Residents in Devon will benefit from easier access to police and local council services thanks to an independent retailer who has established a new community office in her village.

The new office at Lesley Brown's Frankmarsh Stores in Barnstaple will open later this month and provide a "one-stop-shop" for residents.

Lesley said: "The housing estate is a long way from the Council offices and residents weren't able to easily reach them, so we had to do something to make sure they weren't isolated from the rest of the town."

During the day the office will be used by the police, housing authorities, local councillors and the Citizens Advice Bureau. In the evenings Lesley aims to use the space for educational courses and children's clubs.

"We'll also look at hiring it out to groups outside of the area to help fund its running," she added.

Lesley, who is the holder of the CRA Zero Tolerance Award for crime reduction, hopes the community office will reduce crime in the area. "Hopefully, a regular police presence will deter anyone from committing crimes here and encourage more people to speak up against crime."