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Devon declared an Avian influenza prevention zone; a fond farewell and the return of a familiar face and are you ready for the start of term?

Avian influenza prevention zone declared in south-west England

The government has put Devon under avian flu restrictions, along with Cornwall and parts of Somerset. 

A number of avian influenza cases in poultry and wild and captive birds has been detected across the region, and it is hoped that the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) will reduce the risk of further outbreaks of the disease occurring. 

It is now a legal requirement for all bird keepers to follow strict biosecurity measures to help protect their flocks, of whatever type or size. Backyard owners with small numbers of poultry including chickens, ducks and geese must take steps to limit the risk of the disease spreading to their animals.

Additionally, keepers with more than 500 birds will need to restrict access for non-essential people on their sites, workers will need to change clothing and footwear before entering bird enclosures and site vehicles will need to be cleaned and disinfected regularly to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

map of the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone is available on the government’s website.

The risk to public health from the virus is very low and properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat. 

Please do not touch or pick up any dead or visibly sick birds that you find, but report them to Defra on 03459 33 55 77

Know your numbers!

One in every three adults is likely to have high blood pressure, even without knowing it. And if it’s untreated, it increases your risk of serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes.

Next week is ‘Know Your Numbers’ week, and we are encouraging people to check their blood pressure.

Age, ethnicity, genetics and gender make some people more likely to have high blood pressure. But the good news is that it’s treatable, and by making some lifestyle changes, it’s manageable and it’ll help you live a longer and healthier life.

Blood pressure checks are available at over 8,000 pharmacies. You can find your nearest store that offers them, via the NHS website. 

They are also available as part of your NHS Health Check, so please attend if invited. Or you can even check your blood pressure yourself with a home blood pressure monitor.

Steve Brown, Devon’s Director of Public Health, said:

“The important thing is diagnosing high blood pressure early to reduce the risk of potential problems later on. Checking is simple and quick, and it can make a real difference to people’s lives. Measure your blood pressure; consider any lifestyle changes you can make; and manage it and your health to live longer, healthier lives.”

A fond farewell and the return of a familiar face

This week our Chief Executive of 17 years, Phil Norrey, said farewell to everyone at Devon County Council and started his retirement.

He said:

“It has been an honour and a privilege to serve the people of Devon for so many years and I will very much miss working alongside colleagues, elected Members, and partners to connect with residents and communities.

“I couldn’t have wished for a better place to live and work, and I am truly honoured to have been Chief Executive for so many years.”

Following her retirement last year, our former County Solicitor and Chief Officer for Legal, Communications and Human Resources, Jan Spicer (née Shadbolt), is back at the Council as our Interim Chief Executive. 

She said:

“The Council is very important to me, I felt that this was a role I couldn’t refuse. Leader of the Council, John Hart, wanted somebody who knows and cares for Devon, understands the organisation and will hit the ground running.

“I am honoured to take on the role for an interim period and look forward to working with Members and various partners to find Devon County Council’s next permanent Chief Executive.”


30 Days 30 Ways logo

Boost your resilience in 30 ways this September

When people talk about emergencies our minds tend to turn to examples of huge national or global catastrophes such as terrorism, tsunamis or perhaps a pandemic.

But being prepared for smaller ‘everyday emergencies’, such as power cuts, burst water mains, gas leaks, transport strikes, road closures etc, is just as important as they can happen any day and affect us all at one time or another

September is National Preparedness Month and we’re encouraging people to ‘be prepared, not scared’ by sharing information, advice and resources as part of ‘30 days, 30 ways’  – the UK’s preparedness and community resilience campaign.

The aim is to help people and businesses to plan for a range of emergency situations, big and small, to boost their resilience.

Get involved by following 30 days, 30 ways on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram and sign up for daily emails on the 30 days 30 ways website.

And keep an eye on our social media channels this month to find out more.

It’s almost the start of term… are you ready?

The summer holidays are almost over and the new academic year is nearly upon us, so it’s time to start getting ready to go back to the classroom!

Earlier this week we sent a special edition of our ‘Children, Families and Education’ Connect Me newsletter with lots of useful information and advice about the start of term.

Miss it? You can catch up online.

Here are some highlights:

Job of the week: Multi-Sensory Worker

We are looking for a Multi-Sensory Worker, for a six month fixed term period, who can help make a difference to the lives of children and their families.

If you are a positive and enthusiastic person who relishes a varied and rewarding role, and has empathy, resilience and an interest in supporting young people, we’d like to hear from you!

The role would require you to provide one to one support for children and young people who have multi-sensory impairment, to access their education and local community.

Read the full job description and apply via the Devon Jobs website.

Overnight road closures on A380 from Penn Inn to Splatford Split

Overnight road closures are planned on the A380 dual carriageway between Penn Inn roundabout and Splatford Split interchange later this month (September) for routine highway maintenance work.

The work will take place overnight in two stages. The first stage will see both the Exeter and Torbay-bound carriageways from Penn Inn roundabout to the Eagle Farm junction closed overnight from 8pm until 6am on Monday 12 September and again Tuesday 13 September.

Following this, the north and south bound carriageways from the Eagle Farm junction to Splatford Split interchange will be closed from 8pm until 6am on Wednesday 14 September, and again on Thursday 15 September and Friday 16 September, before fully reopening the morning of Saturday 17 September.

Diversion routes will be in place and any updates will be posted on our Roads and Transport webpage.

You can still catch up on your COVID-19 vaccinations

It’s not too late to get up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations and help protect yourself from serious symptoms.

Anyone who’s eligible can still get a first, second and initial booster dose.

Find out more on the NHS website.