A Christmas Update from South Hams District Council

Council News

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December 2021

Merry Christmas and safe tidings from South Hams District Council

Merry Christmas from everyone at South Hams District Council; in this festive newsletter you'll get the latest advice on COVID-19 and the booster vaccine programme, our opening hours, changes to waste and recycling collections, information on how to find services that could help you this winter and details on how to follow our Council meetings from the safety of your own home in the New Year.

Cllr Judy Pearce 2021

Cllr Judy Pearce, Leader of South Hams District Council, said:

“For many people, the pandemic has made this a really tough year again. COVID-19 is sadly still with us and we are still having to adapt how we live to protect ourselves, our families and others.

“This Christmas, I would like to say an especially big thank you to all essential frontline workers, who are still working tirelessly to keep the South Hams running.

“Stay safe everyone and may you all have a very Merry Christmas.”   

Current COVID-19 Guidance - Plan B


England has moved to Plan B in response to the risks of the Omicron variant. The measures currently in place are designed to slow the spread of the variant.

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the South Hams, follow the latest guidance:

  • Wear a face covering in most indoor public places and on public transport
  • Get tested and self-isolate if required
  • Work from home, if you can
  • Get vaccinated
  • Let fresh air in if you meet indoors. Meeting outdoors is safer.

There are other straightforward behaviours and actions you can take to combat the virus, including:

  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Test regularly
  • Stay at home when you feel unwell, even if you test negative
  • Use the COVID-19 NHS App 
  • Let fresh air into your home regularly for 10 minute spells

Following these simple actions can help save lives in our district and protect yourself and others around you.

Get Boosted Now

Get Boosted Now Asset

Coronavirus data suggests the Omicron variant of the virus is extremely transmissible and is becoming the dominant strain of the disease.

It's already in the South Hams and if left unchecked, our local NHS is at risk of being quickly overwhelmed. 

A booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine helps improve the protection you have from your first two doses of the vaccine.

It helps give you longer-term protection against getting seriously ill from COVID-19.

Who's eligible?

  • Everyone aged 18 or over
  • you are aged 16 or over with a health condition that puts you at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19
  • you are a frontline health or social care worker
  • you live or work in a care home
  • you are aged 16 or over and are a main carer for someone at high risk from COVID-19
  • you are aged 16 or over and live with someone who has a weakened immune system (such as someone who has HIV, has had a transplant or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)

How do I organise a booster vaccination?

You can find your nearest walk-in clinic on NHS England’s site finder here. Appointments can be booked via the National Booking System

Christmas Opening Hours

Phone Call Customer Service

Our customer contact centre will close at 3 p.m. on 24 December for the Christmas period, reopening at 9 a.m. on 4 January.

If you have an emergency, call our emergency helpline on 01803 867034.

You can find out about our services, make payments and applications, and view your Council Tax account on our website - www.southhams.gov.uk

If you wish to make a payment over the phone rather than on the website, you can do so on our automated payment line on 0330 088 7946.

From 4 January, our contact centre will be open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You'll be able to call us on 01803 861234.

Christmas Waste Collection Calendar

South Hams Christmas Waste Calendar 2022


Over the Christmas holidays we'll be collecting your waste and recycling at different times - see the waste calendar above to see how your collections are affected.

Dartmouth Lower Ferry

Dartmouth Lower Ferry


Dartmouth Lower Ferry will be changing its timetable over the Christmas and New Year season ⛴️ ⚓🎅

⛴️ Christmas Eve
🕖 Normal Service 

⛴️ Christmas Day
🕖 No Service

⛴️ Boxing Day

🕖 First Ferry from Kingswear - 10 a.m
🕖 Last Ferry from Dartmouth - 16.55 p.m

⛴️ 27 and 28 December

🕖 First Ferry from Kingswear - 8 a.m
🕖 Last Ferry from Dartmouth - 22.55 p.m

⛴️ 29, 30 and 31 December

🕖 Normal Service

⛴️ New Year's Day

🕖 First Ferry from Kingswear - 10 a.m
🕖 Last Ferry from Dartmouth - 16.55 p.m

⛴️ 2 and 3 January

🕖 First Ferry from Kingswear - 8 a.m
🕖 Last Ferry from Dartmouth - 22.55 p.m


A Support Directory signposting you to the help you need


We've launched a new online support directory signposting people to help this winter. 

The directory provides essential information and contact details for a wide range of support available across the district from the Council and other groups. This includes:

  • details on how to apply for the Household Support Fund to get help with paying essential bills
  • where to go for help if you have mobility needs, including applying for a blue badge or Personal Independence Payments
  • support to pay for energy costs as well as help to improve the energy efficiency of your home to reduce fuel bills
  • a list of places to go for financial and practical support for young people and families
  • contacts for a wide range of other support available locally, including foodbanks, help for people feeling isolated, mental health support and where to go for money and debt advice


Mental health support

Mental Health


While for many of us Christmas is a joyous period, for plenty of us it can be a difficult and testing time. Being aware of our mental health is always important and Christmas time is no different.

There are plenty of places that you can seek out support if you're struggling with things:

Watch our meetings online


Our Councillors and staff are taking a well earned break over the Christmas period, but Council meetings will resume in January.

During the pandemic, we've offered residents the opportunity to stay engaged with what we're doing and watch our Full Council and committee meetings online.

This can be done safely on YouTube, Facebook or on our engagement portal.

Although decision making continues to take place in person, due to the increased risk and to protect everyone involved, we are strictly abiding by our Health and Safety policies.

Therefore, we are limiting the number of people in all meeting rooms to safe numbers.

Priority for those attending the meeting in person will be given to the members of the committees and those people directly participating in the meeting.

Until the Government changes its guidance, we will continue to operate in this manner.