Keeping residents up to date - 4 December 2020

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The latest information and guidance to support you and our communities

Shop local, have fun, follow the rules and stay safe

The lifting of lockdown, replaced by the national tier system, saw a welcome return of shoppers to our town centres and high streets.

Locally Newton Abbot’s late night shopping on Wednesday seemed to have been a great success with rmany residents soaking up the festive atmosphere.

small business saturday

Tomorrow (Saturday 5) is Small Business Saturday – a timely reminder of the importance of shopping locally and supporting the retailers and traders that so many people in Teignbridge rely on, especially those without their own transport.

A lot of them have suffered as a result of Covid restrictions and the switch by many people to online shopping. But some local businesses will price match, so check out what they can provide before ordering online. Businesses have invested in making their premises Covid secure and safe, so let's all get behind them and #SpendLocal #ShopLocal.

Thee shops of market opening - trees and stilt walkers

The success of Newton Abbot's late night shopping means that it will continue for the next two Wednesdays (9 & 16 December) with the market also open. The opening hours will also be extended hours, to help more people do their shopping whilst keeping within the guidelines on safe distancing.

Don’t forget to continue to wash your hands, cover your face and keep your distance!

Post 2 December Tier 2 pubs and restaurants video

Under the new Tier 2 restrictions, pubs and restaurants in Teignbridge can open as long as they serve 'substantial’ meals and operate under the strict Tier 2 provisions, illustrated in this Government video.

This reopening will provide a welcome boost to our local hospitality industry and the jobs which depend on them.

Shopping and spending locally reduces the demands on local authorities from the huge increases in packaging as a result of online shopping, which is causing issues with fly tipping around our recycling banks.

Waste dumped outside recycling containers

We know it's frustrating when you get to a local recycling point and the containers are full. Our crews are emptying the recycling banks daily, but having to pick up huge volumes of packaging that has been dumped slows down collections.

We don't want you to stop recycling but please help us cope with the huge increase in packaging.  If the recycling bank is full, do the right thing, don’t fly-tip by leaving materials on the roadside - either go to another recycling point, the recycling centre, or come back another day.

We have limited capacity, limited budget (in deficit this year due to the impact of the pandemic) and a limited number of staff, who are being hampered by having to clear up piles of fly tipped rubbish.  As one of the few councils who allow cardboard at recycling banks, we need you to help manage the volume.

Whatever your views on whether we should be providing more collections, more facilities or more recycling banks, the fact remains that dumping rubbish outside our recycling banks, or anywhere else, is fly tipping, and therefore illegal.

shopping trollies

Helping local stores to help you

The Government has asked councils to allow retailers to extend their hours and to allow ‘essential’ goods to be delivered outside the hours imposed by planning conditions.

This added flexibility is designed to ensure stores have the range of goods people want, and to help them cope with anticipated pre-Christmas demand while maintaining safe distancing.

Most stores in Teignbridge's town centres were established before such planning restrictions were applied but there are some (eg supermarkets) where relaxing the rules will help.

We recognise that for residents close to these stores there may be some increased noise and traffic, but we hope everyone will accept the inconvenience as part of the effort to help maintain our high streets and ensure local retailers survive the pandemic.

It should also help retailers to maintain stock levels so we can all find the items we want to buy.

Reporting businesses breaking the rules

Most local businesses have done everything they can to conform to the Covid rules set out by the Government.

But if you come across one that you think is breaking the Teir 2 rules, then you can let us know via the new reporting system set up on our website .

Anyone can report concerns or issues with businesses not complying with the current COVID-19 regulations and their identities will be kept strictly confidential.

sports and community awards 2020

Awards highlight Teignbridge sports, community and green heroes

Teignbridge is honouring a host of local heroes, as it unveils the Sports, Community and Green awards in a video premier being released just before Christmas.

The awards, sponsored by Kitsons Solicitors and the Rotary Club, have been held ‘virtually’ this year, because of the impact of lockdown and Covid restrictions meaning it has not been possible to host the usual live event.

They feature nominees from across a range of categories including sports, health and community champion, coaches/managers, schools, teams and young and senior sporting individuals.  The awards also honour contributions to business, charity, and special categories of lifetime achievement and people’s champion.   For the first time there will also be a category in recognition of individuals who have made a positive contribution towards tackling climate change and improving the environment.

All the categories and finalists are on our website, and the announcement will be made on the film which will debut on the  Sports and Community Awards page on our website,  at 7pm on Thursday 17 December. 

tree saplings at nursery awaiting planting

Teignbridge-owned trees are growing!

Not surprisingly in National Tree Week we’ve been asked whether our pledge to plant 1,500 trees last winter was fulfilled.

The good news is it was - and the number continues to grow!  The new trees planted helped to create three small copses, and the same number (1,500) is planned for this winter and next, expanding the copses or creating new ones on the same sites.

Supplied by the Woodland Trust, the new planting of UK-grown native trees exceeds the trees we will lose from Ash Dieback.

Our grounds maintenance contractor is also planting 16 specimen trees in parks and open spaces - and will be doing this every year - it amounts to one for every person who works on the contract.

We have approximately 24,000 trees in council ownership - up from 20,000 three to four years ago - and our tree population is in a healthy state with a broad range of ages and species.

owl image made of leaves


Don’t forget that our Green Spaces team is featuring trees this week on our social media accounts and there is a competition on our website.

Below are just some of the wonderful tree pictures our green spaces team has been posting on social media to mark National Tree Week.

selection of trees from across the district

young boy sitting at a table

Free school meals holiday voucher scheme

Devon County Council has arrangements in place to provide supermarket vouchers to nearly 15,000 children across Devon who currently receive free school meals, to help their families buy groceries over the Christmas holidays. 

Each child eligible for free school meals will receive a £30 supermarket voucher (£15 per week for the 2-week school Christmas holiday) that can be used at Sainsburys, Tesco, Morrisons, Asda, M&S Food or Waitrose.  

The vouchers are issued individually per child, so families with more than one child entitled to free school meals will receive a voucher for each one. 

DCC is working with an organisation called Black Hawk Network to help issue the vouchers as quickly as possible via their ‘Select’ website because they have many years’ experience of managing voucher schemes like this and are working with several other local authorities too. 

The scheme is a way of providing funds to ensure that families of primary and secondary age pupils who are eligible for free school meals during term time are able to purchase food over the holidays to replace the meals their child would have had at school. 

Devon Carers Graham

Could you qualify for carer's support?

There are thought to be around 130,000 unpaid carers across Devon, and only around 20,000 are getting any help or support for what is often a difficult and demanding responsibility.  

A new campaign has been launched across the county by Devon Carers, to encourage people to come forward and get the help they need, apply for additional benefits, and talk to others in a similar situation. 

Many of these carers are people looking after a family member, a friend or a neighbour, and many more have become carers throughout the pandemic, taking on additional responsibilities for vulnerable people in their community.

Devon Carers is offering informaiton and support, and access to a range of services to enable people to look after themselves and the person they are caring for.  Anyone who looks after another person and is unpaid can simply register online or use the chat function on the website for more information.

Christmas travel. Before your travel, check the tier at your destination and make sure you follow local restrictions when you arrive.

Planning to travel this Christmas?

With the Tier 2 rules being relaxed over Christmas, the Government has announced that during the festive travel window (23 and 27 December) roadworks will be lifted, rail services increased and rail engineering works accelerated or postponed

christmas bubble video

The Government is also urging passengers to plan their journeys carefully, consider quieter routes and, where possible, to book ahead.

  • Between 23 and 27 December, you may travel between tiers and other nations of the UK if necessary to meet with people in your Christmas bubble.
  • Anyone travelling to or from Northern Ireland may travel on 22 and 28 December.
  • Be prepared that journeys may be busier than usual
  • When travelling, sanitise your hands regularly, wear a face covering unless exempt, and maintain social distancing.
  • If you are driving, avoid sharing a car with people not in your household, Christmas or support bubble. Plan ahead and check your route before you travel.
  • Follow local restrictions at your location for the Christmas period.

every mind matters

Contact 111 first to get the right treatment more quickly

Call 111First - picture of mother and baby

The NHS in Devon has introduced an improved system that will give quicker and safer access to services when people need urgent care, and reduce waiting times by ensuring people get to the right place for treatment as quickly as possible.

People can contact 111 first to get expert advice about which service to use and when. Anyone contacting 111 who needs emergency medical care from a hospital Emergency Department (also known as A&E) will be given direct access to the department, but if the issue would be better dealt with in a Minor Injury Unit, GP surgery or other urgent care site, patients can be booked in directly.

Dr Justin Geddes of Devon Doctors who run the 111 service, said: “We are excited to expand the existing service. We have opened a new 111 call centre in Plymouth and more than 35 new jobs have been created to meet the demand for the increased number of calls to 111, ensuring people get through to the service quickly and safely.”

People with serious or life-threatening illnesses or injuries should still call 999 but for less urgent medical attention can dial 111 or click:

Find out more

Improved access to business support information online

A new page has been added to the website summarising the details of the different government schemes, and when they are available.

two young people jumping against a sunset background

Youth grant deadline extended

The deadline to apply for grants to support youth projects has been extended until 22 January, due to the ongoing uncertainty around youth services and their ability to re-open.

The Small Grants Fund is administered on behalf of Devon County Council by Space*, under the banner of ‘Youth Work In Devon’, a partnership with VOYC.  The Fund can support groups working with any young people aged 11-19 and provides:

  • Maximum grant of £5000 per group per year
  • Startup Grants for new youth groups of up to £1000.t.

Updated government guidance reflecting introduction of Tiers

Tier 2 banner

With the end of lockdown and the introduction of the strengthened Tier system, the Government has updated its guidance on a range of issues, including:

The Government's coronavirus pages are updated regularly and we reflect the latest information on our Teignbridge covid web pages which also gives details of locally available support.

key facts on vaccines older man in a mask