Kevin Fosters Residents’ Update Friday 1st May 2020


Many thanks to Kevin Foster for permitting us to use part of his weekly Residents’ Update.

This is an abridged version and the full version can be found on his website.

Dear All,


Earlier this week the eligibility criteria for a test was expanded. Anyone in England with symptoms of coronavirus who has to leave home to go to work, and all symptomatic members of the public aged 65 and over, will now be able to get tested.

This means Torbay residents who cannot work from home and those aged 65 and over can know for sure whether they have coronavirus and need to continue isolating. Members of their households with symptoms – a new continuous cough or high temperature – will also be eligible for testing.

Anyone eligible can book a test using the online portal.

The government has also announced NHS staff, care home staff and care home residents will be eligible for testing whether or not they have symptoms.

NHS Torbay Update,

I am advised our local NHS Trust continues to see a reduction in people with COVID-19 enabling them to step down some of their escalation capacity and increase the number of other services they can offer to people who require urgent elective treatments including diagnostic assessments, cancer treatment and other priority clinical services.

There has also been an increase in the number of people who are presenting to the hospital in an emergency or for planned appointments. I know our local NHS team have been concerned people may not have felt able to attend Torbay Hospital so they have been actively communicating messages encouraging people to attend when they need to do so.

The progress made with tackling Covid-19 means a range of NHS services have been able to restart and the message is clear Torbay’s NHS is there if you need it, not just for Covid-19 issues.

More Funding For Torbay,

There was welcome news earlier this week that Torbay Council will receive an extra £3,764,926, its share of an extra £1.6bn in Government Funding to make sure councils can continue to support their communities and deliver vital services through this challenging time.

Torbay Council has now been allocated a total of £9,136,880 to continue providing essential services and support to those who need it the most. The full financial impact of the current crisis on our council is not yet known, yet this additional funding has helped ease the burden so far.

The Council has implemented a range of measures to support 3,975 people in our bay who need to shield themselves from a range of daily contact with other people due to being in high risk groups which make them very vulnerable to Covid-19. It is also continuing to support a range of vulnerable children and adults.

Whilst we may all have our complaints about Torbay Council at times getting this service up and running so quickly has been a major achievement.

Debenhams Purchase,

Torbay Council has today confirmed it has purchased a landmark site in Torquay as part of its plans to regenerate Torbay’s town centres and help boost the local economy.

The Debenhams building on the Strand in Torquay, has been purchased for an undisclosed sum after the company which owns it went into administration. I am advised this does not mean the store will have to close, but it does mean the site can be secured for a positive use in future if a change of use is needed.

Dog Beach Ban,

I have had a few emails over the last week about whether Torbay Council could be persuaded to delay the seasonal ban on dogs which came into force on several beaches today.

This is a decision for Torbay Council and last week the Leader of the Council, Steve Darling, stated the following in the Herald Express in response to whether they would amend the byelaw:

“As a dog owner; I don’t see it as being a significant issue” he said “We have other priorities.”

I asked today in my regular call what the approach to enforcement of it would be and was advised the Council will take a “proportionate approach.”

That is all for this week and enjoy your weekend.

Best Wishes,


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Author: StLukesRA

St Luke's Residents' Association

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