Message from Councillor Paul Arnott, Leader of East Devon District Council

With the alarming increase in COVID-19 cases across the country over the last weeks, a second lockdown has been in our sights for some time and we’ve been putting measures in place to help our residents, communities and businesses get through this difficult period.

While we await further details and guidance from the Government, please be reassured that we are committed to doing whatever is needed to help people directly and to support our communities.

We learnt a great deal about helping our district during the first lockdown and we are using that knowledge and experience this time around to ensure our crucial services are there for you during this likely second period of lockdown.

For example, our all-important recycling and waste collections will continue as normal on the same day as you receive them now. Our parks and gardens will remain open as will our play areas and public toilets that have been made Covid-secure. Our housing repairs service for tenants will operate normally with full social distancing and PPE guidelines are in place with our staff and contractors.

For our residents and communities, we’re preparing to reopen our Community Support Hub hotline to help those who need support. There were so many great examples of people coming together to look out for each other during the first lockdown through the Hub. We will do all we can to make sure there is a focus on getting real help and support to all those that are likely to need it most.

As the situation develops, we will update you with guidelines and will outline what we may be asking of you, once we have the finer detail. Throughout our planning, we have been working closely with Devon County Council, national bodies and local agencies, all of whom are committed to help and support local people. 

Details of a further business grants scheme are also expected to be with us in the coming days.

Some service areas will sadly have to close during the four week lockdown. Our Thelma Hulbert Gallery in Honiton will need to close its doors and will have an online presence at www.thelmahulbert.com. Sadly, Leisure East Devon facilities across the district will also have to close until December 2.

Our offices also remain closed to the public, but you can call us on 01404 515616 to talk to an officer or arrange to meet them Covid-securely.

I would ask for your patience and understanding as we focus our resources in the areas where they are needed most. All staff and councillors are working hard to ensure that, despite these challenges, services are delivered in the best and safest way possible.

In the meantime, our website, which can be found at www.eastdevon.gov.uk, is regularly being updated with the latest information for residents, communities and businesses. 

We will send out messages to our local media to be included in publications and we are regularly sending out updates through our social media - @eastdevon on Twitter, East Devon District Council on Facebook and eastdevondistrictcouncil on Instagram.

We also send out an online residents’ coronavirus newsletter and you can sign up to receive this by email at www.eastdevon.gov.uk/help/sign-up-for-news-and-information-from-east-devon/ 

We will continue to review and adapt as necessary, and working together, helping each other and, above all, following the Government guidance will get us through this next phase of the pandemic.