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The latest information and guidance to support you and our communities

Continue to be cautious as optimism rises

Alan Connett cropped

Wonderful news today of a new vaccine in the UK and I am pleased to hear that vaccinations across Devon continue to gain pace.

Right across Teignbridge, residents are being called to vaccinations and at one centre - Sherborne House in Newton Abbot - we've already seen more than four thousand vaccinations take place – in just a week! I pay tribute to the NHS and all the volunteers for the incredible job they are doing. If you are waiting for your call to be vaccinated, please continue to be patient. They will get to you.

Our case rates across Teignbridge remain low, and this is another cause for optimism, but also for caution. We must continue to keep them as low as possible, especially to continue protecting our most vulnerable and older residents before their vaccinations. So we need to continue to be vigilant and stick to the rules.

SUPPORT in scrabble letters

This week we have made available a new £50k community fund, to enable groups across Teignbridge to extend their reach and provision to support people who are struggling with social isolation, loneliness or poor mental health, or who simply don’t have access to online support.

This funding recognises the importance of grass roots work that’s already taking place up and down the country – networks that are identifying people in need and reaching out with support – whether that’s financial or simply someone on the end of the phone. We want to recognise the contribution groups like these are making to our communities and to people who are lonely or isolated.

We’re in the final week of our budget survey and we really do want to hear from you. Please take a moment to 'have your say'. Your feedback will help influence the decision making process, which begins next week.

lady on a telephone

And finally, can you help ease the loneliness some might be feeling right now? Why not pick up the phone and ring a friend you haven't spoken to for a while, or perhaps a neighbour you haven't seen in a few days? Perhaps make a list of people and promise yourself to make a call a day in the coming week. A local resident rang me the other week, just to see how I was. We had a lovely chat, and it was a real tonic. Go on, make that call... please!

Cllr Alan Connett, Council Leader

older lady completing diary  alone

Covid-19 Community Hardship Fund opens

Throughout the pandemic we have been constantly looking for different ways in which we can help our communities and listening to feedback from those who need support.

While the hardship fund has helped many individuals, it has become clear that voluntary organisations supporting local initiatives often need support in helping the most vulnerable in our communities.

As a result we are launching a new £50,000 fund designed specifically to help voluntary and community groups deliver a range of Covid support for Teignbridge communities.
The funding, which will pay out a maximum of £10,000 to any one group, must be used to support projects dealing with the Council's Covid priorities - improving digital access, reducing loneliness, and improving mental health.

Cllr Martin Wrigley

Executive Member for Communities, Councillor Martin Wrigley, said:  “Community groups have been amazing and formed the backbone of support.  They have been responding to local need and been a helping hand reaching out to people who don’t have support networks of their own.

“We’ve created this fund to help these groups to continue their valuable work, and in particular helping to tackle social isolation and the resulting impacts it can have on our mental health. 

Any groups applying for funding must have formal governance arrangements eg as a Community Interest Company or registered charity.

For further information and an application form please contact us. The closing date for applications is 19 February and final decisions will be made by Monday 1 March

bottles of alcohol set out behind a bar

Grant deadline extended

The deadline for pub owners to claim the one-off £1,000 Christmas Support payment has today been extended to  Sunday 28 February.

Publicans can apply online via our website where there is information on eligibility.

NHS will contact you

Vaccination progress in Devon

Some 68,000 people in the government's top four priority groups have now been vaccinated in Devon with over 4,000 jabs being given at Sherborne House in Newton Abbot in just a week.

Large-scale vaccination centres

The NHS has shared videos of the two centres at Westpoint and Home Park that opened this week.  

You can leave your home to attend your Covid-19 vaccine appointment

Covid advice available in different languages

Guides to Covid19 Vaccine (vaccine does not contain animal products, egg or alcohol) is available in English, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Farsi, Kurdish, Polish, Romanian, Spanish, Tagalog, Turkish, Urdu + more

East street derelict site for housing

East Street council housing development gets underway

Work gets underway next week to turn a derelict site in East Street, Newton Abbot into low rent, low-carbon council homes.

Five homes will be built on the site of a former shop which was demolished in the 1990s, creating two large one bedroomed, wheelchair accessible flats on the ground floor with a mix of one and two bedroomed flats on the first and second floors.

The carbon reducing, environmentally friendly development includes rooftop solar panels, electric heating, highly insulated building fabric and two charging points for electric vehicles.

Executive lead for Housing Martin Wrigley said:  “Last year we began building new homes at Drake Road, Newton Abbot.  That was our first council housing development for a quarter of a century. This site at East Street shows our commitment to continue delivering genuinely affordable rented homes for local families."

Local contractor Prime Build South West Limited, which is undertaking the Drake Road development, has also been appointed to deliver this project following a competitive tender and the scheme has been part funded by a Homes England grant

Cllr Martin Wrigley

Are you taking part in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch

RSPB  Big Garden Bird Watch

Starlings are really quite incredible. The kind of bird you might see in your garden, parks and the wider countryside, or simply by just looking out of your window.

Our Countryside Ranger Phil explains.... They feed on invertebrates that live in the soil in grasslands and they probe the soil with their beaks open. They're great mimics of sounds they hear, copying the sounds of things like telephones.

At this time of year these resident birds have been joined by millions of starlings from the continent, particularly Scandinavia. As the weather gets colder they will congregate, sometimes in huge numbers (the Somerset levels sees about 2 million birds) in places to spend the night as a group. These flocks are called a murmuration which are incredible to watch and hear. If you've witnessed one of these, let us know.

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is this weekend and this evening they're doing a facebook live session! 

images of birds

interlocking hexagons with different graphics in each

Budget survey closes on Tuesday

Time is running out for you to give your views on our budget priorities for the coming year.

Tuesday 2 February is the closing date for the annual survey. It only takes a few minutes to complete it - and 475 people have already done so.   If you can share it with friends and family to encourage them to participate that would be great as the more responses the better.

barking dog

Barking dogs cause problems

Lockdown is posing all of us many challenges as we observe the Stay at Home message to help stop the spread of the pandemic.

One issue we didn’t expect was to see an increase in the number of complaints being made about dogs barking in neighbouring properties.

Dogs being left in gardens or homes unattended can lead to prolonged barking which can have a negative impact on neighbours trying to work, home school or look after young children.  Please be considerate to your neighbours by ensuring your dog is not causing a nuisance by its barking.

The Government has updated its advice for people in England with animals.  Notwithstanding its general advice to exercise just once a day outdoors, you can go out more often to walk a dog but this should be limited where possible. 

If you believe persistent barking is causing real problems please contact our Environmental Health team on

ragged robin in seeded meadow

Favourite green spaces highlighted in survey

More than 150 people have responded to our Connecting to Nature survey with the most popular places to visit being Decoy Country Park, Baker’s Park, Bradley Woods, Teigngrace routes along the canal and river and Hackney Marshes by Kingsteignton.

There’s also been suggestions for more tree planting around Buckland & Milber, extended access along the northern side of the Teign Estuary, further connectivity between Decoy and Bradley Woods, and a raft of comments about how people use and enjoy the green space in the district.

If you haven’t already completed the short survey, please give us your views. We’re especially interested in identifying additional smaller areas which can be made more attractive to local people to use and enjoy, such as mini-meadows or community nature gardens.

Transforming life through sport

Tow young people plating sport

Sport England has published its 10-year vision to transform lives and communities through sport and physical activity and over the next 10 weeks is looking for views on its proposals especially from sport/activity clubs and community organisations which have suffered because of Covid-19.

Sport England says that 'by harnessing the power of sport, people’s lives can be improved and as we adapt and rebuild from the huge disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we need to collectively reimagine how we keep movement, sport and activity central to the lives of everyone'.

Consultation on violence against women and girls

The Government is seeking views to help inform the development of its next Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy in a consultation that ends on 19 February.

In addition to those with lived experiences of these issues, the Home Office is keen to hear from hose with expertise in working with victims and survivors, those involved in preventative activity, and those involved in providing services, working in local government, social care, education, law enforcement, public health and healthcare. 

Stay at home Save lives.  Image of a patient in a hospital bed being cared for by a nurse

Census 2021 logo

Ready, steady, census

The decennial census is almost upon us. Households across Teignbridge will soon be asked to take part in the nationwide survey of housing and the population.

Information from the digital-first census will help decide how services are planned and funded. This could mean things like doctors’ surgeries, housing or new bus routes.

Households will receive a letter with a unique access code in the post, allowing them to complete their questionnaire online. Paper questionnaires will be available on request.

Census day is March 21.

Local advice and support

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

Covid helpline offers 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.

hands holding a wallet or purse open with nothing in it

Covid Hardship Fund is for 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 our website’s 'contact us' link.

Bending the rules cost lives.  Stick to the rules to stop the spread

Latest Government advice

Click on an image below for more information.

There is no need to apply for the Covid-19 vaccine.  When it's your turn to receive it, you will be notified by the NHS
Stay at home Protect the NHS Save Lives
Top tips for dealing with stress