An infobite on the COVID-19 activities the council carried out from March to August 2020

Infobite captures district council response

Over the course of the COVID-19 crisis, East Devon District Council has worked quickly to ensure its residents, communities and businesses have been well informed, supported and protected. We will continue to support our district through the pandemic and we have produced an infobite which captures our response during these challenging times.

The infobite summarises in one place many of our activities including the thousands of calls we’ve taken from people needing our help, the number of emergency food parcels and dietary boxes we’ve delivered to residents, the support and funding we’ve given to community groups and our businesses, as well as continuing to collect record amounts of recycling and waste from lockdown onwards.

The council is proud of its performance as our councillors and staff, working with our communities and volunteers, have stepped up to the challenge to help our district through the pandemic.

Councillor Jess Bailey, the district council’s portfolio holder for COVID-19 Response and Recovery, said that a huge amount of work took place behind the scenes to help ensure that everything ran smoothly.

She said:

East Devon District Council stepped in to help vulnerable people at a time of great need. We know our local area and our residents so we were in the perfect position to offer personalised support.  I am proud of all our officers who worked tirelessly and who consistently did their best to respond to people’s needs during this exceptional period.

Our work doesn’t stop. We will continue to help our district come through this pandemic and support those who need assistance.

In the early days of the lockdown, the council helped people who needed some extra support with sourcing food supplies. This was especially the case in April and May when it was difficult to get supermarket deliveries, and not everyone had connected with their local voluntary group.

To tide people over until they could arrange their own food supply, the district council bought and distributed emergency food boxes. Residents phoned the district council’s coronavirus community hub helpline or emailed requests for help and the council worked alongside Devon County Council.

Now that shielding has ceased, the council is offering our remaining boxes to food banks across East Devon. Seven food banks have been contacted and we are liaising with each of them to arrange a suitable delivery time in the next few days.

The facts and figures behind East Devon's response to Coronavirus between March and August 2020.

infobite download

Wellbeing
East Devon Distinct Council Coronavirus Community Support Hub:

2,5000+ calls taken to support people with finding help for food deliveries and picking up prescrriptions
150 emergency food parcels delivered
158 dietary boxes delivered
£32,975 funding given to community groups across 34 projects

Recycling and Waste
Homes:

526 tonnes of cardboard collected at kerb-sides in June vs 250 tonnes normally
224 tonnes plastics collected vs 160 tonnes normally
600 tonnes of food waste collected in just one month, same as after christmas
64% of what’s collected at kerb-sides in June was recycling, the highest ever in a single month
Seafront Bins
16 tonnes collected in one day vs 3.4 tonne normally on a busy summer day
Bins emptied up to five times a day (normally it’s up to four times)

Businesses
£44.5m paid out in business grants to 3,921 local businesses

Homes and Communities
34,988 calls taken by Home Safeguard to help vulnerable and elderly people
2,387 reassurance calls to our Home Safeguard customers
270 emergency repairs to council housing
99.6% completed in under four hours
58 households in temporary accommodation since the start of lockdown

Outdoor spaces
Reopened during lockdown:

All parks and gardens, all skate parks, all multi-use games areas
Play parks:

12 reopened by July 14, 50+ remaining will be assessed and opened over next few weeks

Public toilets:

14 public toilets re-opened with enhanced cleaning to protect the public

Helping people enjoy outdoors:

All 12 of our local nature reserves were open during lockdown for communities to use  as their local greenspace for their daily exercise
30 online outdoor activities ran by us to do in your garden
10 guided walks at Seaton Wetlands with Wild East Devon ranger in July and August

Reintroducing and adapting

Outdoor yoga, wild foraging, willow making, plant medicine and outdoor meditation events at Seaton Wetlands and Holyford Woods local nature reserve
Volunteering activities on local nature reserve reintroduced using new online booking system

Parking

Free parking helping the NHS in all of our pay and display car parks for NHS workers at work, helping them make home visits to shielding and self-isolating patients
Offer extended helping businesses: Our all day £2 winter parking offer was extended until June, helping support businesses in town centre
Annual Permits suspended or refunded: Whilst customers were in lockdown and if they were shielding/isolating

Culture

Finding new ways to engage with people: Our Thelma Hulbert Gellery’s virtual art exhibitions are ongoing
Lockdown photography project ran in May
Nine Nature Shorts online workshops in June and July working with celebrated artists
Adapting and keeping people safe
Thelma Hulbert Gallery reopened on July 11 with new online booking system for guided tours
Fully booked
120 visiting our Sir Richard Long exhibition over five days