Keeping residents up to date

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updated masthead 11 September

The latest information and guidance to support you and our communities

16 October 2020

medium tier skyscraper

Call for everyone to be vigilant as Devon Covid numbers increase

Covid cases in Devon appear to be increasing, although they still remain low compared to many other parts of the country.

Earlier this week, the Government announced its three Covid alert tiers and Devon was placed in medium - the lowest of the tiers.

To remain at this level we need to continue to follow the good habits we have developed over the past six months; washing hands, wearing face coverings and maintaining social distancing.

To date, the most infected area in the county has been in Exeter where the positive news is that the number of cases is falling among the student population - the main source of the spread.

Dr Virginia Pearson, Director of Public Health for Devon has today warned of the need for extra vigilance across the city and the rest of Devon as wider community cases rise.

Dr Virginia Pearson

“The pattern in Exeter has shown a successful reduction in student cases with no sign of significant spread thanks to the swift actions of the university and other partners in working together to contain the situation.

“We are now seeing more community cases in Exeter and across Devon, in line with the rise in the rest of the country. This is particularly in the working age population, and we expect cases to increase over the next few weeks.

“These cases cannot be linked to students and the coronavirus appears to be passing between people outside of COVID-secure settings, which suggests that community spread is now occurring.

“Obviously, we want to limit the impact on people in older age groups and on to those who are particularly vulnerable so the time to act is now.

“Everyone – and particularly those people of working age – must be extra vigilant about maintaining social distancing, handwashing, wearing face coverings and avoid social mixing if they can.”

test and trace self isolate support payment

Web applications go live for test and trace support payments

Residents who have been told by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate or have had a positive Covid-19 test since 28 September may be able to claim a £500 support payment if they cannot work from home.

Those eligible to claim must have been given a NHS Test and Trace ID number, be employed or self-employed and unable to work from home or be receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income-based Employment and Support Allowance, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.


Are your family and friends all connected?

Next week is Get Online Week – an annual national campaign to encourage people to get ‘digitally enabled’.

Although most people now use the internet to access important services, statistics show that about four million people are still not online in the UK, and more than 10 million people have low digital skills.

Now, more than ever, whilst we endure the global pandemic, it’s important that people can go online to get what they need.

Those who are restricted to home because of covid, whether they are vulnerable, self isolating, or even out of work, want access to essential services. By going online to order medicines and food, apply for grants, search for jobs or just keep in touch with friends and family, it gives people the freedom to do what they want, when they want.

get on line help others

If you know someone in your family or friends ‘bubble’ who would benefit from some encouragement or some help to get online, now’s the time to do it. No kit? Don’t forget – computers and free wifi are available in Devon libraries so make sure everyone knows!

There's a great online learning/teaching tool at

Here at Teignbridge we’ve been working hard to make even more services accessible online so customers can self-serve 24/7.  By registering with MyAccount, householders can manage their council tax payments and benefits and pay and apply for a range of services any time.

Teignbridge Leisure has a host of activities that can be booked online and don’t forget to download the recently launched new Leisure App.

Teignbridge leisure app

empathy, conversation

Fostering a wider sense of understanding between cultures.

A new project – called Empathy – aims to reflect the cultural contributions of Black and Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) people in Teignbridge and across Devon.

As well as improving awareness of issues facing black and Asian children and tackling the concept of decolonisation, it's hoped the project will develop a legacy of digital platforms for others to use.

Teignmouth Community School will pilot the project, working in partnership with the project leads to facilitate the roll out in schools across the district and beyond.

The initial ideas have grown from the desire of Teignbridge councillors to explore the heritage of the area in relation to BAME experience, working with education providers to enrich the learning experience and raise aspirations through a dedicated project grounded in local context.

Empathy will be facilitated by Cllr Nina Jeffries and delivered by a local artist, Amy McCarthy whose expertise in working within education and arts covers a wide range of genres and encourages dialogue around the relationship between sense of place and humanity.

Professor Niall Finneran, from Winchester University will provide context to the academic, historic and factual elements of the project. His MA students' expertise will also shape the project as it develops, contributing to an academic publication and looking at the viability of future funding for the project. 

The Council will continue to support the delivery of Empathy and councillors will be present at each project meeting to help inform development and liaise with the project development group.

climate action plan

New website launched to tackle climate change

Devon Climate Emergency has launched a new website which highlights the positive action taking place across the county to tackle climate change; highlighting useful resources and illustrations which display the net zero goal if we all play our part in reducing emissions.

Take a look

Decoy park

Green Flags for four top Teignbridge beauty spots

Decoy Park in Newton Abbot is one of four green spaces in Teignbridge which has again been accredited with a Green Flag Award.

It is joined by Courtenay Park in Newton Abbot, The Den in Teignmouth and Homeyards Botanical Gardens in Shaldon as local winners.

The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for their management across the United Kingdom and around the world.

Our thanks to Karen Trewern (walk this way leader) for this fanastic Decoy Park photograph.

poppies on small crosses in a grassy area

Remembrance Day service can be watched online

For this year’s ‘Devon Remembers’ Armistice commemoration, Devon County Council will be hosting a short, socially distanced flag raising ceremony at County Hall at 10:50am on Wednesday 11 November.

The service will be attended by Council Chairman Councillor Stuart Barker, Chief Executive Phil Norrey and Cabinet Member for the Armed Forces Councillor Roger Croad, and will include a 2 minute silence.  The service will be shared via Facebook live for staff and the public to watch. A link will be shared in the run up to the event..

The Royal British Legion is encouraging people to ensure Remembrance Sunday is still marked appropriately by taking part in remote and socially distanced Remembrance activity, whether that be watching the service on television or pausing for the Two Minute Silence in their home or on their doorsteps.

cat rescued

Decoy Country Park rescue for cat stuck up a tree

The desperate meowing of a young cat, stranded 30 feet up a mature oak tree in Decoy Park, was heard by passing dog walkers in a remote area of the woodland who subsequently alerted our Ranger team. All efforts to initiate a swift rescue were hampered by the area being inaccessible to fire crew equipment and the unavailability of RSPCA Officers.

tree cat rescue

Our Senior Ranger Sian Avon persevered in attempts to safely rescue the cat who had been stranded for some 36 hours enduring cold nights with no food or water, and finally managed to find someone available to assist. Help came in the form of Tom and Rosie from Devon Tree Services who kindly ascended the tree and brought the feline down from dizzying heights in their rucksack.

The young cat was thankfully unharmed and after a quick check up at the vets its owner was identified and the two were promptly reunited. After a decent meal and a warm bed to sleep in, we are sure it will be a happier moggy and looking for its next adventure!

A grateful owner contacted the council to thank everyone for their efforts and to say that Sian had gone ‘above and beyond’.  The owner contacted Devon Tree services to pick up the bill, which was minimal anyway as they had done it as a goodwill gesture.

Christmas lights... but no action to mark the switch on

Newton Abbot Town Council have asked us to point out that advertising in the ‘Newton
Local’ magazine last week relating to the switching on of the Christmas lights, face
painting and Father Christmas at an event on 21 November was inaccurate.

Although Christmas lights in the town will be switched on by the end of November,
Covid social distancing arrangements mean that there will not be an event at the
Clock Tower to mark the switch on.

self isolate poster

medium risk tier poster
NHS covid track and trace app
hands face space