Latest news and information on Covid-19

View this email in your browser


Information and support to help you through the pandemic

18 May 2020

Emergency financial help available for those in need

hardship fund

Today sees the launch of a £167,000 local hardship fund to support Teignbridge residents who cannot afford to pay for basic essentials due to the pandemic.

The Teignbridge COVID-19 Hardship Fund, in association with Devon County Council, will provide up to £200 to help with basic necessities such as food, household essentials, essential travel costs, utility payments etc.

Am I able to claim?

You will be eligible for a hardship fund grant if due to coronavirus:

  • You run your own business, and cannot currently trade / your business has been drastically reduced because of the pandemic
  • Your employment situation has changed and your income now no longer covers your needs
  • You  have lost your job due to the COVID-19 outbreak
  • You have still not received expected government funding (ie self-employed)
  • You can demonstrate that you do not have accessible capital in excess of £500
  • You have not received financial assistance from another source for the same reason.

From today you can apply online via our website or telephone the Coronavirus telephone hotline  on 01626 215512 or email Open Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm (excluding Bank Holidays).

Stay alert

Teignmouth beach


Lockdown relaxation and what it means to public facilities

Following last week’s announcement, residents can now enjoy unlimited exercise in our 34 parks and designated open spaces, 28 countryside parks and nature reserves and nine beaches across the district.  There are currently no lifeguards on any of our beaches so if you are entering the water, please remember to follow the safety signage.  Please make sure you stick to the 2m social distancing rule, and follow the latest government guidelines for staying safe outside your home.

All play parks and skate parks remain closed as it is not possible at present to enforce social distancing.  To avoid any confusion over this, we have temporarily taped off entrances to play parks where possible.

We are also assessing the impact of the new guidelines on facilities such as Shaldon Golf Course and will make a decision as to whether we can safely and viably reopen them.  

Our leisure centres remain closed for now, although we are putting plans in place for a phased reopening when the green light has been given by government.  In the meantime there are online classes running – more information is available on the website.

Please see our website for information on the latest guidance and how it affects our facilities and services.

Forde House

Safety first as we review restoring public access to council buildings

Although lockdown restrictions have been eased, our offices remain closed to the public so please direct any enquiries to us by phone, email or via our website. 

For those unable to contact us from home, a self-service phone operates from outside the Forde House entrance which will enable you to talk to a member of staff who will do their best to help.

We are reviewing the Government's guidance and assessing its implications for us in restoring public access to our buildings. In whatever we decide to do, ensuring we maintain two metre social distancing where possible is paramount, so that we deliver services safely and support our staff.

Contact us

Virtual Council Executive meeting 

The Council is to live stream its first committee meeting on Tuesday 19 May at 10.00 via YouTube.

Copies of the Executive committee papers and details of future committee meetings are  on our website.

Changes in planning and construction rules

The government announced last week a number of changes to the way planning should operate including how we consult with the community on Plans and Applications.

Councils and developers can now publicise planning applications through social media and other digital channels instead of letters and leaflets. If not practical to do so, newspaper advertising is also not required.

In addition to expanding our use of social media and digital channels, we will continue to publicise applications through neighbour letters or by asking applicants to erect site notices or a combination of the two depending on individual site circumstances.

Don’t forget you can continue to view planning applications via our website.

The Government has also announced that where we agree, working hours on construction sites can be extended until 9pm.

What types of housing do we need to meet demand?

LP housing icon

The reasons why new homes are needed and the type we should be building are the focus of our local plan consultation – not the number or locations of properties that may be built.

Housing needs vary according to age group so different types and sizes of homes are required for young people, families, older people and people with disabilities.

Our rising population means we need more houses. Lifestyle changes mean that we need more homes than in the past due to lower property turnover arising from people living longer, smaller households and more people living alone.

Building insufficient homes to keep up with demand has contributed to average house prices in Teignbridge being more than ten times the average household salary. More than 1,000 people need to find an affordable home in the district to rent or buy, with many younger people moving away to find one. This demand cannot be met by the small number of empty homes.

LP housing

Within the next 20 years, one in three local residents will be aged over 65 and one in eight over 80 so we need houses that meet their needs, as well as homes young people can afford so that they stay as part of the skilled workforce needed for a thriving economy.

So what do you think of the types of housing suggested in the local plan to meet this demand?

  • Affordable homes for those most in need and provided at the lowest rents
  • Accessible homes, built for older people and/or people with disabilities as well as care homes and retirement communities
  • Self build homes on the edges of larger villages
  • Modular or ‘tiny homes’ which are environmentally friendly, more affordable and attractive to younger people
  • Countryside homes for rural workers who need to live where they work
  • Existing buildings, especially in the countryside, being converted and re-used.

Please help shape future housing development by giving us your thoughts on these ideas.

Launch of 'think twice' campaign

Think twice combined

With the slight relaxation of lockdown, there is concern that people in other parts of the country will travel to the south west for short breaks and holidays, putting additional strain on services and risking the health of local communities. 

Teignbridge is joining forces with other partners across the South West to warn would-be tourists, second home owners and visitors to the region to ‘think twice’ about coming to the region.

We are reinforcing the  #comebacklater campaign ‘with fresh 'think twice' calls for people not to travel to the South West.  The campaign also encourages local people to follow social distancing guidelines and not put themselves and others at risk.

Latest 'stay alert' government guidance

Stay alert

As we spend more time outdoors please follow the government's key 'stay alert' advice:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly
  • Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

For the latest government guidance:

Covid Hotline
Every mind
Domestic violence