Information and support to help you through the pandemic

12 June 2020

Opportunity to support your local businesses

It’s been a long time since most of our shops were able to open and it will be a real fillip to us all to see the doors of many of our favourite local stores open on Monday. Moving gradually out of lockdown, there are positive signs – enabling people who live alone to form ‘support bubbles’ with another household, some social activity resuming, shops opening and many employees returning to work. We can all contribute to limiting the economic challenges we face locally. Support our local businesses as they strive to provide the services and supplies we all need, doing everything they can to keep us safe by applying rigorously the social distancing guidelines. Go to the shops, buy locally where you can and be patient if you have to queue.

At the council we are doing everything we can to support businesses and to identify investment for the future. If we all continue to work together as we have been doing to support vulnerable residents, then we will build the bright future we all seek.

In Teignbridge, we have done really well to keep both the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections and deaths relatively low. Most people have stuck to the rules, stayed at home as much as possible and kept their distance when out and about. Thank you for doing so and please ignore speculation about possible changes and continue to observe the government guidelines.

We all want to reduce the risk of reversing the downward trend. As fewer of us have caught the virus, we are more vulnerable to a second wave so it is even more important that we are not foolhardy and maintain the cautious approach of recent months.

With common sense, good nature and a shared purpose we can still enjoy our ability to go shopping, go to the coast or moors, play sport or meet with others. Stay safe.

Managing Director Phil Shears and
Council Leader, Cllr Gordon Hook

Feedback on Newton Abbot town centre regeneration plans

Last week’s unveiling of the opportunity to attract multi-million pound funding to significantly redevelop Newton Abbot town centre has attracted lots of comments, much of it positive.In response to criticism that some of the plans were too large to view on screen we have set up display boards showing the plans in the shop unit opposite Wilkos, in Market Walk ,There has also been three recurring questions.

  • Why the short timescale? The time is shorter than we would have liked, but we needed confirmation that Covid-19 was not going to change the application process. The deadline of 27 June allows enough time to take account of your feedback, incorporate new viable ideas into the proposals and meet the government’s submission deadline of end of July.
  • Why bother with giving feedback when nothing changes? There is a mistaken belief that nothing changes as a result of engagement or consultation. Our commitment to you is that we will publish all your feedback and explain where we have made changes to our proposals and where we have not, (and why). We will take account of everyone’s views, so it’s really important that everyone has the chance to influence the future of Newton Abbot’s town centre.
  • Will this result in a loss of car parking? Car parking capacity will be retained through an additional deck at Cricketfield and a new e-vehicle charging facility. We also want to increase the use of sustainable transport by improving cycle and pedestrian routes. We want to expand on the benefits of routes like the East-West Route along Ashburton Road and the Jetty Marsh network

If you haven’t had the opportunity to look at the exciting plans, you have until 27 June to do so. You can comment on just the Market Quarter proposals, Queen Street or Improving Cycling or you can give us your views on all three.

Wearing of face coverings on public transport from Monday

If walking, cycling or driving is not an option and you must use public transport, then from Monday you must use a face covering while travelling.

The government says there is a greater risk of spreading coronavirus in an enclosed space where social distancing is not always possible.

Wearing a face covering on public transport will provide some additional protection to fellow travellers.

Find out how to make your own face covering.

Support for small and micro businesses

Companies can apply on line for the recently launched discretionary grant scheme aimed at helping small and micro businesses which were not eligible to apply for the previous Business Support Grants. One of the key criteria for eligibility is businesses which have high ongoing fixed property-related costs and can show that they have suffered a major fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis. To qualify, businesses had to be trading on or prior to 11 March 2020.The first grants will be paid w/c 22 June with fewer allocations being made at fortnightly intervals. Details of the scheme, eligibility and the on line application form are available on our website, together with an explanatory video. Anyone unable to complete the form online can telephone 01626 361101.


Cashless parking payment encouraged

Our car parks are all open but to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus we are asking everyone to go cashless when paying for parking.

Payments can be made at no additional cost by contactless debit/credit cards, Apple Pay or GPay. Many people find the telephone service RingGo useful (although there is a charge) or the RingGo parking app.

Parking for NHS (and other essential) staff continues to be free.

More info

Newton Abbot Market reopening fully

With the lockdown restrictions easing, both the indoor and outdoor market are opening their doors to businesses and will be operating from 8am to 4pm daily from Monday (15 June), although not all traders will operate for the full period. The Food Hall only will be open this Saturday (13 June) from 8am to 2pm.Full social distancing measures will apply in line with the government workplace guidance

Devon Councils working together

Devon certainly knows how to pull together. Throughout the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic we’ve worked quickly to ensure our residents, communities and businesses are well informed, supported, and protected.

As we move slowly into this next phase – with restrictions starting to ease further and plans being made for how Devon will recover from the lockdown, we must continue to work together and build on the effort everyone has made so far to keep ourselves and others safe and well.

Here are some of the things we have done as a Local Resilience Forum during the Coronavirus lockdown…

Putting beach lovers’ safety at risk

It was good to see that far less rubbish was left on our beautiful beaches last weekend and that many people took their litter home. Our thanks to everyone who helped keep our beaches safe and clean by doing so. Sadly this positive behaviour was not followed by everywhere – broken bottles for example were left sticking out of the sand at Teignmouth back beach, a real danger to children in particular.Notwithstanding the fact that all our public toilets are open, human excrement was left at Dawlish beach. This is unacceptable at any time but in the context of coronavirus, expecting our staff to clear up such mess is appalling behaviour which everyone should condemn.

We continue to be asked if dogs can be taken on to beaches. The PSPO (Public Space Protection Order) remains in force and only The Ness and Holcombe beaches are dog friendly all year round.

Order now a free Guide for Older Adults to be Active at Home during Covid-19 outbreak

This ‘Active at Home’ booklet has been developed to support older people and those who are shielded to be active and healthy at home, and includes practical guidance on home-based activities.

This is part of the Sport England Join the Movement campaign. The campaign is designed to provide inspiration and trusted information to the public about how to get active in and around the home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Being active is good for our physical and mental wellbeing. This is why we should try to move regularly, including exercises to help stay strong and steady.

This particularly applies to those of us who have health conditions or are older who, during the coronavirus outbreak are spending more time at home. This can be frustrating and upsetting, and it can be harder to be active when you can’t do your normal daily activities.

Download Your Free ‘Active at Home’ Booklet

If you would like a printed hard copy for yourself or a friend, relative or neighbour then email CAN@activedevon.org with your address and it will be posted to you (max two copies per order).

For further advice you can also visit Get Active at Home. Plus, if you are connected online, there is a range of free Online Activity Sessions.

Making it easier for cyclists and walkers

As part of the national effort to encourage the use of different means of transport, Devon County Council’s Travel Planning Team is to free up road space for cyclists and pedestrians by introducing some quick and temporary measures, using the government funded Emergency Active Travel Fund.

Priority is being given to changes in the major population centres in the county as well as allocating funding for which town and parish councils can bid by 19 June Friday.

Newton Abbot will be one of the areas where changes are being made A temporary traffic regulation order will suspend some of the street-side parking and some taxi bay capacity to free-up pedestrian space as well as restricting hours on some loading bays. Temporary crossings will be installed on the Ashburton Road, Jetty Marsh & Exeter Road and temporary cycle racks are being introduced in Courtney Street, Newton Abbot.

Temporary cycle racks are also being introduced at the triangle in Teignmouth.

More funding will be available later this year, which will allow for temporary measures that have been successful and well supported locally to be retained.

Want to ask a question on the local plan?

With just a month of our extended local plan consultation left, you may have some questions that you feel have not been answered. To make it easier to raise any issue, we’ve set up localplanquestions@teignbridge.gov.uk as a dedicated email address for questions.Any question emailed to this address by 19 June will receive a direct reply and will also be answered (anonymised) on our website in a new Local Plan FAQ section. In this way not only will you get the information you seek but so will others with similar concerns.

Please say in the email subject line, which of the six main sections your question is about: Sustainable Communities, Climate Change, Design and Wellbeing, Economy, Homes or the Environment.

Watch a video

There is a section on each in our ‘Need to Know Guide’ and you can view a short video on each:

Local Plan overall
Sustainable communities
Climate change
Design and Wellbeing

Thousands of people involved

Over the past 12 weeks, we’ve shared information on the plan’s ideas via our website, video, newsletters and through both traditional and social media, engaging with many more people than in past consultations. We have for example reached 35,000 people on social media, 1,000 of whom have shared or commented on posts or followed links for more information. Our videos have been viewed 2,700 times and already we have received 179 formal responses, a significant increase on the 144 we received in total in the 2018 issues consultation.

We will continue to share information, highlight opportunities for you to have your say and respond to questions until the consultation closes on 13 July. Questions can be asked up until that date although the answers may not appear on the website.

Why don’t you take a look and have your say about the rules for future development by completing the feedback questionnaire on our website before 13 July.

Support for older people in abusive relationships

A toolkit to help raise awareness about violence in older people’s relationships, has been launched in time for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on Monday 15 June. The Toolkit has been developed by the South Devon Sexual Violence and Domestic Violence and Abuse Forum (SVDVA), because they know that older people, 50 and above, who are not in happy and healthy relationships can find it difficult to find support.The ability to recognise the signs of abuse and to be aware of options available are some of the key aspects of the toolkit, which will improve safety and personal wellbeing.

It is important to remember that relationships are not always between couples. Domestic abuse can happen within any family dynamic, regardless of ag or gender.

Instances of abuse are very varied. It could be someone is controlling life decisions or causing physical, emotional, sexual, financial or psychological harm in some way, but it is never too late to seek support to be safe and happy. There are always options and choices.

The toolkit is available to download from the Splitz Support Services website.

If you are being abused, or if you have any concerns that an older person you know may be at risk of, or experiencing abuse, Police have dedicated domestic abuse officers who will help and advise you. Call 101 for help and guidance or email 101 help. Always call 999 in an emergency.

Alternatively, if you do not wish to report to the police, you may wish to contact Victim Support directly. Call your local Victim Support Team in Devon and Cornwall on 0300 303 0554. Lines are open 12pm-6pm Monday to Friday.
New guidelines have just been published by the government on who you can meet with outside of your household.

Ordnance Survey has published useful information on its website, bringing together advice from government, local authorities and other outdoor organisations.

So if you are stuck for somewhere to go, just enter a location and search by the type of activity you’d like to do. It gives you all the latest guidance and things to remember, and signposts you to activities in your area. There’s also a get Outside app which might be useful when out and about.

Latest government advice

  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

For the latest government guidance: