East Devon District Council (EDDC) has employed new officers to help High Street businesses reopen safely and follow Covid-19 guidelines.

Whilst Covid has closed down our thriving centres, we are now on a journey of transition, dedicated to reopening shops, restaurants and community venues in a safe and sustainable way.

EDDC’s new ‘Covid Compliance Officers’, Andy Squires and Rachel Payne, will be there to help enable independent businesses to operate safely and give confidence to customers old and new.

The dynamic duo will be visiting businesses on High Streets across the district, helping them to understand and comply with Covid legislation and guidance.

One of their main aims will be to support small and medium-sized enterprises to navigate the safe reopening of their business and reassure them if they are doing the right thing and help where they may not.

Councillor Marianne Rixson, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder with responsibility for Coronavirus response and recovery, said:

We have recently appointed two compliance officers to help business owners understand the measures they will need to take to re-open their businesses safely to comply with government guidelines.

Andy and Rachel will be a first point of contact for enquiries and have already started visiting businesses in the Exmouth area. We would urge business owners to get in touch if they are unsure whether their procedures are correct."

As part of their roles, Andy and Rachel will also help businesses to go through the Covid risk assessments and advise them if there are any gaps in the measures they have taken to protect staff and clients from the risks of infection.
The pair will also be there to signpost struggling businesses to other sources of help available, such as grant funding and advice.

Andy and Rachel will also be responsible for responding to enquiries and reports from businesses and members of the public that become concerned about Covid-safety compliance.

They will be working alongside regulatory and enforcement professionals, other agencies and partners to provide advice, education and assistance to business customers.

The funding for these new posts comes from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 through the EDDC Reopening High Street Safely project, which has received £130,992 of funding.

If you would like help from a Covid Compliance Officer (who will always carry ID when visiting a premises), please contact the Environmental Health Team on 01395 517456 to arrange a phone call or a visit, or email us on environmentalhealth@eastdevon.gov.uk