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Issued: 23 November 2020
On Thursday 6 May 2021 residents in South Hams will go to the polls to have their say on who represents them in the Police and Crime Commissioner, Devon County Council and some parish and town council by-elections plus Neighbourhood Plan referendums in some areas.
While the elections are not until May, we’re already making plans to help you stay safe while casting your vote.
There are a number of ways to have your say in the elections in May – you can vote in a polling station, by post, or by appointing someone you trust to vote on your behalf, which is known as a proxy vote.
Andy Bates, Electoral Registration Officer for South Hams District Council, said: “It’s really important that you have your say in next year’s May elections. Every vote helps to decide the local representatives who play a crucial role on local issues which affect your everyday lives.
“With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we need to carefully consider future arrangements so you can vote safely when the time comes. There will be measures in place, which you already recognise from the past year, which adopt the hands, face and space controls. As always, you can also decide to vote by post or proxy, if you would rather not attend in person.”
Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance at the Electoral Commission said: “The choice on how to vote at next May’s elections is yours – you can have your say in person, by post or by proxy.
“If you’re thinking about voting by post, you can apply now. This will make sure your application is processed early, and your postal vote can be sent to you more quickly. It’s easy to apply and you can find out how by visiting the Electoral Commission website.
“You need to be registered to vote in order to have a say at the elections – the easiest way to register is online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote”
Residents can visit the FAQ page on the website at www.southhams.gov.uk to find out more about the elections on 6 May 2021. The page will be updated with new information as it becomes available. Any residents who have questions can also contact their local elections team at firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone 01803 861434.
Cyber Resilience Centre Launches in Devon & Cornwall to Help Businesses
Businesses in Devon and Cornwall can now sign up to be part of the new South West Cyber Resilience Centre (SWCRC), established to help businesses and charities better protect themselves against cybercrime.
The police led initiative, in partnership with the private sector and academia, is part of a network of centres being established across England and Wales to provide businesses with a free level of support, and an affordable way to access more bespoke cyber security services and consultancy.
The SWCRC offers a range of membership options depending on the level of support that businesses in Devon, Cornwall, Dorset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Somerset need.
The Core Membership, which is specifically aimed at micro businesses and SMEs is free, and provides access to a range of resources and tools to help them identify their risks and vulnerabilities. The Core Membership comes with a welcome pack full of tools and tips as well as access to national cyber security guidance, and regular updates.
The SWCRC offers a range of paid membership options which also come with a choice of cyber security services including a half day staff awareness session and a regional quarterly briefing on current cyber threats in the region.
The centre is headed up by a Director who is also a Superintendent with the Devon & Cornwall police force. Mark Moore, who has taken on the Director role, has been in policing for over 25 years, where he has been responsible for managing police responses to high-risk and protracted incidents, latterly overseeing policing in the area of Exeter, East and Mid Devon. Mark has also worked as a consultant to police forces across the country, and managed the team which oversees initial response to every reported incident in the Devon and Cornwall force area.
Mark said: “I am enormously excited to have been asked to bring the SWCRC into being and lead on this innovative partnership aimed at tackling the huge threat that is cybercrime. We know that any system is only as strong as its weakest link, and that is why we want to help improve protection for networks and supply chains across the South West.”
“Cybercrime is a risk to all business, but with some simple changes, they can significantly reduce their chance of falling victim to it. It needn’t be scary, complex or unmanageable, and we are here to help people through.”
“The SWCRC brings together the expertise of law enforcement, private industry and academia, working together to deliver free and affordable services to help businesses mitigate their cyber security risks.”
“Our website is now live, so businesses and charities can find out more about how we can help them and sign up for one of our membership packages.”
The SWCRC has been funded by the National Police Chiefs’ Council Cyber Crime Programme which secured Government funding to establish a network of CRCs across England and Wales.
For more information about the SWCRC or to become a member go to the website https://www.swcrc.co.uk/membership and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to keep updated with the latest news.
Please note that this message was sent by Devon and Cornwall Police.
Fusion Lifestyle is keeping South Hams and West Devon residents active throughout the second set of national restrictions with a choice of classes now available on YouTube.
South Hams District and West Devon Borough Councils have supported Fusion Lifestyle, the charity that runs many of our local leisure centres, throughout the pandemic to ensure local people can continue to enjoy vital access to fitness facilities. Staying active plays an important role in physical and mental wellbeing.
With the second national restrictions in force, all sports centres have had to close. However, the Fusion team have now launched a range of live and on-demand classes to make it easier for members and all local people to stay active. Classes are led by the experienced Fusion fitness instructors and are suitable for all ages and abilities.
For those missing their regular sessions or looking to try something new, the team will be live streaming classes through Fusion’s YouTube channel. These live classes can be accessed by all residents with no charge. If you cannot make the exact times for the live classes, they will be saved on the YouTube channel and also uploaded to Fusion At Home for Fusion members to use at any time.
Fusion membership charges have been frozen for one month for all Fusion members. Members will also continue to be able to access Les Mills online sessions until the end of December 2020.
Cllr Jonathan Hawkins, South Hams District Council’s Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Staying active is crucial for our health and wellbeing. I am delighted that the team at Fusion are here to help local people to keep moving. The range of different classes available means there is something for everyone, whether you are looking to improve posture, need a gentle chair-based class or want to really work up a sweat.”
Cllr Tony Leech, West Devon Borough Council’s Lead Member for Wellbeing, said: “I am delighted that these at-home sessions have been made available for local people. Most of the classes need no equipment, so you really can just turn-on to turn-up and have a go. I hope existing Fusion members will make the most of what is on offer and that many more local people will take the chance to get moving with the support of the Fusion team.”
Anthony Cawley, Director of Operations at Fusion Lifestyle, said: “There has never been a more important time to look after the health and wellbeing of our communities and we want to make sure our members and local residents have the opportunity to benefit from our expert led classes while our centres are closed. The offers and additional activities we are supplying to our members will help them keep active both physically and mentally.”
The classes available include:
Pilates for All
This is a mat work-based class designed to increase core stability, strength, flexibility. It will improve mental focus and reduce stress. Pilates for all is for everyone to work within their own fitness levels, taking options to increase or decrease the workout as required.
Equipment needed: a mat if you have one, if not grab a towel
Yoga for All
Yoga for all is for everyone from beginner to the experienced yoga participant. Through simple movements and postures, this class focuses on boosting physical and mental wellbeing whilst promoting an increase in strength, flexibility and balance.
Equipment needed: a mat if you have one, if not grab a towel
A mixed impact aerobic workout, fun and easy follow. Aerotone gives you a cardio workout with strength and conditioning, offering two workouts in one.
Equipment needed: a mat if you have one, if not grab a towel and light weights or a resistance band
HITT (High Intensity Interval Training)
A High intensity interval training-based class. A challenging workout, designed to improve your aerobic capacity, metabolism and cardio endurance. HIIT workouts alternate between high intense bursts and periods of less intense activity or rest.
Equipment needed: a mat if you have one, if not grab a towel or two as this will get sweaty!
A non- impact strength and endurance class. Easy to follow with simple but effective exercises. Pump classes are a great way to burn calories and get fast results. Beginners and experienced participants enjoy a pump workout, as the participant determines the intensity with their own weight selection.
Equipment needed: a mat if you have one, if not grab a towel and ideally a bar with weights or dumbbells
A martial arts-based workout, with moves and stances from various martial arts. Suitable for all, enjoy the empowering experience and learn the basic moves. Easy to follow offering a great different cardio experience.
Equipment needed: a mat if you have one, if not grab a towel
A gentle aerobics class with Latin and international music. Salsa and Flamenco styles of movement at a slower pace for beginners and mature movers.
Equipment needed: None
A gentle stretch class for mature movers or those just returning to exercise. Mature stretch aims to enhance posture, increase mobility, flexibility and improve our general feeling of wellbeing.
Equipment needed: a mat if you have one, if not grab a towel. A yoga strap if available and a hand towel
This focuses on evidence-based programming for people with specific medical conditions. A gentle low impact program of light cardiovascular work, functional strength and mobility. (There will be chair based options available).
Equipment needed: No equipment needed unless you may need to take chair-based options, you will need a chair
Gentle Postural Pilates
A very gentle Pilates class for beginners to help with posture, alignment and core stability using Pilates based methods.
You will need a mat if you have one, if not grab a towel.
To access the classes, all you need to do is subscribe to Fusion’s YouTube channel at: https://bit.ly/36syRxX
Alternatively, members can log into their Fusion at Home account.
Avian influenza (bird flu) identified in wild birds in South West of Englan
The UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer has confirmed that routine monitoring has detected the H5N8 strain of avian influenza in a very small number of wild birds in Gloucestershire, Devon and Dorset.
Wild geese near Stroud in Gloucestershire and swans near Dawlish in Devon have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N8. In addition, a wild goose near Weymouth in Dorset has tested positive for H5N8 (pathogenicity yet to be determined). Birds were tested posthumously and were found to have been infected with the strain of avian influenza virus which is currently circulating in wild birds in Europe.
The Chief Vets from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have urged bird keepers to maintain and strengthen their farm biosecurity measures in order to prevent further outbreaks of avian influenza in the UK. The advice follows a decision to raise the risk level for avian influenza incursion in wild Birds in Great Britain from ‘medium’ to ‘high’ last week.
There have been a number of confirmed reports of avian influenza in wild birds including geese and swans in the Netherlands and northern Germany in recent weeks. These wild birds are all on the waterfowl flyway from breeding grounds in western Russia, where the H5N8 strain was reported in poultry in mid-October.
Wild birds migrating to the UK from mainland Europe during the winter period can spread the disease to poultry and other captive birds. All bird keepers and members of the public are being urged to prevent direct or indirect contact with wild birds.
Public Health England (PHE) advises that the risk to public health from the virus is very low and the Food Standards Agency advises that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers. Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, are safe to eat.
Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said:
“An H5N8 strain of avian influenza has been confirmed in wild geese in Gloucestershire, swans in Devon and a wild goose in Dorset. It is important now more than ever that bird keepers ensure they are doing all they can to maintain and strengthen good biosecurity on their premises to ensure we prevent further outbreaks.
“Public Health England has confirmed that the risk to public health is very low and the Food Standards Agency advises that bird flu poses a very low food safety risk for UK consumers.
“We ask that people continue to report findings of dead wild birds so that we can investigate the extent of infection.”
Dr Gavin Dabrera, Consultant in Acute Respiratory Infections at PHE said:
“To date, there have been no human cases of infection with influenza A(H5N8) confirmed by the WHO and the risk to public health is very low.
“Our advice regarding contact with wild birds remains the same – make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap after coming into contact with any animal and do not touch any sick or dead birds.”
A Food Standards Agency spokesperson said:
“We advise that, on the basis of the current scientific evidence, avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers.
“Properly cooked poultry and poultry products, including eggs, remain safe to eat.”
Wild birds migrating from mainland Europe during the winter period can spread the disease to poultry and other captive birds. There are some simple measures that all poultry keepers, whether they are running a large commercial farm, keeping a few hens in their back garden, or rearing game birds, should take to protect their birds against the threat of avian flu.
· Keeping the area where birds live clean and tidy, controlling rats and mice and regularly cleansing and disinfecting any hard surfaces
· Cleaning footwear before and after visits
· Placing birds’ feed and water in fully enclosed areas that are protected from wild birds, and removing any spilled feed regularly
· Putting fencing around outdoor areas where birds are allowed and limiting their access to ponds or areas visited by wild waterfowl
· Where possible, avoid keeping ducks and geese with other poultry species.
Further information on how to help prevent the spread of the disease can be found on gov.uk.