Residents update: keeping you informed

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The latest information and guidance to support you and our communities

Let's all play our part in making the New Year a good one!

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Wishing all our residents a Happy New Year!

This year has begun rather like the last, and the continued spread of the new  Omicrom coronavirus variant means that we continue to face uncertain times in 2022, alongside high national daily case numbers and pressures on the NHS and other services due to staff ill or isolating.

The extension of the Government’s Plan B measures to 26 January means that we are all urged to continue to work from home if we can, wear face coverings in indoor public settings, ventilate indoor spaces regularly and take regular lateral flow tests.

You must wear a face covering in most indoor settings including hair dressers unless exempt

The rules on isolating changed this week with asymptomatic people who test positive for COVID-19 in a lateral flow test having from Tuesday to isolate immediately and will no longer be required to take a confirmatory PCR test.  Anyone who develops one of the three main COVID-19 symptoms should stay at home and self-isolate and take a PCR test. You must self-isolate if you get a positive test result, even if you have had a recent negative lateral flow test.

The demand for home test kits has increased resulting in the government website for ordering them sometimes showing that none is available.  If this happens to you, just wait a couple of hours and try again as the site is updated several times a day as stock becomes available.

Four different graphics on different aspects of testing and isolating
Steve Brown, Devon’s Director of Public Health (Designate)

Cases expected to rise locally

Although case numbers in Teignbridge are comparatively low, the historic evidence suggests that we are always a couple of weeks behind other parts of the country in the spread of the virus.

This week Devon’s Director of Public Health, Steve Brown stressed that coronavirus remains a serious health risk to many people.  “We know what helps reduce risk – it’s taking up the vaccine when invited, including the booster; wearing face coverings where appropriate; self-isolating when we need to.

“So I’m asking people to follow the guidance, if not for yourself, then for others – for those people who are more likely to get seriously ill from having coronavirus; and people whose professions we rely on to keep essential services running."

Boris Johnson

Evidence shows that the best way to protect yourself is to get vaccinated and it is not too late to have first, second or booster jabs.  Anyone eligible for a vaccine can go to a drop in centre or book on line to get jabbed.

This was also emphasised by the Prime Minister this week, when he criticised anti-vaccine campaigners of speaking "mumbo jumbo" when it comes to coronavirus jabs and said some 30-40% of the 17,000 patients in hospital with Covid "haven't actually been vaccinated at all".

Boost your immunity this winter with the flu jab

Still time top get a seasonal flu jab

A record level of seasonal flu jabs have been given to people aged 65 and over, but, says UK Health Security Agency, there are still many people in younger eligible groups – pregnant women and people with underlying medical conditions – who have not yet been vaccinated against flu this winter and are at risk of serious complications from flu infection.

Anyone who is eligible can get their free seasonal flu jab from their GP practice or from any pharmacy offering NHS flu vaccinations.

Recycling lorry

Please bear with us while we catch up on festive season collections! 

The revised waste and recycling collections following the festive break are unfortunately running behind in some areas. 

This is due to a combination of staff shortages, particularly HGV drivers, absences linked to the Coronavirus and the additional waste and recycling being presented following the bank holidays and increases in people working from home.

Please be assured we are working hard to catch up with the published schedules.   As always if we don’t get to your containers on the scheduled day please leave them out for collection stacked as advised. If you have additional recyclable material you can take it to your nearest recycling centre  or to one of our recycling banks

If you have a real Christmas tree to get rid of, don’t forget we have drop off points available this weekend.  You can find further information on the locations and opening times on our website.  Christmas trees can also be taken to your local recycling centre or put into your garden waste bin if you are subscribed to our garden waste collection service.  

We really appreciate your patience and the public support for our hardworking teams while they catch up on the festive backlog.

Avian flu in Teignbridge

The first human case of the H5 strain of avian flu has been confirmed by the UK Health Security Agency (formerly Public Health England) as being in the South West.  

This follows confirmation by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) last month that a property near Buckfastleigh had an outbreak of the disease among a number of wild and domestic birds.

The UK Health Security Agency has said there is a very low risk to the public of transmission, and all the agencies involved are working closely to monitor the situation,  minimise the risk to individuals and local communities, and safeguard the welfare of the individuals involved.

Budget Survey.  What should be our priorities?  Tell us now by taking our survey.  Survey ends 25th January 2022

Have your say on budget

Our annual budget survey which runs until noon 25 January, gives local people the chance to tell us whether they agree or not with our budget priorities. 

In addition to specific budget questions, we are asking how satisfied you are with council services and Teignbridge as a place to live.

If you live in Teignbridge, please take part by responding to the short survey.

Compact Home illustration

Could compact and bijou be the home for you?

Across Teignbridge, many people who would like to get on the property ladder are having to rent as they cannot afford to buy their own home or there is a shortage of properties available in the area they want to live in.

For some people a compact home may be a solution in that they can be a fully functioning place to live, just built on a smaller scale and with a much reduced financial and environmental cost.

Over the coming weeks, we want to find out what level of interest there might be in Teignbridge for this type of home.  If you are interested in a compact home please complete this short registration of interest which will help inform our housing and planning policies.

In addition to having the potential to be low or zero carbon, compact homes can reduce visual impact on sensitive sites.  They are usually developed by local builders and the local economy can benefit through increased spend at local builders merchants.

For more information on compact homes including the definition of  a compact home, please visit our website.

Image courtesy of Wudl Limited

Map of Teignbridge showing possible sites for wind generation

Local plan consultation closes soon

There’s just two weeks left for you to give your views on possible sites for wind and solar generation, small scale development and for gypsy and traveller pitches.

By taking part in the Local Plan consultation, you can influence which of the 27 possible sites for wind turbines and the 24 small development sites are included in the updated local plan as well as commenting on the suitability of a site outside Ashburton for gypsy and traveller pitches.

And you can also give your views on a proposed new policy that would establish a planning premiss that applications for solar/PV development would be granted where the benefits of renewable energy creation outweigh any other potential disadvantages.

The 10 week consultation, which closes at noon on Monday 24 January, is a key opportunity to help shape Teignbridge’s development over the next 20 years as the environmentally sustainable power generation options contained in the consultation will contribute significantly to implementing the Council’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint. 

As well as completing the online feedback survey paper copies of the consultation documents can be viewed at our Forde House offices, local libraries as well as at Town and Parish Council offices.  People can also send their comments by email to or if they don’t have internet access can write to the council.

Goodbye 2021 Hello 2022.  I'm doing Dry January by Alcohol Change UK.  Download the free Try Dry app

Are you taking part in Dry January?

Are you one of the many who try to avoid alcohol and go dry in January?  As we end the first week of the month are you still on track?

A survey by Alcohol Change UK, the charity behind Dry January, shows that one in six (18%) adults who drink alcohol were planning not to do so this month and the charity claims that you have more chance of sticking to your plans when you use its free app Try Dry®.

Research by the University of Sussex published in 2020 found that those who take part in Dry January via Alcohol Change UK’s free Try Dry app and/or free email coaching programme are twice as likely to have a completely alcohol-free month, compared to those who try to avoid alcohol in January on their own, and have significantly improved wellbeing and healthier drinking six months later.

GWR logo

Rail timetable changes

Following a number of short notice cancellations due to Covid related sickness and absences, GWR is introducing from Saturday a temporary rail timetable, which will run initially until 15 January.

The temporary timetable, which will be reviewed weekly, prioritises high use school and college services and key worker services.  

GWR says the vast majority of its services will operate as planned and the temporary changes should give passengers greater confidence that their services will run.   

A full list of changes is on GWR’s website along with advice to customers and the changes are reflected in the national Network Rail database so that online journey planners are accurate. 

GWR says that if it needs to make further changes beyond 15 January, these will show in journey planners from 12 January.

GWR’s advice is to check before you travel by going to their website journey checker.

Consultation on outdoor weddings and civil partnerships

The Government’s consultation on whether to make permanent the temporary rules introduced in July for outdoor marriages and civil partnerships closes on 24 January.

The Government is seeking views or experiences on how the civil ceremony changes made in July 2021 have been working, as well as any other views on how the proposal to continue the provision for outdoor civil marriages and civil partnerships on approved premises, and to separately permit outdoor religious weddings in the grounds of places of worship, would work or the effects it might have.

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