Updating our residents: Covid-19

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Update to our residents

17 April 2020

Thank you and keep following the guidance

Phil and Gordon

Throughout Easter, as at other times since the lockdown began three weeks ago, people across our communities largely followed the government’s advice and stayed at home, only going out when absolutely necessary. Thank you for doing this and playing your part in protecting the NHS and saving lives.

With the lockdown extended for at least another three weeks, it is critically important that you continue to follow the Government’s advice and that you are not tempted to ignore it. All the evidence suggests that our collective efforts are having a positive effect, slowing the spread and reducing the number of people contracting the virus, as well as the number of tragic deaths resulting from it.

In last week’s update we mentioned that some of our staff were being abused on the telephone and in recent days some have faced this when carrying out essential council work across the district. Whether they are out checking car parking spaces are being kept free for essential key workers, processing the numerous business support grants or carrying out essential maintenance on behalf of the council, all these staff, like our residents, deserve to be treated with respect and courtesy. Please support them in simply carrying out their duties during this difficult time.

Phil Shears, Managing Director and Gordon Hook, Council Leader

Covid strapline

New hotline attracts calls from people seeking help


The desperate needs identified by those contacting our Coronavirus hotline service, launched on Tuesday, shows the importance of everyone looking out for vulnerable neighbours and friends.

While social distancing, please continue to keep a watchful eye out for those who might need support. Our hotline – 01626 215 512 – has attracted a wide range of calls, including people unsure where to get help; relatives outside of Devon unable to assist elderly or disabled relatives due to their own need to self-isolate; people self-isolating who have been made unemployed and haven’t enough money to get the necessities needed.

Examples of people we have already helped include:

  • A registered blind person in their 80s living alone who is an insulin dependent diabetic, has vascular dementia with significant short term memory loss, who can’t go out to get food and needs support.
  • A blind 96-year-old grandmother whose relatives cannot visit to support her because they are in a vulnerable category and who needs help to get essentials.
  • An elderly disabled person needing support to register on the Government’s website as a vulnerable person and who has no fresh food
  • An elderly couple who have an online supermarket delivery booked in three weeks but who do not have sufficient food to last till then.
  • A person with multiple health conditions who can’t get food delivered and whose wife doesn’t dare go out for fear of bringing the virus into the home
  • A vulnerable person self-isolating apart from hospital visits for chemotherapy who cannot afford to have a major shop delivered due to lack of money, being made unemployed and the shortage of supermarket delivery slots.

The Government has published guidance on how you can look out for vulnerable people safely

If you think someone might need help you can call the hotline on 01626 215 512 or email coronavirus.support@teignbridge.gov.uk

The hotline page on our website now features an online Residents’ Support Form, so details can be sent to the most suitable support agency.

Almost £20million paid in grants

business hands

Concentrated efforts – including staff working over the Easter weekend – has resulted in 1,698 business grants being paid out in less than two weeks, with a value totalling almost £20 million.

To date we have received 2,191 applications and those outstanding are the ones which are more complex and take longer to process. Where more information is required our staff are contacting the applicants by email to keep them up to date.

To make sure businesses in need do not miss out, we have now written to those which have not applied and are also texting them where we hold their numbers.

Our team is processing applications as swiftly as possible so we would ask those who have not yet received their grants to not contact us directly as that will slow down the process.


Job Retention Scheme launches on Monday

The online claim service for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be launched on GOV.UK on Monday 20 April 2020. Any entity with a UK payroll can apply, including businesses, charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities. You can find more information on the scheme and eligibility to claim here.

Fall back in love with your garden


Many of us confined to home are getting out in our gardens more these days. It’s somewhere to go for exercise and fresh air, plus reconnecting with nature is known to be good for our mental health.

When the weather’s nice, you can get on top of lawn cutting, pruning and so on. Be aware that your hedge might have nesting birds inside and taking the trimmer or shears to it just now could be harmful to them.

Don’t forget too that trimming and cutting will produce quite a build-up of green waste, and our recycling centres are closed at the moment.

Recycle Devon have some great ideas on how you can reduce, reuse and recycle in your garden  

The RSPB have some fab garden project ideas as do the wildlife trusts.

Rescheduled waste collections

Bin men thank you

Having had a well-earned break over the Easter weekend, our waste and recycling crews will be working on Saturdays for the next two weeks to catch up on the collections that would have taken place on the bank holidays.

You can find your adjusted collection day for the next two weeks on our website.

Local Plan consultation: sustainable communities

Local plan sustainability

This week’s look at what our new draft Local Plan says and what it requires from new applications for development is about creating ‘Sustainable Communities’.

The impacts of planning decisions have real consequences for people’s lives. ‘Sustainable’ development balances the often competing needs of residents, our environment and the local economy.

We must live within our environmental limits – the alternative being Climate Change, environmental degradation, and poor health and wellbeing.

Our new Local Plan will test new development proposals against a Sustainability Checklist:

  • Protecting our soils, air and water quality
  • Creating strong neighbourhoods
  • Providing new infrastructure early in any development
  • Protecting the amenity of people’s homes, particularly privacy, overlooking and light.

We’re doing everything we can to help deliver vital facilities like community buildings, roads, doctors’ surgeries, play areas and schools. Since introducing the Community Infrastructure Levy in 2014, we’ve demanded over £4 million from developments and have been awarded nearly £70 million of Government funding for infrastructure.

Unfortunately, we can’t provide everything we want. We’ll test our Local Plan policies and any future development sites we propose to allocate to ensure our aspirations are realistic and viable. This will make it easier to deliver infrastructure, affordable housing and a level of building quality needed to make great places.

To find out more, have your say and watch the Sustainable Communities video 

We’re all getting active – virtually!

Leisure trainers

Our Leisure team want to thank everyone who took part in our online workouts and special Easter activities. We really appreciate your enthusiastic support!

It’s great to know so many of you want to get active ‘virtually’, despite missing your normal gym sessions at our Leisure Centres. Look out for more ideas coming up.

Have YOU been dancercising in the dining room, doing weights in the washroom or circuits in the conservatory? If so please send us photos of yourselves via Facebook or send via Twitter

Our Spot the Difference competition and Easter Egg Hunt went down well, especially with our younger audience, and we’ll be announcing the names of the lucky winners in a future issue of this newsletter, on social media and on our website.  

Staying in touch

social media

This Update is proving to be a good way for us to let you how our services are managing the impact of the pandemic – and about changes to our routine work.

But for urgent updates we’re using social media. To see the latest news in brief, please like us on Facebook or Twitter – or follow the link on our website 

Covid leaflet
Every mind