East Devon residents' Coronavirus update Friday 1 May 2020

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Coronavirus weekly residents update

Coronavirus (Covid-19) update - 1 May 2020

Welcome to the weekly Coronavirus (Covid-19) update for East Devon residents. We are working to keep you informed through this email update and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pages on our website, which have all our latest information, and links to the Government, the NHS and our community.

Please forward this email to anyone you think would find it useful and encourage them to sign up.

You can also can share this update on social media and in any online groups you're part of by using this link to the update on our website.

Stay at Home, Save Lives

This week's message from East Devon's Leader and Chief Executive

This week the Government announced a further cash grant to help offset the increased costs and loss of income that the Council has and is experiencing. In total, East Devon District Council’s share of the combined £3.2bn allocation is £1,514,081. Whilst the grant is very welcome it is just one piece of the jigsaw in adapting the council to the much changed financial circumstances and we are now assessing the matter and will be debating how we respond to these changed circumstances.

To give you an idea of the extensive work our staff have been doing to help our communities and businesses at this time whether that be in the Community Hub, issuing business grants or collecting waste we have produced an infographic to give you some of the key facts and figures.

Using a £1 million pot of funding allocated by Devon County Council to all Devon Local Authorities we will now be able to help those who have been affected by Coronavirus and who may not be able to access funding or support from elsewhere. Information on how to apply to this fund is featured in the update.

The reminder from the Office of National Statistics that deaths in community settings, including care homes, are continuing to rise, shows that we cannot be complacent and that even though here in Devon, the infection curve has been lower and slower than in other places, it is more important than ever that we keep on with social distancing and being careful. This weekend we ask that you continue to stay at home and when you are on your daily exercise try to do this walking from your own home rather than driving somewhere to exercise.

And finally on a positive note whilst we live through challenging times at the moment, it has been heartening to see staff members at East Devon District Council using their initiative to help others, the work of Hal Furneaux-Gotch making PPE parts to help support frontline staff featured below is inspiring.

Stay safe and well.

Together #WeareDevon

Best wishes
Cllr Ben Ingham and Mark Williams

East Devon infographic

Stay at Home this weekend

Stay at Home, Save your Family

It has become more and more of a concern recently due to noticeable increases in traffic that people in East Devon are starting to ignore the message about the importance of staying at home. Please make use of the open spaces, paths and quiet roads near your homes during your daily exercise walking ideally from home rather than driving to a location for a walk. 

The Government have produced a list of frequently asked questions to help.

Don’t let fly tipping spoil East Devon

Fly tipping

Even in lockdown fly tipping is a serious crime and everyone is responsible for taking steps to ensure their waste is disposed of correctly. This includes you checking that anyone taking your waste away is a registered carrier.

Fly tipping not only spoils our outstanding environment, but also unnecessarily costs the tax payer to clean up. Even green (garden) waste damages sites by spreading invasive plants and impacting our native plants and wildlife.

During the past two years the Environmental Health service of East Devon District Council has investigated 49 littering and fly tipping cases and issued 25 fixed penalty notices. They have collected £3,460 in fines and £1,263 in clean up reimbursement costs. Our current figures for January to March are only 26 cases up from last year (within seasonal variation), but we are concerned that the figures for April may be higher.

Since February 2020, we’ve introduced an additional fixed penalty fine against householders who fail in their duty of care in respect of how their waste is disposed.

The penalty is exactly the same as it already is for anyone caught actually fly-tipping waste themselves and we will always look to catch and prosecute anyone either caught in the act of fly tipping or using an unlicensed carrier:

  • £200 fine (reduced to £120 if paid within ten days of service of the notice) for small fly tips of 180 litres (a standard wheeled bin) or less.
  • £400 fine (reduced to £200 if paid within ten days of service of the notice) for medium and large fly tips.

You must either pass waste on to the council’s collection service, or take certain waste to recycling centres (when they reopen) or pass it on to registered waste carriers. You must not pass waste on to any person who does not hold a licence.

If unlicensed collectors are used they may fly tip the waste and in these cases, it is you, the householder who remains responsible for it. If the fly tipper cannot be found then the originator of the waste can be issued with a fixed penalty notice.

Householders can check that waste carriers are licensed on the Environment Agency website .

Please tell us about a fly tipping problem that you have seen in East Devon. You can report any incidents of fly tipping either via the East Devon website or on the East Devon app

Here’s how you can help protect the countryside, our staff and the public while we are in lockdown:

  • Keep waste to a minimum and store it until recycling centres reopen
  • Ensure that if a contractor disposes of waste on your behalf they do so appropriately
  • Report any fly tipping that you see, particularly if you see those responsible or there is evidence present that you can identify them

East Devon Coronavirus Community Support Hub Hotline

Community Hub update

Since it was set up on 30 March our Coronavirus Community Hub Hotline has received on average 50 calls per day since opening. It is supporting people with finding help for food deliveries and picking up prescriptions.

Individuals or organisations can now request or offer community support by filling out one of our online form​s. You can search by postcode on the East Devon District Council Coronavirus Community Support Hub to find your local group or organisation providing support at this time.

Call the Community Hub hotline now on 01395 571500 if you, or a group you know, needs help or you would like to volunteer. The line is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Financial Hardship Fund

Devon County Council have made available £1 million of funding for Devon Local Authorities to help those who are affected by Coronavirus and who may not be able to access funding or support from elsewhere. The aim of the funding is to address the economic vulnerability and financial hardship being felt and to help rebuild the financial resilience of those affected.

Applications for this fund can either be made on-line through our website or to speak to someone about this please telephone 01395 516551.

Broadclyst Parish Community Support Scheme

Broadclyst Parish Council activated its Emergency Plan on 16 March and has now set up a Community Support Scheme to help residents of the parish of Broadclyst during these unprecedented times.


They have 110 volunteers, with volunteer area coordinators in place across most of the parish, which covers 25 square miles! The volunteers can help with shopping, medicines, exercising pets, posting mail, and even just being a friendly voice at the end of a phone.  They have received £495 of funding from the Devon County Council and East Devon District Council Covid-19 Prompt Action Fund to help pay volunteers fuel costs.  

Read more to find out about this amazing support scheme.


Local Broadclyst resident Julie (who is 79 years old) has been inspired by recent fundraising events and is currently raising money to aid CLYST CARING FRIENDS who provide a Transport service, social activities and a day centre for local elderly, inform, disabled or isolated residents.

Julie is looking to complete 100 laps – totalling 6.2 miles around where she lives, as a sufferer of COPD and other mobility issues she hopes to achieve this with the help of her walker and by completing a minimum of 5 laps a day. Julie's fundraising challenge began on Sunday 19th April 2020.

To sponsor Julie, please visit the website.

Essential Workers Testing

If you're an essential worker or over the age of 65, tests are now available for you and members of your household who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms.

It means people will have the reassurance of knowing whether their symptoms are caused by coronavirus and can decide whether they are well enough to return to work if the test is negative.

Tests can be booked via the government's online system. Employers can register and refer self-isolating staff, and employees can book a test directly for themselves or members of their household who are experiencing symptoms – a high temperature or new continuous cough.

Business Update

Business update

East Devon District Council has paid more than £35m in grants to support 2999 local businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. Currently, 51 organisations have declined the grant. In the event that your business does not wish to accept the grant, please complete the grant refusal form because confirmation is needed when a grant is declined. Government has issued new advice on these payments, confirming that grants are taxable when a business is in profit.

Government launches the Bounce Back Loan scheme to address difficulties faced by small and medium sized businesses on Monday 4 May. It will provide 100% guaranteed loans for a period of up to 6 years between £2000 and £50,000, with no repayments fees or interest in the first 12 months. Businesses which have claimed a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) cannot take a Bounce Back Loan, but loans can be transferred to the new scheme.

There are still places available for FREE training with online webinars to help you respond to the current challenging circumstances. You can book to increase online sales  and maximise business opportunities remotely, with more webinars to be announced.

Stay up to date by subscribing to our business update, add your email address and choose the ‘business’ topic.

Hal's PPE Production Line

Hal Furneaux-Gotch

As the lockdown extension continues, our ingenuity and creativity continues to emerge in many different ways. Not least is the response from individuals who have answered the call to help produce Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline staff.  This is exactly what East Devon District Council engineer Hal Furneaux-Gotch has been doing with his wife Hannah, while working from home. In his spare time, Hal is using his technical skills to produce PPE using a 3D printer in his living room.

Read more

Recyling update

Please separate your recyclables

Recycling unit

Please help our collection crews by putting large quantities of single materials, which would normally go in your recycling box, in a container separate from your green recycling box. Putting glass or cardboard in a separate box makes the collection a bit easier for them and is greatly appreciated by our crews. You can use a cardboard box or any old storage box as your extra container.

Hand hygiene

Please wash your hands after handling your recycling and waste containers to and from the kerbside. Our crews are following the best hygiene practices they can but they are coming into contact with a high number of containers every day.

Concerns about your recycling and waste collections

Thank you to everyone who has raised concerns about why their waste has not been collected. There may be several reasons as to why the waste hasn't been taken:

• It is possible the material left for collection could not be identified by the crew, i.e. waste secured in black bags
• Some waste could have been contaminated
• Or the crews could not get to the areas due to staff shortages/access issues

If your recycling or waste hasn't been collected you can report using the East Devon app or via the website. Before you report it, please wait until 5pm because the collection crew may still be out working. Also check that:

Thelma Hulbert Gallery update

Tree exercises to help find wellbeing and cope with future changes.

Gordon Field Nature Short

This week artist and tree dowser Gordon Field shows us three tree exercises. Through artworks, interventions and events, Gordon makes others aware of the world around us and our place within it. Through his work, trees reveal to him their overall well-being and how they will cope with future changes. These exercises will hopefully help you do the same!

Watch out for the next NATURE SHORT - Wed 6 May


Part of Culture + Climate 2020 in partnership with East Devon AONB, NATURE SHORTS is an online series showcasing art practices which inspire, build creativity and deepen our connection with nature especially during isolation. Every Wednesday April - June

Wild East Devon update

Wild East Devon

Although our nature reserves remain open for local residents to use as part of our daily exercise, many regular visitors who live further than a short walk away are missing the sights, sounds and serenity that our ten reserves can provide. To enable our visitors to remain connected with what’s going on at our sites as well as the work we’re able to continue to complete during this period we are regularly feeding our social media and website with wildlife updates, outdoor activities for your garden, and nature reserve management insights.

Check out @wildeastdevon to get the latest.

With our events programme suspended until June at the earliest, we have been filling the void by posting videos the help experience our events at home. In our latest instalment, meditation instructor Katherine Bolton from Pebblemoon takes you through a guided meditation in the beautiful surroundings of Seaton Wetlands from the sheltered pond dipping area. Enjoy the sounds and peace for 30 minutes. For meditation classes we’ll be running later in the year please look at our events guide.

Hedgehog Awareness Week

Don’t forget that Hedgehog Awareness Week is coming up from 3rd – 9th May. Let’s do all we can to help our spiny friends.

Meet Ted the new team member already making headlines

Meet Ted the new recruit

Ted was sadly left behind on Seaton beach last week - but until his owner is found, he has been helping Pete Blyth our Beach Officer carry out essential work and has been keeping a holiday photo album of his travels. Devon Live picked up the story after his photos appeared on our Twitter page. Welcome Ted we hope you continue to enjoy your travels! 

NHS Open for Business

You can still contact your GP, 111 online or call 111 for help. If you are told to go to hospital, you must go. The NHS will give you the care you need www.nhs.uk

Trusted sources of advice and information

Please make sure that you only follow advice from trusted, official sources: