COVID-19 Update - SWISCo Waste and Recycling Services
COVID-19 – SWISCo Update on Waste and Recycling Collections Following a confirmed case of COVID-19 at SWISCo’s Waste and Recycling Centre, a significant number of staff have been asked to self-isolate which is impacting on the delivery of services. Cllr Steve Darling, Leader of Torbay Council, said: “Unfortunately, due to a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the SWISCo workplace setting, we have had to ask a group of staff to self-isolate. This will impact on waste and recycling collections across the Bay. Over the coming week, we will be prioritising the collection of household and food waste. “With this in mind, please continue to put your household refuse (wheeled bins, seagull sacs and black bag waste) and food waste recycling out on the normal day of collection. We will not be able to collect your dry recycling waste this week. All recycling waste can be put out for normal collection next week, when we are aiming to resume our normal waste and recycling collections. “Please bear with us while we work hard to minimise disruption. The situation is still evolving, and we will be providing you with updated information regularly, sharing it on social media, on our website and via the local press.” Cllr Mike Morey, Cabinet for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture, said: “We would like to reassure our residents that we have robust arrangements in place to protect the public. We have been operating a bubble system to help limit the amount of colleagues that staff come into contact with, promoted good hygiene, social distancing and face covering practices throughout the organisation. All collection crews use inner and outer gloves when collecting waste and touching waste containers. In this situation, a member of staff had social contact outside of these COVID-19 work practices. “We understand the importance of waste and recycling collections to our residents and we are working hard to reduce delays wherever possible. Our call centre is extremely busy at the moment so we are asking that you don’t report a missed collection at this time. We will be providing further updates as soon as we have more information.” Dr Caroline Dimond, Director of Public, said: “COVID-19 infections in Torbay have been rising and this is another reminder that no person or setting is immune from getting this virus. All age groups are affected and we all need to play our part and carefully follow the government’s guidance on how to minimise the risk of spreading it further. “This means social distancing and wearing face coverings where required, limiting social contact and abiding by the rule of 6, and of course continuing to wash your hands regularly. We all need to THINK COVID. If you think that you may have come into contact with someone with COVID-19, you should self-isolate for 14 days. If you are feeling unwell, you should self-isolate and call 119 or book a test online.”
More information on COVID-19 in Torbay here
***The deadline for registering your place is this Saturday 31st October*** Normally, this time of year we are planning the Remembrance Service and Parade. However, with the ongoing pandemic, there are no guarantees that restrictions will be relaxed sufficiently to allow for large gatherings. We have been monitoring Government guidelines as well as the Royal British Legion’s recommendation. Whilst The Poppy Appeal will still happen, it will look very different from previous years and will largely be virtual. However, we have had to make the difficult decision, along with many other Towns, to cancel this year’s service and parade. We will not forget our fallen. We will remember them. A small service with limited representatives (by invite only) will take place on Sunday 8th November which will include the Last Post, two minute silence at 11am and the Reveille. To avoid large crowds, we have decided not to apply for a road closure. Therefore, to ensure we can reach as many people as possible, Brixham Town Council will live stream the service on their Facebook site. Anyone that is not on Facebook, but with internet access, will be able to view the event by visiting Sea Tang Guest House’s website and watching their webcam or watch it on YouTube. We strongly recommend that if you normally attend the service that you pay your respects in a different way this year, your safety is paramount. We anticipate that many groups who would normally take part in the parade will still want to lay wreaths and we want to support this as much as possible. Therefore, if you have ordered a wreath and want to lay it at the memorial on Sunday 8th November, please contact the Town Council on 01803 859678 or email us at email@example.com by 31st October 2020. Brixham Town Council will set up a schedule to facilitate as many groups as possible. You MUST register your group. Please DO NOT just turn up. All groups will be limited to a maximum of two representatives to ensure that we can adhere to any social distancing requirements that may be in place in November.
Torbay Council's budget – it’s your business! Have your say
Torbay’s budget – it’s your business! Have your say We’re launching our 2021/22 budget consultation this week and we want you to have your say. Along with our partners and the wider community, we’re facing one of our most challenging periods in recent years. We’re dealing with the impact of ongoing austerity alongside the current COVID-19 pandemic. Our spending is going up to meet the emergency response costs of the pandemic and we are seeing an increase in demand for council services such as support for the homeless. In addition, the income we receive, which supports the services we deliver, has reduced massively this year and that is set to continue next year. As the pandemic continues, we estimate the virus will cost us around £8million in expenditure and lost income in 2021/22. Rising social care costs, an increase in homelessness and job insecurity both in the Bay and nationally, mean we have to spend more to support the most vulnerable. It’s not all bad news though - we’ve worked hard to make efficiency savings and have made significant steps in our Children’s Services improvement journey. That means outcomes for our children are better and there are financial benefits. We have successfully applied for £750,000 funding to regenerate Torquay town centre as part of the Town Investment Plan and are hoping to attract another £25million for the area. We are also seeking funding to support the regeneration of Paignton town centre. A range of potential savings have already been identified for 2021/22 including: • Up to £84,000 to be saved by going ‘paperless’ (and helping the environment at the same time) • A saving of £100,000 through Children’s Services changing how they interact with children and their families. • Plans to save £600,000, increase recycling from 40 to 50% and reduce our carbon footprint through our Resource and Waste Strategy. • Encouraging customers to sign up for paperless Council Tax billing which would significantly reduce paper and postage costs as well as reducing Torbay’s carbon footprint. The government has put back its national budget to deal with the ongoing COVID crisis so at this stage it is not clear exactly what Torbay’s allocation will be. Leader of Torbay Council, Councillor Steve Darling, said: “These budget proposals are presented in a period of extreme uncertainty resulting from the ongoing impact of COVID-19, in particular how this is being felt in our local economy. It’s difficult to estimate how much income we will receive as a Council to support our services or how much we will need to spend as we continue to respond to the pandemic. Equally, there is uncertainty over the national financial position including the level of funding that will be made available for local authorities in 2021/22. “At the start of the year we said we were facing a challenging financial situation, in common with other local authorities. In March this year, everything changed. COVID-19 has had an unprecedented impact on our communities and I am in awe of the fantastic response across Torbay. We have been working hard with our partners and our communities to help those in most need and we want to continue to work closely together. “Please do take the time to have a look at our budget proposals and tell us what you think – we would also like to hear your suggestions and ideas for further savings.” Councillor Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “We cannot pretend that the development of these budget proposals has been easy. At this stage, there is still a budget gap which is greater than we would normally want at the start of the consultation period. We have a statutory duty to balance the books by February 2021 and we are doing all we can to do this and deliver a balanced budget for 2021/22. “What we really want now is to hear your views so we can understand how these budget proposals may have an impact on you. We want to know how we can work together to mitigate the impact or find new solutions to help Torbay thrive.” The budget proposals and link to the consultation will be available on our website from Wednesday 21 October www.torbay.gov.uk/budget-202122.
Click here to tale part in the consultation
Ageing Well Festival
An annual festival to celebrate ageing is going online this weekend (Sat October 24th). For the last five years, the Ageing Well Torbay Festival has been held at venues across the Bay, and last year attracted around 1750 people to the Riviera Centre in Torquay. There had been plans to return to the same place on Saturday, October 24th, with a huge range of entertainment and activities representing the very best the Bay has to offer. But when COVID-19 put paid to those plans, the volunteer committee behind the Festival agreed on ambitious plans to put the whole thing online and on Torbay’s community radio station, Riviera FM 107.9, Organisers have recorded more than five hours of video and audio covering everything from baking lessons, to informative talks by Bay historian, Kevin Dixon who takes us on a tour of Torquay’s nightlife down the ages as well as introduces us to some of the many famous writers of the Riviera. There are also performances by Brixham’s very own folk singer, Maggie Duffy who presents Devon – Historical and Hysterical. There are trips down memory lane with both dancer, magician and one-time impresario, Anne George and Vivien Lesley who is also joined by husband Barry to reminisce and perform as Twogetherness. Additionally, in the tradition of the Festival where you are encouraged to try something new, there are bowls lessons from Paignton Bowls Club (check) and an opportunity to try yoga with Victoria Campbell or Tai Chi with Lisa Kay. And no festival would be complete without music and dance with some provided by Anne George and Claire Parker whose moves cater for everyone whether seated or full energy. And the Torbay Rock Choir belt out a variety of popular numbers. Many of the acts have been filmed at the Palace Theatre in Paignton to give them all the feeling of being live and Maureen McAlistar of Jazz Hands which runs the theatre is at the ready to give a behind the scenes tour remembering some of the top names that have appeared there. One of Brixham’s hidden gems also takes centre stage with a video tour of the Brixham Battery Heritage Centre, a defensive look out over the Bay since the 16th Century, with some of the volunteers who bring it to life acting as guides. There is the opportunity to learn to play the piano with Mervyn Gibbs who taught himself in just a few months, or if you would rather listen to the keys being tickled for you then another Mervin Toogood takes to the organ to belt out a few old favourites. “We were determined not to be beaten COVID and felt it was important that we still all came together to celebrate ageing. It is a shame we can’t all be under one roof, but we can still have a great time under lots of different roofs,” said one of the organisers. “We have tried hard to give a flavour of our regular Festival with a bit of everything thrown in. Some of it will be broadcast on the radio but all of it will be on the Ageing Well Torbay website where it will also be available on watch again. “It has been a challenge, but one that everyone rose to and we have learned a lot along the way. So it has been fun and an education! We just need everyone to join us on Saturday,” they added. For a full programme of events throughout the day, head over to www.ageingwelltorbay.com where the Festival will also broadcast live on Saturday, October 24th from 10 am to 3pm or listen in on Riviera FM 107.9. between 11am and 3pm
Test and Trace Self Isolation Support Payment scheme now live
Test and Trace Self Isolation Support Payment scheme now live It is imperative that if you are displaying systems of COVID-19 however mild, or have tested positive you must self-isolate for 10 days. If you are on a low income and are unable to work from home you may be entitled to a Test and Trace Support payment if you have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. People across England are required by law to self-isolate if they have been asked to do so by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive for COVID-19, or they have been identified as a named contact of someone who has tested positive. The scheme which runs until 31 January 2021 and aims to provide important financial support to people who will lose income during their period of self-isolation. Cllr Steve Darling, Leader of Torbay Council, said; “These payments are designed to ensure people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their close contacts self-isolate for the required period to stop the onward spread of the virus. They are also designed to encourage individuals who are eligible for this payment to get tested if they have symptoms. This is important to help stop the transmission of COVID-19 and avoid further economic and societal restrictions”. Cllr Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader of Torbay Council, said: “As a local authority, we want to support our residents as much as possible. If you are on a low income and unable to work from home while you have to self-isolate, you may be entitled to a payment of £500. People in the same household can each make an individual application to receive the payment, if they each meet the eligibility criteria”. Payment eligibility Eligibility for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment is restricted to people who: Have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus of have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive; Are employed or self-employed; Are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; and Are currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit In addition, Torbay Council will be making £500 discretionary payments to individuals who; Have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive; Are employed or self-employed; and Are unable to work from home and will lose income is a result; Are not currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit; and Are on low incomes and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while they are self-isolating For both the Test and Trace Support Payment and discretionary payments, eligible individuals will receive their £500 payment on top of any benefits and Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) that they currently receive. Torbay Council are accepting applications for both payments from people who were told to self-isolate on or after 28 September by NHS Test and Trace and who meet the relevant eligibility criteria. Making an application Applications need to completed online or by calling 01803 207201 if the individual is digitally excluded. The following supporting evidence must also be provided: A notification from NHS Test and Trace asking them to self-isolate; Proof of receipt of one of the qualifying benefits; A bank statement; and Proof of employment, or if self-employed evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that their business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact To apply for a test and trace support payment visit our website, being sure to read the guidance instructions before you start. To help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Torbay we all need to remember; Hands. Face. Space. Find out more on our website about the measures that apply in our area.