Report from Cllr Lynn Daniel – West Devon Borough Council

Belstone Parish Council  – WDBC REPORT July 2021

Business Grants

The Council has administered 11 different Government business grants schemes throughout the last year, on behalf of the Government. A total of £31.5 million has been paid out to businesses in the Borough of West Devon. All of the business grants schemes are now closed for applications, with the exception of the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme. The Council has fully spent its ARG allocation of £1,611,559 and we are awaiting our third tranche allocation which should be received in the middle of July. The Government deadline for the Restart Grants applications was 30 June 2021 and final payments need to be made by the Council by 31 July 2021. To date, the Council has paid out £4.5million on Restart Grants. We are beginning to get to the end of administering the main business grants but we are conscious that there will be a lot of retrospective reporting to BEIS of all the schemes that we will need to do also.
 The £500 Test & Trace Payment has been extended until September 2021, I wanted to inform you that we have also amended the current policy to remove the income threshold for the discretional element of the scheme. Under the current policy, the weekly income of anyone claiming was capped at £372. We have removed this entirely although the applicant must still demonstrate they are suffering hardship. We have made this amendment immediately. This is due to the rising cases in our area and an increase in applications and a change in focus from supporting people on low incomes only, to be more focused on public health. (helping people to self-isolate so they can do no harm) We still have plenty of our allocated funding to use as claims have been low to this point – please encourage any of your residents who are suffering hardship to apply for this funding – it may well help people from getting into money problems further on as going without any income for two weeks will be challenging for many people regardless of your wage. As the scheme is due to end in September and we want to make these changes immediately we have exercised the delegated powers Lisa has as S151 Officer to amend the policy. We hope that this supports our residents and will help remove a barrier to self-isolation and therefore the spread of infection locally. Follow this link to find all the information on the website.

Community Led Electric Car and Bike Club – Survey Launched

Local residents, businesses and community organisations are being asked for their views on establishing a community-led electric car and bike club for West Devon via a short online survey. 

This survey is being promoted with West Devon Borough Council and would give affordable access to electric cars for everyone, whilst also supporting the shift to zero carbon transport. 

West Devon Borough Council declared a Climate Change and Biodiversity Emergency on 21 May 2019 and the Council is working hard to reduce the Borough’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. As part of that aim, the Council continues to work with partners to drive forward that commitment. Since the announcement of the Government’s 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles, interest in electric cars has surged by 500%1. However, they remain too expensive for many people. In addition, one third of households cannot charge a car at home2

An electric car club would address these challenges by locating cars across the Borough, bookable from as little as half an hour for one all-inclusive price. This would give members access to electric cars without having to own one. Furthermore, by switching to using an electric car club and getting rid of a little used personal vehicle, members could save money whilst also helping reduce issues related to congestion, parking and pollution. 

The survey also asks if respondents would be interested in an electric bike share scheme. Because they are electrically assisted, the bikes are a great alternative to the car for many shorter trips including commuting, everyday errands and leisure trips. The survey is available from https://bit.ly/ElectricWDevon until 24 August 2021. The results of the survey will not only help establish the viability of the project but will also be shared with West Devon Borough Council to assist their planning.

The survey is being run in partnership with Co Cars car club, a social enterprise that has an established network of low and zero emission cars across the South West. The company also runs the Co Bikes electric bike sharing scheme.For more information, visit www.co-cars.co.uk and www.co-bikes.co.uk

A Plan for West Devon

West Devon Borough Council is taking the first steps towards developing a new long-term strategic plan to help our communities to thrive. Being put forward in response to the newly evolving challenges and opportunities of the post-pandemic landscape, ‘A Plan for West Devon’ sets out the long-term strategic direction for the Council and Borough as a whole, for years to come.

A Plan for West Devon will also include key activities that are being led by partner organisations, but where the Council has an important role in supporting delivery of those schemes.

The report on the planned corporate strategy was discussed at the Council’s Hub Committee meeting today, Tuesday 13 July 2021 where Members supported recommending to Full Council to commence a formal public consultation. The consultation is to ensure the views of residents, local business and visitors are included when the final priorities are agreed later this year.

Full Council will consider this recommendation on 20 July.  If agreed, the public will be invited to share their thoughts on what is needed to make West Devon a better place to live, work and visit in a consultation running for six weeks.

While the formal consultation on the draft priorities will not commence until after Council on Tuesday 20 July, we are now asking you to share how you see West Devon as a place to live, work and play and what you hope for the future.

How to have your say
You can take a sneak peak at how the draft strategy is shaping-up so far at www.engagement.westdevon.gov.uk/planforwestdevon This is a draft document and some changes will be made as a result of comments received during the Hub Committee meeting, before it is put forward for a full public consultation.

From 21 July 2021, you will be able to fill in our quick and easy survey at www.engagement.westdevon.gov.uk/planforwestdevon 

If you can’t wait for the consultation to start and you would like to get involved in shaping the context for the final plan – you can help us right now.


Send WD Your Photos
We want to know how you see West Devon as a place to live, work and play. Help us to paint a picture of the West Devon you know.

The strategic plan will drive West Devon firmly forward in response to global and local issues. It will ensure that Council resources are used efficiently and effectively to deliver the priorities identified by Members and through the wider public consultation. It has been developed so far using feedback from all Council Members. This means that from the outset the focus has been on the individual needs of communities across the West Devon, from our market towns to our moorland hamlets.  Looking to take every opportunity to support businesses and local people, the plan outlines eight core focus areas that will underpin the Council’s work over the next 20 years. These are:

  • Strengthening our communities – An area that our communities can be proud of.
  • Enhancing community wellbeing – Every resident is able to live a healthy and active life.
  • Improving homes – Every resident has access to a quality and safe home
  • Stimulating a thriving economy – A Borough that attracts high quality employment opportunities and space for business to grow
  • Growing our natural environment – An environment where people and nature thrive together
  • Adapting our built environment – Planning for the future, celebrating the past
  • Maximising Council resources – Making the best use of our resources
  • Delivering inclusive and accessible services – A listening, accessible and caring council
  • As well as articulating the Council’s vision and ambitions for the longer-term, the draft plan contains specific activities, which will be delivered in the short-term (next three years).

Cllr Lynn Daniel July 2021