The SHDC car park at Bigbury-on-Sea will be closed tomorrow, Friday 27th March 2020, until COVID-19 restrictions are eased.
Posts tagged South Hams
For important advice and information about suspension of some services by SHDC, please see the following link:- https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKSWDEVON/bulletins/28241eb
13 February 2020
Hard work and sound financial management is paying off for South Hams District Council. This year, the Council unanimously voted for a budget which put money aside for community homes, replacing play park equipment, the climate change and biodiversity emergency and for the 6th year running coastal erosion.
This is the first time in many years that all of the Councillors have voted to accept the Council’s annual budget in its entirety.
For several years now, conversations at South Hams District Council have been all about closing budget gaps and finding savings.
With a reduction in funding from Central Government of £4 million per year since 2010, the Council has had to change dramatically. This has included a reduction in staff of more than 30%. The Council no longer receives any Government Grant (Revenue Support Grant) to fund its services and the Council has to be self-sufficient.
During this time, South Hams District Council has continued to lobby Central Government to get them to recognise how difficult and more costly it is to provide services over a large rural area.
Despite these challenges, the Council has been able to close a predicted budget gap this year of £500,000 and find funds to invest in district wide issues such as housing and climate change.
Cllr Judy Pearce Leader of South Hams District Council said: “I am delighted that we can turn our attention to some very exciting projects in this financial year.
“In spite of severe budget pressures, we are still managing to make a significant investment in community housing projects. That means across 4 schemes we will be creating 55 new homes in the South Hams.
“Our play park replacement scheme will see new equipment in parks in Ivybridge, Kingsbridge, Woolwell and Salcombe.
“As we aim to make the Council carbon neutral by 2030 and are working with our partners on a Devon wide plan, we have also managed to find £400,000 to help us tackle climate change and biodiversity loss.
“This year £150,000 had to be allocated to upgrading the Council’s IT systems. I am pleased to say that we shall be installing a great new solution that provides excellent value for money and improve customer interaction with us.
“We have also identified two key jobs that we believe would add significant benefit to the wellbeing and economic health of the District, an Economy Officer and a Climate Change Officer.
“When you receive your council tax bill this year, please also remember that South Hams District Council, only keeps 9 pence in every pound of the Council Tax we collect.
“This is because the bill has been sent out on behalf of all of the other bodies such as your Town or Parish Council, the County Council, the Police and the fire service. You can find specific information about this on your bill.”
In this year’s budget, South Hams has also put £300,000 aside for projects and issues relating to coastal erosion and £1.1 million for Disabled Facilities Grants, to enable less able residents to live independently within their own home.
All of this has been made possible thanks to careful financial management, the shared service with West Devon Borough Council, whereby the Councils share the cost of a single workforce, and sound investment.
For example significant savings have been made through the leisure contract with Fusion, which now runs all of the Council-owned leisure centres in South Hams and West Devon.
This has been a huge success for South Hams, which can now boast much improved leisure facilities across the District, and a new swimming pool in Ivybridge with a retractable roof.
Further savings were made through the joint waste and recycling contract with West Devon Borough Council and FCC Environmental. Improvements to the service and aligning it with the rest of Devon, will allow the Council to make even more savings this financial year.
Residents will soon be receiving details of their new improved waste and recycling service, aimed at increasing the amount of materials the District recycles. In the new service, which will be operational in September, glass and plastics will be collected from the kerbside.
In addition to all of this, a recent review and restructure of the senior staff at the Council has also seen an additional saving of just under £100,000 per year, from the cost of senior management pay.
Cllr Judy Pearce added: “Again this year we are going to increase Council Tax by £5 per year or 42 pence per month per household. This small increase will make a big difference to our ability to provide essential services and projects such as community housing schemes in several of our villages.
“If you compare our annual spend of £9.4 million it is about the same amount of money that the average secondary school has to spend each year. Sound resource management means we manage to do a lot with the money we have.”
These services include: Planning, environmental health, affordable housing, homelessness, waste and recycling, car parks, beaches, stray dogs, street naming and numbering, pest control, licencing, dog fouling, fly tipping, council tax, benefits, play parks, litter bins, street cleaning, tree preservations, bottle banks, elections, grass verges, heritage preservation, building maintenance, disabled facilities grants, event licencing, markets, community safety, Salcombe Harbour, Dartmouth Lower Ferry, Environmental Health (Private Sector Housing).
Services that South Hams District Council is not responsible for include: Potholes, schools, social care, recycling centres, roads, off street parking, traffic lights and street lamps.
See visual here; https://www.southhams.gov.uk/article/4400/What-we-do
Read all about the budget here: https://mg.swdevon.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=151&MId=1335&Ver=4
Issued: 7 January 2020
You can now watch South Hams District Council and South Hams Development Management (DM) Committee make their decisions live on social media.
South Hams District Council has now started streaming all meetings which take place in the Council Chamber at Follaton House to their website, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Openness and Transparency in local government is very important. It enables the public to understand what their politicians do for them and how they make their decisions.
Cllr Nicky Hopwood, Executive Member for Communications said: “We live in a world now where information is delivered to the public on hand held devices as and when they want it. If we are going to reach our residents and they are going to understand the complexities of the decisions we make, and take part in that democratic process, then it is essential that we make our meetings more accessible.”
South Hams District Council has now joined the many councils across the country who have made it possible for the public to watch their democratic process from the comfort of their own homes.
Following an internal trial period, the first meeting to be streamed live on social media, was the Development Management Committee meeting on Wednesday 4 December. The streaming was well received by those who watched it online.
This is also a positive step towards reducing the Council’s carbon footprint. The South Hams covers nearly 900 square km so it’s not always practical for residents, agents and staff of the applications considered that day to drive to Follaton House to view the proceedings.
Where committee meetings are held in other rooms at Follaton House, such as Executive, Overview and Scrutiny, Audit and Licensing committees, the Council is considering options to find a solution to live stream them as well. The effectiveness of the streaming system will then be reviewed again in November this year.
Cllr Nicky Hopwood continued: “We’re delighted that we have started to stream our meetings because it’s crucial that we are transparent about decision making at the Council. Meetings have always been available for the public to attend in person, but now we can open them to a much wider audience to view in their homes or workplace.
“Social media has enormous followers so it’s really important that we broadcast on a number of different platforms to get the biggest audience we can. Even if you don’t have social media, you can still watch from our Join the Conversation webpage on your mobile phone, tablet or computer.”
“We know we still have a way to go to get all of the meetings streamed online and this is down to the cost involved and the logistics of each committee room, but this is in important and very welcome first step.”
January’s streamed committee meetings are Development Management, known as ‘Planning’, on Wednesday 15 January and the Joint Budget Consultation meeting of the DM Committee and Overview and Scrutiny Panel on Thursday, 23 January.
Check the times and dates of all of South Hams District Council’s meetings at www.southhams.gov.uk/Committees
You can view streamed meetings on SHDC’s:
YouTube: South Hams District Council
Check the website and social media for information about future meeting dates.
South Hams District Council has decided to conduct a thorough review of how its parking permits work, to see if changing the scheme could release more parking spaces for visitors.
Concerns have been raised in recent months about the amount of parking taken up by permit holders, which limits the turnover of short-term parking for shoppers and visitors. Not only does this cause frustration for motorists wishing to park, but also limits the number of people able to visit towns and villages in the South Hams.
Cllr Keith Baldry, Executive Portfolio Holder for the Environment said “We have decided to conduct a thorough review of our permits across the whole District. This is to ensure that we hear everyone’s views. We want to understand how people are currently using the car parks, what they think of this and any issues or frustrations they have.”
While the review takes place, South Hams District Council has temporarily suspended the sale of new parking permits.
Funding to plan the future of the Slapton Line in the event of further damaging storms has been secured by the Slapton Line Partnership (SLP).
The SLP are delighted to announce that funding has been secured from the Environment Agency, South Hams District Council (SHDC) and Devon County Council to allow for the recruitment of an Adaptation Manager.
The purpose of this new post will be to work closely with the community and the Partnership to help to ease traffic issues and to create positive changes to prepare for the future loss of the Slapton Line A379 road.
The post will be hosted by the South Devon Area of National Beauty (AONB).
A study has shown that there is now no room left to move the road following the severe storm of 2018 which devastated 700m of the highway and made it necessary to move it up 20m closer to the edge of Slapton Ley. Though it is impossible to predict when damage will occur, sea level rise and changing weather patterns will lead to the road being increasingly at risk.
As a result the Partnership have had to create a new plan of action for the future and accepts that, if another storm badly damages the road and it can’t be easily repaired, the road is unlikely to be replaced again.
The Partnership knows that this would have a huge impact on local communities and road users, so they have created an Adaptation Plan. This has been informed by suggestions from the community at a series of recent workshops to reduce the impact and make changes to help the communities thrive after the road has gone.
Significant funding has already been used to improve passing places and road surfaces along alternative routes and some improvements will continue to be made.
Cllr Julian Brazil, SHDC Ward Member for Stokenham, said: “If the road goes then we have to have a plan B. It is vital to support the local businesses and local communities. This funding will help us prepare for the future. We hope for the best but we must plan for the worst.”
Cllr Richard Foss, SHDC Ward Member for Allington and Strete, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to help fund the Adaptation Manager. We do need to adapt to changing circumstances and having someone on the ground to support our communities and businesses is a great start to moving forward. I can assure residents that I will do my level best to support them wherever I can.”
The role will develop and share the plan through community engagement, look at improving tourism to the area and support businesses on how they can adapt to the changing area. They will also look at how they can improve road signage and access to the area’s villages and tourist destinations. Car parking and public transport to accommodate residents and visitors will also be investigated.
Martin Davies, Environment Agency’s, Flood and Coastal Risk Management Advisor, said: “We recognise the potential impact of change along this important stretch of coastline and continue to support Slapton Line Partnership and communities to adapt to coastal change.
“The Adaptation Manager is an important role, supported by the South West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, to help manage change locally and to learn lessons for other sites which could be affected by the impacts of coastal and climate change.”
Devon County Council Leader John Hart said: “The re-aligned route of the Slapton Line is much more resilient, however the location will always be vulnerable to the elements. Clearly we hope the road will be in place for many years to come but it makes sense that the Partnership considers how to prepare for the possibility of any damage in the future.”
For more information on the Slapton Line Partnership, please visit: www.slaptonline.org
7 million tonnes of food waste each year in the UK.
1/4 of the waste in our bin lorries, is food waste that could have been recycled.
End the horror this Hallowe’en and recycle your pumpkin.
As if Hallowe’en wasn’t scary enough. Just think of all that food waste that could have been recycled.
This year you could make a huge difference to the amount of food waste produced in the South Hams, with one simple change: when you’re finished with your pumpkin, either home compost it or put it in your brown bin.
Any kind of food waste can be placed in your brown bin, whether cooked or uncooked, and the material goes to make soil conditioner for use in farms around the UK. You can wrap your food waste in biodegradable food waste bags, or in newspaper if you prefer.
Cllr Keith Baldry, South Ham’s District Council’s Executive Member for Environment, said: “The real horror at Hallowe’en is the tragic waste of so many pumpkins, which could have been recycled into soil conditioner to grow more for next year. Around the South Hams we still see approximately a quarter of food waste placed in the grey bin, so by putting your pumpkin in the brown bin this year, you could make a real difference.”
And if you’re wondering what to do with the inside of your pumpkins? Well, why not make some delicious pumpkin soup, pie or curry? The possibilities are endless – just search pumpkin on www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/recipes
Don’t let your pumpkin become another Hallowe’en horror – recycle for the South Hams!