Latest Plymouth news and COVID-19 update

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COVID update – don’t be complacent

Act like you've got it image

It is really welcome to see the continuing decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases across Plymouth. However, rates remain high and the announcement this week about new strains across the country gives us all cause for concern.

Our Public Health Team is in regular contact with Public Health England, which would notify of us of any developments in our area. While there is no evidence the new South African strain is circulating within Plymouth, the advice from PHE is to continue to follow the stay home advice and to 'act as if you have it'.

We have seen another successful week in the roll out of the vaccination programme across Devon as a whole. We know that over 150,000 people have already received their first jab, and 80 per cent of people aged 80 and above have been vaccinated in Devon.

It is an amazing example of the NHS, Local Authorities, emergency services, and an army of volunteers working together. And we can all play our part by taking up the vaccine offer when invited to and continuing to follow the lockdown rules. Please remember, there is testing available for those with coronavirus symptoms – a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

Anyone with one or more of these symptoms should book a test at or by calling 119.

Discretionary Housing Payments

Building Control Fees House

If you are a tenant in receipt of Housing Benefit or the housing costs element of Universal Credit then you may be eligible for extra financial help if you are struggling to cover you rent.

A Discretionary Housing Payment may be available if there is a shortfall between the amount of housing related benefits you receive and the rent you pay, if you are in rent arrears or need to pay removal costs or rent in advance to be able to move to somewhere more suitable for your needs.

You may also be able to get a Discretionary Housing Payment if:

  • you have a spare bedroom that Housing Benefit or Universal Credit does not pay for
  • there is someone in your property who has a disability 
  • a benefit cap has reduced the Housing Benefit or Universal Credit you receive

These are only examples and don't cover all the circumstances in which a Discretionary Housing Payment can be awarded. 

Click here to find out more


New memorial on the Hoe

Peace Graden

A new memorial dedicated to the many victims of the slave trade will be unveiled in the Plymouth Hoe Peace Garden next month.

Mounted on a limestone plinth, it will feature a plaque that not only commemorates the many lives lost to the slave trade but also pays tribute to the work of Plymouth residents who worked tirelessly in their campaigns to end slavery.

An image of the British slave ship Brookes, designed by Plymouth MP and artist William Elford, will adorn the plaque.

It will be unveiled on 25 March to mark the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Find out more

It's Children's Mental Health Week

Kooth logo

It's Children's Mental Health Week and the theme for this year is Express Yourself, with many activities for children and young people to get involved in.

The coronavirus pandemic has been tough on everyone, especially children and young people. If you're concerned about the mental health of a young person why not check out Kooth?

Kooth is a free, safe, confidential and non-stigmatised way for young people to receive counselling, advice and support online, accessible for all 11 to 19 year olds in Plymouth.

Kooth has also unveiled its “Don’t Do It Alone” campaign, designed to encourage open conversations around mental health so children and young people know they are not alone with their struggles. 

Are you looking for a career change?

National Apprenticeship Week

Have you ever considered an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are not just for school leavers, they are available to anyone aged 16+.

So why not join our virtual recruitment session and find out more about some of our apprenticeship vacancies.

We have a range of apprenticeships on offer including legal apprenticeships, business admin, heavy goods vehicle maintenance and much more.

Taking place on Wednesday 10 February at 2pm, this is your chance to hear more from some of our recruiting managers as well as getting the opportunity to ask them questions.

Join the event here

Ready, steady, Census 2021

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The census is coming!

Households across Plymouth will soon be asked to take part in the nationwide survey of housing and the population. It has been carried out every decade since 1801, with the exception of 1941.

Information from the digital-first census will help decide how services are planned and funded in your local area. This could mean things like doctors’ surgeries, housing or new bus routes.

Households will receive a letter with a unique access code in the post, allowing them to complete their questionnaire online. Paper questionnaires will be available on request.

Census day is March 21 2021.

Find out more