Torbay Council support and response during national lockdown
Following the government’s announcement of a national lockdown from 5 January 2021, Torbay Council is urgently ensuring support for our most vulnerable communities and, in line with government guidance, making essential changes to some of the services available to our communities.
- Schools will continue to provide free school meals to eligible children.
- Primary schools: remote learning is available to all pupils. From 6 January primary schools are open for the children of critical key workers and vulnerable children.
- Secondary schools: remote learning is available to all pupils. Those eligible to attend school have been identified and contacted by schools.
- Our shielding hub, which provides support including welfare checks and advice to those who need it, is to re-open. Over 6500 people are already registered for this service. To register call 01803 208200 or talk to your GP.
- Grants of up to £9,000 per property will be available to help protect jobs and businesses. This is in addition to business rates relief and furlough. More information will be published when the grant becomes available.
- The Torbay Help Hub, supported by the council and other organisations across the Bay, provides a range of community support including a helpline (01803 446022), information on activities and businesses offering home delivery. Visit torbayhelphub.com.
- Torbay Food Alliance, also supported by the council and led by Torbay Community Development Trust is a group of local food banks & charities, all in an effort to ensure no one goes hungry in Torbay during the pandemic. If you are struggling for food and finances, or know someone in need, contact the helpline for a food parcel referral on 01803 446022 or visit their website torbayfoodalliance.org.
Many of our services, including household waste and recycling collections, our recycling centre (you must book via our website www.torbay,gov.uk/recyling/recycling-centre) and assisted collections, continue as normal. We do ask, to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, residents who have the virus or are suspected to have it put used tissues or disposable cleaning cloths in a separate rubbish bag. This then needs to be put aside for 72 hours before being put in your usual household waste bin – and please remember to also wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds after you have disposed of the item. Even if you don’t have symptoms, please double bag used tissues.
Unfortunately some facilities such as libraries and Torre Abbey are closed under government restrictions. You can find a full list of service information on our website at www.torbay.gov.uk/health-and-wellbeing/public-health/coronavirus/service-changes
Dr Caroline Dimond, Torbay’s Director of Public Health, said:
The people of Torbay have worked so hard and this has resulted in a lower case rate than elsewhere. We are so thankful for your hard work and it is paying off with more of us being kept safe. Unfortunately the new variant of the virus means we need to act decisively and quickly to protect our most vulnerable communities and the NHS that cares for us all.
“Many people will be disappointed by national lockdown while others, such as those who work in the NHS or in care, will welcome this action as it will support them in the work they do to care for us when we become sick or frail. Please continue to work with us, keep to the lockdown rules and always remember Hands, Face Space, especially space.”
Councillor Steve Darling, Leader of Torbay Council, said: “It is of course disappointing that we have to restrict access to some of our services and we recognise the local impact of this. At the same time we are working hard to ensure support is in place for those who need it most.
“I recognise it is particularly difficult for parents and carers and their children who are again accessing remote learning instead of being in school, but I would like to thank all the school staff who continue to respond so quickly and effectively to these very challenging circumstances.
“Our shielding hub, run in partnership with the NHS, was recognised last year for its excellent work supporting people who are shielding and is to open again to offer support to over 6500 people in the Bay.”
Councillor Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader of the Council, said: “Another lockdown is incredibly difficult for all of us and particularly our business community which has suffered so much already.
“I welcome the news of further funding for those businesses required to close, which will help protect jobs and businesses in the Bay, although I recognise this will still leave many facing real hardship. Please do not apply yet. We are awaiting government guidance on the new funding and will share this as soon as we have it. If you have previously received a grant due to the November lockdown or Tier 2/3 restrictions we hope to make further grant payments automatically to you without the need to reapply.”
Further local information, support and guidance can be found on our Coronavirus web pages at www.torbay.gov.uk/health-and-wellbeing/public-health/coronavirus and on our Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn social media accounts. You can also get the latest news from Torbay Council by signing up for the One Torbay email newsletter.