21 April - North Devon Council Coronavirus update

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North Devon Council Newsletter

Current information about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Find support for your business

Gov.UK logo

The government has launched new coronavirus business support finder tool

Coronavirus (COVID-19) support is available to employers and the self-employed. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief or cash grants to help you during the coronavirus pandemic.

You can use this business support finder tool to quickly and easily find out what financial support is available for you and your business.

Click Here

Apply for a business rates grant now

 Woman Sitting on Sofa While Looking at Phone With Laptop on Lap

Many of the businesses that are eligible for the government grants have still not applied for money to help get them through the Coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

There is still time though, so if your business:

  • Gets small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • Is a retail, hospitality or leisure business with a rateable value of up to £15,000

You can get a grant of £10,000 

  • Is a retail, hospitality or leisure business with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000

You can get a grant of £25,000

Applying using our online form is quick and simple and the money will be in your business account within days. 

Apply Now

Minimise the risk of Legionnaire's Disease post COVID-19

water going down plug hole

The Royal Society for Public Health are holding a webinar at 1pm on Thursday 23 April for owners of buildings, including hotels and other accommodation sites, offices, health clubs, commercial buildings etc. that have been closed or partially closed during the COVID-19 pandemic

These buildings could pose a significant risk of causing severe illness and even death from Legionnaire’s disease when reopened unless suitable precautions are taken both at the de-commissioning and re-commissioning stages.

You can sign up for the webinar using the link below:

Click Here

Important information for local businesses

Barnstaple chamber of commerce logo

Barnstaple & District Chamber of Commerce Ltd are holding a series of webinars and online meet-ups which aim to support local businesses through the pandemic.

The next of these will be this Friday 24 April at 1pm.

A full list of their events is available online: 


Free digital skills programme for women

Women taking part in a digital skills program

Love Digital is a free digital skills learning programme for women in the Barnstaple area* who are looking to advance their digital skills .

These workshops are combined with 1-to-1 mentoring, to support women wanting to enhance their career opportunities. This programme will take place via Zoom, but we will hope to meet up one day in real life to have a cuppa and to make contact with your local group.

*If you would have been able to get to Barnstaple for these sessions, then that would qualify you to be 'Barnstaple area'.

The sessions are held from 9:30am - 1:30pm

Dates as follows:

Session 1 - Catchup session will be available online

Session 2 - Catchup session will be available online

Session 3 - Tuesday 5th May 2020

Session 4 - Tuesday 19th May 2020

Session 5 - Tuesday 2nd June 2020

Businesses asked how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted them

Sorry we're closed sign

Businesses in northern Devon are being asked how the coronavirus pandemic has affected them, to help their local councils ensure businesses are receiving the right support and to help shape recovery plans.

North Devon and Torridge councils, together with North Devon+, are appealing to local businesses to take part in a short survey that asks what the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak has been on businesses and what steps they are taking. The results of the survey will help both councils identify where support is most needed, ensure every business is accessing the help available to them and enable the councils to inform central government about the impacts in northern Devon. 


Barnstaple High Street Survey

BTCM logo

Barnstaple Town Centre Management would love to know what you are missing about Barnstaple High Street.

They can't wait to welcome everyone back once it's safe to do so but they also know that things will be different.

If you could please take 5 minutes to complete this survey it will really help them to understand the changes to shopping behaviour and ensure that Barnstaple is open for business as soon as possible.


North Devon Crematorium Update

Crematorium exterior

A message from the Crematorium manager:

We would like to start by thanking you for your help during this difficult time. Sadly we anticipate several more weeks of having to operate in this unusual way.

The government has made some changes to their advice regarding attending funerals. Much of this had already been incorporated into our processes but there have been some subtle changes/clarifications.

  • The Government emphasised a post-service period must be allowed for cleaning. This hasn’t been an issue but it seems wise to set some guidelines. Consequently, 30 minute interval services should be completed (and all mourners left the chapel) after 15 minutes whilst 40 minute interval services should be completed (and all mourners left the chapel) after 25 minutes.
  • The Government allowed a mourner number limit to be set, dependent on an assessment of the location. To help you be clear with families and to protect all visitors and staff, a maximum of 12 mourners can attend a service. Within that number the following may attend:

Close family, members of the household and if none of those are able to attend - close friends.

Close family is defined as: Spouse/Partner   Parents/carers   Brothers/Sisters    Children (and partners)

  • The Government supported allowing medically vulnerable mourners to be able to attend. As a result, one mourner who is extremely clinically vulnerable can attend the service and view from the Rowan Chapel viewing room by arrangement with the funeral director. It is asked that in these cases individuals consider the risks and whether they would be better advised to use the free webcast option (through the funeral director).

I would like to add a reminder that for all but a direct cremation, a live webcast is available at no cost and can be booked via the Obitus site. 

Please advise mourners using this service that internet capacity locally and nationally may impact the availability or quality of the webcast at times. To ensure each service is entirely webcast and because we are a working crematorium, there may be occasions that viewings overlap another service, or show chapel preparation. Viewers may prefer to terminate the viewing as soon as the lead mourners have left the chapel to avoid this.

The changed Government advice, advocates adopting arrangements to allow mourners from a self-isolating household. A risk assessment has not supported offering this option at North Devon Crematorium because of the risks to mourners, staff and funeral staff. In the event mourners are still self-isolating at the time of the funeral they should be encouraged to use the free webcast.

Crematorium grounds remain closed (except for funerals) as the government legislation closing them remains in place for the duration of the emergency.

North Devon Cemeteries remain open for funerals and pedestrian visitors (note main gates closed).

NDC managed play areas, skate parks and pump track are CLOSED

Bicclescombe Park

Just a reminder that all NDC managed play areas, Rock Park skate park in Barnstaple, Bendricks skate park and the bike pump track at Braunton are all closed at present.

As it is impossible to block access to these areas entirely, we are asking our residents please do not visit these places, and don't let your children visit them. It is not safe at the moment and you could easily catch coronavirus by touching equipment that a carrier of the virus may have previously touched.

We are asking this for your own safety and for the safety of others in our community.

We were disappointed to hear from the police that people have been ignoring our requests not to use the skate parks, even removing the 'closed signs' we had put up.

In Ilfracombe a large group of adults and children were congregating and the police had to issue fines for ignoring government advice.

Please respect other people and do not use our outdoor leisure facilities at this time.

Other sources of advice and information

Avoid misinformation on Coronavirus - only follow advice from official, trusted sources. 

Devon County Council




NHS England


Public Health England


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