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CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION

Greenbank, Jubilee Close and Trafalgar Play Areas and Calf Street Skate Park:

02 July 2020: Great Torrington Town Council manages three play areas in the town: Trafalgar Play Area, Greenbank Play Area and Jubilee Close Play Area and the Skate Park on Calf Street.  The Prime Minister announced on 23 June that playgrounds will be able to reopen from 04 July, providing the owners/operators consider it safe to do so

Using Government guidance issued last week, the Council is currently conducting a COVID-19 Risk Assessment of the play areas and skate park to determine what measures will need to be implemented in order to minimise the risk of potential COVID-19 transmission once they reopen.  These areas will therefore remain CLOSED until the Council is confident it can facilitate their safe usage.  We kindly remind parents/guardians/carers and children not to use the play areas or skate park whilst they remain closed to ensure we all stay as safe as we can.

We thank you for your cooperation during this challenging time.  Please keep an eye out on our website and Facebook page for further updates. 

Covid-19 Lockdown Life Remembered Project

The Plough has launched an exciting Photographic Project to record the Covid-19 pandemic, what it means to you and how it has brought huge change to the daily lives of individuals and communities across North Devon.
 
To take part and contribute your Lockdown Life photos visit our website at www.theploughartscentre.org.uk/ and click on the link on the homepage. The weblink also includes further details about the project including the terms and conditions for your contribution.

Deadline for submitting photographs is 5pm July 10th

With support from Torrington Town and Community Hall, a selection of photographs submitted, and short descriptions, will be brought together into a slideshow to be screened at the Town Hall from the end of July.

Your photos could include images of key workers; support and care in the community; daily exercise; daily life such as shopping for food or medical supplies and cooking; transport and getting around; creative responses such as producing art work, writing or making music; places close to your home you have explored and discovered; working from home and home schooling; entertainment and light relief.

Please check in for announcements and updates about the project.

We look forward to receiving your photos, thank you!

Notice from Torridge District Council

From 15th June (subject to any Government guidance changes)

Monday to Saturday: the Market will be open for business!

Sundays: The market will remain closed for the foreseeable

The public conveniences will not be open, signage will be put up directing people to the disabled people cubicles at South Street or The Commons which can be used by all.

Police-think-twice-message

Enjoy our wonderful counties but please ‘think twice’ before you head out – message from Devon & Cornwall Police

The easing of coronavirus restrictions a fortnight ago has given people some welcome freedoms but sadly, here in Devon and Cornwall, has been accompanied by tragedies on our roads and our coastline.
Our counties are among the safest in the country in relation to coronavirus, with just one confirmed case per 1,000 people, and we have less reported crime than all but one of the 43 police forces in England and Wales. However, our beautiful part of the world contains many threats – particularly for those who are not familiar with the risks associated with driving on rural roads or swimming in our tidal waters.
Sadly, while many enjoyed the recent bank holiday and several sunny weekends our emergency services found themselves working desperately to save lives, sometimes in vain, and attempting to advise crowds of people on our beaches.
There were road casualties – the 27-year-old driver of a car in East Devon that came off the road on Saturday, May 23, lost his life, a man died on the A38 and two motorcyclists were seriously injured in a collision on Dartmoor. Last Wednesday (28th) another motorcyclist was seriously hurt in a crash in north Devon. This weekend two cyclists, one of them just 15, were seriously injured in separate collisions involving other vehicles in Cornwall.
The RNLI, which would usually be out in force on our beaches at this time of year, has been unable to train the lifeguards it needs and warned that over the bank holiday our beaches would be unmanned. Nonetheless thousands headed to our shores.
Although the vast majority of coastal visitors were safe, heavy seas and a spring tide made swimming and surfing more dangerous activities than usual on some days. In a few dreadful hours on bank holiday Monday a teenage girl died after the boat she was in overturned at Wadebridge in Cornwall, a man died after being pulled from the water near Padstow and a third incident at Porthtowan left a man in a critical condition. The next day a jet-skier lost his life in an accident in South Devon.
This weekend there were numerous incidents including one where a man was seriously injured when he fell off a sea wall in Torbay, and a kayaker tragically lost his life in an incident in North Cornwall.
My thoughts are with the friends and families of those injured and the frontline staff who have worked so hard in recent and challenging times. Losing a loved one so suddenly is unthinkably terrible. I therefore support the RNLI’s decision, in response to the deaths, to reinstate lifeguard cover at 15 beaches, nine of them in Cornwall, and efforts by the police and partners to promote road safety that include the reintroduction of mobile speed cameras on our roads this week.
The message which I have been supportive of, and I urge others to heed, simply asks people to ‘think twice’ before they take a trip at the moment. A lot of community tension and danger could be avoided if people consider matters like where they are going to park, what toilet facilities they need and how they are going to remain a reasonable distance from others.
At the moment overnight stays are not permitted but the Government’s recovery strategy could see this change in the coming weeks, in normal years we already have more domestic visitors than any other force area. If restrictions are lifted further we can expect a busier summer than ever.
Lockdown, as I have mentioned before, comes with its own costs, to our cultural and sporting lives, people’s livelihoods and perhaps most importantly to people’s mental health, so I cautiously welcome a time when we have more freedom and once again the Westcountry can welcome in the tourists on whom it so depends.
In positive news Devon County Council and Torbay Council have received a proportion of the £300m for the test, track and trace programme to be rolled out. This is an essential part of the Government’s strategy to tackle coronavirus and means that anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and required to share information about their recent interactions.
There is some suggestion that unscrupulous criminals will seek to exploit this opportunity so it is worth knowing that if NHS Test and Trace calls you by phone, the service will be using a single phone number which is: 0300 0135 000. The only website the service will ask you to visit is: https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk. Contact tracers will never ask you to dial a premium rate number, for bank or password details or to make any form of payment.

Alison Hernandez

Devon County Council Covid-19 update 2/6/20

Please click link below for more information on the following topics:-

  • Children gradually returning to school in Devon
  • Restrictions relaxed for people considered extremely clinically vulnerable
  • Free business toolkit
  • Recycling centre restrictions eased further
  • New advice about accessing green spaces safely
  • Getting around and travelling safely
  • We celebrate National Volunteer Week
  • Help is available from your local district council
  • NHS Nightingale Hospital Exeter update

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKDEVONCC/bulletins/28e95d7

Coronavirus Taskforce Team

This Notice was prepared on 11.05.20

In last month’s CRIER we reported on the new Town Council Coronavirus Taskforce Team which was set up in mid-March to support those members of our community who are self-isolating and do not have family/friends or neighbours locally who can help them with everyday activities such as picking up prescriptions and essential shopping.

At the time of writing this report we are serving approx. 110 homes in a variety of ways thanks to the huge number of volunteers who have selflessly come forward to help across our lovely community. Volunteers are either delivering prescriptions and/or shopping and making friendly social phone calls. We seem to have settled into a rhythm now, although we do continue to have new clients requesting help.

Once matched with a home the volunteer will stay with that home until the scheme is disbanded as and when appropriate. We have had a couple challenging situations as one would expect, but thankfully all have been resolved.

We would again like to thank Matt Whittaker and Helyne Jennings for making additional visors and masks and also to Toni Alexander for offering to make more masks as and when needed.

The Town Council continue to extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has put themselves forward to volunteer for this project. In addition the Town Council would like to thank all of the other volunteers throughout the community who we know have been helping neighbours and friends; businesses that have stepped up to meet critical needs and to those businesses who had to close their doors to ensure we keep as many people safe as we can.

If anyone reading this article and is a resident of Great Torrington is in need of any support with the activities mentioned and hasn’t already been in touch, please do not hesitate to call the Town Council on 01805 626135 or e-mail at admin@great-torringtontowncouncil.gov.uk

Karen Chapman
Town Clerk

Free Parking in Torridge Car Parks Extended to 15th June to Support Business Reopening Preparations

During recent months Torridge Councillor’s took the decision to suspended parking charges in the district in response to the evolving Coronavirus crisis. The move was in part to support NHS Staff and Care workers as they carried on working and also other residents, who found themselves restricted to their homes, with more cars than usual competing for parking places. It also meant that Council staff could be redeployed to assist with the set up of systems to support the vulnerable. The charging suspension is now being extended to 15th June, to further support shop and business owners as they return to their premises to make preparations for reopening. All Car Parking permits have also been extended for the time business were forced to close.The Government recently announced that all non-essential retail including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets, will be able to reopen from 15th June. However business need to meet the government’s 5 tests and follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines, giving them around 3 weeks to prepare.The extension to free parking is aligned to this new time frame for the safe reopening of high streets set out by the Government. The Councils Economic Regeneration Team are also working hard on this programme in partnership with businesses and local trade organisations such as the Federation of Small Businesses, Chamber of Commerce and Town Councils. Councillor Ken James – Leader of Torridge District Council said:“This will be a busy time for retail and other businesses who will no doubt be able to make good use of the free parking and make it one less thing to worry about as they make their preparations to reopen. Next week we will also be announcing further support grants for businesses and as before we will continue to do everything we can to ensure a successful resurgence of the local economy during these difficult times. It should certainly also be a time when we should shop local, as much as we can, to support the reopening’s.”