Green Homes Grant Scheme

Green Homes Grant Scheme

We published information in the North Tawton Roundabout about this scheme – more details have now been released by the Government. Eligible homeowners can get vouchers to help pay for environmentally friendly improvements, although as expected, it’s more complex than it originally appeared. To qualify for financial support, you’ll need to be installing at least one of the following “primary” improvements:

  • Insulation, including solid wall, cavity wall, underfloor, loft or roof insulation.
  • Low carbon heating, such as air-source or ground-source heat pumps, or solar thermal systems, which provide renewable ways of heating your home.

Then if, and only if, you’re installing at least one of the improvements above, you’ll also be able to use the vouchers to install the following “secondary” measures:

  • Draught-proofing
  • Double or triple glazing, or secondary glazing, but only if you currently have single glazing – it won’t cover replacement double glazing.
  • Energy efficient doors, where you’re replacing doors installed before 2002.
  • Heating controls and insulation, including appliance thermostats, hot water tank thermostats, hot water tank insulation, smart heating controls, zone controls, delayed-start thermostats and thermostatic radiator valves.

There is likely to be much more publicity about this scheme over the coming weeks – we will try and keep you informed, we want residents who might be eligible to benefit as much as possible.   Note that these grants are not means tested, this type of grant has not been available for many years so this really is a one-off opportunity.  Meanwhile, the Money Saving Expert website has some excellent information and advice on this scheme, which they will keep update – so check out their site for more information.

Ted Hughes OM – 90th Birthday tribute Monday 17 August 2020

Ted Hughes OM –

90th birthday on Monday 17 August

Monday, 17 August, marks what would have been the 90th birthday of one of North Tawton’s most celebrated residents, the former Poet Laureate, Ted Hughes, who lived in the town at Court Green for nearly four decades until his death in 1998.

Born in West Yorkshire in 1930, Ted Hughes won recognition for his first collection of poems, The Hawk in the Rain, while still in his twenties and went on to write prolifically for the next 40 years, creating a hugely diverse body of work – from poetry and prose for adults and children to memorable theatre adaptations and translations. He is rated by many critics as one of the 20th century’s greatest British writers.

The natural world and our relationship with it is one of the most abiding themes in his work, from early poems such as The Thought Fox and Pike through to his classic children’s story, The Iron Man – still one of the author’s best-selling books more than 50 years after he wrote it for his own children. His Moortown Diary is of particular local interest – poems recording the years spent farming near Winkleigh in the 1970s with his father in law, Jack Orchard.

Hughes was also a passionate campaigner for the environment, especially the water quality of Devon’s rivers where he spent much time as an avid fisherman. In a long career, he garnered many literary prizes – including the Whitbread Prize for his last poetry collection, Birthday Letters, exploring his relationship with his first wife – the American poet, the late Sylvia Plath. 

In 1970, he married Carol Orchard, who still lives in the home she and Ted shared in North Tawton. Hughes was appointed Poet Laureate in 1984, the last person to hold the position for life, and was awarded the prestigious Order of Merit by the Queen in 1998.

The plaque on the Town Council Office wall commemorating the poet’s life in North Tawton was unveiled by Carol Hughes in 2011.

 

Photo showing Ted and Carol Hughes outside their NorthTawton home in the 1980s.

 

 

Photo copyright Mrs Carol Hughes.

 

 

Start-Up Business School Launched – Free places for West Devon Residents

South West Devon entrepreneurs of the future are being offered FREE places on an acclaimed workshop to turn their hobbies and dreams into a business.

Designed to inspire people and help them find the confidence to try their ideas, the PopUp Business School is aimed at everyone, from those with no cash and no business experience to fledgling start-ups that need guidance to keep on track.

PopUp’s events are led by successful entrepreneurs and professionals and can be very sought after, with events regularly attracting over 100 aspiring business owners.

The PopUp Business School welcomes people of all ages who are thinking about self-employment. Whether you are at the beginning of your start-up journey, or an already established business looking for new ways to grow and adapt, the course aims to provide the information, inspiration and practical advice to teach you how to build and evolve your business.

Click here for more information or to book a free place.

EVENT DETAILS

Everything you need to know about this upcoming course
  • LENGTH? 5 Days
  • WHEN? Monday 27th – Friday 31st July 2020
  • WHERE? Online (A viewing invitation will be sent to you closer to the event.)
  • WHAT TIME? Two Sessions a Day [AM: 10:00 – 11:30] [PM: 13:30 – 15:00]
  • COST? Free

Pop-Up Business School

BT Phone Box, The Square, North Tawton – what’s going on?

BT Phone Box, The Square, North Tawton

With the posting of official BT notices on the phone box, we’re aware that residents will want to know what is happening to this box.

BT periodically consults with parishes about the future of under-used phone boxes in their area.  At the  last consultation, Autumn of 2019, we said that whilst we don’t feel there is now a need for the phone box at the junction of Mill Lane and Fore Street, we’d  like BT to retain the box in The Square.

It’s the emergency phone for the Town Hall, and also an emergency phone for people in the vicinity of The Square where the mobile phone signal is not always reliable – thinking of schoolchildren getting off the bus and needing to ring home for example.

We only recently became aware that the phone has been out of order,  and asked BT to investigate.  BT have a concern about the bookshelves that have erected being a potential safety hazard, and they can’t access the phone, so they’ve asked for the shelves and books to be removed.  It seems from the newly posted external notice that they are consulting yet again as to whether residents want to retain the box.

We’re aware that the books and DVDs have been a great help to residents especially during the more severe restrictions of the lockdown and we really appreciate people’s enthusiasm in setting up the free books initiative.

We’re waiting to hear back from BT about the consultation issue, and this matter will be on the Agenda for the Council’s next meeting on 7 July 2020.  If you have any comments, please be aware we don’t  have resources to monitor facebook pages and collate comments, but you can easily get in touch with us via the ‘Contact Us’ page on our website, northtawtontowncouncil.gov.uk .

DCC Highways – Drainage works from Culm Cross to Fore Street, North Tawton

Residents may be aware of works that are being carried out in this area – we have been notified that this work is taking much longer than anticipated and the Highways Team apologises for any inconvenience.

On a positive note, the works are part of a larger scheme that is currently at the early design stage that will involve resurfacing the road from Culm Cross to the Dental Surgery in Fore Street.  At this stage there is no information as to when these works will be carried out.

The works are being undertaken further to a meeting between DCC Highways and North Tawton Town Council, which was linked to the DCC ‘Doing What Matters’ project.  This involves taking into account what is most important to local residents, rather than just undertaking programmed or reactive works.

The resurfacing work, particularly in the area of Taw Bridge, was obviously identified by NTTC as a very high priority, so it is really good news that this will be undertaken in due course.

Free School Meals – now extended over the summer holidays

Children in England who are eligible for free school meals will receive a six-week food voucher to cover the summer holiday period, after a campaign by Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford.

You can find out if your child is eligible for free school meals by checking the criteria on the gov.uk website

If you put your postcode in at place indicated on the relevant page you will go direct to the Devon County Council website where you can register for free school meals if you have not already done so.  Eligibility will be assessed immediately  so you will know if you qualify or not.

Alternatively, just go straight to the Devon Citizens Portal page, where you can register or log in to check eligibility.

 

Covid-19 – financial help from West Devon Borough Council for residents who need basic essentials

A Welfare Support Fund has been launched by South Hams District and West Devon Borough Councils, in association with Devon County Council, to support residents whose financial situation has been seriously affected by the current pandemic.

The COVID-19 Welfare Support Fund can provide small emergency payments to help with basic essentials including: household essentials such as sanitary products or nappies or electricity key and gas card top ups, etc. to help people in financial difficulties.  The fund is not available for the purchase of food where a food parcel is available. The fund is available if:

  • They run their own business, and cannot currently trade, or their business has been drastically reduced because of the pandemic.
  • Their employment situation has changed and their income now no longer covers needs.
  • They have lost their job due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
  • They have still not received expected government funding (i.e self-employed).

You can see more information and apply online on the WDBC website.

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

The Government’s new Covid-19 guidelines – Update Monday 11 May –

Government FAQs on new Covid-19 measures – What do they mean?

West Devon and South Hams councils have issued a Government FAQ document to outline what the new measures mean in practice.

For more comprehensive information, please refer to the full Government Guidance Document – Staying Safe Outside Your Home.

Stay Alert > Control The Virus > Save Lives

Managing Hearing Loss and Tinnitus During Covid-19

Please refer to the attached document for a range of information on coping with hearing loss and tinnitus, and how to help those who are suffering from these conditions.

Domestic Abuse – Boots Pharmacies offering safe space for victims

BOOTS pharmacies offering safe spaces for victims of domestic abuse

From today, Boots chemists are offering safe spaces within their pharmacies for victims of domestic abuse.

Anyone needing help can ask staff at the counter to use the consultation room, where they will be able to contact local services for help and advice.

It’s been launched by charity, Hestia, following an increase in calls to domestic violence helplines, since lockdown.

Devon’s regional domestic violence and abuse support charity, Splitz, saw a 62 per cent rise in the number of reports to them during April.

If you need help, please call Victim Support on 0300 303 0554. Lines are open 12pm-6pm Monday to Friday. If you need support outside of these times, call Supportline for free on 08 08 16 89 111. You can now also access Victim Support’s free live chat for 24/7 support