Keeping residents up to date - 11 December 2020

View this email in your browser

Residents Coronavirus Header

The latest information and guidance to support you and our communities

Improved app helps both Test and Trace and you to protect your loved ones

Despite Tier 2 restrictions, many people are out and about - shopping, going to the gym, libraries - following the rule of six outside and enjoying meals out with those they live with or who are in their support bubble.

Knowing whether you have been near to someone who has the virus is important so that you can have a test, find out if you have caught Covid-19,  self-isolate and make sure you don’t spread it to others.

Downloading and using the NHS COVID-19 app is the best way to do this, and to support  the Test and Trace service fulfil its role in controlling the spread of the virus.  It has new features which will help you do things like claim the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment.

Protect your loved ones get the app.NHS Covid1-9 App Download Now.  NHS Test and trace

Lots of us have done so - according to Apple the NHS COVID-19 app was the second most downloaded free iPhone app on its App Store in the UK this year.

Check your coronavirus symptoms easily  with the NHS Covid-19 App.  NHS Test and Trace Download now

A ‘Financial support’ button will appear on the home screen of the app when you’ve been told to self-isolate because you’ve been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus.

Following the link will take you to a website which will ask you for some information to check whether you could be eligible. None of the information you provide is passed back to the App. As long as you are eligible you will be able to begin the grant application process.

And the App’s countdown timer will help you to understand how long you should self-isolate. From Monday (14) this will be reduced from 14 to 10 days.

Download now

hands holding empty wallet

Facing hardship this Christmas?

Are you struggling to make ends meet over Christmas? 

If the pandemic has hit you financially and you’re worried about how you’re going to manage over Christmas, we might be able to help. 

Our Hardship Fund might be able to help you out by paying for basic necessities including household essentials, utility bills or travel costs.

We’ve helped many people during the pandemic including some who have never found themselves in financial difficulties before and don’t know where to go to get help.

Through the Fund, as well as paying for some items, we have been able to put them in contact with Food Banks and other voluntary groups who can offer support. We've also helped households who are managing longer term debt with financial advice.

The Fund can help people whose income has been reduced by the impact of Covid to levels which do not cover their basic costs, such as being made unemployed or furloughed, whose business can’t trade or who are self-employed and not covered by government support schemes, and who can demonstrate they have less than £500.

One resident was struggling to pay for a child's college travel costs and to cover the rent, following their job loss.  The hardship grant helped with support for a bus pass and a discretionary housing payment helped towards the cost of the rent.

The resident said:  "The help, advice and assistance and reassurance we have received is greatly appreciated and I really cannot thank you enough for helping us with so much and your continued help, Thank you doesn’t seem to be enough, but a very grateful and huge thank you."

So if you need help financially due to Covid take a look at how the Fund might be able to help.  

Image of someone signing a document with a house image hovering above the paper

You can apply for Discretionary Housing Payment for your rent arrears to be assessed and you apply for Council Tax support to see if you would be eligible for any assistance.

Vaccinations indicate light at the end of the tunnel

The announcement that people across the UK – including Devon - will be receiving the Covid-19 vaccine over the coming weeks and months is welcome news for Teignbridge businesses and communities, and marks a significant milestone in the fight against the pandemic.

It follows the approval from the independent medicines regulator that the Pfizer-BioNTec vaccine has passed its quality, safety and effectiveness tests.

Having an effective vaccine is the best way to protect our most vulnerable residents, saving tens of thousands of lives.

NHS will get in touch when it is your turn to be vaccinated. Find out more about the roll-out at vaccine

It’s of course early stages and the plan is for the vaccination programme to build steadily in the weeks and months ahead as more people are vaccinated in the priority order set out by the Government.  One of the priority groups is older adults and the government has published guidance for them.

Both the RD&E Hospital in Exeter and Derriford Hospital in Plymouth have been identified as hospital hubs to deliver the vaccine.

We all have a part to play in supporting the rollout of the vaccine by waiting to be contacted by the NHS with an appointment, and then making sure we attend.

The full impact on infection rates will not become clear until large numbers of people have been vaccinated, but as this happens we should be able to resume a more normal way of life.

Coronavirus Tier 2 High Alert.  For further details go to  Stay alert, control the virus, save lives

First Tier review to be announced

When the new tier system was announced the Government committed to regular reviews. 

The outcome of the first review is scheduled to be announced on Wednesday 16 December but there are no indications that our High Alert rating will change

Our teams are ready to react to any changes and their implications locally and we will keep you updated.

In the meantime it is important that we all continue to follow the Tier 2 rules, only meeting indooors with those you live with or with whom you have formed a support bubble, and maintaining the 'rule of six' outdoors

hands face space

Help with bubble trouble

The Government has updated guidance on how you can get informal childcare for anyone under 14 from friends and family you do not live with, and how you can safely expand the group of people you have close contact with.

The update includes information on how support bubbles work for those in more than one type of bubble, and on travelling to form a support bubble.

It's Christmas - shop local


Right now we’re actively campaigning on social media to support our local businesses with the message ‘Shop local for Christmas!’

All our towns and village shops are making a special effort to attract their customers over the festive season with a huge variety of yuletide treats, so please forget online, and head out to the shops. They’ll be so pleased to see you!

Don’t forget Newton Abbot has one more late night shopping evening on Wednesday, 16 December. Free parking in non-barriered car parks from 4pm. Cafes will be open, along with market stalls, fantastic street food, and, weather permitting, music and street entertainment.

Both Ashburton and Dawlish have late night shopping on Thursday 17 December.

Follow our Twitter and Facebook campaign #shoplocal#shopsafe

Sports and Community Awards

Not long to wait...

Thursday is the day when the winners of our Sports, Community and Green awards will be unveiled in a video premier.

Check out the Awards page on our website at 7 pm on Thursday 17 December to find out who has won from the shortlist of entries published on our website.

The virtual Awards have been sponsored by Kitsons Solicitors and the Rotary Club.

More info

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

flood with only directional signs above the water

Have your say on climate change

The Devon Climate Emergency Response Group has launched a public consultation on its Interim Carbon Plan, giving you the chance to shape the county’s roadmap to net-zero.

The consultation runs for 10 weeks and gives you the opportunity to influence Devon’s collective response to the global climate emergency and create a healthier, fairer and stronger Devon.  

You can view the Interim Carbon Plan and the consultation questionnaire on the Devon Climate Emergency website.

You can obtain a paper copy:

More info

Teign Estuary trail consultation leaflet - Newton Abbot to Teignmouth - Have your Say

Don't forget to take part in the Teign Estuary trail consultation 

There's just a week to go until the public consultation ends on design proposals for the multi-use Teign Estuary Trail between Newton Abbot and Teignmouth.

The Trail will comlete the missing active travel link between Newton Abbot and Teignmouth.

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

Repairs to vandalised Dawlish sea defence

The Environment Agency is undertaking emergency repairs to a section of ‘geotube’ defence at Dawlish Warren that was damaged by vandalism in November.

The repairs include covering the exposed and damaged geotube with steel netting which is securely anchored top and bottom. The Environment Agency aims to complete the work before Christmas but this depends on weather and site conditions.  

The works and geotube defences will be temporary until further investigations can be carried out and a longer-term solution agreed, in consultation with local and estuary-wide partners. The Environment Agency will start the investigations early next year. 

Covid-19 Business Grants.  Local restriction support grant,additional restrictions grant.  Find out more at

New business grant scheme launches online

We’ve launched the Government’s latest grant fund for business - the Additional Restrictions Grant - which is aimed at business, large and small, including sole traders and the self-employed who have been:

  • severely impacted by the national restrictions (between 5 Nov and 2 Dec).
  • required to close (between 5 Nov and 2 Dec) but which are not registered for business rates.

Businesses still trading but which have suffered due to Covid can apply for the grant which is aimed at helping with ongoing business costs, rather than covering lost income or to fund salaries.

Further information is available on our website, including details of eligibility and a checklist of documents that need to be provided as part of the application.

two people working on computers

Learn the skills for top roles

The Heart of the South West LEP Digital Skills Partnership has launched a free skills bootcamp to help adults develop key skills that could lead to higher-paid roles within in-demand sectors.

Funded by the Department for Education’s National Skills Fund, the programme is open to residents in Devon, Plymouth, Torbay, and Somerset who are aged 19+.

More info


New measures to beat bird flu

Whether you keep just a few birds as pets or have a flock of thousands, from Monday (14 December) onwards you are  legally required to keep your birds indoors or take appropriate steps to keep them separate from wild birds.

Poultry and captive bird keepers are advised to be vigilant for any signs of disease in their birds and any wild birds, and seek prompt advice from their vet if they have any concerns.

They can help prevent bird flu (avian influenza) by maintaining good biosecurity on their premises.

Keepers are encouraged to register their birds with Defra so they can be contacted quickly if there is an outbreak in their area and action required.

Owners of more than 50 birds are legally required to register their flock but those with fewer than this number are stll encouraged to do so.

Poultry and captive bird keepers and members of the public should report dead wild birds to the Defra helpline on 03459 33 55 77 (option 7), and keepers should report suspicion of disease to APHA on 03000 200 301. Keepers should familiarise themselves with Defra's avian flu advice.

Public Health England advises the risk to public health is very low and that properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.

every mind matters

National Lottery community fund logo

Funding opportunities reopen

The National Lottery Community Fund has reopened the following schemes to general applications:

Don’t miss the Self Assessment deadline!

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is encouraging Self Assessment customers to complete their 2019-20 tax return early to ensure they don't miss the 31 January deadline. It advises that early completion allows more time to pay tax bills or set up payment plans.

More info

Latest Government Covid-19 advice

High Alert Tier 2 banner.  Stay alert, control the virus, save lives.  For further details go to Celebrate Hanukku safely  Together we can stop the spread of coronavirus.  Row of lighted candles