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Posts tagged South Hams
8 July 2021
Following a period of intense activity by South Hams District Council and the introduction of some temporary service changes, the number of collections being missed by the Council’s waste and recycling contractors FCC Environmental has dramatically reduced.
In the last few months, many residents in South Hams have experienced significant disruption to their recycling service, as the contractors tried to roll-out a new kerbside recycling service.
At the peak of the disruption in mid-May, the Council was receiving about 255 reports of collections been missed every day.
The good news is that by the end of last week, that number had dropped to about 64 missed collection reports per day. At the same time, the number of people phoning the contact centre had also reduced by approximately 36%.
Cllr Keith Baldry Executive Member for Recycling and Waste said: “Whilst it is clear from these statistics that there has been an improvement in performance, I think that there are still an unacceptable number of collections being missed.
“Our focus in the last few weeks has been to get everybody a collection on the day that they are meant to have a collection, although it was not the recycling service that we had promised.
“I am pleased the situation has improved but there is still more work to be done.
“The Executive has been very robust with FCC throughout this disruption. They have now requested that FCC continue to deliver more significant and sustained improvements to reduce the number of missed collections further before we consider reinstating the full Devon Aligned kerbside collection service to all residents.”
South Hams District Council will continue to monitor the daily performance of the service. The Executive continue to express to FCC that they must focus on the complex and repeat missed collection issues, as well as key priorities such as those households who need assisted collections.
FCC have committed to producing the next steps of their action plan on July 12th.
This will detail a plan for the systematic review of the existing rounds and a detailed plan to roll-out the Devon Aligned Kerbside Recycling Collection Service to all of the residents in the District.
These plans and any progress on them will be reviewed by Officers and the Lead Member and reported back to Council as soon as possible.
8 July 2021
Many Town, Parish and District Councils around the country are turning to a concept called rewilding, letting some green and grassy areas return to a more natural state. The aim for many of these Councils is to increase the amount of biodiversity and wildlife locally.
As a District Council, South Hams currently manages about 50 hectares of green space which is cut every couple of weeks.
Today, the Council are launching a consultation to explore what the public thinks about the Council enabling rewilding on a small proportion of this land. (10Ha for a biodiversity led approach, and 3.5Ha for wildflower meadows).
In 2019 South Hams District Council declared a Climate Change and Biodiversity Emergency.
Across the UK, many habitats which are important for supporting wildlife have already been lost. For example, 97% of wildflower meadows have been lost since the 1930s, with a knock on impact on the species which rely on these habitats.
The abundance of habitat specialist butterflies has declined by 68% since 1976 for example.
As part of their declaration and to mitigate against such biodiversity loss, South Hams has said it aims to increase biodiversity on Council owned-land by at least 10% by 2025.
Creating and restoring more biodiverse green spaces and enabling rewilding of some Council owned land, could help the Council reach its biodiversity targets and significantly improve conditions for local wildlife.
This consultation is proposing an approach which could see the Council proactively manage 10Ha land as wilder green space, 3.5Ha of land as wildflower areas, and 3.5Ha of new tree planting. This could support pollinators, as well as wildlife such as reptiles, small mammals, amphibians, birds and even bats.
Cllr Tom Holway, South Hams District Council’s Executive Member for Climate Change, said: “In 2019 we made a very important declaration, namely we declared a climate change and biodiversity emergency. This means that we made a commitment to proactively do things that could halt the progress of climate change and biodiversity loss.
“This idea of rewilding is a great way for Councils to make a big difference locally. In reality, South Hams actually owns a small proportion of the green spaces in the District, only around 50 hectares and we are proposing to do this on about 1/3 of that.
“However, I am excited about the difference this could make, and it would be wonderful to get local communities engaged in this process and for them to see these habitats change and grow over the coming year.
“This consultation is all about understanding what the public thinks about this idea and if they would be supportive of it in general terms.”
The Council recognises that some members of our community may be concerned about uncut grasses looking untidy or neglected.
However, the proposals suggest that the areas selected for rewilding would still be carefully managed, often with cut grass framing the area, paths cut through longer grass and clear signposting to show everyone which grassed areas are part of the scheme.
If the consultation returns a favourable response to the concept of rewilding some Council owned land in South Hams, a proposals map will be available in the autumn , and in some cases there may be more site level consultation over the specific detail of proposals to ensure the approach fits with the aspirations of local residents.
Through this experience and the consultation, South Hams would also be able to support and offer advice to Town and Parish Councils who are also considering allocating space to rewilding.
For more information on the proposal and to have your say visit:
Or to read more about South Hams District Council’s Climate Change Declaration, visit:
Issued: 25 May 2021
South Hams District Council has adapted their proposed plans after listening to over 700 responses received in the Motorhome consultation, which closed on Thursday 20 May.
The public consultation on a 12-month pilot scheme allowing self-contained motorhomes and campervans, with their own toilet facilities, to stay at some South Hams car parks has been largely met with support.
After listening to public concerns about four of the proposed locations it has been decided that North Sands in Salcombe, Memorial in Slapton and Torcross Tank in Torcross and Quay Car Park in Kingsbridge will no longer be considered for the pilot scheme. The suggested £15 tariff has now been removed along with these sites.
The results of the public consultation and a report recommending a single overnight tariff of £10, and the revised recommended sites, will now be discussed at the District Council’s Executive Committee on Thursday 27 May.
The pilot has been designed to help improve local tourism. There are ever-increasing numbers of motorhomes and campervan users opting to use car parks and other locations for overnight stays in the South Hams, and this is anticipated to increase as a result of restrictions on overseas travel due to the pandemic.
The Council recommend stays would be at the named car parks for self-contained motorhomes and campervans only for an overnight fee of £10 per night, overnight from 6 p.m. until 9 a.m. The proposed pilot will allow overnight sleeping for a maximum two-night consecutive stay with no return within 48 hours.
The following five car parks in these towns across the District are proposed to be included in the pilot scheme:
· Ivybridge, Leonards Car Park
· Kingsbridge, Cattlemarket Car Park
· Modbury, Poundwell Meadow Overflow Car Park
· Totnes, Longmarsh Car Park
· Dartmouth, Park & Ride Car Park
Cllr Keith Baldry, South Hams District Council’s Executive Member for Environment, said: “We want to do everything we can to support our businesses to get back on their feet by encouraging tourism to the South Hams. By making it easier for motorhome owners to visit our District and to bring their money to spend in our shops, restaurants, pubs and leisure attractions, it is a step in the right direction in helping us build up our local economy and supporting our local families and communities.
“Therefore, we are delighted that so many residents have taken the time and effort to share their thoughts on this pilot scheme. We have read their comments and have listened carefully to what they have to say and in light of their thoughts; we removed four of our nine proposed sites from our considerations, leaving us with five locations to take to our Executive meeting on Thursday.
“This pilot scheme is aimed at self-contained motorhomes which have their own on board toilet facilities for short two-night stays in our car parks. To further address respondents’ concerns, if this proposal is agreed, we propose to have regular patrols by our Localities and Car Park teams who would visit sites, during peak times, to make sure sites remain clean and tidy so that locals and visitors can all appreciate the facilities.”
Read more from the report to the Executive Committee here: www.southhams.gov.uk/Executive
If you are interested in finding out more about this decision, you can watch the meeting live on the Council’s YouTube Channel here: www.youtube.com/user/SouthHamsCouncil
The meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday 27 May.
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
20 April 2021
With a couple of weeks left until voters in the South Hams go to the polls on 6 May, South Hams District Council is urging voters to get ready to vote.
Across the South Hams the public will be taking to the polls to vote for a Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall as well as to elect one Councillor to Devon County Council for each of the seven South Hams County divisions.
In addition, there is:
A District Council By-Election in the Ivybridge West Ward
Neighbourhood Plan Referendums for:
You can find details on nominations and polling stations by following this link: https://southhams.gov.uk/article/7824/Notices-of-Poll-and-Situations-of-Polling-Stations
Polling stations will be safe places to vote on 6 May. People voting in person are encouraged to keep themselves and others safe by:
wearing a face covering
bringing their own pen or pencil
cleaning their hands when entering and leaving the polling station
keeping a safe distance
Voters should not attend the polling station if they have symptoms of Covid-19, or if they have been asked to self-isolate. Anyone who develops symptoms, or is asked to self-isolate shortly before polling day, has up to 5pm on polling day to apply for an emergency proxy vote. This allows them to nominate someone they trust to vote on their behalf.
Andy Bates, Electoral Registration Officer for the South Hams said:
“Your poll card will tell you where to find your polling station. Make sure you check the information on your polling card, as your polling station might have changed since the last elections. You do not need your poll card to vote, however, we encourage you to bring it with you to make the process quicker and more efficient.
“Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday 6 May. Voters who have opted to vote by post must return their postal ballot pack by 10pm; they can hand it in at their polling station if they don’t have time to return it by post.”
Ailsa Irvine, Director of Electoral Administration and Guidance at the Electoral Commission, said:
“If you are voting in person, make sure you remember to bring your face covering and a pen or pencil with you. At the polling station, help keep yourself and others safe by following the safety measures, including sanitising your hands and keeping a safe distance from others.
“If you are self-isolating or become unwell as a result of Covid-19, you don’t need to lose your vote. You will be able to apply for an emergency proxy vote so that someone you trust can vote on your behalf.”
For further information on how to apply for an emergency proxy, voters should contact the electoral registration team at South Hams District Council at firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information on elections in their area, voters can visit www.electoralcommission.org.uk/voter. This page will continue to be updated ahead of the polls.