North Tawton Town Council announced this week that it had raised its fundraising target for the Jubilee clock tower and church lych gate appeal which was launched three months ago.

On Tuesday (September 5), the town council revealed that the fundraiser had been a success and it had raised the total £11,000 shortfall it needed to afford the repairs needed to the clock tower roof skirt, which collapsed last year due to internal rot. Some of the money will also go towards fixing the church’s lych gate.

Councillor Colin Lee, the chairman of North Tawton Town Council, said: “Some residents have speculated that the damage was caused by a Gregory’s Distribution lorry, a bus and even our local children. This simply is not true.”

Resident Grahame Flynn has helped the council set up the appeal, which proved to be controversial with some residents questioning why the taxpayer should pay more for the repairs when the money the council promised to contribute came from the taxpayer in the first place. Others have raised concerns that the clock tower was not maintained properly and was the reason behind the roof skirt’s collapse.

Cllr Lee has already reassured residents. He said: “I can confirm that insurance cover was in place, but this did not cover structural failure due to internal rot. In October 2022, sixteen building contractors were invited to tender having been supplied with the Structural Report and Schedule of Works. One contractor shone out...and was awarded the contract to not only replace the damaged roof but undertake a restoration of the tower. The work will also deal with the design flaw identified in the surveys.”

The council has said that it has “been moved by the amazing generosity of local residents and business owners who felt able to support the appeal during the current economic crisis.”

Repair work has already started on the clock tower.