West Devon Borough Council consults on dog control measures

Borough Council Consults on Dog Control

Issued: 29 May 2020

West Devon Borough Council want to hear your thoughts in a consultation about West Devon’s Public Space Protection Orders for dog control.

A Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) deals with potential anti-social behaviour in an area which could have a damaging effect on the quality of life for those in the local community. It can ban certain actions, or need specific actions to be carried out, in this case, controlling dogs in public areas.

The Council appreciates that the majority of dog owners pick up after their pets and control their dogs effectively.  However, they want to encourage those who don’t abide by the rules to be more responsible, and these Protection Orders will help with that.

The current Orders run out in October this year, so they need to be consulted upon now and then agreed ready for the next three year period.

The current review affects all existing PSPOs within the Borough and the Council want to hear what you think.  Additionally, the Council are considering introducing the following new Orders:

  • Limiting dog walkers to walking four dogs at any one time
  • Dog walkers to carry dog bags at all times to collect their dog’s waste
  • Dogs to be kept on leads on roads within 30mph speed zones

The consultation runs from Monday 1 June to Friday 31 July 2020.  Borough Council officers can issue fixed penalty notices up to £100.00 for those who don’t follow the Orders.

West Devon Borough Council’s Lead Member for Environment, Cllr Caroline Mott, said: “It’s really important that as many people as possible give us their views on the existing Orders within their area.  We already have so many responsible dog owners in West Devon who have perfect control of their dogs and we want these numbers to rise.

“There are however a minority of people who still throw bags of dog waste in hedges; hang them from trees or leave to pick up later.  Even in a field, animals can become infected, or waste ends up in bales used for feed.  These Orders will help to combat some of these issues as they give us greater powers to fine those who aren’t respecting our public spaces.

“We have three new proposals which we want to hear views on.  The first suggests reducing the number of dogs being walked by one person.  This is a growing issue with dogs sometimes in packs of seven or eight under one person’s responsibility, which can lead to difficulties with control.  The second, which I feel is a sensible requirement and one which most people do already, is that all dog walkers must carry waste bags at all times to clear up after their pets.  The final one is ensuring the safety of everyone by keeping dogs on a lead while in a 30 mph controlled highway area.

“So, please take a few minutes to tell us what you think, before the consultation ends on Friday 31 July.”

Once the consultation is closed, a decision will be made before any changes start from October 2020.

If you would like to share your thoughts about the proposals, please contact the Environmental Protection Team on: pspoconsultation@swdevon.gov.uk 

Or by post to:                  Environmental Protection Team

West Devon Borough Council

Kilworthy Park

Drake Road

Tavistock

PL19 0BZ

ENDS

www.westdevon.gov.uk

Please be aware that telephone calls to and from the Council may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes.

 

Current Government Advice (from 11th May 2020) on What You Can and Can’t Do During the Covid-19 Outbreak

This link takes you to the latest guidance from HM Government on what you can and can’t do in England following changes to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) lockdown directives. Please note that different advice is in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do

Dartmoor National Park’s Response to the Coronavirus (Covid-19): Briefing Note from May 11th 2020

Current advice (as of 11th May 2020) on access to, and behaviour in, the National Park can be found at https://www.dartmoor.gov.uk/about-us/how-we-work/coronavirus-update

 

Update from the Mary Tavy Parish Council Working Group on Speeding and Road Safety

A working group of parish councillors was formed in August 2019 to address concerns about traffic speeds through the village and the impact this has on road safety. Following a number of meetings of the Group, a public meeting was held on the 26th November 2019.

3 main topics were addressed at the public meeting:

  • The establishment of village gateways
  • Upgrading our current Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS) to units that record data. The data could, in principle, help the Parish Council, the police and Devon County Council Highways Department (DCCH) focus their resources on improving road safety in the parish.
  • Restarting a Speedwatch initiative.

While it was made clear that DCCH and the police do not currently accept 3rd party data from VAS, it was felt by many at the meeting that the possible upgrading of the signs should be investigated further.

Shortly after the meeting, the council received data from DCCH from a speed recorder they had installed for about a week in the village (we believe this was located at the current VAS position adjacent to the Down’s garage site). The results from this DCCH survey were:

  • 50% of vehicles using the A386 were travelling at speeds of 28.5mph or less. This is the 50th percentile value.
  • 85% of vehicles were travelling at speeds of 33.4mph or less. This is the 85th percentile value.

Based on these results, DCCH advised the council that they did not consider speeds to be high enough to merit any further road safety improvements.

Many councillors and parishioners were surprised at the low values measured by DCCH and the decision was made to hire a speed recording device to gather our own data. We used the device over an approximate 3 week period in late January and early February 2020 at 4 locations on the A386 in the village. Interestingly, analysis of the data gave results not greatly dissimilar to those from DCCH:

50th percentile value              85th percentile value

DCCH data                                                                                         28.5 mph                                 33.4 mph

Our data (same camera position as DCCH)                                29.0 mph                                 35.0 mph

Our data (combined from 3 camera locations)                          30.5 mph                                 36.25 mph

 

It should be noted that these results were obtained before the Covid-19 restrictions markedly affected traffic volumes. One thing we will need to bear in mind is how traffic volumes and driver behaviour may be different when restrictions are lifted.

There will be a debate on whether the parish council should proceed with upgraded VAS or keep the existing signs when council meetings are able to reconvene after restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 virus are lifted. In the meantime, opinions and suggestions from parishioners are welcome and will help steer the debate and decision making. Please contact the Clerk of the Council, using the contact form on the website or email (parishclerk@marytavyparishcouncil.co.uk), or Councillor Nick Butland (Chair of the Speeding Working Group) at nick.butland@marytavyparishcouncil.co.uk if you would like to make your views known.

The attached documents contain a much more detailed report on use of the speed recorder and a series of charts and tables; these will give interested parties a better view of progress to date.

 

 

 

 

Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Welfare Support Fund

Support Fund for Residents who Need Basic Essentials

Issued: 6 May 2020

An emergency lifeline to support residents whose financial situation has been seriously affected by the current pandemic has been launched by West Devon Borough Council, in association with Devon County Council.

The Covid19 Welfare Support Fund will provide small emergency payments to help residents who have no money for even the most basic household essentials with necessities such as food, basic household items, essential travel or utility payments.

Residents may be eligible for the short term support due to a fall in their disposal income, if:

  • They run their own business, and cannot currently trade.
  • Their business has been drastically reduced because of the Pandemic.
  • Their employment situation has changed and their income no longer covers their needs
  • They have lost their job due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
  • They have still not received expected Government funding (self-employed).

West Devon Borough Council Leader, Councillor Neil Jory said: “This is such a difficult time for everyone but particularly for those who have lost their livelihood and have no available cash to provide food and basics for their home and families.

“We want to help, so we’re working in partnership with Devon County Council to provide fast access to support to help people get their feet back on the ground over this period.  If a resident applies in the morning, we’re going to pull out all the stops to get them their support by the afternoon wherever we possibly can.  We’ve drafted a team of staff to process the applications as soon as they come in.  It’s that important that we get support to where it’s needed fast.

“If a resident thinks they’re eligible, apply today for funding on our website, and if they don’t have access to our website, they can call us on 01803 861407 instead.”

Devon County Council Leader, Councillor John Hart said: “The impact of the Coronavirus outbreak is putting a huge financial strain on some people, with work and income changing overnight as a result of the lockdown.

“If you’re worried about money and how to pay in the short-term for basic essentials, there is immediate help available through this fund.

“By working together with our district council colleagues we can make sure this vital financial support reaches the vulnerable people in our communities who need it most at this difficult and uncertain time.”

If you are a resident and have been affected financially by Coronavirus (COVID-19), and can demonstrate a need for immediate short-term financial help, you can apply for a grant by completing a simple online application form on the links below.

www.westdevon.gov.uk/welfarefund

If you need help and don’t have access to a computer, please call the Council from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on: 01803 861407 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Council Helpline

Here is a recent press release from West Devon and South Hams Councils:

Hotline for Council Help Available

16 April 2020

South Hams and West Devon Councils are offering a hotline number for residents needing help and support during the Coronavirus outbreak.

The number, which will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, will be answered by the Community Co-ordination Team at the Council. Outside of these hours an answerphone service will be available.

The team can help people with a wide range of queries, such as where to get additional help and support, as well as putting residents in touch with their nearest community support group.

The hotline is intended for people who can’t access the information and support available through the council’s websites or social media.

Cllr Judy Pearce, Leader of South Hams District Council, said: “We’d urge you to keep this number free for those residents who don’t have a computer or a smartphone, and find it more difficult to access the help we can provide. I’m pleased that we’re able to offer our most vulnerable residents this extra service during this difficult time.”

Cllr Neil Jory, Leader of West Devon Borough Council agreed, saying: “It’s really important that we support our residents who are vulnerable and need help. Unfortunately these residents are often the most isolated members of our community without the benefits of technology. We want everyone to know that they aren’t alone and that if they have any questions they can pick up the phone and speak to us. If we can’t help there and then, we’ll know someone who can.”

The Community Support number in South Hams is 01803 861297.

In West Devon it is 01822 813683.

An answerphone service is available outside of working hours.

www.southhams.gov.uk

www.westdevon.gov.uk

Please be aware that telephone calls to and from the Council may be recorded for training and monitoring purposes.

Coronavirus and Parish Council Meetings

In light of the increasing severity of the Coronavirus outbreak, an extraordinary meeting of Mary Tavy Parish Council was held on Monday 23rd March 2020. The main purpose of the meeting was to vote to allow the council to conduct its business by email and telephone rather than by face to face meetings. Under current laws, we were legally required to hold a physical meeting to vote on, and agree to, the changes in operation. The meeting agenda and the minutes can be found in the “Agendas and Minutes” section on the home page of our website.

In accordance with government advice at the time of the meeting, we chose to minimise the number of councillors who attended (4 of the 9 councillors on the council) while ensuring that we had a quorum. Rather than meet inside the Reading Rooms as usual, the meeting was held in the grounds of the Rooms with each councillor keeping a safe distance from the others. No members of the press or public were in attendance.

By holding this meeting, the Parish Council is now legally empowered to conduct its business by email and telephone, including voting on agenda items, paying bills, etc. We aim to carry on business as efficiently as possible until we are able to re-establish the normal routine of monthly council meetings at the Reading Rooms. Please also note that the Annual Parish Meeting scheduled for April 2020 has been postponed until we are advised that it is safe to organise public meetings.

If you need to contact the council during these difficult times please, in the first instance, contact the clerk through the Contact page on the website or by email or telephone (these details are on the website). In addition, the email addresses and telephone numbers of all the councillors can be found on the website.

Please try to keep safe, keep well and follow the latest government advice throughout the virus outbreak.

Mary Tavy Parish Council

25th March 2020

Coronavirus: Mary Tavy Community Support Information

The attached document contains contact phone numbers and emails for those who need help during the Coronavirus outbreak. It also tells you how to get in contact with the Mary Tavy Community Support group if you are able to help others during this difficult time. There is also a list of some local companies prepared to deliver supplies.

Coronavirus update 18th March 2020

The situation concerning the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve and we will endeavour to keep things up to date on this site. General information can be found on news channels and government websites (see previous news items on this site). In this post we want to share information on 2 local initiatives.

  1. Martin and Tracey at the Mary Tavy Post Office & Stores have kindly offered a free home delivery service to residents in the local area, including Mary Tavy, Brentor, Lydford, Peter Tavy and Horndon. This service is for people who are self isolating or are otherwise worried about going out. See the attachment for more information.
  2. The What’s On Mary Tavy Group has renamed itself Mary Tavy Community Support and is looking to coordinate support for those in need during the outbreak. The group can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MaryTavyEvents/. More information on the scope of support activities, how those in need can contact the group and how those who wish to help can get involved will be posted on the Parish Council website as it becomes available.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Further Information

Subsequent to our earlier post with information on the virus (you can find it further down the news items) here is some more official guidance and information communicated to the Parish Council from West Devon BC.