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Voter ID deadline approaches; Primary school applications; Devon County Show; Help for businesses post-COVID-19; and Emergency Alert this Sunday

Don’t miss the deadline to apply for photo ID!

If you want to vote at a polling station in the local elections on Thursday 4 May, you will need to show an accepted form of photographic identification (photo ID). You can find out what the accepted forms of photo ID are on the Electoral Commission website.

If you don’t have the right photo ID, and need to apply for a Voter Authentication Certificate, the application deadline is 5pm on Tuesday 25 April. You can apply for a certificate online.You will need to provide a photo as well as your name, address, date of birth and National Insurance number.

If you, or someone you know, needs a Voter Authority Certificate but doesn’t have access to the internet at home, all of Devon’s Libraries have computers which you can use free of charge to complete your application. 

Devon families successful in primary school applications

Almost 99 per cent of families applying this year have gained a place for their child in one of their preferred primary schools this September.

Figures out this week showed that 7,065 applications were made across the county, and 6,979 families have been offered a place at one of their four preferred schools.

96.7 per cent of the families who applied to us for a place in a county primary have got their first preference, and 2.1 per cent were offered one of their other preferences.

Parents were notified of their places earlier this week, and our school admissions team is available to help with enquiries, supported by our Customer Service Centre.

If you applied online, you can also log into your online account to find out which school has been offered.

We have some helpful answers to frequently asked questions about allocation day, on our website. 

If you are happy with the school place offered to your child you do not need to do anything else.  But please do let the school admission team know if you do not need the place allocated, by emailing

If you are not happy with the offer, we have information on our website to help you decide whether or not to appeal, and how to do that.

Children, young people and families invited to visit our stand at the Devon County Show

The Devon County Show has long been an important date in our calendar, representing an opportunity for us to meet Devon residents and visitors to the county, to share information and to celebrate much of what makes Devon the county that we love and that we are proud to be part of.

This year, we’re inviting schools, youth clubs, families and carers of children and young people to visit us at our stand, on Thursday 18, Friday 19, and Saturday 20 May, at the County Showground, Westpoint.

Our theme this year is children and families, and we’ll have a wide selection of exhibitors on our stand, with competitions, support and advice for young people and their families and carers.

Sound Communities will be joining us and bringing with them their ‘Boom Bus’, using music, radio and creative media production to teach visitors new skills, with digital music and podcast making, DJing, rapping, beatboxing and a silent disco!

We will also have a range of other exhibitors including Tiny Travels, our Public Health Nursing team, Fostering in Devon, and Recycle Devon.

You can read more about our stand in the news story on our website. 

Grants help small businesses bounce back after pandemic

We’ve helped small businesses and community projects across Devon to bounce back following the COVID-19 pandemic by awarding £0.8 million in grants.

The Devon Elevation Fund awarded grants to small businesses and community projects across the county to respond to the different trading environment resulting from the pandemic. It has also helped businesses plan for future growth and initiatives, develop new products and services, and improve infrastructure.

The money came from the Government’s UK Community Renewal Fund, and we focused our awards on businesses in the economic sectors that were the hardest hit by the pandemic, such as tourism, hospitality, retail and food and drink.

We also invited businesses, community groups and organisations, and local councils to apply.

Ninety three projects have been awarded grants of between £2,500 and £25,000 for a range of schemes that have boosted skills in the workforce, created new jobs, and supported their futures.

You can read more about this in the news story on our website.

Our Waste Team is shortlisted for prestigious award

Our Waste Team has been shortlisted for a prestigious award in this year’s Awards for Excellence in Recycling and Waste Management.

The awards celebrate work that encourages and enables people to reduce, re-use and recycle waste, preventing it from going to landfill.

And Devon is consistently one of the top three highest performing recycling counties, year-on-year.

The team does a lot to raise awareness of the importance of reducing, re-using and recycling, and has awarded over 1,000 Recycle Devon Scout and Guide badges and reached over 10,000 young people in schools across Devon.

Last year, they also worked with Community Action Groups to harness the amazing power of 16,079 volunteer hours; and the re-use shops at our Household Waste Recycling Centres saved 1,000 tonnes of waste from disposal.

We’ll wait to hear whether our shortlisted team becomes an award winner in next month’s awards ceremony.

National Emergency Alert test this Sunday at 3pm

Don’t forget, the Government is testing its national Emergency Alert this Sunday at 3pm.

It’ll be the first time we’ve heard it, but all smartphones that use the 4G and 5G phone networks in the UK, will sound an alert at 3pm on Sunday, and a message will appear on your device’s home screen.

Other than to acknowledge the message, you don’t need to do anything, because this is simply a test.

The system is what the Government plans to use to alert you in the event of there being a danger to life near to where you are, for example severe flooding or fire.

It would include advice about how to stay safe.

Similar systems are commonly used already in other countries.

Last week we published a story about what you can do if you are concerned about the alarm sounding on your smartphone.

Coronation creativity challenge

Ahead of the Coronation of His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen Consort next month, the Government has launched a national creative challenge to encourage children, young people and adults to join the celebrations.

It’s asking, ‘What will you make to celebrate the Coronation?’, and this is a chance for people, young and older, to showcase their creativity, and share how they’ll be celebrating the Coronation.

From making your own street party bunting, to designing a royal invitation, or creating a recipe fit for a King, there are lots of ways to get involved.

And for inspiration, there is a link on the Government’s Coronation website to a toolkit, where you will find downloadable bunting templates, recipe cards, printable postcards and more.

Visit their website to find out more and how to enter.