Guide East Devon residents Coronavirus update - 24 April 2020

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2. This week's message from East Devon's Leader and Chief Executive

The ability to step outside, take exercise and enjoy fresh air is important for us at this difficult time. For many people, especially families with children and those who live in homes without a garden, access to public parks is a lifeline.

So we are putting our trust in our public and have reopened the majority of our large or easy to access parks sites, such as Phear Park, giving residents ample green spaces within which to exercise responsibly.

Social distancing signs will remain in place and it is vital that you follow these measures. If people do not observe social distancing or congregate in our parks, we may be forced to close them all again. We are asking you to use common sense and to follow the two metre social distancing recommendations. We’ll will of course keep things under review, but in the meantime we want people take responsibility for staying safe.

You can find the full list of parks and gardens that remain closed in this article.

We are trying incredibly hard to balance the need to maintain services alongside our wider responsibilities for the health and wellbeing of our residents. This is no easy task.

The council has been affected by the consequences of Covid-19 through additional costs and, more significantly, the impact of a drop in income from fees and charges, which pays for the funding of services.

It is already clear that we will need considerable additional financial support from central Government. So the announcement by Government of the provision of additional funding to support local authorities is welcome and we are hopeful that they have listened to our concerns and taken our needs into account. We look forward to learning how much we will receive.

Finally, we’d like to assure you that we remain focused on leading the local response to the greatest challenge we have faced as a nation for decades.

Stay safe and remember to follow the social distancing guidance.

Together #WeareDevon

Best wishes

Cllr Ben Ingham and Mark Williams