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The latest information and guidance to support you and our communities

We’ve looked out for each other throughout this – let’s not stop now!

Alan Connett

"It’s more ‘Carry-On Cautiously’ than ‘Freedom Day!

On Monday 19th when many of the final COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. We can go to nightclubs, festivals and mass sporting events, and perhaps more importantly for many of us, go out and about our daily lives without being instructed to socially distance or wear face coverings.

For some, it’s a welcome step towards ‘normal life’. For others, there will be continued anxiousness and uncertainty. One thing is clear; Let’s not lift our guard now. The pandemic is by no means over. Infection rates are back on the way up. 

Many of us have had our double vaccinations, and this will certainly give us some immunity and reduce the risk of transmission. Others in our community, particularly young people, are waiting for their first or second jabs.   

It’s important that we respect each other’s personal circumstances and understand that everyone will feel differently about the lifting of restrictions.

The requirement to self-isolate will continue until mid-August, and the impact of this on local business, particularly the hospitality industry, creates an additional strain as more people start going out and about, and mixing in larger groups.

We will continue to do all we can to help people stay and feel safe, support businesses to get up and running, and make sure our services are there to support those who need it.

On that point, my thanks to everyone for keeping services going right across Teignbridge. I know some residents have been affected by delays in our refuse and recycling collections. My thanks to the crews for all they are doing and to residents too for your support and patience. It is greatly appreciated.

One thing the pandemic has done is enabled us to work together to protect the most vulnerable, help those in need and thank those who have kept us going. We’re not out of the wood yet, let’s carry on with that help and support. Thank you."

Council Leader Cllr Alan Connett 

From 19 July, it is expected and recommended that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport

Concerns as case numbers rise in Teignbridge

With the lifting of most legal restrictions relating to Covid-19 the Prime Minister has urged everyone to remain vigilant and exercise caution.

As anticipated, as rules are relaxed, cases are increasing across Devon and the rest of the country.  

The highest case rates remain in mostly  younger working-age adults and as Teignbridge has a younger age population profile than the rest of Devon, our numbers are increasing with some hot spots developing.  Our weekly rate has risen to 356 cases per 100,000 people. 

Our vaccination rates in the district are high with 96-97% people being vaccinated but there are some areas where vaccination is lower and residents are encouraged to get the jab when offered and make sure they get both doses.

It is still possible to catch and spread COVID-19, even if fully vaccinated.  So it is important that everyone follows the remaining key protections

  • Testing when you have symptoms
  • Self- isolating when positive or when contacted by NHS Test and Trace (until 16 August)
  • Following government guidance

Anyone without symptoms should test regularly with a rapid lateral flow test, and anyone with symptoms should isolate and arrange a PCR test.

Thank you for helping.  Let's keep going. Let's keep testing

The Government is also recommending that people wear face coverings in crowded areas, meet people outside where possible, let fresh air into buildings and minimise the number, proximity and duration of social contacts.

The NHS in Devon is reminding people today that everyone accessing or visiting healthcare settings must continue to wear a face covering and follow their social distancing rules.

From19 July limits on social contact lifted.Consider limiting close contact with people you do not live with and open windows to let air in

Clinically extremely vulnerable encouraged to be more cautious

Under the Government’s new guidance, higher risk people may choose to limit close contact with those they do not usually meet with in order to reduce the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19  

For example clinically extremely vulnerable people may wish to take additional precautions when meeting others such as:

  • meeting outside
  • making sure the space is well ventilated if meeting inside
  • waiting until 14 days after their second vaccine dose before being in close contact with others
  • continuing to practice social distancing if that feels right
  • asking friends and family to take a lateral flow test before visiting

Whilst there is emerging evidence that suggests that some immunocompromised and immunosuppressed individuals may not respond as well to COVID-19 vaccines as others, a recent study from Public Health England (PHE), found that such people are significantly better protected following the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

If concerned clinically vulnerable people should contact their GP for advice or take a look at the specific NHS advice for those at higher risk

If support is needed the NHS Volunteer Responders programme is still available to help. Call 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm, seven days a week to self-refer or visit NHS Volunteer Responders for further information.

You need two doses for maximum protection

Many of us enjoy the hot weather but remember to look out for others

Heat-health alert issued by Public Health England

Yesterday's raising of the heat health alert level by the Met Office to level 2 for the coming days has prompted Public Health England to remind people to take extra care in the sunshine.

The information contains tips on how to stay cool during the hot weather, stay hydrated and avoid sunburn, especially between 11am and 3pm as UV rays are strongest during these hours.

Everyone is reminded to look out for those who may be more vulnerable in hot weather, especially as we all spend more time outside in line with Covid guidance.

Waste recycling vehicle

Delays and driver vacancies in waste collection service

Recruitment issues, staff self-isolating and breakdowns have combined to cause delays in some collections in recent weeks.

Despite the best efforts of our teams, who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to keep services operational, these problems are now impacting on our schedules.

Over the last couple of weeks our resources have been stretched with 1-2 day delays in collections in some areas.  Our crews have been working weekends to catch up, and we're asking residents to leave containers at their usual collection point for them to be collected as soon as possible, or to take recycling to the recycling banks or main Recycling Centres.

The nationwide shortage of HGV drivers has hit us, alongside other local councils, and this shortage is exacerbated by some staff having to isolate at short notice in line with covid guidelines.

So if you know of any HGV drivers looking for work, we have several vacancies for Class C drivers to join our waste and recycling team, as well as refuse loaders, to help bolster our crews and tackle the current shortage.

Candidates can apply via our our recruitment web site or they can call Mark Pepper (01626 361101) for an informal chat

Our staffing partner Acorn Recruitment (01626 335 575) is always looking for Refuse Loaders, which can often lead to full time employment within the council.

Residents can be assured that we are doing everything we can to keep delays to a minimum and to explore all options for restoring the service to its normal levels.

Garden community logo

Do you live in one of these neighbourhoods?

We have spaces remaining at the following Garden Community workshops, so why not get involved and help shape the future of your neighbourhood? Click on a link to register:

Our online Zoom workshops will give you the opportunity to voice your hopes and aspirations for your neighbourhood through a series of activities. For more information please visit our website and watch our 22 minute webinar. Spaces are limited and are allocated on a first come, first serve basis.

For those who have already signed up and who are now unable to attend, please could you notify us by emailing We’ve had a couple of no-shows which takes the opportunity away from others who may wish to get involved.


Supermarket vouchers to help families buy food over the summer holiday

Nearly 17,000 children across Devon have been sent supermarket vouchers ahead of the upcoming school summer break as we continue to work to combat holiday hunger. 

Families of all Teignbridge pupils currently receiving free school meals have automatically been sent the vouchers to help them buy food over the holidays to replace the meals their child would have received at school during term-time. 

The vouchers – worth £15 per week for each child – can be redeemed in major supermarkets across Devon. Arrangements are in place for families who cannot get to a supermarket.

Some supermarket vouchers issued for the May half-term break have still not been spent. Families are urged to check their vouchers and redeem them as soon as possible before they expire and get in touch with the free school meals team if you were expecting to receive a voucher but didn’t. You can email or call 0345 155 1019

If your circumstances have changed during the pandemic and you didn’t previously qualify for free school meals but your income has recently reduced or stopped, you can apply online tor check if you are eligible through the DCC website or by calling 0345 155 1019.

More information on Devon County Council's website.

empty wallet being held open

Lost income due to Covid and struggling to pay bills

The cautious move out of lockdown on Monday may spark reasons to celebrate but for many, trying to make ends meet remains a significant challenge.

With many school bubbles having to isolate, financial pressures can become more intense if working parents have to stay at home to look after their children.

Our Hardship Fund continues to offer support to local people whose income has been adversely affected by Covid, who have run out of cash, are struggling to pay their bills and need help to cover basic necessities..

The fund can help cover costs of household essentials, essential travel costs, utilities, council tax arrears and other discretionary expenditure as a result of COVID -19.

If your circumstances are changing as a result of Covid and you need some financial support, take a look at our Hardship Fund and see how it may be able to help you.

Funding available to help communities reconnect, rebuild and recover

older person

A special fund has been set up by Devon County Council to support communities to get back to running their pre-covid facilities and activities, suspended through the national lockdown.

The Reconnect Rebuild Recover Community Fund will provide grant funding of up to £1,000 for smaller projects and between £1,000 and £3,000 for larger projects that help local people to reconnect, rebuild and recover their community-led facilities and/or social activities.

It's open to any Teignbridge community-led initiative that:

  • encourage a range of people to participate in activities that improve their physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing
  • provide safe community-led transportation links and services which encourage and help people to re-connect and re-socialise safely within their communities
  • encourage people to develop skills and learning through volunteering their time, knowledge and expertise to help and support the facilities and/or social activity and the people using them

You can find out more, including how to apply, on Devon County Council's website.

Leisure centres expand activities and Summer Sports Camps return

Leisure centre images


Teignbridge Leisure Centre restrictions are set to be lifted from Monday in line with the government roadmap.

Leisure Centres will be open as per their centre opening times and they can now accept walk-ins. 

Additional gym, swim, and group exercise sessions have been added to our timetables and several activities will have increased capacity to support those activities with waiting lists. You can see all the latest leisure centre news on our leisure website.

With school holidays beckoning, why not get active this summer holiday with our Summer Sports Camps at Dawlish Leisure Centre and Newton Abbot Leisure Centre.

Our Camps will be delivered by fully qualified and experienced coaches, with a full DBS check in place.  They will run for multiple days each week starting from Monday 2 August. Our camps are action packed which allows children to learn new skills and have fun. Read more now.

Aerial view of part of the heart of Teignbridge

Identifying option sites where infrastructure can support development

This week’s local plan feature focused on why sites for 40 per cent of new homes envisaged in the local plan consultation are located in the heart of Teignbridge, despite development having taken place with more new homes in the pipeline.

As many people in and around Newton Abbot enjoy the best facilities in the district, it makes sense for a significant proportion of sites needed to meet the Government’s housing requirement of land to accommodate 751 homes a year to be built where the infrastructure exists to support local people and which provides a solid base for future expansion.

Paper copies

As the local plan consultation moves past the half way stage, a reminder that as well as being able to view all material on our website, printed copies of the documents are available to view in libraries, town and parish council offices and in Forde House.  Paper copies of the questionnaire can also be downloaded from our website.

farmers wellbeing webinar

Wellbeing webinar for farmers

Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards is holding a webinar to promote wellbeing in the farming community on Thursday July 22.

The pandemic and Brexit have put huge pressure on many of the region’s farmers.
In recognition of this, the Trading Standards Farming Partnership, in conjunction with the Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Rural Community project, has held a series of webinars over the last year – and the next one is on July 22.

The aim of this latest event is to help support farmers in areas ranging from rural crime and running a business to safety and mental health - and to help publicise the support and guidance available to those who need it.

Small actions create change.  Plant for our Planet.  Young girl watering seedlings  in pots

Help keep the bees buzzing

We’re all being urged in 'Bees Needs Week’ to do more to help bees and other pollinators play their vital role in maintaining our natural ecosystems.

Several organisations including the Royal Horticultural Society, Bumblebee Conservation Trust and the Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) are working together to encourage everyone to help our precious pollinators thrive by taking five simple steps:

  • Grow more flowers, shrubs and trees
  • Let your garden grow wild
  • Cut your grass less often
  • Don’t disturb insect nest and hibernation spots
  • Think carefully about whether to use pesticides

According to DEFRA bees and other pollinators play a crucial role in food production, contributing the equivalent of more than £500 million a year to UK agriculture and food production, by improving crop quality and quantity.

NHS. Eid Mubarak.  Please celebrate safely

Illustration of traffic in a town

Traffic and travel survey closes Monday

A reminder that the online Newton Abbot Community Engagement Survey seeking the views of residents, businesses, commuters and visitors on traffic and travel in the town closes on Monday (19 July).

The 10 minute survey has been running since 17 June and been promoted by a partnership of Newton Abbot Town Council, Teignbridge District Council and Devon County Council.

The questions include preferred method of travel, whether respondents work or live in the town and length of commute.   The survey also invites respondents to give their views on traffic flow and if they think drivers generally keep to the speed limit, exceed it, or drive below the speed limit.

The partnership is currently investigating the viability of a 20mph limit in the town, and a key part of that is understanding people’s perceptions of traffic.  Alongside traffic data the results of the survey will help the partnership understand if a new lower speed limit would benefit the town. The survey can be completed online with paper copies available in both the library and town hall.

If you haven’t completed the survey please do so before it closes.

Get creative outdoors logo

'Get Creative Outdoors' Festival

If you are looking for things to do this summer, then the ‘Get Creative Outdoors’ website could be the place for you.

This is a national celebration of creativity supported by Creative Lives, the BBC and a group of cultural and environmental organisations from across the UK and will run throughout July, August and September.

Independent Review of Prevent online engagement events 

A series of virtual, public engagement events are being held to give the public the opportunity to have their say on the Prevent programme, which is aimed at preventing vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism.

Those with lived experience of any aspect of the Prevent system, or those working in the voluntary, community, faith, youth, health, justice or education sectors, are particularly encouraged to attend and share their views.

It is still a legal requirement to self-isolate if you are told to do so by NHS Test & Trace