Can you help spread the word about the ‘Devon 7’

Residents in East Devon are being urged to help populate a map which will show all the support and help people can get during difficult times. 

Daniel Wilkins​ 

After launching seven area-based maps, with the support of Recovery Devon, – including one in East Devon – Community interest Company If Everyone Cares is now looking to populate them with accessible services. 

They are looking for people to spread the word of the ‘Devon 7’. 

The ‘Devon 7’ are part of a growing network of maps that are connected to, a unique national community resource for use at both a UK-wide and local level. 

The project will: 

  • Pin-point local charities, community projects/groups & resources 
  • Connect those who need help to those who provide it  
  • Help anyone experiencing isolation to find local groups so they can connect with others  
  • Signpost people who want to help – to projects that need their support  
  • Enable charities to highlight their services and volunteering opportunities  
  • Make it easy to find, connect, give, collaborate and support – FREE to use 24/7 

The maps also clearly show how up-to-date information is through their unique ‘Traffic Light’ system, and all charities and community-based organisations are invited to create a free profile to help raise awareness of how they help and the help they need. 

Jaki King, Founder of aDoddle and If Everyone Cares CIC, said: “There are so many reasons why bringing this information together is both common sense and vital for people and communities.  

“To make it work we not only need charities and community organisations to create their free profiles, which are easy to do, like a mini-website and give them an opportunity to tell the story of who they help, how they help, the difference they make and the help they need.” 

James Wooldridge from Recovery Devon said: “One of our aims is to nurture and grow a supportive Recovery Community across Devon and working with Jaki King and aDoddle provides a way to connect with like-minded groups and organisations.  

“Linking people with community resources will help many individuals discover their potential to contribute to society as well as providing community organisations with an opportunity to recruit volunteers.” 

Covid cases for Devon and Cornwall tops 5,000 as infections rise

See the devonlive article for charts and full tabulation of infection rates.

Daniel Clark

More than 5,000 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed across Devon and Cornwall in the previous seven days – with rises everywhere.

A total of 5,120 new cases new cases were confirmed across the two counties – the highest weekly total so far (although comparisons with the spring cannot be made due to lack of testing) – as the total for the two counties rises over 30,000.

Cases have risen in every single region of Devon and Cornwall – but despite the rises, Devon at upper tier level has the 3 lowest infection rate, while at lower tier level, all ten areas of Devon are in the bottom 15 of the 315 nationwide.

The figures cover the period by which infection caught over the Christmas period would appear in the cases statistics.

Government statistics show that 5,120 new cases have been confirmed across the region in the past seven days in both pillar 1 data from tests carried out by the NHS and pillar 2 data from commercial partners, compared to 3,287 new cases confirmed last week.

Of the 5,120 cases confirmed since January 1, 2,212 are in Cornwall, with 379 in East Devon, 405 in Exeter, 255 in Mid Devon, 147 in North Devon, 710 in Plymouth, 202 in the South Hams, 312 in Teignbridge, 310 in Torbay, 100 in Torridge and 88 in West Devon.

This compares to the 3,287 cases confirmed between December 26 and January 1, of which 1371 were in Cornwall, with 213 in East Devon, 252 in Exeter, 155 in Mid Devon, 122 in North Devon, 657 in Plymouth, 120 in the South Hams, 170 in Teignbridge, 112 in Torbay, 60 in Torridge and 55 in West Devon

By specimen date, cases are rising everywhere, although the rises in North Devon and West Devon are very slight.

Of the 3,243 cases with a specimen date between January 1 and 7, there were 1,043 in Cornwall, 291 in East Devon, 301 in Exeter, 180 in Mid Devon, 94 in North Devon, 570 in Plymouth, 169 in South Hams, 239 in Teignbridge, 236 in Torbay, 63 in Torridge and 59 in West Devon.

The latest positivity rates for tests carried out at 9.3% in Cornwall, 5.8% in East Devon, 8.9% in Exeter, 8.6% in Mid Devon, 4.5% in North Devon, 6.3% in Plymouth, 7.3% in the South Hams, 5.6% in Teignbridge, 4.1% in Torbay, 3.6% in Torridge and 4.7% in West Devon. Rates have risen everywhere but North Devon, West Devon and Plymouth.

As of Tuesday morning, there were 264 patients in hospital across Devon and Cornwall following a positive Covid-19 test, with 96 patients at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (up from 82 as of Dec 30), 26 at the Nightingale (up from 21), 20 at Torbay Hospital (up from 13), 47 in Derriford Hospital in Plymouth (up from 34), 18 at North Devon District Hospital (down from 29), and 57 in Cornwall (up from 40), although not all patients are local given some have been transferred to the region from elsewhere.

There were 14 patients in Mechanical Ventilation beds, with six at Derriford Hospital, one at Torbay, two at the RD&E, two in North Devon, and three in Cornwall.

The figures show the amount of patients in hospital following a positive COVID-19 test who are currently occupying a bed.

But not every patient would necessarily have been admitted to hospital due to COVID-19, with a number of patients either contracting the virus inside the hospital, or being admitted for unrelated reasons but subsequently testing positive asymptotically when given routine tests.

In the last week, there have been 31 deaths within hospitals in Devon and Cornwall within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 death, with 15 in Exeter, six in North Devon, five in Plymouth, four in Cornwall and one in Torbay.

In terms of the latest MSOA cluster maps, that cover the period of specimen dates between December 28 and January 3, there are only five areas of Devon and Cornwall with between 0-2 cases – they are Looe & Polperro, Poppleford, Otterton & Woodbury, Shebbear, Cookworthy & Broadheath, Bere Alston, Buckland Monachorum & Yelverton, and the Isles of Scilly.

The MSOA areas in each region with the highest number of cases are Newquay West and Newquay East (68), Cranbrook, Broadclyst & Stoke Canon (36), St Thomas West (46), Cullompton (53), Roundswell & Landkey (20), Millbay & Stonehouse (37), South Brent & Cornwood (37), Starcross & Exminster (26), Chelston, Cockington & Livermead (24), Bideford South & East (19), and Tavistock (20)

In terms of infection rates per age range, everywhere except Exeter, Mid Devon and the South Hams have highest infection rates in the 20-39 age range, but in those three areas, it is in the over 80s.

It comes as Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon (Designate), has pleaded with residents to follow the new national lockdown restrictions.

He said: “While case numbers here in Devon are relatively low compared to many parts of the country, we are still seeing cases rise.

“The new strain of coronavirus is exceptionally good at spreading between people, which is why the government is imposing new national restrictions requiring everyone to stay at home as much as possible and to minimise their time with others, except those in their immediate household or bubble.

“Please, stay at home and only go out when you need to, and minimise your contact with other people. If you must be outside, please continue to follow social distancing rules, wear a face covering in public places, and wash your hands properly and regularly.”

The COVID-19 cases are identified by taking specimens from people and sending these specimens to laboratories around the UK to be tested. If the test is positive, this is a referred to as a lab-confirmed case.

Confirmed positive cases are matched to ONS geographical area codes using the home postcode of the person tested.

Cases received from laboratories by 12.30am are included in the counts published that day. While there may have been new cases of coronavirus confirmed or people having tested positive, those test results either yet to reach PHE for adding to the dataset or were not received in time for the latest daily figures to be published.

Cranbrook will get its new town centre

Another major decision from Super Wednesday, tis time from the cabinet.

East Devon District Council’s cabinet unanimously agreed to accept a revised, and better, offer on Cranbrook Town centre. 

Daniel Clark

Cranbrook will finally get the town centre it deserves after councillors agreed to accept a revised offer from developers for the future of the town.

East Devon District Council’s cabinet on Wednesday unanimously agreed to accept an updated offer from the East Devon New Community Partners (EDNCp) that could a significant number of new facilities open by the end of 2022.

The ‘hard-fought deal’ with developers will bring forward multi-million pound plans which includes land to provide a range of other community, leisure and business spaces and could include a leisure centre.

A Morrison’s supermarket, a range of shops, a youth centre, library and town council offices are also set to be in place by the end of next year, and the cabinet also agreed a way forward for a sports pavilion to be delivered at Ingrams through the developers working with Cranbrook Town Council.

The Cabinet decision means that the council will be investing heavily in Cranbrook’s future to the tune of millions of pounds as it can buy land to build areas of the town centre itself.

Councillors had twice rejected accepting the offer from the EDNCp, including once just before Christmas, but after further negotiations over the holiday period, further movement to make the offer for Cranbrook more acceptable had been made, including issues around viability, restrictions on offer food stores within the town being relaxed, and increasing the size of the town square.

Speaking at Wednesday night’s meeting, Cllr Kevin Blakey, one of the Cranbrook ward councillors, said that this plan was ‘taking its final drink in the last chance saloon’. He added: “I don’t want to labour the point but this is the moment to make a decision on the future of Cranbrook town centre.

“Do you accept it is as good as it is likely to get and the vast majority of Cranbrook find this acceptable? It’s not perfect, but acceptable, and if you do think the same way, then vote to allow the project to get under way.”

Cllr Dan Ledger, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for strategic planning, added that the negotiated agreement means that the council has options on the land, so as the town expands, there is a chance for the town centre to expand with it.

He added: “We have nailed the developers down to an actual timeline, so it is won’t be ‘pie in the sky’. An accord has been reached and I propose that we sign the memorandum of understanding.”

Cllr Paul Hayward, the council’s deputy leader, added: “I hope those populist twitter accounts hold their hands up and admit we are in a better place than we would have been. At the moment Cranbrook is a housing estate with a few amenities, now they will get a town centre fit for now and fit for the future. This has delivered a better deal for the people of Cranbrook.”

Cllr Paul Arnott, Leader of the council, added: “I am delighted that the people of Cranbrook now have the freedom to finish the sports pavilion under their own steam, and also that we have managed to get the best possible outcome for them for the future of the town centre.”

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Ledger added: “I am really pleased that our determined negotiations on behalf of the public interest in Cranbrook have paid off. Historic lessons must be learned about a council leaving the roll-out of a new town to developers – as was decided many years ago.

“But we have now shown our commitment to win the very best possible outcome for local people in this situation, and I am proud that our administration stuck by its guns against much pressure to concede inferior terms four months ago.

“The people of Cranbrook will benefit from this decision for many generations to come.”

Artist impression of the plans for Cranbrook town centre

Artist impression of the plans for Cranbrook town centre

The decision has also been welcomed by the council’s Cranbrook members who have fought long and hard on behalf of their residents, with Cllrs Blakey, Kim Bloxham and Sam Hawkins saying: “This is great news for the residents of Cranbrook. We have been expecting a resolution on this for a very long time.

“We are really looking forward to seeing the detailed plans coming forward and hope that the first spade will be in the ground as soon as the permissions have been granted.

“We are also very pleased that the matter of building the sports pavilion is being passed to the Town Council. This will ensure that a building suited to the needs of the community can now be delivered in a timely manner.”

The next stage is for the developers to seek planning permission for the supermarket, the town square, a parade of shops and a childrens’ day nursery. Subject to permission being granted, the developers say that these facilities could be open by late 2022.

The town square, the town council facility, library and youth facilities will also be delivered much sooner than after the required trigger point of 3,450 homes built.

Around 350 new homes in the town centre area will be built, while land will be transferred at market value to the council which could be used for a leisure centre, a hotel and retail units.

Since building began at Cranbrook in 2012, a retail-led high street with shops was envisaged. However, with the rise of internet shopping and the decline of the high street, a great deal of work has been carried out by the council to understand the role of a 21st century town centre.

Artist impression of the plans for Cranbrook town centre

Artist impression of the plans for Cranbrook town centre

Over the last year, the council has been working with the Cranbrook consortium of developers, which includes two major house builders, to negotiate what the town needs and how it can be delivered.

Proposals were considered by two meetings of the strategic planning committee in October and December. Councillors rejected the developers’ deals on both occasions because they were concerned that they wouldn’t meet the needs of the town as it grew to the proposed 7,800 homes. Currently 2,200 homes have been completed.

Following further negotiation, a better deal came forward just before Christmas, councillors were told, and they unanimously voted to accept the new offer.

Boris Johnson once backed Donald Trump for Nobel peace prize, remember?

How well do the judgements of senior Tories on Donald Trump pass the test of time?

Oh, and also “…….remember Theresa May holding his hand in Washington, and promising a full state visit soon after he was elected, when he was openly demeaning her to anyone who listened?

Michael Gove grovelling to him in Trump Tower, Jacob Rees-Mogg saying he would definitely vote for him if he were American and Boris Johnson demanding he be given the Nobel Peace Prize. This despite the object of their flattery mocking their incompetence over Brexit and publicly claiming the NHS was broke and London had become a racist hellhole…..”