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Great Torrington Town Council

Shop Local Week 10-16 August 2020

Shoppers in the UK are being urged to do their bit and take part in Shop Local Week (10-16 August) to help local businesses rebuild from the coronavirus pandemic.  This is part of the Government’s Enjoy Summer Safely campaign. 

To help kick off Shop Local Week, here are eight reasons why customers should visit their local high street this week:

1. Help the high street and support the local economy

Shopping at local businesses pumps much needed money into the local economy.

2. Save jobs – and create even more

Supporting our high streets creates and maintains jobs in local communities.

3. Great deals

You may be surprised to see just how competitive the prices are in your local shops! Don’t forget you can save money eating out via the “Eat Out to Help Out” discount scheme on eat-in meals on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays at participating eateries.

4. A safe way to shop

Local businesses are following government guidance and implementing a range of measures to ensure people are safe while they shop.

5. Preserving the heart of the community

A thriving high street is key to boosting the potential of our town where people can socialise as well as shop.

6. Spoilt for choice

Small and local businesses stock items which are made locally and aren’t available anywhere else, providing a great range of choice and unique products that bring much-needed originality and variety into our lovely town.

7. A better shopping experience

Most small businesses are run by local people. The experience of buying locally from a friendly face offers a dose of normality that many people may have missed during the pandemic.

8. Help the environment

Local shops often source their goods locally, helping to reduce their carbon footprint. When shopping local, people are also more likely to walk or cycle to get there.  

Are you eligible for the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage?

Applications for the £92 million Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage close on Monday 17 August. Funds will be distributed by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

  • Is your heritage organisation at risk of failure due to COVID-19?
  • Do you need help with costs to help you adapt and re-open?
  • Are you either a private or non-profit organisation?
  • Do you require grants from £10,000 to £3million?
  • Is your organisation based in England?

If you answered yes to these questions, then the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage is for you.

Check your eligibility and apply now

Fiware4Water – smart meters

Fiware4Water is a project which aims to implement innovative approaches that empower customers towards water efficiency, through the use of smart meters.  In the UK, the University of Exeter is partnering with South West Water (SWW) and the UN World Water Quality Alliance (UNWWQA).

Great Torrington has been chosen to pilot new smart meter technology as part of this project. Customers in this region will be given access to a smart phone application displaying their water consumption. They will be able to see how much they are paying for water, compare their consumption against others, set consumption targets and receive leak alarm notifications. SWW will use the data from these smart meters to locate and respond faster to household leaks in the area and derive relationships between consumption and the weather (e.g. rainfall) via an internally accessed web application. Research has shown that metered customers use significantly less water than customers who are not metered. The project team expects that increased visibility of water use behaviour will drive an even larger reduction in a customer’s water consumption. The benefits of which will be realised by SWW with a lower overall demand on resources and treatment requirements, and by the customer with a lower annual water bill.

The Project Team will be announcing details soon of a launch event at which SWW customers in Great Torrington will be invited to take part.  For more information, please follow this link to the Fiware4Water website: https://www.fiware4water.eu/

Local Applications for Grant Aid

Great Torrington Town Council administers the Commons Allotment Charity.  Each year the charity allocates its small amount of funds to locally based community groups.  In addition, there are a number of Precept Grants awarded every year. Applications for either/both grant types during the year 2021/2022 are now open and the application form can be obtained by clicking the link below or in paper format from the Council office.  Please contact Charlotte Kirby, Assistant Town Clerk on 01805 626135 between 9am and 1pm Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday or email her on admin@great-torringtontowncouncil.gov.uk for more information.

Please ensure completed applications are submitted no later than 12 noon on Thursday 10th September 2020

COVID 19 Update

This notice was prepared on 08 July 2020

Last month we reported on activity taking place prior to the reopening of non-essential retail shops in the Town Centre.  Since then we have had further lifting of restrictions and as we write this, we await to see how it all works out in the long-term.

Following the easing to-date, we have continued to work with Torridge District and Devon County Councils and have extended signage to stencilling the pavements, increased signage and introduced a planter in a parking bay to allow for increased pedestrian access and distancing from people queuing. All of these measures have been undertaken to encourage safe distancing and enhance safety measures, but are open to review and we very much welcome feedback.

On the 1st July a second Zoom meeting was hosted by Torridge District Council to which all retailers were invited.  GTTC’s technician hand delivered notices of this meeting to businesses in the town centre the week prior to the meeting. We continue to work with Torridge District and Devon County Councils on these matters, keeping up to date with the latest Government guidance and taking into consideration feedback on how any adaptations made are working in practice.

In late June we were advised that the District Council would be considering a motion to allow a further two month’s free parking in town centre car parks across the district at a C&R meeting on the 13th July.  Along with raising awareness with local businesses in the town centre the Town Council sent a letter of support to the District Council in respect of this motion.

The GTTC Covid Task Force continues to be in full swing as volunteers continue to shop, deliver shopping and prescriptions and undertake social phone calling. At the present time, we are advised that shielding will no longer be necessary from August; we will keep an eye on the current situation and review arrangements according to current and ongoing government updates.  We are continually thankful to these volunteers who faithfully undertake this work and have done since the end of March when we initially went into lockdown.  They have brilliantly and quietly beavered away in the background meeting needs across the whole community. Another example of what makes this town so “Great”.

If you have any suggestions you would like to share with the Council on how we can continue to make our town safer during the coronavirus outbreak, please do not hesitate to contact us via phone on 01805 626135 or e-mail at admin@great-torringtontowncouncil.gov.uk.  Please note: The Council telephones are manned on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays only.

Mayor’s Chosen Charities 2020/21 – Cllr Miss Keeley Allin

I cannot believe I am beginning my second term as Mayor of Great Torrington; thank you all for your support over the last 12 months. It’s been incredible serving our wonderful town and I’m looking forward continuing to do so. This next year will be different, but I know as a community we will embrace the challenges and come out stronger.

I have been very proud to raise funds for the Torrington Police Amateur Boxing Club and the 1st Torrington Scout Group, and it was lovely to see you supporting these local groups through various fundraising events. I am very pleased to say that we have raised a total of £4500.00; money which will be divided equally and I know, gratefully received to by both groups and will hopefully serve to help them continue their fantastic work. (Please note this sum does not include sponsorship for my postponed sky dive. Once I have done this, these funds will be divided and sent separately to these groups).

At this point I choose two new charities to support over the next 12 months, and it hasn’t been an easy decision. Will suggested that I look back over the last year at who has made a real impact, so my first charity is the Torrington Silver Band. They were all very welcoming at the events I’ve been invited to, they are the beating heart of the town, and I look forward to supporting them in any way I can over the coming year.

My second charity is the Friends of Great Torrington Library. Being a keen reader myself, I know how vital this service is to a broad range of individuals in our community. As well as being able to access a wide range of resources, the library offers events and support for all ages. I fondly remember doing the book tracker program as a child and would love to see more people taking an interest in reading.