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The latest information and guidance to support you and our communities

Getting the vax isn't time to relax...

Look her in the eyes and tell her you never bend the rules

The number of positive cases of covid in Devon is going down, and are now at the same level as at the beginning of December with cases highest among those aged 20 to 39.

However, it's still important to follow the lockdown rules – even if you are one of those who has received your first vaccination.

It can take a week or two for your body to build up some protection from the first dose of vaccine and although the early signs are that it does help stop the spread, it's important that people who have been vaccinated continue to follow the hands, face space rules, to protect those around them.

Beware if you car share

Car sharing is usually something to be encouraged, as it not only saves fuel costs, but also helps reduce carbon emissions.  However, there is some evidence that interaction between among working age people seems to be spreading the virus with car sharing being pinpointed as a major cause of this.

Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon, said: “The best option is not to car share, but if you must – if your journey is essential and that car sharing is the only way to make that journey – please do everything you can to minimise the risk of catching and spreading the virus between passengers."

For those who have no option but to car share, the risk of transmission can be reduced by:

  • Wearing a face covering in the vehicle
  • Sharing transport with the same people each time
  • Minimising the numbers in the vehicle
  • Opening windows for ventilation
  • Travelling side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them
  • Maximising where possible distance between people in the vehicle
  • Cleaning vehicles between journeys paying attention to touch points such as door handles

person being vaccinated in the arm

Vaccine progress and community testing

Vaccinations are being rolled out across Devon with 88 per cent of those in the first four priority categories having now received their first jab and 97 percent of care homes also covered.

With one in three people who have coronavirus not showing any symptoms, a Devon wide community testing programme is also being rolled out aimed at stopping the spread of the virus by identifying those asymptomatic carriers and getting them to self- isolate.

The tests are primarily for those people who are permitted to leave home for work (including essential voluntary work) and who are in higher risk occupations.

We are currently waiting for the go-ahead to open a lateral flow testing centre in Newton Abbot later this month.

ballot box

Covid secure local elections to go ahead

After much speculation the Government has announced that local elections will go ahead in May as scheduled.

This means that there will be elections for Devon County Council and for the Police and Crime Commissioner on 6 May.

The government has published a delivery plan which includes ensuring that all polling stations will be Covid-secure.  Hand sanitizers will be available, everyone will be asked to wear face coverings and the number of people allowed into the polling stations at any one time will be restricted to ensure social distancing is maintained.  Voters will be encouraged to bring their own pen or pencil to mark their ballot papers.

As in all elections, voters will have a choice between in person and absent voting. The deadline for receipt of applications to vote by post is 5pm on 20 April and the deadline for receipt of proxy applications is 5pm on 27 April. 

Currently lockdown restrictions prevent political parties from door to door campaigning or leafleting  but the government says it will issue new guidance nearer the elections.

Simple tips for improving your mood. When things aren't so good out there....Make inside feel better. Visit every mind matters

#TeignbridgeTogether logo

Step out and help set a Teignbridge total

Teignbridge Leisure has partnered with a number of local gym and leisure providers to encourage everyone to walk more during February.

As well as boosting wellbeing, the #TeignbridgeTogether campaign wants to see how many steps we can all achieve together by the end of the month.

Walking benefits all ages, boosting your mood and energy levels, increasing heart health, helping to maintain a healthy weight and is easy on the joints!

You can record your own steps and then either upload daily or your weekly summary record on the #TeignbridgeTogether tracker form via our leisure website

You don’t need to be a member of one of the centres or gyms participating - #TeignbridgeTogether is open to everyone.

So why not join in, share the opportunity via your networks and see how many steps we can collectively reach before 28 February.

radiator thermostat controller

Has your heating been coping with winter weather?

Spending more time at home during the pandemic and the recent weeks of cold and wet weather has perhaps highlighted the need to improve your central heating.

The good news is that it is not too late to apply to our Warm Home Fund, run in conjunction with SSE Energy Solutions Ltd, for grant support to install gas central heating or to install air source heat pumps.

Two options are available to install central heating for the first time:

  • Gas central heating grants to help switch from inefficient systems such as electric storage heaters or plug-in electrical heaters.
  • Grants to install air source heat pumps to replace things like electric storage heaters or solid fuel back boilers and room heaters.

Qualification for a grant depends on your household income, or whether you are in receipt of certain benefits and your home has a D,E,F or G energy performance certificate. Go to our website for full details and to register.

Big energy saving winter logo

Virtual energy cafe to help cut energy costs

The next virtual energy café run by the Healthy Homes team at Exeter Community Energy takes place between 3pm - 4pm on Wednesday 17 February.

Advisers will help people follow three simple steps to help reduce heating costs:

  • Check if you are eligible for discounts, grants and support
  • Switch your tariff or energy supplier to get the best deal
  • Save money by becoming more energy efficient

More sessions are planned and you can find out when via the team’s website where you can also register to attend. 

Domestic abuse can affect anyone and takes many forms.  You are not alone.

Budget survey

This annual survey closed on Tuesday with 563 people responding - this equates to about 0.9% of household that pay council tax.  Thanks to everyone who took part.  

The headline survey results are reported verbally to councillors considering our budget proposals at the Executive on 11 February and a full written report of the feedback is part of the budget papers for Full Council on 22 February when councillors finalise their plans.

Both meetings start at 10am and can be followed live on our YouTube channel.

a wallflower

What are the local green spaces you most enjoy?

Thanks to everyone who has responded to our Connecting to Nature survey, providing a spectrum of views on what makes many of our current green spaces important to them.

Most people who have responded so far want to see retained and enhanced linkages surrounding and between areas that lie on the urban fringe such as Decoy Park, Wolborough Hill, Bradley woodlands and Hackney Marshes.

The priority for most respondents is for any new spaces to be “a good place to spend time with other people”, reflecting perhaps that over the past year, social distancing requirements have meant that large open green spaces have been where people have been able to meet friends and family members.

Our survey runs until 15 February so if you haven’t yet completed it, please take a few minutes to give us your thoughts.

While it is clear that most people enjoy the spaces we have already, we would like to know of any areas that residents think could be opened up for the benefit of local people

Help fight climate change by giving your views on the Draft Devon Carbon Plan

DCE interim carbon plan in 8 points

There’s 10 days left for you to give your views on proposals in the Interim Devon Carbon Plan which includes recommendations for achieving net-zero carbon emissions.

As climate warming accelerates (2019 saw the UK’s hottest ever recorded temperature and the warmest winter temperature) we need to take steps to reduce the green house gases that we are generating and which is causing the planet to warm, resulting in more extreme storms, flooding, droughts, heat waves, melting ice, rising sea levels

To combat the threat, we need to act collectively, which is why Teigmbridge is one of the Councils supporting Devon Climate Emergency and why councillors last year declared an environment and climate emergency  

If you haven’t commented on the Interim Carbon Plan please do so before the 15 February deadline. You can see the slides and videos on the Devon carbon Emergency website. 

There's a choice of completing a short survey or a more detailed one.

LGBT history month badge

LGBT+ History Month

This week marked the start of LGBT+ History Month which provides an opportunity to reflect on the contributions and stories of individuals and communities which have remained hidden at points in time due to persecution or censure

The theme for LGBT+ History Month this year is 'Body, Mind, Spirit'.  

More info

Latest Government coronavirus advice

Look him in the eyes and tell him  you always kept a safe distance.  Stay Home. Protect the NHS Save Lives

Click on 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
Covid-19 Vaccine Fact Check..  The vaccine will always be available free of charge.  The NHS will never ask you to share bank details