Will 999 calls be answered?

Answering calls to the 999 number is a priority and we are making sure that we have additional resilience through training student officers to support our call handlers.  Please continue to dial 999 in all emergency situations.

What is the best way to contact the police at this busy time for non-emergencies?

If possible we would ask that you use the following options before dialling 101 at this busy time.

•Click before you call – go online at devon-cornwall.police.uk/

•Check if you can find the answer yourself on AskNed

•Use the online crime reporting form 

Webchat live with the 101 service (link to this facility at bottom right of Devon and Cornwall Police homepage)

•Email the 101 service at 101@dc.police.uk

•Calling 101 phone line

If you do need to call 101 about a non emergency, please be aware that it may take longer than normal to answer your call.  Perhaps consider calling at a quieter time of the day, like late evening if it is not time critical.

I have intelligence about a crime – who should I contact?

Please continue to contact the police on the details listed above.  If it is an emergency call 999 or for non emergencies use the online contact options where possible.  

You can also report crime and intelligence anonymously via Crimestoppers either by calling 0800 555111 or by using their online reporting system at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Tuesday, 07 April 2020 13:48

Covid-19 Scams - Trading Standards Advice

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It appears your Web browser is not configured to display PDF files. Click here to download the PDF file.

The Prince’s Countryside Fund is inviting applications for emergency funding from farming and rural community support groups, who are providing assistance to counter the effects of isolation during the Coronavirus pandemic.

With thanks to Players of People’s Postcode Lottery, groups can apply for grant funding of up to £2,500 if they:

  • are providing emergency relief to vulnerable or isolated individuals or;
  • are providing support to farmers and farm businesses affected by the Coronavirus pandemic or;
  • are helping rural or farming communities to cope with the Coronavirus pandemic

£100,000 total is available in this first round of funding.

The Fund will assist projects that support farm businesses or other rural businesses and rural communities. This may include, but is not limited to, volunteer and fuel costs for grocery and prescription delivery from rural community shops, pubs, and hubs; costs associated with emergency support by farm and agricultural support groups; or rural foodbanks and food delivery services.

To apply and for the eligibility and guidance click here

To visit the Rural Services Network website to view the original article please click here

Will 999 calls be answered?

Answering calls to the 999 number is a priority and we are making sure that we have additional resilience through training student officers to support our call handlers.  Please continue to dial 999 in all emergency situations.

What is the best way to contact the police at this busy time for non-emergencies?

If possible we would ask that you use the following options before dialling 101 at this busy time.

•Click before you call – go online at devon-cornwall.police.uk/

•Check if you can find the answer yourself on AskNed

•Use the online crime reporting form 

Webchat live with the 101 service (link to this facility at bottom right of Devon and Cornwall Police homepage)

•Email the 101 service at 101@dc.police.uk

•Calling 101 phone line

If you do need to call 101 about a non emergency, please be aware that it may take longer than normal to answer your call.  Perhaps consider calling at a quieter time of the day, like late evening if it is not time critical.

I have intelligence about a crime – who should I contact?

Please continue to contact the police on the details listed above.  If it is an emergency call 999 or for non emergencies use the online contact options where possible.  

You can also report crime and intelligence anonymously via Crimestoppers either by calling 0800 555111 or by using their online reporting system at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

It appears your Web browser is not configured to display PDF files. Click here to download the PDF file.

Friday, 03 April 2020 13:02

Business Support Grants

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Torridge District Council has now sent out letters to every business that is registered with their Business Rates team and is eligible for the government’s Business Support grants. But they are aware that in many cases people can’t access those letters so are keen to help as much as they can. Their goal is to get those grants to businesses as quickly as they can.

How to access the scheme

- for full details see https://www.torridge.gov.uk/article/18366/Torridge-Business-Rates-Support-Grants-Update 

- Please follow this link if your business has a rateable value of £15,000 or less www.torridge.gov.uk/RRGL and complete the form. Please note you will need your business rate account reference beginning with 26.

- Please follow this link if your business has a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000 www.torridge.gov.uk/RRGH and complete the form. Please note you will need your business rate account reference beginning with 26.

- For small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR) and rural rate relief (RRR) please follow this link www.torridge.gov.uk/sbrr-grant and complete the form. Please note you will need your business rate account reference beginning with 26.

Business support grant queries

Processing the online forms for these is going to be a huge task, especially given the risks of fraud. As such,TDC ask if you have any queries to e-mail them to chris.fuller@torridge.gov.uk in the first place rather than calling the Business Rates team directly please. They are working as hard as they can to make sure that messages are replied to as promptly as possible as they know how important both clarity and getting these grants is to both businesses and the people connected to them. However, they will be prioritising queries related to the Business Support grants until they have been processed.

Help and advice

1) For information on grants and relief that your business might be eligible for please have a look at https://northdevonplus.co.uk/. North Devon Plus is also on hand to support you if you are thinking about the need to change your business plan and explore what the future could be for your business.

2) There is also lots of information on the Heart of the South West Growth Hub pages (https://www.heartofswgrowthhub.co.uk/covid-19-guidance-for-business/), including details of their Virtual Careers Fair (https://heartofswlep.co.uk/virtual-career-fairs/) to support people who have been impacted by job losses or furloughing, as well as for businesses who are looking to recruit to cover new needs presented by the situation.

3) There is a lot of practical support for businesses and employees who are getting used to the new reality of working remotely. Cosmic are offering a free helpline to support https://www.cosmic.org.uk/blog/free-emergency-helpline-launches-support-businesses-affected-coronavirus and BT are offering a series of online workshops to build knowledge and capacity as part of their Skills for Tomorrow programme https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/bt-skills-for-tomorrow-26823592931 

4) For agriculture-specific help Farming Help have a helpline putting you in touch with 4 expert charities https://www.farminghelp.co.uk/

5) The Arts Council have a specific funding stream coming live soon to support those of you in the cultural and creative sector who have been impacted https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19.

Need more help?

If your business is in need of additional support or advice then please do feel free to get in touch on economic.development@torridge.gov.uk. The Council don’t have a magic wand, alas, but will do everything they can to either help or signpost you to the expert support you might need.

Take care and stay safe. 

Our Covid-19 support newsletters will regularly provide you with information, guidance and resources during this ongoing situation. 

Here at DCT we have set up a helpline to support Village Halls, Community Buildings and Parish and Town Councils. If you would like to get in contact with us, please phone: 0808 1963390 Alternatively you can access advice from our website. From our dedicated Coronavirus Information webpage, you will find guidance and support about the following subjects:

1.What is Coronavirus?

2.General Guidance

3. Stay at home guidance

4.Advice for Village Halls and Community Buildings

5.Advice for Community Groups

6.Protecting the isolated and vulnerable 

7.Community Messaging System

8.Guidance for Community Transport

9.Churches Meeting Community Needs

10.Cyber Protect Advice from Devon and Cornwall Police

11.Advice from the Charity Commission around Charity Governence

12.Funding & Grants Available 

Please continue to read below, to find updates and information from various organisations, that can help to support you during this time. 

Devon County Council: Advice For Setting Up Local Support Groups  

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, many people have been asking about setting up local groups to support vulnerable residents with shopping, picking up prescriptions, or just keeping in contact. 

There is support available from your local Council for Voluntary Service (CVS). 

•If you are in Exeter, visit the Exeter Community Wellbeing website

•For the rest of Devon find contact details on the Devon Voluntary Action (DeVA) website

If you are setting up a local group, make sure you are aware of the implications of the current legislation regarding data protection and safeguarding vulnerable adults. Although much of the legislation may not apply to you, there are some important principles you must follow around keeping personal data safe and confidential, and ensuring the most vulnerable are protected from harm.

You can find useful information and resources on the Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK website, and information on data protection for community groups from the Resource Centre website.

Advice concerning COVID-19 is developing rapidly, so make sure you are aware of the most current and correct advice before engaging with vulnerable residents.

Register a Community Support Group 

Many communities in Devon are putting together local initiatives to support those in need. If you are involved with creating or running a local support group, please: 

1.Get in touch with your local Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) who can support you and are coordinating activity. If you are in Exeter, visit the Exeter Community Wellbeing website and for the rest of Devon find contact details on the Devon Voluntary Action (DeVA) website.

2.Please register some basic details with Devon County Council so that we can help to signpost people appropriately.

Find a Community Support Group 

Many communities in Devon are putting together local initiatives to support those in need. You can find a support group in your area, here. This list is growing fast: to add a local group that is missing, please pass your details to us using this form.

Community Crisis Phone System 

A new phone system has been set up for community groups, to use during Covid-19. The 3CX web client is used to call, chat and video conference and will enable community support groups to publish a single support number which can be manned by several operators and handle several inbound calls at a time. Primarily, this system has been created to support small community groups, during a time where they might recieve a high number of enquiries. 

Created by Grey Matter, this is a simple, resilient, cloud based phone system which can be deployed at minimal cost (£8 per month) to help community groups in a crisis.  

Please find a step by step guide here and a user guide here

Devon Community Foundation Recovery Fund 

Devon Community Foundation has now opened a Covid19 recovery fund to raise funds for local charitable groups that are supporting the most vulnerable people affected by the outbreak of coronavirus. You can apply to the Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund here. Further information about criteria, can be found here.

Action With Communities in Rural England 

Thousands of village halls will be temporarily closing their doors to the communities they have supported; some for over 100 years. For the community there is dismay and uncertainty about when they will be open again and their committees will be taking a hard look at the long-term future of their Hall. 

We have spoken to committees who feel they are in a precarious situation but also to those who have enough reserves to keep them going. 

So, what is ACRE doing?

In the early stages of the crisis we provided guidance to the ACRE Network on the process for Halls considering closure of their Hall

We have been in discussion with the rural team at Defra so that they are fully informed of the issues facing village halls now. Defra are working closely with the Communities Team at the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government. Thank you to those village hall committees who have come forward and provided detail of the likely financial impact should the hall need to stay closed for a long period.

ACRE Board and Senior Management are working alongside other infrastructure bodies to clarify how the proposals for supporting businesses can also support charities.

ACRE is now in discussion with Government for financial support fund for halls at risk.

Meanwhile the National Village Hall Survey is live until Monday 20th April 2020.

Please complete it; tell us all about your Hall as this information will now be so important as evidence of the valuable roles of halls in rural communities. If you have started to complete the Survey now is the time to log back in and complete it! 

National Village Hall Survey is available here: https://acre.org.uk/our-work/national-village-and-community-hall-survey.php 

Some village hall committees will be preparing to submit their Stage 2 applications for the Village Hall Improvement Grant Fund. The deadline is still the 31st March 2020. If you need support or have problems accessing information due to the current situation then let your ACRE Network member know.

Contact your local ACRE Network Member Martin Rich, Devon Communities Together, martin@devoncommunities.org.uk, 07984001542 

Click here for current known issues with Torridge District Councils waste or recycling service (can be viewed at the bottom of that page). If you wish to report a missed collection you can do so online here https://www.torridge.gov.uk/article/17107/Missed-Collections or by calling 01237 428700 option 3.

The majority of service in Torridge has so far not been affected by the Coronavirus crisis apart from the collection of Textiles from Households which we have suspended until further notice due to contamination concerns. Please keep any materials until we return to business as usual. DCC Recycling Centres have also been closed and as a result TDC Bulky items collections have been stopped as well - see below.

In some instances it may also be necessary to swap crews to cover sickness or absence and so some collection rounds may get to certain areas later than they would normally. We would ask our customers to be patient during this period and not to report any suspected missed collections until the following day.

As the Coronavirus situation develops we may need to change our approach and prioritise some service areas such as refuse collection over kerbside recycling if we experience high levels of staff absence or other disruption. We haven't yet reached that stage and our crews are working hard to ensure that the normal levels of service are maintained. Should we need to make any changes to our services we will continue share information on the Torridge District Council website and social media.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING HOUSEHOLD WASTE RECYCLING CENTRES!

In order to keep both staff and the public safe ALL Devon County Council Household Waste Recycling Centres have been closed until further notice: See https://www.devon.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling/centre/ ... As a result of this ALL Bulky Item collections have been suspended as well. 

GUIDANCE FOR PEOPLE WITH CONFIRMED OR POSSIBLE COVID 19: HOW TO DISPOSE OF WASTE

•KEEP YOUR WASTE INSIDE FOR AT LEAST 72 HOURS AND DOUBLE BAG THE WASTE.

•Store personal waste (like used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths securely in rubbish bags.

•Place these bags within a second bag, tie it securely and store it in a separate room from where you are self-isolating.

•Keep the bags there for AT LEAST 72 HOURS before putting them out after 6pm on the night before your usual collection day.

•Recycling and garden waste can be placed in your usual bins.

•Please keep recycling if you can, but please keep your recycling for at least 72 hours after your self isolating period.

Click "Read More" to view details:-

If you have a medical condition which makes you extremely vulnerable to Coronavirus (COVID-19): you can register with the Government to tell them whether or not you need support if you are unable to rely on friends, family or the wider community for support, if this is relevant to you please click link below:-

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable

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Great Torrington Town Council  complies with the new General Data Protection Regulations.  Please use the links to view our General Data Protection Privacy Notices, our Data Protection Policy an Our Data Retention Policy.