Residents update: keeping you informed

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The latest information and guidance to support you and our communities

Tackling climate change in Teignbridge

A new film, to coincide with COP26, sets out the stark challenges being faced in Teignbridge as a consequence of our warming climate, and what we can all do to address them.

Climate Change and Teignbridge video start link on YouTube

'Climate Change and Teignbridge' highlights the main sources of carbon emissions – industrial and business output, transport and housing – as well as showing the likely impact climate change will have in the coming decades as weather patterns change and rising sea levels lead to more coastal erosion.

The film – funded by the Department for Business and Industrial Strategy and supported by the South West Energy Hub – promotes the work of the Devon Climate Emergency – a partnership of public, private and voluntary sector organisations from across Devon formed to tackle the ecological and climate emergency. 

Production of the film comes as our emerging Carbon Action Plan continues to progress, setting out how we can tackle emissions over which we have most control such as our own building stock, vehicle fleet and supply chains.

Heat pumps being delivered to Newton Abbot leisure centres

Reducing our carbon footprint

Decarbonisation work is underway at Newton Abbot and Broadmeadow leisure centres, The Lido and at the Forde House council offices which will see our carbon footprint reduce by 372 tonnes CO2, the equivalent of taking 187 cars off the road.

Later this month, renewable energy will be one of the main elements in the next stage of our local plan consultation as local people are invited to comment on potential sites and policies supporting the development of new renewable energy supply in our district.

Installation of vehicle charging points across the district is gathering pace, and we are finding more ways to encourage cycling and walking through providing new routes and safer spaces as well as boosting the tree canopy of the district via our recently adopted tree strategy.

And we continue to play our part in the Devon Climate Emergency partnership to develop the Devon Carbon Plan, setting out an evidence-led framework for becoming a net-zero county by 2050 at the very latest.

Funding revamp to support more voluntary sector groups

Many more organisations across the district could benefit from proposed changes to the way we allocate funding to the voluntary sector with a new focus on supporting more groups which make a real difference in our communities.

A councillor working group is recommending that the funding system should be more equitable and transparent, potentially support a wider range of voluntary organisations and be better aligned to council priorities.

A new voluntary sector small grants fund is recommended aimed at helping community groups and voluntary organisations in the district that are working to reduce poverty, promote health and wellbeing and improve access for isolated groups. 

If the proposals are approved, changes to be phased in over the next couple of years will see the council end its financial support for crowdfunding schemes and switch its £26,000 rural aid fund into the new small grants scheme.    

The recommended approach, which will be considered by the Overview and Scrutiny  Committee 1 on 15 November, maintains the current budget.

Gordon Hook

Cllr Gordon Hook, who chaired the cross party working group, said it was the right time to look again at the groups which had historically received council funding and to create ways where the council could use its £190,000 plus budget more effectively to support organisations which had missed out in the past.

“The fantastic work of many voluntary sector groups in supporting local communities during the pandemic shows the vital role that they play in our district and it is important that in allocating funding we make sure all have an opportunity to bid for it”.

Read more


Highest infections in the South West 

COVID-19 infections nationally have  increased to around one in every 58 people with the highest levels of infections within the South West.

That’s the conclusion of latest findings from Imperial College London and Ipsos MORI, which uses data from 67,000 volunteers and covers the period 19 to 29 October 2021.

The REACT-1 study shows that infections have grown fastest among those of school age, and with a twofold increase in rates among people aged 65 and over since their last report.

Steve Brown, Devon’s Director of Public Health, said: “These latest figures show that we can’t be complacent.  These are the highest rates of infection since this study began, and they need to be a wake-up call to all of us.

“Coronavirus is very much still in our communities, and while the vaccine is great, we must not rely solely on it to keep us safe."

Mr Brown called on those eligible for a booster jab to come forward without delay and reminded people of the importance of wearing face coverings in crowded places, on public transport and when indoors with people you don’t live with; keeping indoor areas well ventilated when meeting others and using lateral flow tests regularly

Read more

Website has latest foreign travel information

Following the removal of all remaining countries from the UK’s red list which came into effect on Monday (1 November) and the change of rules which allow EU citizens and residents to use the EU Digital Covid Certificate to provide proof of a Covid-19 test before travel to England, the Department of Transport’s website has all the latest information and guidance regarding travelling abroad.

Meeting friends or family on bonfire night?  Meeting outdoors is safer.  If you meet indoors let fresh air in

Wildlife refuge marker

Wildlife refuges make a difference

Wildlife refuges designed to protect wild birds in the Exe Estuary are proving successful.

The two wildlife refuges were set up three years ago to ask all visitors to avoid these areas at certain times of the year: all year round off Dawlish Warren and between 15 September and 31 December at Exmouth Duckpond.

The results of a three-year monitoring programme have revealed that the wildlife refuges are working and show that people have mostly complied with requests to stay out of the areas.

The results showed that the wildlife refuges significantly reduce disturbance to protected bird species on the Exe Estuary. In addition, the results indicate that the wildlife refuges are in the right places and cover the most critical times of year for protected birds. Evidence showed that the maximum numbers of wildfowl (ducks, geese and swans) recorded at the Exmouth refuge showed an annual increase over the three years of the study. It means that the Estuary is better able to provide undisturbed resting and feeding sites for these birds into the future.

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Image of brown rat

Rat problems?  Get in touch

Falling autumnal temperatures usually leads to rats and mice being seen around garden sheds and garages as rodents seek shelter and forage for food.

As they can spread disease and give children a nasty bite, it’s important not to encourage them through feeding and treating them like family pets.

Our environmental health team provides a free service to get rid of them and residents can report sightings in their own properties or in neighbours' through our website and our contractors will get in touch to deal with the problems.

To discourage them from visiting your homes this winter and becoming a nuisance, use bird tables and dispensers if you want to leave food out for the birds and make sure anything edible stored outside or in garden sheds is safely secured.

HM Government.  Let's keep life moving.  Fresh air, testing, face coverings, App, Handwashing

Home energy efficiency rating graph

Helping raise standards in private rental properties

A successful bid for funding has been made by Teignbridge to support its efforts to clamp down on landlords renting homes with the worst performing energy efficiency ratings.

The Council has won a share of a multi-million government funding package designed to enforce the requirement introduced last year for all private rental properties to have a minimum ‘E’ energy efficiency rating.

Poorly insulated properties often leave tenants struggling to keep warm and with higher energy bills, Teignbridge estimates that 16% of private rented households live in fuel poverty.  The Government believes that enforcing the minimum standards could reduce the average energy bill of these households by £180 and reduce carbon emissions.

Landlords who don’t meet the minimum standards introduced last year can be fined up to £5,000 per property, per breach.

With the £39,000 funding it is to receive, Teignbridge aims to secure improvements in 300 properties before the end of the financial year.

Read more.

NHS staff member holding a ball in a non NHS setting

NHS Devon work on greener appointments showcased at COP26

Work by the Integrated Care System for Devon to promote the environmental benefits of virtual appointments is being showcased at COP26 in a photography exhibition, “Care for the future: delivering the world’s first net zero health service.”

It features NHS staff – from pharmacists to surgeons, mental health professionals to health visitors – who have pioneered greener healthcare initiatives for the benefit of their patients and the communities they serve.

Across Devon’s Integrated Care System, hospital appointments held virtually by video or phone have saved patients an estimated 13.5 million miles of travelling over the course of a year, equivalent to circumnavigating the globe 550 times.

Jane Milligan, Chief Executive of the Integrated Care System for Devon said: “I am delighted that our work in Devon to promote a greener NHS has been recognised at COP26. 

“Air pollution is the single greatest environmental threat to health in the UK, accounting for 1 in 20 deaths. By cutting travel and reducing harmful carbon emissions we can also reduce the number of cases of cancer, heart disease and asthma among our patients. 

As a result of holding 350,000 remote appointments, hospitals across the Integrated Care System for Devon have saved 2,503 tonnes of carbon dioxide – the same as taking 1,200 cars off the road for a year.

Image credit to Justin Lambert

Meeting friends or family on Diwali?  Meeting outdoors is safer.  If you meet indoors, let fresh air in

Surveyor wanted for new vacancy

Our building control team is trying to recruit a new Area Building Control Surveyor.  If you know of anyone who might be interested in this two year fixed term appointment or secondment please share this application link with them where more details are also available.

Local plan part 3 consultation cover

Extended consultation dates for Local Plan consultation

At the Executive meeting on Monday, it was agreed to extend the proposed eight week Local Plan Part 3 consultation to 10 to give everyone plenty of time to have their say.

Members agreed to the extension to offset any time that could be lost due to Christmas and New Year festivities.

This consultation, which will start in the week beginning 15 November, focuses on renewable energy including options for wind turbine sites and wind and solar power policies; provision for gypsies and travellers; and small residential development sites.

Information on how to take part in the consultation will be published before the 15th.

Changing shopping habits for good

Shop4Good website

The latest Carbon Savvy newsletter is available, providing lots of energy saving tips through shopping.

As part of Shop4good fortnight which runs until 13 November, 10 ways to shop4good are highlighted and the opportunity of winning some low carbon prizes by taking part in its Shop4Good quiz.

Woman laughing repairing a bicycle

Wom+n’s workshops a winner at Ride On

Ride On’s vision for a 'clean, healthy and active Exeter and Devon’ has moved closer to its goal with the introduction of Wom+n’s Workshop sessions.

The bicycle maintenance workshops have been running since July at the charity’s base at Exeter Quay. They are intended to be as inclusive as possible and are aimed at anyone who identifies as a woman or non-binary. The idea is to create a women-led, pressure-free space for learning new mechanical skills and to encourage more women to get out on their bikes regularly.

If you would like to know more about the Wom+n’s Workshop sessions and why the term wom+n  is used, have a look at Ride On's website or contact the workshop team on

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