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Chance to win shopping vouchers; full fibre broadband delivered to Hartland Quay; plans for new South Devon Cycleway; Let’s Talk Teenagers, and do you look after someone else’s child?

Secure full fibre connectivity delivered to Hartland Quay

Hartland Quay in Northern Devon is as remote as it is picturesque.

That’s part of its unique charm, but the fact that it is so secluded has made connectivity difficult, until now.

Connecting Devon and Somerset and Airband are developing full fibre broadband for hard-to-reach locations in the region. Airband’s teams have deployed over 22km of fibre in the surrounding area, with a further 1.5km ensuring Hartland Quay is connected with ultrafast broadband.

Donal Stafford and wife Sarah, who manage the Hartland Quay Hotel, welcome the rollout.

“Having a full fibre solution delivered straight to the property from Airband will be great for us. We’re at the end of the line here, literally and from a connectivity perspective.

“It’s really important that we have connectivity for our guests, and the systems we use now are all online – our accounting systems, hotel management systems – so having fast, secure full fibre access will make our lives a lot easier in terms of managing the business.”

Connecting Devon and Somerset has delivered superfast access to more homes and businesses than any other broadband programme in England.

You can read more about the difference that full fibre broadband makes to Donal and Sarah in the news story on our website.

Multi-million pound bid submitted for new cycleway

Plans for a new cycleway connecting Newton Abbot, Kingskerswell and Torbay, with the National Cycle Network, has received strong support by MPs, councils and community organisations.

The proposed South Devon Cycleway will provide safe travel on the most used commuter routes through Teignbridge and Torbay, and provide travel choices to Newton Abbot rail station and the upcoming Edginswell rail station.

We, alongside Torbay and Teignbridge councils, have submitted a bid for £14.5 million from the UK government for the new cycleway.

If successful, it will benefit the local economy and businesses by improving commuter travel, and boost people’s health and wellbeing.

“It will be a great asset to encourage active travel so that people can enjoy the benefits that walking and cycling offers our health and the environment,” says Cllr Hughes, Cabinet Member responsible for cycling.

You can read more about this story on our news page.

Illegal tobacco seller closed

A search by Trading Standards officers and the Police on a store in Tiverton found large quantities of illegal tobacco and counterfeit tobacco, as packets of cigarettes and rolling tobacco.

We applied for a closure order on the premises, and North and East Devon Magistrates Court granted it.

Alex Fry, Operations Manager for Heart of the South West Trading Standards Service, said:

“The sale of illegal tobacco is not a victimless crime. The availability of cheap, illegal tobacco at pocket money prices encourages children to start smoking and puts them at risk, and it harms the majority of retailers who play by the rules.”

You can read more about this story on our website.

Looking after someone else’s child?

This month we’ve been highlighting on social media ‘private fostering‘ and what it is.

Different to the fostering of children in care, the term private fostering refers to situations where a child or young person aged under 16, or under 18 if they have a disability, is looked after for 28 days or longer by someone who isn’t a close relative, guardian or who has parental responsibility for that person.

That definition applies to a lot of different circumstances, but quite often it’s:

  • children and young people living apart from their families
  • children with parents overseas
  • children living with host families for a variety of reasons
  • children on holiday exchanges which last more than 27 days

It’s very possible that adults in that situation, with a young person staying with them longer than that period, would not recognise the arrangement as ‘private fostering’.

That’s why we’re highlighting it this month, so that people recognise the term, and understand that there’s help available from our supportive team, who can provide guidance and advice, to make sure that the best possible arrangements for the young person are in place.

Also, it’s the law. People in private fostering arrangements must tell us, so that we can make sure the care that those young people are receiving is suitable.

If you think you are involved in a private fostering arrangement call 0345 155 1071 or email to discuss it.

Let’s Talk Teenagers webinars are back

So popular have the previous ‘Let’s Talk Teenagers’ webinars been, there’s now going to be a third chance to attend the trailblazing series, in September.

Let’s Talk Teenagers webinars were set up to help parents and carers understand and support their teenagers to navigate the challenges of today’s world.

Previously they’ve covered topics such as teenage development and social and emotional changes, body image, relationships, social media and emotional wellbeing and self-care. And they’re delivered by parenting experts.

Parents and carers who have attended the webinars, said:

“Thank you so much for these great sessions and for all the encouragement, sometimes it’s so easy to blame ourselves as parents and feel like we are not doing enough for our children and feeling supported is so important.”

“I wasn’t sure what to expect, as sometimes online events can be difficult to follow and not always relevant to questions I have. This one was really punchy and interesting.”

“These sessions have been so helpful. Thank you for all the information and support.”

The September sessions will be available to book soon, so keep an eye on our FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages to learn more.

Call for evidence on the lives of people with Down’s syndrome

Last month, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) launched a call for evidence to ensure better access to health, education, social care and housing for people with Down’s syndrome.

People with Down’s syndrome, families, professionals and charities are invited to share their experiences and expertise, which will be used to shape new guidance for authorities to follow.

The new guidance intends to help ensure those with Down’s syndrome receive the care and support they need to live longer, happier and healthier lives.

The call for evidence is focused on Down’s syndrome but will also test whether the guidance can benefit other people too. Those with a different genetic condition, as well as their families and carers, are invited to contribute.

This consultation is open to everyone and will close on Tuesday 8 November 2022.

You can contribute to the consultation on the UK government website.

An accessible easy read version is also available.

Chance to win shopping vouchers by completing a survey

Here’s a reminder that there are shopping vouchers worth £200 and £100 to win by people who respond to a survey, that invites your views about energy efficiency within the home.

The survey runs until next Friday, 26 August, and the findings will inform plans to help people improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

You can find out more about the Heating Devon survey online.