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The latest information and guidance to support you and our communities

Reflections on the future

Cllr Alan Connett

Councillor Alan Connett, Leader of Teignbridge Council, looks ahead.

"What a year it’s been! And while in the depths of lockdown, the rapid spread of the Coronavirus and the undoubted impact on everyone, there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

"We're not out of the woods yet - as Devon's  Director of Public Health highlights below - it's still really important that we continue to follow the experts advising on how to control and tackle the virus.

"I marvel at the great strides our scientists have made in bringing forward not one, but now two or more vaccines that could be available to us within weeks.

I marvel too at the way our communities have pulled together, helped each other out and the fantastic response of local businesses plugging gaps to ensure those in need got what they needed.

In truth, I don’t want to spend too long reflecting on the past 12 months. For me, 2020 will mostly be a year I’d prefer to forget. I suspect it will be for most. I have lost family and friends, just as you have.

But there has also been great joy. I became a granddad, my first grandchild, born earlier in the year. It’s reassurance, if ever it were needed, that from the dark, there is light and new life.

Here in Teignbridge, we can see the big increase in people needing to claim Universal Credit and help with Council Tax and other support. The impact of Covid will have a long reach. We need to rebuild our economy and help protect and create jobs.

We’re providing support locally for businesses and individuals through grants, hardship funds and through our frontline services, and we will continue to do this throughout the pandemic.  But we also need to look beyond that towards Teignbridge’s future.

We want to encourage local employment opportunities that develop key skills and improve the quality of life and wellbeing across all sections of the community and encourage investment in and through local providers and suppliers where possible.   This includes initiatives like diversifying our markets and regeneration schemes such as those in Teignmouth and Newton Abbot.

How we work with local communities to develop this blueprint for the future is the subject of conversations that are starting to take place now, through our community consultations, and will continue over the coming months.  Our local communities are best placed to determine what is right for them, and we are keen to listen and respond to the voices of local people."

Steve Brown, Devon’s Director of Public Health (Designate)

“Keep our wits about us” plea

Devon’s Director of Public Health (Designate) Steve Brown has warned everyone to “keep their wits about them” and not to let this week’s positive news on vaccines stop you following the current guidelines.

“Case numbers in Devon are still rising, especially in the working age population,” he said.

“We’re seeing spread continuing to grow. A closer look shows us that contacts are spreading in social or communal settings within the workplace. We’re talking staff rooms, kitchens, corridors, car parks – the bits of our day-to-day life where we’re more easily distracted, and our attention slips.

“It’s the kettle, the fridge, the door handles, the face to face chats too close to each other, the sharing of space often indoors with poor natural ventilation. We have to stay aware and alert to those risks.

“There is cause for optimism, without doubt. The challenge to us all – my plea to you – is that we do not let our enthusiasm to return to normal actually set us further back.

“Our case numbers are rising. It will be some time yet before we see the impact of these last few weeks of national restrictions. Our rising cases in Devon have to stop. To do that we must focus on the here and the now.

Mr Brown stressed the importance of keeping your distance, covering your face and washing hands.

“So we must keep our wits about us. Make every effort, in every situation. That’s how we beat this virus,” he said.

hands face space

Covid-9 Business Grants - Local Restriction, Additional Restriction Grants

Apply online for business grant support 

Local businesses which have had to close due to the current Covid restrictions can apply for Government grants worth up to £3,000 a month based on their business rateable valuation.

Businesses can apply using our online application form.

For non-rated businesses and businesses who have been severely affected by the lockdown, but not forced to close, a similar online application process for the discretionary Additional Restrictions Grant is being developed and will be available shortly.

See our website for details of the support available to business.

Government PR video showing ventilation reduces spread of virus

Ventilation to reduce spread of coronavirus

A new film haa been released to highlight how letting fresh air into indoor spaces can reduce the risk of infection from coronavirus by over 70%. Part of its 'hands face space' messaging, it illustrates how coronavirus lingers in the air in spaces with no fresh air, increasing the risk of people breathing in infected particles.

Mental health and wellbeing in farming

abstract farming graphic

Farming can be a challenging way of life. Trading Standards Farming Partnership has organised an evening of talks about mental health, wellbeing support and safety for the farming community.

You can register now for this free online event, which takes place on Tuesday 24 November, from 6pm.  Speakers from different sectors of the farming industry will be on hand with advice and guidance about how you can support your wellbeing.  There will also be an opportunity to question the speakers and Trading Standards Officers.


Free flu jabs programme extended to over 50s

From the beginning of December, everyone aged between 50-64 will be entitled to a free flu jab.

Individuals will be able to get a free flu jab from their GP or pharmacist as part of the Government's expanded flu vaccination programme.

This latest group is in addition to the current groups already entitled to receive a free flu jab, which include:

  • are 65 and over
  • have certain health conditions
  • are pregnant
  • are in a long-stay residential care
  • receive a carer's allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
  • live with someone who's at high risk from coronavirus
  • frontline health or social care workers

Teign estuary trail consultation leaflet cover

Teign Estuary trail consultation underway

Public consultation has been launched on the design proposals for the multi-use Teign Estuary Trail between Newton Abbot and Teignmouth.

Two virtual events will be held – a webinar on 25 November, 6pm-8pm which will include a presentation and a Q&A session; and a virtual ‘drop-in’ on 9 December, 5pm-7pm. 

The Teign Estuary Trail seeks to complete the missing link in the strategic active travel network between Newton Abbot and Teignmouth.

The consultation runs until 18 December and information and more information is available on Devon County Council's website, including a consultation leaflet and a consultation poster which can be downloaded.

Find out more

Elderly man with female carer

Health and care workers urgently needed this winter

Interested in helping care for vulnerable people this winter?  Know anyone who might be?

People of all ages and backgrounds are urgently needed to fulfil this role across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay. 

You don't need previous experience, just a caring and compassionate disposition.  

If you would like to play a part in supporting those in need, you can register your interest in a variety of healthcare assistant roles on the Proud to Care Devon website.

Applicants who have left the profession, recently found themselves out of work and recent college leavers are also being encouraged to register.

Find out more

How would you spend the local police budget?

OPCC budget survey link

Devon and Cornwall's Police and Crime Commissioner is running a survey designed to find out what crimes worry local people, where the police could do better and where more money should be spent.

The survey runs until 3 January and can be found on the Office of the Police and Crime Commisioner website, or by phoning the OPCC on 01392 225555.

Beware of phishing scams and copycat websites when doing your tax return

Don't get tricked by false tax rebate offers

HM Revenue and Customs is warning self assessment taxpayers to be vigilant, to avoid being caught out by scammers purporting to be from the tax authority.

HMRC says it has responded to more than 846,000 referrals of suspicious HMRC contact from the public and reported over 15,500 malicious web pages to internet service providers to be taken down.

As part of its annual Self Assessment tax return push, HMRC issues thousands of SMS messages and emails.  Customers completing their returns should take care to avoid being caught out by scammers. The annual tax return deadline is on 31 January 2021.

Where to find the latest guidance

Teignbridge digital logo

Local advice and support

Teignbridge Coronavirus web pages: a range of information including the latest government advice, service changes, financial and community support and business help.

Covid helpline: help for local residents who are feeling isolated, unable to access food or other services or even just not sure where to go for help or advice. Monday to Thursday, 8.30am - 5pm; Fridays, 8.30am - 4.30pm. Call 01626 215512 or email us.

Covid Hardship Fund: people struggling to make ends meet due to Covid-19 could be helped by our Hardship Fund to pay for basic necessities including household essentials, utility bills or travel costs.

Business support: the latest information and advice on all Government Covid-19 support schemes 

Customer Support Team: contact them on 01626 361101 during office hours, Monday to Thursday 8.30am – 5pm and Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm or use use our website’s 'contact us' link.

Government guidance

Got any Coronavirus symptoms? Isolate and book a test
domestic abuse
every mind