...
Stoke Lodge Hotel and Garden Restaurant
0.0 (0)
Stoke Lodge is a family run Hotel idyllically situated on the South West Coast...
0.0 (0)
Locksmiths and security service based in Ivybridge covering the whole of South Devon including...
The Millbrook Inn - South Pool
0.0 (0)
Category: Pubs, Clubs & Bars
Set at the head of a tranquil tidal creek on the Salcombe estuary, the...
ADS Windows Doors & Conservatories
5.0 (2)
Welcome to ADS Windows and Doors Ltd, suppliers of quality uPVC Windows, uPVC Doors,...
John J McShea Boatbuilder & Craftsman
0.0 (0)
Category: Boat Builders
John McShea is a skilled craftsman based in Frogmore in South Devon who has...
Blackness Marine
5.0 (2)
Premier drystack facilities with some year round covered berths, boat storage inside and...
Coast 2 Coast Taxis
4.9 (13)
Coast 2 Coast taxis run a professional service. For airport transfers, train transfers, school...
Martin Pears Engineering Ltd
5.0 (9)
South Devon’s Complete Countryside Supplier – from new and used agricultural machinery sales, servicing,...
Actionwest Computer and IT Services
0.0 (0)
Actionwest Business Systems Ltd, Computer and Laptop Supply Servicing and IT Support for Home...
Salcombe Marine Services - SMS (Salcombe) Ltd
0.0 (0)
Category: Marine Engineers
Twisted Marine is an engineering company with a difference. We specialise in luxury yacht...
Rare and Pasture
0.0 (0)
Category: Food & Drink
Rare & Pasture is an artisan, organic Charcuterie and Smokery making award-winning smoked and...
Pizza Planet - Takeaway - Delivery - Kingsbridge
5.0 (5)
Category: Takeaways
Since 2005, we have been offering fresh dough pizzas for delivery & collection in...
Chartsedge - Estate Agents - Totnes
5.0 (1)
Chartsedge is an independent estate agent based in Totnes marketing homes in Devon and...
Howdens - Kingsbridge
0.0 (0)
kitchens, joinery & hardware. Available for trade from local stock. Howdens is the UK's...

Latest Listings

Latest Reviews

Hippo Plumbing & Heating
P Peter
"Great service and top quality workmanship, highly chap too !"
Nature Calls Boat Tours - Kingsbridge & Salcombe Estuary
HJ Helena Jefferson
"Thoroughly enjoyed our river cruise between the beautiful Kingsbridge and Salcombe. A perfect mix of interesting facts and information about..."
Martin Pears Engineering Ltd - Agricultural Sales, Engineering, Supplies and Feed
SB Samantha Bidwell
"Great place for animal feed and bedding"
Simply Soulful Yoga & Therapies with Donna McCheyne
N N.F.
"Donna created an amazing and wonderful [bespoke yoga] weekend for us all. Everything was thought of. Loved the outside space..."
Merrifield House Devon
E Emma
"We had such a wonderful stay at Merrifield House set in a relaxing & peaceful location. Donna, Marcus & their..."
Dyas & Sons Removals Storage Van & Man Hire
DC Derek Capelin
"Absolutely outstanding service. Thoroughly recommended. Excellent communication. My move went seamlessly to plan and I emphatically thank Dyas and Sons..."
Nature Calls Boat Tours - Kingsbridge & Salcombe Estuary
NC Nick Cotter
"This is a new boat service operating out of Kingsbridge or Salcombe. We had a trip on 27 May and..."
AD Framing Studio
LM Lydia Milford
"As a professional artist i have used many framers over the years, and find Andre to be one of the..."
Dart Roofing - Stoke Fleming - Dartmouth
NP Neil Pitcher
"Can't rate Nigel and his team enough. Fantastic job replacing my roof - they were all courteous, highly professional..."
Nash & Co Solicitors
A Andrea
"Amanda and Amy went above and beyond to help me complete my house sale and purchase in a timely manner...."
B LEE Plumbing and Heating
G Gemma
"Fantastic job! Start to finish communication was brilliant with a detailed quote entailing what work was to be carried out...."
Martin Pears Engineering Ltd - Agricultural Sales, Engineering, Supplies and Feed
AB Amanda Bloomer
"What an amazing treasure with everything from the smallest socket to a hulking great tractor!! Lovely, helpful, knowledgeable staff..."

Our Sponsors

* The information contained on this page is correct to the best of our knowledge, if you notice anything that you know to be incorrect or misleading, please contact us. Long Light logo

© 2012 - 2023 South Hams Online Ltd - All Rights Reserved. Legal & Privacy | Sitemap