Members of Sampford Courtenay Parish Council



Colin Coleman


I am a self-employed chartered engineer. I have run my business from my home in Sampford Courtenay for over 25 years and seek to recruit and train employees from the parish wherever possible.

I have a good working knowledge of planning, conservation and heritage and a particular interest in public finance and accountability. I am opposed to West Devon Borough Council’s Core Strategy, which gives national developers the right to ‘build by stealth’ new towns of 1,500 estate houses of low architectural merit, spoiling Devon’s unique environment and heritage.

I am married to Annette, have one grown-up son living in Bristol and am a keen horse rider and beekeeper.

You can contact me at

Marion Pratt

Parish Clerk

I have lived in Sampford Courtenay since 1980 and have been very involved in village life for the past 35 years, including Britain in Bloom, the Sunday school, and writing and producing pantomimes performed in the village hall.

My work as parish clerk since 2013 has filled any spare moments I have left after working part-time at Surf Bay Leisure in Winkleigh and spending time with my six grandchildren and the rest of the family.

You can contact me at or

John Palmer


Having lived in Broadclyst for 30 years, where we brought up four children, my wife, Ann, and I moved to Sampford Courtenay in 2006 to be nearer Dartmoor. Our house is down the bottom of Cliston Lane in Sampford Chapple.

Before retirement, my career was in teaching; for the last 16 years I was headteacher of John Stocker Middle School in Exeter.

I enjoy cycling, acting, singing, walking, driving around in my old Morris Eight tourer and playing with our five grandchildren – not necessarily in that order!

I have been a parish councillor for five years and serve on the Village Hall Committee as parish council representative.

Heather Smith

I have owned a property in Sampford Courtenay Parish, on the Crediton Road, since the mid 1980s, and moved here permanently in 2005. Previously, I was a Medical Editor in London, having come, in mid-career, from New Zealand where I was born. 


I sing in St Andrew’s Church choir, in several other surrounding choirs, join in circle or line dancing when I can and take part in nearby dramatic and musical productions. I belong to one of the two Sampford Courtenay book-reading groups and play table tennis in the village hall.


I was a parish councillor for several years after I retired from work. I re-joined the council again earlier this year.

Michele Wilson

Michele Wilson


I have lived in the village for nearly 20 years with my husband, Andy, and Jack Russell, Maddi. Now retired from the Devon and Cornwall Police, I have taken up sheep farming as a hobby and spend my spare time keeping fit through running and gardening and enjoying my lifelong passions of horse riding and travelling.

I hope that my experiences from my previous career, dealing with people and solving problems, will help me become a good and supportive councillor to members of the community living in and visiting the parish.

John Friend


I was deputy headteacher and acting head at Winkleigh School from 1981 until I retired in 1996. I then became senior invigilator at Okehampton College until I finally retired.

I have lived in Sampford Courtenay since January 1988 and I have been a parish councillor since 2011.

Jon Clatworthy-Edwards

Jon Clatworthy-Edwards


I live in the centre of the village with my wife and three young children, and run a business supplying equipment to distilleries and breweries all around the world. I am a new addition to the Parish Council, having joined in June 2017. 

When not involved with my family, my business or the Parish Council, I am a keen runner and cricket fan, and can be found walking the lanes with my dogs or enjoying the occasional pint.

Matthew Mcilwraith