Rewilding? Your Views sought

Following SHDC Executive Committee on Thursday 8th July the Council resolved to undertake a consultation with communities on proposals to manage green spaces differently to deliver increased biodiversity value. The associated report is available at…/FINAL_BiodiveristyReport.pdf
In response to the Climate Change and Biodiversity Emergency, the Council declared a target of at least a 10% Biodiversity Net Gain on its greenspaces by 2025. This increase in biodiversity value could be achieved by changing the cutting regime of around one-third of Council green space, where this does not conflict with recreational uses, from regularly cut short amenity grass to long grasses. Alongside this can be some wildflower and tree planting. This would have clear benefits for biodiversity and wildlife.
We anticipate that of c.50ha of Council green space cut regularly, a reduced cutting regime to biannual/annual (with collection and removal of cuttings) could be introduced for about 10ha of land, with another 3.5ha sown as new wildflower areas and 3.5ha of new tree planting.
it is important South Hams residents are given a say on the approach. Therefore, a 4 week public consultation was launched on Thursday 4th July and will run until 5th August 2021.
We are mindful that the Council do not own green spaces in every Parish in the South Hams and in those Towns/Parishes in which we do own green spaces, the degree varies. Nonetheless, we welcome any promotion of the consultation within your Town or Parish that you are able to arrange as appropriate and also welcome any members of your Town or Parish Council completing the survey either as residents, or on behalf of your Town or Parish Council.
The link to the consultation which itself contain further information about the proposals is…
Ground Maintenance Service
We are also interested in finding out whether Town and Parish Councils would like to adopt a similar ‘wildlife friendly’ approach, or buy in the Council’s services to deliver such a style of maintenance on land you own/manage. We are aware that a number of Town and Parish Councils, or groups within your respective areas are already undertaking or proposing wildlife friendly management on verges or green spaces, with or without any involvement from the Council’s grounds maintenance service.
To this end, we would be very grateful for your consideration and responses to the questions below:
– Does your Town/Parish Council own or manage public green spaces?
– Do you buy in a grounds maintenance service for your owned/managed green spaces?
– If you own or manage public green spaces, have you already started, or would you like to adopt a more ‘wildlife friendly’ form of grass cutting regime?
– If you have already started, or would you like to adopt a more ‘wildlife friendly’ form of grass cutting regime, would this extend to biannual/annual cuts of areas of grass?
– If you would like some areas of grass cut on a biannual/annual basis, would you expect the grass cuttings to be collected and removed as part of the service?
– If the Council had appropriate equipment to offer a service to cut areas of grass on a biannual/annual basis, and to collect and remove the cuttings, would this be a service you would consider buying in?
– If such a ‘wildlife friendly’ form of grass cutting regime is of interest, are there any other requirements you would have if the Council was to offer such a service?
– If such a ‘wildlife friendly’ form of grass cutting regime is of interest, can you please advise us of the types and sizes of green spaces that you own/manage that you think you might consider suitable for this type of maintenance approach?
If you would find it beneficial, we would be happy to attend a meeting to discuss the consultation and the possible service we may be able to deliver on your owned/managed land. Please let me know if you would like an Officer to attend a meeting.
Next Steps
Officers will be reporting back to the SHDC Executive Committee in the autumn following the consultation. This will consider both the public opinion about the proposal, as well as interest from Town and Parish Councils in using our grounds maintenance teams to manage their land in a more wildlife friendly way. Further local consultation may follow thereafter.

Wild About Devon’s new initiative

Wild About Devon is a new initiative to help communities and Parish and Town Councils take action for wildlife and help tackle the Ecological and Climate Emergencies. We’ve created a 3-minute animation to help summarise the initiative which you can watch on YouTube.

There are lots of inspiring examples of communities taking action for wildlife across Devon (Teignbridge Wildlife Wardens, Life on the Yealm and Moor Meadows to name a few) but no central place to connect them together to share learning, network and inspire others.

Information and expertise currently sits within lots of different organisations, groups and initiatives (Woodland Trust, DWT, Devon Living Churchyards, Devon Birds etc) and it is often hard for us to know where to start when looking for guidance and support. Wild About Devon has been set up by LNP partners to fill this gap and hep us all to create a Nature Recovery Network across Devon.

Staverton Parish Neighbourhood Plan Zoom Meeting 23 June 2021

Staverton Parish Neighbourhood Plan
Creating a new vision for the Future

Steering Group Meeting
Wednesday 23rd June 2021 at 7-30
Via zoom
Members of the public wishing to attend this virtual meeting will require the following information to gain access via the Zoom platform.

Join Zoom Meeting click HERE

Meeting ID: 834 5236 5220
Passcode: 586959

1. Parishioner’s time
2. Apologies for absence
3. Approval of minutes from the last meeting
4. Matters arising
5. Declarations of interest
6. Discussion with Lee Bray and Duncan Smith
7. Finance – Ed.
8. Housing Policies
9. Open Meeting
10. Correspondence.
11. Date and form of next meeting.

Mobile Booster Voucher Scheme

Connecting Devon and Somerset is pleased to announce the roll out of its new mobile booster scheme, aimed at small businesses and households who currently have poor indoor mobile coverage.

The scheme allows businesses and households to apply for an £800 voucher which can be used to acquire a mobile signal booster from a registered scheme supplier. The booster will in turn help to improve indoor mobile coverage for the premises in question.

Businesses and residents will need to fill in the below form, self-certifying that they cannot receive an indoor mobile signal. Upon application, a voucher code will be emailed to the applicant which can be used with one of the registered scheme suppliers/installers.

It is down to the applicant to research which of the suppliers can install in their area/which one is best to go with for their needs. Getting in touch with the supplier directly to redeem the voucher and have the equipment installed at the premises.

FCC Environment issues a service update and apologises to the residents of South Hams

Please find below a service update on the current situation with South Hams’ waste and recycling service from FCC Environment.

On 1st April 2019, FCC Environment began providing all waste, recycling collection and street and toilet cleaning services on behalf of South Hams District Council extending the company’s existing contract with West Devon Borough Council to deliver a range of benefits to residents in both communities.

The waste and recycling service in West Devon, which mirrors the system rolled out in South Hams, has been successfully operating for over 10 years and residents have responded well. The new recycling vehicles now in use in South Hams have been in use in West Devon since March 2018.

The new recycling system which is currently being introduced in South Hams is considered ‘best in class’ by many other local authorities in England, has been carefully designed to maximise the amount of materials collected for recycling. The system also delivers improved quality recyclate which means the materials will go on to be recycled into new products.

Behind the scenes this system has been far from easy to implement in South Hams and FCC acknowledge that there have been service issues for some residents for which we apologise. These teething problems have resulted in some residents experiencing missed collections and we are truly sorry for any inconvenience and difficulties this has caused and continues to cause as we work with the council to rectify.

It should also be noted that the system was designed on the basis of recycling vehicles filling up once a day and being emptied at the end of the working day but due to the home working implications of lock downs through 2020-21 and residents saving recycling for the new system to launch, the vehicles can fill up, up to 2 to 3 times a day, so they need to travel back to the depot and unload each time but we are making our way through the implications of such increased volumes.

We are working hard to collect from residents that have been missed and to collect from the harder to reach properties on our rounds and we are getting there but we would ask residents, particularly those who have had repeated missed collections, to bear with us at this time.

We have been questioned about the vehicles being too large for some areas; the vehicles selected to deliver this service are state of the art recycling vehicles and they are sized to maximise the collection of recycling across the District. We do ask residents to follow council advice to place their recycling bins and boxes in the right places for collection. We appreciate for some that this may mean changes to the way their recycling has been collected previously but we ask for your support on this.

We are asking residents to bear with us in the coming weeks while these multi-faceted issues with this complex recycling scheme are ironed out and we remain confident that, once these hurdles have been overcome, that the service we have been contracted to deliver across South Hams and West Devon will deliver all of the benefits promised at the outset.

– FCC Environment

Issued 28 May 2021

Job Opportunity – Advice Session Supervisor, Citizens Advice South Hams

Job Opportunity – Advice Session Supervisor, Citizens Advice South Hams

Citizens Advice has been solving life’s problems for over 80 years, supporting local communities with expert free, independent, confidential and impartial advice. At Citizens Advice South Hams 2021 is our year of renewal following Covid-19.  Demand for our services is increasing, as is our team of staff and volunteers.

We are looking to recruit an enthusiastic Advice Session Supervisor to join our small, friendly, and supportive team in managing the advice sessions, supporting and supervising paid and volunteer advisers, and ensuring our advice is delivered at the highest quality across all our channels.

The job includes:

·         Managing the practicalities of the advice session and ensuring adequate staffing and resources.

·         Monitoring the quality of advice work in accordance with Quality of Advice Audit (QAA)

·         Monitoring case records, telephone calls, emails, and webchats of staff and/or volunteers to meet the stipulated standard and service level agreements.

·         Identifying and actioning remedial and developmental issues by providing feedback and developing individuals to improve the quality of service.

In addition, you will have:

·         Commitment to, and ability to work within, the aims, principles and policies of the Citizens Advice service.

·         Recent experience of welfare or related advice work in either a paid or voluntary capacity.

·         Proven ability to manage /supervise others, including an ability to motivate staff and volunteers and give feedback objectively and sensitively through regular appraisal activity.

To be successful, we would like you to demonstrate excellent people skills, a flexible approach, an interest in problem solving and possess the ability to work both independently and as part of a team to manage a busy workload.  Whilst experience delivering advice in a Citizens Advice environment is preferred, we welcome diversity both in our people and our thinking, we welcome applications from all advice settings from those who desire to serve their community and want to make a difference.

This role will cover two days a week, working from the Citizens Advice South Hams office in Totnes. We offer a range of employee benefits, pension contributions, training and free parking, plus opportunities to continue your professional development.

Please visit our website to see the full job description and download the application form.  Please note CVs will not be accepted.

Closing date for applications: Monday 17th May.