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The latest information and guidance to support you and our communities

Death of HRH Prince Philip,
The Duke of Edinburgh

Statement from Council Chair, Cllr John Petherick

HRH Prince Philip,  The Duke of Edinburgh

 “We are very saddened to learn of the death of His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh.

“The Duke has served our country for almost 70 years, and has a special place in the hearts of the district and the nation, and a close affinity with Devon, through his links with the naval college and his support for programmes like Ten Tors.

“Our sincere condolences to the Royal Family at this sad time, and our thoughts are with them and all those suffering this loss.

“We have lowered our flag on the Forde House office to half mast as a mark of respect."

View our remembrance page here and for the latest information please go to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh - GOV.UK

You can sign the national book of condolence here.

Shop Safe Shop Local

High streets reopen as lockdown eases

Shops, gyms, zoos, holiday campsites, personal care services and outdoor hospitality can all reopen on Monday, as well as public buildings such as libraries and community centres.

The further relaxation of the lockdown rules is a timely boost for our local high street businesses who can get back to providing a friendly face to face service.

Shop safe Shop Local pile of pancakes

We can all help them bounce back by heading to our local shops. Our #ShopSafe#ShopLocal promotion is designed to encourage everyone to do their bit to help our high streets recover and, as well as popping into local shops, perhaps also wrap up andenjoy a coffee, snack or meal at one of your local outdoor ‘eateries’.

Around the district different towns are doing their bit to mark the reopening.

In Ashburton, the Town Council has teamed up with Hill House Nursery in Landscove to supply businesses with beautiful hanging baskets to ensure the town centre is looking its best this summer. An Ashburton Community Loyalty Card will be launched in May, so watch out for that!.

Cygnets in Dawlish

In Dawlish, visitors can not only shop but also take a look at the new sea wall and enjoy the open spaces of the Lawn and beaches. The hatching of three cygnets just before Easter, the arrival of a breeding pair of Black Swans and many vibrant hanging baskets give the town a great spirit of optimism.

Teignmouth Town Crier and Newton Abbot poster

In preparation for Monday, Newton Abbot Town Council has been out and about steaming and weeding in the town centre giving it a jolly good spring clean, and plans are also in place for some beautiful summer planting. Town Council staff and councillors will be popping up with some new shopper gifts, including a host of handy fold up and reusable shopping bags, which are being given away as a ‘thank you’ to customers who choose the high street over the web.

And to mark the reopening of local shops in Teignmouth, Town Crier, Patrick Brophy will be in the town’s Triangle on Monday at 10.30am to cry “Oyez” welcoming the return of shoppers.

So get out on Monday, support our local  businesses, have a great time and if you are not sure what you can do, check out the Government’s advice (COVID-19).

Newton Abbot multi-storey car park

This will also reopen on Monday and will operate from 8.00am until 6.00pm.  Other car parks in Newton Abbot  such as Cricketfield Road allows 24 hour parking.

Leisure centres ready to reopen on Monday

Two pictures - one of a girl getting out of a swimming pool and the other showing a gym with equipment ready for use

Our Teignbridge Leisure Centres will reopen on Monday (12 April) for the following activities gym, lane swimming, children's swimming lessons, family bubble swims, household racket sports (badminton, squash, and table tennis) will return with COVID secure measures in place.

Group Exercise and adult swimming lessons will return with COVID secure measures in place from Monday 17th May (at the earliest).

Want a fresh start? Sign up for a membership or non-member account today and start your journey to a healthier lifestyle.

Can your children swim?

Children’s swimming lessons teach life skills that aren’t limited to the pool. As a child revels in their progress and success, they will gain a confidence within themselves that continues once they step out of the water and into other aspects of their lives.

Swimming lessons are also great for promoting teamwork, trust in others and bonding with parents or siblings.

Our teachers are all fully qualified and experienced in teaching all swimming aspects. See how you can join a swimming lessons today. 

Covid mobile testing van showing individual inside

Protect yourself and others by having a regular Covid test

From today, anyone can be tested for coronavirus via free, regular, rapid COVID-19 testing twice a week.

Test results are usually available within an hour and the lateral flow tests provide an easy and convenient way of checking whether you have the virus even if not showing any symptoms.

If you test positive in a lateral flow test you will be instructed to self-isolate and to arrange a PCR test via the NHS 

Devon County Council mobile testing units will be regularly visiting communities across the county including Ashburton, Buckfastleigh, Dawlish, Newton Abbot, Teignmouth. You can find out where and when they are in your area on Devon's website. The mobile units will stop in each community, at a specific location, twice a week on given days.

Regular testing is seen by the Government as an important step in preventing people unknowingly spreading the virus, helping to identify the one in three people who show no symptoms. 

Anyone with a new and continuous cough, high temperature or a change to their sense of taste or smell should immediately self-isolate and book a test online or by calling 119.

The expanded regular lateral flow testing offer announced by the government will be delivered through:

  • a home ordering service
  • workplace testing programmes, on-site or at home
  • community testing, offered by councils
  • collection at a local test site during specific test collection time windows
  • testing on-site at schools and colleges
  • a new ‘Pharmacy Collect’ service

You can find out more about testing on the NHS website.

person being vaccinated in the arm

Vaccine benefits outweigh any risks

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said this week that people should continue to receive the COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca.

A scientific review followed concerns in relation to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine over suspected blood clots.

In line with the updated MHRA advice, people under 30 with no underlying health conditions will be offered an alternative vaccine.

The MHRA said that the benefits of the vaccine in preventing COVID-19 far outweigh the risks and that people should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so.

Public Health England has updated its information on the benefits and risks of Covid-19 vaccination.

Planning illustrative image

Increased demand may slow down planning responses

In common with planning teams across the UK, our team is currently managing an unprecedented caseload.

The number of cases we are receiving has increased significantly since the first COVID restrictions were lifted and we have also experienced significant staffing changes. As a result all members of our team currently have very challenging workloads.

We are working on both current and overdue cases as quickly as possible, but as a result our response times are slower than we would like.

If you want to provide new information on a case, please email the team  (quoting the application number). By using the general email address emails (and attachments) will be acknowledged and uploaded to our systems more quickly so that they are available on our files for the public and case officers to see.

If you wish to comment on a case you can do so online or by emailing the team quoting the application number.

We are of course sorry for any delays and are investing in additional resources to help clear the backlog as soon as we can as well as trying to contact agents and applicants to agree where appropriate new target timetables.

Voting methods - in  person, by post, by proxy

Election preparations gather pace

Next month's elections are drawing nearer, candidate lists have been published and the government has updated its election guidance.

If you are not registered to vote, the deadline for applications to be able to vote in the May elections is 11.59pm on Monday 19 April. 

If you want to apply for a postal vote you need to do this before 5pm on Tuesday 20 April.

More election information is on our website or the Electoral Commission's website.

Follow my lead - cycle leader with other cyclists

Fancy getting involved in a local cycling initiative?

Active Devon is encouraging local cyclists to get involved in HSBC UK Guided rides with the aim of getting local, sociable rides from Newton Abbot underway.

They have secured a Let's Ride - HSBC UK Guided Rides leadership course  which will take place in Newton Abbot on the 15 May and would like to find 10 volunteers to take part.

The aim of the initiative is to inspire more people to get fit and have fun by cycling.  Guided rides is about enjoying a steady social bike ride with tea and cake at the heart of it rather than riding long distances on an expensive bike in Lycra!

You don’t need to be a cycling expert to get involved.  You just need to be confident riding in a group and have a good level of cycling fitness.

Not only will you support beginner bike riders and families but you’ll make new friends, have fun and gain a British Cycling Ride membership.

You can sign up to the course and if you want more information contact Richard Chumbley  at Active Devon

Stop Loan Sharks logo

Proceeds of crime funding on offer

Community organisations, charities and groups are encouraged to apply for grants of up to £5,000 from the England Illegal Money Lending Team for projects that help to tackle loan sharks and to reduce crimes within their communities.

The funding comes from money seized from convicted loan sharks under the Proceeds of Crime Act .

Collaborative bids from multiple agencies are also welcome up to a maximum of four (i.e. a total application for £20,000).

Projects must raise awareness of the dangers of loan sharks, reduce crime and disorder and have a positive impact on communities in order to be successful with their application.

The deadline for applications – which must be online - is midnight on Wednesday 30 June.

Loan shark activity can be reported on 0300 555 2222 or via the StopLoanSharks website

Lifetime Skills Guarantee 

Adults in England who are 24 and over and do not yet have A levels, an advanced technical diploma or equivalent, can take their first full Level 3 qualification for free. There are almost 400 courses available.

Latest government advice

thinking of going in? Keep working from home if you can
Better health  - every mind matters advice
Hands face space fresh air
#NoExcuseForAbuse logo