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Vulnerable children and adults set to benefit from new budget; a fond-farewell and a warm welcome and volunteering for The Big Help Out!

Vulnerable children and adults set to benefit from new budget

Councillors agreed to a 4.99 per cent increase in council tax this week for the coming financial year. Two per cent of that is specifically for adult social care.

It means an extra £1.49 a week for the average Band D householder, but it allows increases of 18.4 per cent in spending on children’s services, and 8.8 per cent on adult services, to keep up with a rocketing rise in demand.

Councillors also agreed an extra £2 million for roads and drainage to tackle the increase in potholes caused by this winter’s icy spells and torrential rain.

Overall, our revenue spending on services will increase from £629 million to £696 million this financial year – a rise in spending of 10.5 per cent. And councillors approved a capital budget of £172.5 million for investment on infrastructure such as schools and roads.

Visit the news page of our website to read the full story

Claire focuses on community at local Work Hub

We’ve been talking to freelance photographer and writer, Claire Gillo, about how her business is going, and how The Tribe Work Hub in Totnes has been part of her journey so far.

Claire had a vast amount of experience from her career in publishing, taking photos and writing articles for photography magazines, so when she returned to her native Devon, she set up her own business. But she found working from home a bit repetitive, and lonely at times. She said:

“I’m a very social person. I like chatting to people, so when I heard of The Tribe I thought that would be a good place to write my articles, and it would help me get out of the house and meet other people.”

While there are many positive aspects to working from home, concerns over mental wellbeing and loneliness among remote workers have been reported by studies, including that of the National Centre for Social Research.

“I realised how isolating and lonely it can be to work from home all the time, and I spoke to other women in the area who were feeling the same.”

Claire found that working from the Work Hub opened up lots of opportunities, meeting a range of other talented people and making good contacts and friends.

Read the full story, and listen to how Claire describes her experience, on the news page of our website
Pictured left to right: Donna Manson and Jan Spicer

A fond-farewell and a warm welcome to Devon

We’ve had a change at the top this week. Our interim Chief Executive, Jan Spicer, stepped aside for our new Chief Executive, Donna Manson, to take up the mantle.

Jan, our former County Solicitor, is now retiring after temporarily returning to the council as interim Chief Executive when our former, long-serving Chief Executive, Phil Norrey retired five months ago.

Councillors said their final farewell today, and also warmly welcomed Donna Manson, as our new permanent Chief Executive.

Donna’s joined us from her role as Chief Executive of The Highland Council, Scotland’s largest rural authority. She’s also been a Director of Children’s Services and a Head Teacher.

Her top priority for now is to deliver significant improvement to Devon’s Children’s Services. But more broadly, Donna wants to re-energise Devon as a caring and inclusive place for young people and families, older people and vulnerable, and as a forward-looking place to work and do business with opportunities for all to thrive and do well.

You can read what our Chairman said about Jan’s retirement in the full story on the news page of our website.

One stroke every five minutes in the UK

NHS England, in association with the Stroke Association, has relaunched the Act F.A.S.T. stroke campaign this week.

The campaign highlights that a stroke is a medical emergency and urges people to call 999 immediately if they notice any single one of the signs of a stroke in themselves or others.

Stroke is the fourth single leading cause of death in the UK and the single largest cause of complex disability. Around 100,000 people have strokes each year in the UK – that’s around one stroke in every five minutes.

Recognising the symptoms and acting promptly ensures that people having a stroke can get emergency treatment earlier, giving them the best chance of survival and recovery.

The Act F.A.S.T. message is a prompt to look out for the most common signs of a stroke.

  • Face – has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile?
  • Arms – can they raise both arms and keep them there?
  • Speech – is their speech slurred?
  • Time – even if you’re not sure, it’s time to call 999

Read more in the news story on our website.

Businesses invited to Virtual Jobs Fair

Businesses are being invited to join the Devon and Cornwall Train4tomorrow Virtual Jobs Fair next month.

More than 200 Train4Tomorrow Skills Bootcamp graduates from across the two counties are expected to attend the online event on Wednesday 15 March.

The Virtual Jobs Fair will take place over a morning and an afternoon session, 10am to 12:30pm, and 2pm to 4:30pm.

Businesses need to register on Eventbrite to access the event and are welcome to attend both sessions, but they must remember to get tickets for both sessions when registering.

The Skills Bootcamp programme offers a wide range of courses, so learners in attendance at the Virtual Jobs Fair will have skills in many areas including digital marketing, data analysis, cyber security, software development, and IT skills.

Read the full story on the news page of our website.

The Big Help Out On Monday 8 May 2023

As part of the planned celebrations to commemorate the Coronation of His Majesty The King, members of the public are invited to take part in The Big Help Out.

It’s to encourage people to try volunteering for themselves and join the work being undertaken to support their local areas.

And its aim is to use volunteering to bring communities together and create a lasting volunteering legacy from the Coronation weekend, in tribute to His Majesty The King’s public service.

The Big Help Out is being organised by The Together Coalition and a wide range of partners such as The Scouts, the Royal Voluntary Service and faith groups from across the United Kingdom.

You can find opportunities to volunteer in Devon on our Pinpoint website.