COVID-19 - Important Updates for Town and Parish Councils

Important Update

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 24 March 2020


Coronavirus - Scam Alert

Scam alert

Fraudsters are preying on your fear and sending all sorts of scams related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Every hour we're being notified of a new scam or ransomware attack using the Coronavirus situation.

Below are some examples of the types of scams you should be on the lookout for:

  1. Emails that appear to be from organisations such as the Centres for Disease Control (CDC), or the World Health Organisation (WHO). The scammers have crafted emails that appear to come from these sources, but they actually contain malicious phishing links or dangerous attachments. Phishing is the term used for dishonest people pretending to be a reputable company so they can gain your personal information. 
  2. Emails that ask for charity donations for studies, doctors, or victims that have been affected by the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Scammers often create fake charity emails after global phenomenons occur, like natural disasters, or health scares like the COVID-19.
  3. Emails that claim to have a 'new' or 'updated' list of cases of Coronavirus in your area. These emails could contain dangerous links and information designed to scare you into clicking on the link.

Remain cautious!  Always remember the following to protect yourself from scams like this:

  • Never click on links or download attachments from an email that you weren’t expecting.
  • If you receive a suspicious email that appears to come from an official organisation such as the WHO or CDC, go to their website directly online and follow links from there.
  • If you want to make a charity donation, go to the charity website of your choice to enter your payment. Type the charity’s web address in your browser instead of clicking on any links in emails, or other messages.

Stop, Look, and Think. Don't be fooled.

Service Updates

Newspaper graphic

Recycling centres closed

Devon County Council have closed all the household waste recycling centres in Devon until further notice. Residents are asked to safely store the waste they would have taken to the recycling centre at home until the centres reopen.

Bulky Waste Collection

The closure of the recycling centres will mean that the Council’s bulky waste collection service will also be suspended with immediate effect until the centres can reopen. Anyone who has pre-booked a collection will be notified of the cancellation and refunded in full. Other waste collection are still operating as normal.

Public Toilet Closures

By 30 March, all public toilets in South Hams and West Devon will be closed until further notice. Public toilets are ‘high touch’ areas and therefore closing them will help reduce the spread of infection.

Notices will be placed on all entrances to advise of the closure.

Salcombe Harbour

In line with government policy to tackle the spread of COVID-19 Salcombe Harbour Authority has suspended all none essential operations whilst maintaining a watch system in line with its statutory duties. The Harbour Office is closed and services such as boat lifting and the harbour taxi are cancelled with immediate effect until such a time restrictions are lifted.

We appreciate that the next few weeks (at least) are going to be difficult but we expect everyone to follow current government guidelines such as no unnecessary journeys and only leaving home for essential activities. We therefore do not expect to see our stakeholders using harbour facilities or going afloat without a good reason that falls within the guidance published at the time.

We will be in touch with new guidance when the situation changes. The boatman will endeavour to maintain a listening watch on VHF Channel 14 daily from 30 March 9:00-4:30.

The Harbour Office phone will be answered remotely Mon-Fri 9:00-4:30 but email is our preferred means of contact for everyday business. Our out of hours contact number is 01803 867034 but in an emergency afloat or along the coast please dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

These efforts are being made to maintain everyone’s health and safety. We look forward to getting back up and running to facilitate your enjoyment of the Salcombe-Kingsbridge Estuary when we are advised it is safe to do so.

SHDC Play Park Closures

Further to the announcement from the Prime Minister yesterday evening, South Hams DC are commencing closure of our play parks.

The following action is being taken:

  • Play park closure signs are being produced today and tomorrow, with a view to being erected (subject to staff availability) between tomorrow and Friday at SHDC owned play parks.
  • Signs will be erected at fenced play areas on the gates/fencing advising of the closures. Gates will be cable tied/locked/chain and locked shut as appropriate.
  • At sites with unfenced play equipment, signs will be erected at entrances to the wider green spaces, or in the vicinity of the equipment.
  • Inspections of the play equipment will cease with immediate effect, however signs will carry a contact email address in the event that the public have cause for concern about the equipment.

For play parks owned by Town and Parish Council you are of course advised to take a similar course of action. Attached is an editable sign template, which you may wish to add your contact details to, print and erect at your play parks, as well as locking fenced play areas where this does not compromise access to a wider green space.

For Town/Parish Council owned sites with play equipment typically inspected by SHDC officers, these inspections will cease for the duration of the formal play park closures – this reflecting the fact that there should be no public use of play equipment at this time, and as inspecting officers will be heavily involved with the wider COVID-19 response.

Consistent with Government advice, South Hams DC are not closing wider green spaces/parks at this time, but we will of course monitor national advice carefully, act accordingly and keep you informed as to any change to our local approach.  

Environmental Protection - Stray Dogs

There will be no collections of stray dogs for the foreseeable future. We are encouraging residents to advertise locally on social media if they find a stray or to take them straight to Animals in Distress in Ipplepen, or Margaret Green Animal Rescue Centre in West Devon, known as Wingletang.

As of 1 April we will be not be using Foredown but will carry on using Animals in Distress.

Useful DCC Advice Webpage

Devon County Council have created a useful webpage where you can access information on general and stay at home guidance, advice for village halls, advice for community groups, protecting the isolated & vulnerable and advice for community transport.  Click on the link below.