East Devon residents' Coronavirus update Friday 19 June 2020

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Coronavirus weekly residents update

Coronavirus (Covid-19) update - 19 June 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.

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Breaking News...more public toilets to reopen across East Devon

Public Toilets

Four more public toilets are to re-open in East Devon from Monday 29 June, adding to the ten facilities across the district that opened up a month ago to give better access for the public.

The toilets that will re-open from Monday 29 June with opening hours from 8am to 8pm in the summer months are:

  • Cliff Path (West End, Steamer Steps), Budleigh Salterton
  • Magnolia Centre, Exmouth
  • Phear Park, Exmouth
  • Market Place, Sidmouth

Toilets that re-opened from May and will have opening times extended from 8am to 8pm during the summer months from Monday 29 June are:

  • West Street Car Park, Axminster
  • East End (Lime Kiln), Budleigh Salterton
  • Jubilee Gardens, Beer
  • Foxholes Car Park, Exmouth
  • Manor Gardens, Exmouth
  • Queens Drive/Old Lifeboat, Exmouth
  • King Street, Honiton
  • West Walk, Seaton
  • Connaught Gardens, Sidmouth
  • Triangle, Sidmouth

Read more

Trust in Local Government is at its highest levels


Since 2012 the Local Government Association have been running regular polling to find out what people think about their council and local area. The latest results show satisfaction with local councils is at its best since the research began. The poll was carried out between 11 and 14 June and found that satisfaction with the way councils run things is the highest at 75 per cent. 68 per cent of residents think their council acts on their concerns – up from an average of 60 per cent. 69 per cent think their council keeps them informed – an increase of 9 per cent since February. Trust in councils is now at 71 per cent, which is a 12-percentage point increase from the last score of 59 per cent in February.

The results are testament to how councils have responded to the COVID-19 crisis. At a time which has been one of the most testing for local government, councils have pulled through to support their communities, protecting the most vulnerable residents and are now moving to recover and rebuild local economies. Whilst trust in many public institutions has fallen in recent weeks, councils are bucking that trend, which again is down to the great work of teams like ours in responding to the crisis.

Be Scam Aware

Be Scam Aware

This year’s Scams Awareness campaign has begun. It’s an opportunity for us all to be #ScamAware and stop scammers all year round, not just during the coronavirus crisis. The Citizens Advice Bureau have produced some handy hints and tips to give you the skills and confidence you’ll need to stop scams in their tracks. Check out their website for more information.  

Examples of scams this week, a scam caller has phoned one of our tenants claiming to be from East Devon District Council. If you receive a call like this, contact the police. 

The NHS Test and Trace service will now start emailing, phoning and texting people who have been in close contact with confirmed coronavirus cases. The team will call from: 0300 013 5000 OR send a text from “NHS”

How to sport a fraud with the NHS Test and Trace service, click here.

NHS Test and Trace

RNLI to increase lifeguard provision this summer 

RNLI Lifeguard

As of this Saturday (20 June), lifeguard patrols will start again at Exmouth beach, this will bring the total number of beaches with lifeguards across the south west operational to 34.

New measures to deal with the Coronavirus mean the RNLI lifeguard service will look a little different this year. Lifeguards will wear PPE like ambulance crews in some situations. New protocols for all first responders mean the lifeguards may not deal with some minor first aid cases but will support people to treat themselves. They will also try to keep socially distant from beach goers, and may need to adopt different patrol methods at times, such as not using the red and yellow flags and asking people to keep apart but close to shore, to help keep people safe while maintaining social distancing.

Anyone planning a visit to the coast across East Devon should remember to:

  • Have a plan - check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage
  • Keep a close eye on your family – on the beach and in the water
  • Don’t allow your family to swim alone
  • Don’t use inflatables
  • If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and Float
  • In an emergency dial 999, and ask for the Coastguard

Dates of next week's East Devon virtual council meetings 

East Devon update

On Wednesday 24th June an Extraordinary Virtual Council meeting will take place at 6pm. To view the agenda before the meeting, click here for more information. 

All our virtual committee meetings can be now viewed via our YouTube channel, search for 'East Devon District Council' and visit the website for the agenda for any meeting. 

Join the Green Waste Collection service

13000 Green Bins

Make your gardening even easier this summer by subscribing to our Green Waste fortnightly kerbside collection service. Over 13,000 households across East Devon have now subscribed.

You can still join up by signing up on our website or by calling 01395 571515. 

Update on East Devon skateparks and multi-use games areas

East Devon District Council has received a number of enquiries from people who would like to see our skateparks and multi-use games areas re-open.

While we understand the eagerness by some to use these much-loved facilities, government guidance has advised that playgrounds and similar facilities must remain closed for the time being until we are told otherwise.

These facilities attract large numbers of people and the activities they are used for would, by their nature, lead to breaches of social distancing. The council would be unable to regulate social distancing at these sites or clean all surfaces to the frequency needed to prevent the potential for the virus to be present.

The safety of our residents is paramount and we, as a council, have worked very hard to ensure that their health and wellbeing is protected from any identified risks from coronavirus. No one wants to undermine the measures and sacrifices our residents have made over the last three months to control the spread of coronavirus.

The government has acknowledged that playground sites – which would include skateparks - are a risk and their guidance to us is to keep them closed.

We understand that there are some people who are ignoring this advice and using the skateparks in our district. We appeal to you not to put yourself and others at risk by doing so.

Read more

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 normally Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Business update

Business update

This week’s round up of important news for East Devon businesses features the deadline (24 June) for applying for the Discretionary Grant Fund for small businesses which have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, a call to shop locally from Councillor Paul Hayward and last chance to book on free webinars to help businesses get back on track.

To receive our regular business updates simply visit our website, add your email address and choose the ‘business’ topic. You can read this week’s edition by clicking on the link. 

Thelma Hulbert Gallery update

Thelma Hilbert Gallery

Thelma Hulbert Gallery (THG), Honiton is making preparations to reopen its doors to the public with its acclaimed exhibition: ARTIST ROOMS Richard Long Being in the Moment. This ambitious exhibition, which examines our relationship with the natural world, is kick-starting East Devon District Council’s programme of cultural recovery. It will be accompanied by an inspiring new touring creative programme of art activities, projects and workshops coming soon to a neighbourhood near you.

Read more

Wild East Devon update

Dormice Surveys at Holyford Woods

Wild East Devon

Our monthly dormouse survey in Holyford Woods Nature Reserve near Colyford starts in April each year. Generally this is often a quiet time for seeing dormice, as many are only just coming out of hibernation. Dormice spent almost ¾ of the year asleep in some form!

The dormice surveys take place fairly early in the morning. This is when you have a greater chance of finding them still curled up asleep, before it has warmed up outside. On our April survey, 3 individuals were recorded which is a good number for the time of year. However in the May survey 10 were recorded! Which is the highest record for a May survey at the site. This is fantastic news as often the early summer months less are recorded as many don’t survive through the winter months. Autumn numbers can be higher as they also record the offspring of that years breeding season. So 10 was a big surprise and encouraging news that the population here came through the winter well at Holyford Woods.

Read more

Dormice at Harpford Woods

To keep in touch with the Wild East Devon Team follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

And finally...Love in lockdown

Love is in the air

In the course of our work every now and then we spot a heart warming story. Our contributor tells us they spotted the perfect holiday for their friend’s Tortoise, Tommy who is 90 years old.

Tommy had been up to his old tricks recently, walking long distance searching for the perfect partner to fill the void in his life.

A notice was spotted about Buttercup (aged ~60) who was looking for a holiday romance – and it was hoped she would find the perfect partner in Tommy (who lives near Axminster). The message was shared with the friend and luckily Tommy was the right species of Tortoise (Hermann’s) to stay with Buttercup.

When they met, it was love at first sight. Tommy is now enjoying his holiday in Sidmouth and who knows maybe there will be the pitter patter of tiny tortoise toes this summer. 

Trusted sources of advice and information

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

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