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The latest information and guidance to support you and our communities

Optimism tempered by more people being classed extremely vulnerable to Covid-19

The news this week that more people may face an increased risk from coronavirus is a timely reminder that despite the good news of falling rates and millions of people being vaccinated, we are not out of the woods yet.

Recent research has shown that more people could be clinically extremely vulnerable than originally thought due to a combination of their individual characteristics and their underlying health conditions.

bending the rules cost lives, stick to the rules to stop the spread

As a result, almost 6,000 more people in Devon are receiving letters advising that they are now in the clinically extremely vulnerable group and that they should shield and stay at home as much as possible until 31 March (other than to exercise, go for vaccination and other medical appointments).

They will also be a priority for vaccination and can register for support at the Shielding Support Website or go to our website for advice

Her sister was her favourite person - image of a sad young woman.  Stay home, save lives

This increased risk is a reminder that we all need to continue to do everything we can to protect the most vulnerable in our communities and to stop the spread.

The downward trend in cases nationally and across Devon has given rise to optimism that some lockdown rules might be relaxed when the Prime Minister unveils his road map for the coming months, in his annoucement expected next week.

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

Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon has warned the fall in local rates has slowed down, with rates highest among the 20 to 29 year old working age group.

Please continue to play your part in getting the rates down, stick to the rules and when invited for vaccination please take up the offer and attend your appointment.

It is the best hope for a return to a more normal life.

Vaccinations for clinically vulnerable and people aged 65 to 69

Earlier this week, the Government announced the NHS is inviting the next priority groups  to be vaccinated. This includes those aged over 65 and other clinically vulnerable people aged between 16 and 64 with underlying health conditions, who have not yet been vaccinated. Adult carers are also being invited to receive their vaccines.

Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week.

Stay home after your vaccination. You still need to follow the rules and stay home even if you have been vaccinated against covid-19

Denbury shared ownership development opens doors to residents

A development of nine new homes in Denbury recently opened its doors to its new residents.

The development of seven affordable rent and two shared ownership, with a self-build plot, was completed just before Christmas.  The homes are the result of a scheme to provide affordable housing in Teignbridge, and is the result of collaborative working between Willow Tree Housing Partnership, Teignbridge District Council, Homes England, Denbury Parish Council and local construction firm Classic Builders.    The scheme is designed for people living in traditionally low-income areas to access homes that would otherwise be beyond their means, and these homes have enabled locals to remain within their villages and communities.

The scheme was funded by grants from Homes England together with £100,000 from Teignbridge District Council to support the viability of the scheme, which included £50,000 from the Council’s Community Led Housing Fund.

Teignbridge tree planting is branching out

Some 1,500 saplings provided by the Woodland Trust are being planted this week as part of the Council's efforts to boost tree numbers, improve the environment and offset carbon emissions.

This is the second year of planting at Dawlish Leisure Centre, Michael's Field, Bishopsteignton and Sandringham Park, Newton Abbot,

The aim is to create copses on largely grass covered areas linking, where possible, to existing woodland and hedges. As well as boosting the appeal and ecological value of the sites, the tree planting will provide safe, green corridors that wildlife can use to move around.  Pollinators will benefit from increased flowering and wildlife from an increased range of fruits.

Unlike last year, volunteers have been been asked to help with the tree planting due to Covid-19 restrictions but contactors Idverde and Devon Tree Services have offered free help and supplies.  Planting started earlier this week and the work is expected to be completed by the weekend.

saplingsbeing planted

market Hall artist impression

Revised high street regeneration plans submitted

Final plans to regenerate the centre of Newton Abbot are being resubmitted, minus the proposed additional car parking at Cricketfield, in order to meet the Government’s £9.2 million grant offer.

The Government announced just after Christmas that as the Future High Street Fund had been oversubscribed, we would only be given about two thirds of the funding requested, providing we submitted a deliverable, scaled back version of our proposals by next Friday (26 Feb).

Removing the proposed new cinema plans or scaling back across all aspects of the proposals were also considered, but it was felt that this would reduce the impact of the plans and not meet the Future High Street Fund goals of reshaping town centres to drive growth, improve experience and ensure sustainability.  

As well as attracting £9.2 million external funding, the scaled back plans will still transform the town centre into a more appealing place to visit, boosting footfall and local spending.  It will also improve pedestrian and cycling access while keeping open the option of funding the Cricketfield plans in another way at a later date.

More information

'Help Us Help You' lung cancer campaign launched

An NHS and Public Health England campaign has been launched encouraging people to get checked if they test negative for Covid-19 but have a cough that lasts for more than three weeks.

Research suggests that almost half of people don't know that a persistent cough for more than three weeks can be a lung cancer symptom. And two thirds of people, 61%, wouldn't make an appointment with their GP if they had a cough lasting three weeks or more and had tested negative for coronavirus.

Finding lung cancer early, like other cancers, makes it more treatable so the campaign aims to encourage earlier diagnosis.

two people sitting on a sofa and and coughing

Results - each character in a different colour and size against a black background

Budget survey results

Thank you to everyone who gave their views on the main elements that will underpin our spending in the next financial year by responding to our budget survey. Councillors will now consider your views ahead of their meeting of the Full Council on Monday (22 February) to agree our 2021/22 budget.

  • 66% of respondents agreed to increasing council tax to maintain essential services with only 21% disagreeing
  • 65% supported backing business and improving town centres with 17% disagreeing
  • 71% agreed that we should investing in infrastructure for employment, education, transport, sports and open spaces with 12% disagreeing
  • 61% agreed with supporting housing as a priority by enabling affordable housing, improving poor quality homes and talking homelessness and rough sleeping while 20% disagreed
  • 65% supported reducing our carbon footprint and promoting energy efficiencies while 12% disagreed.

The remaining respondents neither agreed nor disagreed with the proposals.

In looking to future budgets, respondents were given a number of options for how we should balance our books and 70% agreed that we should generate more income; 45% that we should make more budget savings; 13% that we should reduce our services; 31% that we should increase council tax further; and 29% that we should increase fees and charges.

Launched on 22 December after the Government announced its provisional financial settlement for local government, 563 people (0.9% of households which pay council tax) responded to our survey before it closed on 2 February and in addition to promoting it via this newsletter, residents were invited to take part via traditional and social media, our website and other newsletters that we produce.

You can watch the Full Council meeting on our YouTube channel on Monday, starting at 10am.  Visit our website for agenda and papers.

Census 2021 logo

Everyone will benefit from Census 2021

Postcards will start to land on doormats next week informing households that the census is coming and to be on the look out for their census packs.

The census on 21 March is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales.

Understanding the needs of the nation helps everyone from central government to organisations, such as councils and health authorities, plan and fund public services across England and Wales. Census outputs inform where billions of pounds of public funding is spent on services like transport, education and health – on cycle routes, schools and dental surgeries.

Information from the census is also important in helping lots of other people and organisations do their work.

Charities and voluntary organisations often use it as evidence to get funding. It helps businesses to understand their customers and, for example, decide where to open new shops. Plus, those doing research, like university students and people looking into their family history, use census data.

It provides important information on population diversity, allowing organisations to know whether they are meeting their responsibilities and triggering action where necessary.
Census 2021 will be the first run predominantly online, with households receiving a letter with a unique access code, allowing them to complete the questionnaire on their computers, phones or tablets.

Households will soon receive letters with online codes explaining how they can take part. The census will include questions about your sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. And, for the first time, there will be a question asking people whether they have served in the armed forces, as well as voluntary questions for those aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity.

More information

Citizens Advice Teignbridge logo

How to get advice 

The Citizens Advice team continues to help people during the pandemic but to lower the risk to staff, volunteers and the people who go to them for help, the main way to get advice is by telephone, online, email, text and WhatsApp.

  • For general advice visit the website where you can also chat to an adviser online.
  • Email: on our website
  • Phone: 03444 111 444
  • Text: 07867 012580
  • WhatsApp: 01626 322260
  • For help claiming Universal Credit: Phone: 0800 144 8 444 Textphone: 18001 0800 144 8 444

#TeignbridgeTogether logo

Seven million steps and counting!

The month-long campaign by our Teignbridge Leisure services team and their partners to get people exercising more during lockdown is proving popular!

As of the beginning of this week almost seven million steps had been recorded.  That's around 3,500 miles - or the equivalent of walking from your house to New York!

You can still take part, recording whatever steps you take and there is no minimum distance or a number of days. Just upload your steps daily or weekly on the #TeignbridgeTogether tracker on our leisure website.

Let's walk logo - image of a training show against a blue background

Get Devon moving more this March – join the Let’s Walk workplace challenge  

Devon’s biggest Workplace Walking Challenge, Let’s Walk, is planning a return next month, aiming to get teams across the county to think about their health at work and take a break from their computer screen or working environment.

The challenge is aimed at all workplaces, big or small, home or office based and is free to join. The aim is simply to walk and move more during the working day. Teams can consist of 3 -10 people, setting both team and individual goals – pledging to reach their target together and reaping the health rewards of greater exercising.  Once registered, teams will be provided with the resources needed to take part before the challenge starts

Your voice counts.  Parents childcare survey

Just two weeks to go

Parents have until 28 February to complete Devon County's childcare survey and help the early years and childcare team to plan and make sure there is enough childcare in the future.

The team want to hear from both parents who currently use childcare and those who don't.  It takes only a few minutes to complete the survey so don't miss out on sharing your views and find the time to do so in the next couple of weeks.

Before and after shots of Teignmouth beach showing movement of sand in storm seas

What a difference a day (or two) makes

These dramatic pictures show the dynamic nature of our coastline, especially after the kind of storms we've seen recently.

Beach levels ebb and flow with the tide and weather, and large quantities of sand can get moved around during storms, leaving some areas exposed and others with large deposits of extra sand.

Our team captured these pictures at Teignmouth, just two days apart, showing that all sorts of construction materials and rubble can be uncovered one day and be completely out of sight within 48 hours.

So when you’re next enjoying a beach walk in blustery weather, take a look at what’s around you – you’ll always see something different – and keep an eye on the ever changing tidal conditions and what they can expose underfoot along the beach.

Before and after shots of Teignmouth beach after stormy seas moved sand

Armed Forces community support

You can sign up for The Hub – the Armed Forces Community Support newsletter

Latest government advice

Self isolating means staying at home

Click on an image below for more information

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