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The latest information and guidance to support you and our communities

"Jab is safe" and national day of reflection

News coverage over the past few weeks on different aspects of vaccinations has made it dfificult to know what is the right thing to do; however, the scientific advice remains, that when offered the jab, you should take it.

More than 25 million people in the UK have been vaccinated, giving them protection from the virus, and those over 50 are currently being invited to have the jab.

Both the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the European Medicines Agency confirmed yesterday that the vaccine is safe to use and that there is no confirmed link between reported blood clots and the AstraZeneca vaccine.

And the Prime Minister said yesterday:  “The Oxford jab is safe and the Pfizer jab is safe.  The thing that isn’t safe is catching Covid”.

person being vaccinated in the arm

Following a scientific review of all the available data, including report cases as well as data from hospital admissions and GP records,  the MHRS said that the available evidence does not suggest that blood clots in veins are caused by COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca. This view was confirmed by the Government’s independent advisory group, the Commission on Human Medicines which also reviewed the available data.

And Devon's Public Health Director Steve Brown reinforced the importance and effectiveness of the vaccination programme, whilst warning that outbreaks are likely to continue.

The tragic family impact in first 12 months

The seriousness of the Covid threat was again highlighted by the stark statistics that in the 12 months since the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on 11 March 2020, there were 125,000 covid related deaths in the UK and almost 450,000 hospitalisations.

National Day of Reflection

Maire Curie charity is organising a National Day of Reflection to reflect on our collective loss, support those who've been bereaved, and hope for a brighter future.  The event will take place on 23 March -  the one-year anniversary of the first UK lockdown, 

national day of remembrance reflect, connect, support

In addition to holding an online event, people are being encouraged to observe a national minute's silence at 12 noon and to stand outside at 8pm with a light to remember someone who's died and show support for people going through a bereavement.

While we reflect on the loss of life and the number of people who have suffered from Covid, it is important to recognise that despite the positive news, we are not yet free of the virus so please continue to protect yourself, your family and friends by continuing to follow the rules in the coming weeks.

By continuing to do so, we will all help ensure that the government's plan to take us out of lockdown was still on schedule will remain true.

Phil Shears at mobile testing unit

No need to book for Covid test

A walk-in system is now in place at the  mobile testing unit operating weekly on a Friday from the depot in Forde Road.

Last Friday's first mobile unit visit saw more than 80 people tested with everyone tested receiving a negative result.

Between 8.30am to 12 noon and 2pm to 5.30pm weekly on a Friday, you can visit the mobile unit without an appointment.

So if you are unable to work from home and/or in contact with other people as part of your work, please take advantage of this opportunity and get yourself tested regularly. 

Testing is an important part of enabling lockdown to be eased and to identify people who have the virus but show no symptoms.  Last week saw our Managing Director Phil Shears visit the site and get tested.  

From Sunday (March 21), and every Sunday after that, the testing unit will also be available at the town’s Cattle Market from 8.30am to 5.30pm.

Visit for more information.

New analysis show effectiveness of lateral flow tests

The Government has published analysis that NHS Test and Trace has conducted of rapid testing using data from community testing, rapid testing in educational settings and asymptomatic test sites. The findings show that for every 1,000 lateral flow tests carried out, there is less than one false positive result.

gentleman head and shoulders looking thoughtful

New shielding advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable 

The Government yesterday announced that from 1 April clinically extremely vulnerable people (CEVs) will no longer be advised to shield.

Letters to people on the shielded patient list with updated guidance will be arriving from today and over the next two weeks. These set out practical steps people can follow to reduce their risk of catching the virus, including continuing to maintain strict social distancing and to keep their overall social contacts at low levels, such as working from home where possible.

People should continue to follow the national rules and take the additional precautions set out in the guidance to keep themselves as protected as possible.

Councils, supermarkets and communitary and voluntary groups will continue to provide support for those shielding until 31 March 2021. If people have already registered for priority access to supermarket delivery slots, they will continue to be able to access these until 21 June 2021.

We have been contacted by people on the CEV list, asking for us to remove them from it.  Unfortunately, as with all councils, we are not change a person's CEV status. If you are on the CEV list and you don’t want to be, please discuss this with your GP.

Census 2021 logo

Two days to go

Census Day is this Sunday (21 March) but the census is already in full swing with letters containing unique access codes going to households in Teignbridge and across the country.

Any household that has not received a letter with the census code should get in touch with the census contact centre.  Those who want a paper questionnaire can call 0800 876 6276 and there is also a language helpline 0800 587 2021. 

Libraries Unlimited is offering face to face census support through booked appointments at its libraries in Chudleigh, Kingskerswell, Newton Abbot and Teignmouth or remote support by telephone.

To check opening times and contact details please visit either the Libraries Unlimited website or the national 'find a centre' service via the website where information is updated weekly.  People can also call 0800 141 2021 for help.

The census can be completed ahead of Sunday (21 March) and many people have already done so.

Operating in line with the Government’s latest Covid-19 guidance, field officers will be deployed across the country to contact those who have not responded. They will offer help and advice to those who need it. They will also remind people that their census response is required by law.

Results will be available within 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations.

Some local buildings will be lighting up in purple to mark this once in ten year landmark - such as Dunsford Stores, pictured below.

image of a shop front in purple to mark census day

Housing strategy cover

Final chance for comments on housing strategy

Almost 500 people have so far completed our housing strategy survey and we would like to thank them all for doing so.

The strategy is about helping local people. It’s about affordable housing (what used to be called council housing), homelessness, rough sleeping, private landlords’ responsibilities to tenants, housing conditions and bringing empty homes back into use.

Many local people struggle to afford private rented accommodation, or buy a home, yet there is a shortage of affordable housing for rent in Teignbridge. About 1,000 families are on the housing waiting list and this strategy aims to help them and others needing an affordable place to live.  

What can be done to ease housing problems?.

Please take a look at the strategy and let us have your thoughts by completing the simple feedback questionnaire

You can provide more detailed responses via the survey’s free text comments box or you can email us.  Please help us make the strategy as effective as possible by responding before the survey closes on 24 March.

Teign estuary trail over a bridge

Public support for Teign Estuary Trail missing link

A public consultation has revealed overwhelming support for the latest proposals for the Teign Estuary Trail.

More than 3,000 responses were received during the consultation run by Devon County Council at the end of last year, which focused on a missing link between Newton Abbot and Teignmouth.

Feedback showed that 92% supported the proposed route for a 5km section of the multi-use trail, starting at the Passage House Inn in Newton Abbot and joining the A381 at La Roche Maurice Walk, with a shared use path planned to link to the junction near Morrisons supermarket, at the western edge of Teignmouth.

The vast majority also backed the construction of the Teign Estuary Trail, which was supported by 98%, with the majority stating it would provide safety benefits for cyclists and pedestrians. 94% also said they felt the trail would encourage them to cycle more regularly and 57% said they would use it at least weekly.

The consultation results can be found on the Teign Estuary Trail webpage.

harvest mouse carving at Dawlish Countryside Park

Public and environmental benefits safeguarded at Dawlish Countryside Park

The long term future of award-winning Dawlish Countryside Park has been secured through a landmark agreement which will see its management taken over by national land management charity, the Land Trust.

A 999 year lease is being awarded to the Land Trust which will use an endowment investment to deliver the long-term goals of Dawlish Countryside Park.

Local communities will be encouraged to get involved with the Land Trust in managing sustainability, biodiversity and supporting the Habitat Regulations outcomes essential for mitigating the likely impact of population growth on the nearby Dawlish Warren and Exe Estuary protected European wildlife sites.

Councillors decided that placing the financial and delivery responsibility with the Land Trust is the best way to secure long term protection for the green space legacy of social, environmental and wildlife benefits within this popular park.

piles of coins next to a wooden model of a house


In the article ‘Choose how you pay your council tax’ in last week's newsletter, we provided a breakdown of how the money raised by your council tax is shared across different public bodies.

In summarising how money raised by the council tax is used, the nine per cent that we receive should have been described as a 'share' and not an 'increase'. 

We apologise for this error. 

two rottweiler puppies looking through a fence

How to keep your dog safe

Throughout lockdown there has been lots of coverage on social media and in the local media about dog thefts.  This has obviously caused alarm among pet owners, many of whom have taken on pet ownership for the first time, due to their change in circumstances resulting from the pandemic.

Whilst pet theft is still unusual, the police have issued some advice on keeping your dog safe and what to do if your dog goes missing.

Dartmoor multi-agency training exercise

Dartmoor Police, together with other emergency services and volunteer agencies will be taking part in a multi-agency training exercise tomorrow (20 March).

The teams will be running a missing person search and rescue exercise at Haytor Common, which concludes a week long training course for police officers. It will run throughout the day and is designed to encourage collaborative working between key search and rescue services.

Emergency services and volunteer agencies taking part will include HM Coastguard, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue (Urban Search and Rescue Team), Dartmoor Search and Rescue Teams, Cornwall Search and Rescue and Devon and Cornwall 4x4 Response.

The event will be managed in a Covid-secure way and everyone taking part will adhere to PPE requirements and social distancing guidelines.

Visitors to the area may see parts of the training taking place around Haytor and multiple response vehicles travelling to and from the area throughout the day.

three logos for widow(er)s' research - Northumbria University, War Widows Association, Forces in Mind Trust

Survey of military widow(er) on loneliness and social isolation

Academics are looking for 400 individuals whose partners have died in the UK Armed Forces or after their service, to take part in new research into loneliness and social isolation.

Developed in collaboration with the War Widows’ Association, the project aims to understand military widows’ and widowers' experiences of social isolation and loneliness, identify the services available to them, and examine their unmet needs. 

The survey will run until 14 May 2021.

Latest government guidance

Update to guidance for parents

The Department for Education (DfE) has published a collection of guidance for parents and carers of children attending early years settings, schools and colleges.

  • essential information for the spring term
  • coronavirus testing
  • clubs and out-of-school settings
  • home schooling and remote education
  • support for children and young people
Roadmap dates for stage 1 and what you can do

Roadmap out of lockdown

Lockdown rules

Covid-19 vaccination programme

Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested


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