South Hams District and West Devon Borough Councils have handed out essential funding of over £9.2 million received from the Government to support local businesses affected by COVID-19.
This is providing a crucial lifeline to businesses in the current economic climate, and will help the local economy to survive.
Across the two Councils, £9.2 million is on its way to 703 businesses in the South Hams and West Devon so far.
This is the conclusion of, what has been, a complex and difficult process since the measure was announced in the Budget. During that period the Councils have taken over 12,000 calls from businesses and sent out nearly 5,500 letters to eligible businesses for business grants.
With over 2,500 applications received so far, there has been a Herculean effort by the Councils to get essential funding out to those who urgently need it, since the Councils received the funding from the Government on 1 April.
If you haven’t yet applied for your grant on the Councils’ websites, please do so as soon as possible so that they can process your claim. You will need your unique reference number from the letter sent to your business rate contact address to be able to apply online.
South Hams and West Devon’s voices are being added to those of neighbouring councils Devon, Plymouth and Torbay in lobbying Government over the severity of the economic situation for Devon. They reinforce the report from neighbouring councils in calling for Government to support those businesses who don’t fit into any of the support measures already announced.
This includes a £40 million Response and Recovery Fund which is flexible enough to allow funding grants for small businesses missing out on Government support. Also being lobbied for are loans for businesses with a turnover over £45 million, along with a request for speeding up support for the self-employed.
Cllr Judy Pearce, Leader of South Hams District Council, said: “I’m pleased to say that all letters to businesses who may be eligible for funding grants have now gone out. Due to security processes, you will have to pick up your letter from your place of business but if this is difficult, call us and we will make other arrangements. Our officers have worked long hours over the weekend to work through the payments as quickly as possible and the first payments have now gone out electronically, direct into bank accounts. Businesses will receive an email when their payment has been authorised but it will take two days for the money to reach their bank accounts.
“We absolutely feel the frustration of those businesses who fall between the gaps of the current funding packages available, simply because their rates and rent are combined together or because they sit just outside of the Government’s thresholds for grants. We want to assure you that we have not forgotten about you and we are heavily lobbying Government to find a solution to help you get the support you need.”
Cllr Neil Jory, Leader of West Devon Borough Council, added: “We fully understand that time is of the essence to help businesses to survive in the current climate and I urge everyone to support our local businesses who are still able to operate to help them to stay afloat. If we don’t support them through this crisis, they will most certainly struggle to survive, so let’s rally round them.
“We also know that some businesses still need workers such as crop pickers which are desperately needed at the moment to harvest crops so they don’t get wasted. We’re currently working out how to put those people in need of short term work in touch with the businesses who currently have work available.”
The Councils encourage anyone needing support to engage with them through their website and they will respond as quickly as they can.
Find more information on each of the Council's website at:
Or follow on social media at:
A new Coronavirus Status Checker will help the NHS coordinate its response and build up additional data on the COVID-19 outbreak.
A new Coronavirus Status Checker that will help the NHS coordinate its response and build up additional data on the COVID-19 outbreak has been launched today by Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock.
People with potential coronavirus symptoms are now being asked to complete the status checker and answer a short series of questions which will tell the NHS about their experience.
It is open to anyone in the UK to use on the NHS website and in its initial phase the NHS is particularly keen for anyone who thinks they may be displaying potential coronavirus symptoms, no matter how mild, to complete it.
Status Checker users are clearly told at the beginning and the end of the survey that it is not a triage or clinical advice tool, and that they should visit 111 online for medical advice about their symptoms.
The information gathered will help the NHS to plan its response to the outbreak, indicating when and where more resources like oxygen, ventilators and additional staff might be needed and will provide valuable insight into the development and progression of the virus across the country.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:
Technology and data is playing a vital role in battling coronavirus and supporting our heroic NHS frontline workers to save lives, protect the vulnerable, and relive pressure on the NHS.
We must learn as much as possible about this virus, and we are asking the whole nation to join this effort.
If anyone has experienced symptoms of COVID-19 I would urge you to use our new status checker app to help us to collect essential information on the virus and allow us to better allocate NHS resources where they are needed most.
The service is hosted on the NHS website and is available to access openly, with links directly from the NHS 111 online coronavirus service and NHS coronavirus pages.
The initiative is a collaboration between NHS England, NHSX, NHS Digital and Public Health England at the request of the Health and Social Care Secretary.
The creators of a number of independent apps and websites which have already launched to collect similar data have agreed to work openly with the NHS and align their products and data as part of this central, national effort.
Information collected by the NHS Coronavirus Status Checker will form part of a core national COVID-19 dataset held by NHS England.
The tool is live now and people can complete the survey either for themselves or on behalf of someone else with their permission.
It asks them:
- why they are staying at home
- to choose from a series of options to describe how they are feeling
- whether they have any other health problems
- their date of birth
- their postcode
- how many people are living in their home.
The Coronavirus Status Checker, which is the latest example of the NHS harnessing the power of technology and data to help it tackle the epidemic, is part of the NHS coronavirus service. It complements the NHS 111 online coronavirus tool launched earlier this month, which gives the public digital access to health advice, isolation notes and a daily text messaging service for those self-isolating with symptoms.
The Status Checker will not identify users from the information they provide, although it will cross-reference data from other sources to ensure it avoids counting people twice.
The answers given by the public will only be used by the NHS and trusted organisations working directly with the NHS in response to coronavirus. The information will not be retained any longer than is strictly necessary post COVID-19.
Prof Keith Willett, Strategic Incident Director NHS England, said:
We know large volumes of people are visiting NHS 111 online each day, reporting potential coronavirus symptoms and being advised to self-isolate, and it will be hugely valuable for the NHS if we can learn more about these people and their experiences.
By taking a few moments to answer these questions, you can play your part in helping the NHS put its resources in the right places, at the right time, to save lives.
- The survey can be accessed on the NHS website at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus-status-checker
- The Coronavirus Status Checker has initially been developed for NHS England. Data will be made available for the devolved administrations to support their response needs
New Funding for Supported Bus Services 2020/2021
The Government are making available new funding to enable local authorities to increase their support for bus services. Devon County Council are running a public consultation to help them use this funding in the best possible way. You can find more information and have the opportunity to "have your say" here.
Due to the reduction of bus services across the county, Devon County Council are trialling an on-demand subsidised taxi service for Devon residents for key workers accessing employment only.
This service is intended to replace those journeys which were previously made by bus - a subsidised flat fare will be charged.
Requests can only be made by email and should be sent to email@example.com
Please include the following information in your email:
NAME, ADDRESS, KEY WORKER STATUS, EMPLOYER / PAYROLL REF
JOURNEY REQUIREMENTS (pick up/drop off)
DCC will aim to respond to all requests as soon as possible during normal office hours – journeys should be booked 48 hours in advance of travel.
Some of this is a duplication of previous posts which is to ensure the relevant previous information remains easily accessible.
The government advice on isolating yourself and family if you show symptoms and advice on isolating/shielding is on the link below.
The link below is the the government advice site for employees with information about entitlements etc. This is clearly evolving quickly but the site should be updated frequently.
The Money Saving Expert is a good source of advice on benefits, potential help for the self employed and salary and rental protection schemes.
Devon County Council and South Hams District Council have advice pages on their websites.
The Citizens Advice Service is continuing to work but only offers advice remotely. You can contact them in the following ways.
Adviceline 03444 111 444 (Monday - Friday 9am - 4pm)
WhatsApp 07497 758779
Letter: Citizens Advice, Follaton House, Plymouth Road, Totnes TQ9 5NE
If you have a fever it is recommended that paracetamol is the first line drug to take. Many branded products also contain paracetamol so please check ingredients and do not exceed the recommended daily dose. If you do please seek medical advice.
The Minor Injuries Unit at Totnes has been closed .
The Minor Injuries units at Kingsbridge and the Cumberland Centre in Plymouth remain open. Please use them appropriately.
MIU - Cumberland Centre (Plymouth)
Tel: (01752) 434390
Opening times: 08:30 - 22:00 (09:00 - 22:00 Thursdays)
Opening days: 7 days per week
X-ray available: 09:00 - 20:45 (7 days)
MIU - South Hams Hospital (Kingsbridge)
Tel: (01548) 852349
Opening times: 09:00 - 17:00
Opening days: 7 days per week
X-ray available: 09:00 - 17:00 (Mon-Fri)
If family carers become ill the following organisations may be able to assist:
Disability Information Service 0345 155 1005
If you believe that you might need support from the community please contact Cllr Andrew Hollett, details below. If you have neighbours or friends who may not be accessing this site but you feel they may benefit please ask them to contact Andrew or give permission for you to do so.
If you are willing to be a Community Volunteer to help with the above or be willing to make regular phone contact to someone to ease the isolation please contact Cllr Trudie Timlin Brown also details below.
Cllr Andrew Hollett. Tel. 830361 andrew.hollett@
Cllr Trudie Timlin Brown Tel 830683 firstname.lastname@example.org
It may be useful to gather some names of volunteers willing to dog walk and this may suit dog friendly teens and others, please contact Trudie.
As mentioned in our previous post we are aware that the level of media coverage can make this situation feel overwhelming and frightening leading to anxiety in people. If you are concerned or don't understand some of the terms in the media or advice sites Clr Baumer (Retired Consultant) and Di Baumer ( Retired Public Health Nurse) have kindly offered to give telephone or email advice. They can be contacted as detailed below. This is NOT an alternative to receiving individual advice from your GP or Specialist Medical Care Team. It is part of our broader community response.
Dr H. Baumer email@example.com
Di Baumer 830274 dianaebaumer@
Many people will have stocked up on staples but be finding fresh produce more difficult. Holbeton Village Stores already delivers milk and will be happy to deliver vegetable boxes/bags. Please discuss with Jack Purkis. 830246 or holbetonvillagestores@
To protect the shop staff it is safer to order a delivery. If you go into use the Post Office please follow the guidelines posted on the door about accessing the premises.
Prescription Collection Service.
We have some noble volunteers who have agreed to collect prescriptions from those who are isolating or are unable to for other reasons. Cllr Baumer has kindly agreed to support this service.
For those who have a laptop or mobile phone they can be an invaluable way of maintaining contact with family and friends, locally, nationally or internationally. Many of us have them but are unsure of how to use these features to for example make video calls so we can chat for example with grandchildren. Jack Purkis has kindly offered to help anyone who would like to set up a What's app group on an android mobile phone. Pete Stevens can assist with setting up Skype on laptops, and What's App/Facetime on phones (Tel firstname.lastname@example.org
In the interest of keeping fit and healthy Helen Norris suggests the following:
Beginners Pilates Workout with Kim Saha on You Tube.
Yoga with Adrienne on You Tube.
If you have a Smart TV you should be able to access them on there which from experience is much easier to follow than from a phone!
Even if isolating we are lucky to live somewhere where we can walk and run without bumping into people. If you want to take up running or as I call it shuffling try the wonderful NHS Couch to 5k app link below.
By the time you have finished isolation could be over and you can join Holbeton Harriers! I am sure existing Couch 2 5k'ers will be happy to offer support.
For those who are missing exercising their vocal cords have a look at sofa singers link below. Even in dark times there are chinks of light with people doing wonderful things.
Apparently Joe Wicks aka The Body Coach is offering a daily PE class for kids every morning at 9am on his You Tube channel. It gets millions of views.
Ukulele Wednesdays is offering weekly lessons/jam on line which may be of interest to all ages and benefit to a few specific residents!
Although the libraries are closed books can still be downloaded from Devon County Council library website.https://www.
A local resident has suggested Wok Your Way Devon who are delivering asian food to this area once a week. Their facebook page has more information.
Lawsons in Ivybridge has closed but is still taking orders for home delivery (charges apply). They can supply crafting, baking, gardening, DIY equipment.Ivybridge - 01752 892543
Jack Purkis is interested in fundraising to provide outside equipment such as goalposts on the sports field for the young ( and not so young ) people ,if you are interested please contact him directly. This will not be able to be used until current restrictions are lifted.
If you have other suggestions for activities (that I can print!) please share with me via email email@example.com
We have been liaising with Ivybridge Food Bank about providing support for those in need. Food banks are really struggling as people prioritise themselves. If you are able to donate food locally it will be much appreciated. Financial donations can be made online to the Trussell Trust.
As ever there are individuals who seek to profit from the current situation . The information below is from Citizens Advice and the District Council.
The Parish Council has closed the playpark, the bike track, the public toilets and the Reading Rooms until we are advised we can open all facilities safely.
Recycling centres closed
Devon County Council have closed all the household waste recycling centres in Devon until further notice. Residents are asked to safely store the waste they would have taken to the recycling centre at home until the centres reopen.
Bulky Waste Collection
The closure of the recycling centres will mean that the Council’s bulky waste collection service will also be suspended with immediate effect until the centres can reopen. Anyone who has pre-booked a collection will be notified of the cancellation and refunded in full. Other waste collection are still operating as normal.
Many thanks to all the people who have volunteered, it is much appreciated . We are in this for the long haul and you will be needed. Can I also thank my fellow councillors for all they are doing.
We are keen for this information to be circulated as widely as possible so if you can pass the links on or print it off and give to neighbours that would be helpful.