Cllr Paul Crabb, our County and District Councillor for Ilfracombe had this detailed update for Ilfracombe residents today.
If you’ve got couple minutes on this beautiful North Devon day, have a quick read to see what your local Conservative councillor has been up to👇
First of all, a few facts and figures about Covid, from a local perspective. The Devon case numbers are shooting up. Currently at 2,269, it has never been that high. North Devon stands at 283, and Ilfracombe at 34. However, where we seem to have the advantage over the previous times, is that this time there have only been a few admissions to the North Devon hospital. Hopefully, as time goes on, we are assembling more data that vaccines reduce the severity of people who do catch Covid. If these trends continue, I think the message we can take is to be vaguely careful, and not stupid, in our behaviour, but not to panic or over worry. See the enclosed graph to compare hospitalisations in wave 1, 2 and this one. This graph is vital to understand the opening up policy.
Lockdowns always were to protect the NHS and at the moment, this curve in the picture shows a high level of protection, obviously mainly through vaccines. Irrespective of your age, unless you’re hugely offended by them, please get a vaccine shot. It takes 4 minutes, and genuinely keeps you out of hospital. Go on the NHS website to book, or keep an eye out for ‘walk in’ centres. There’s always one at Green Parks in Exeter if you’re up that way, and often one in N Devon, but you can book yourself in for appointment within a day, or two max at many of the routine centres.
The other health story is that the CCG and the local NDH Trust are genuinely trying to reopen the minor injuries unit at the Tyrrell. There is a temporary solution in place for 10am to 6pm at weekends, using bussed in medics at the Tyrrell, also there are paramedics stationed at Woolacombe with the RNLI to reduce demand from there, and Combe Coastal have promised to do the best they can with walk ins during the week, although they do say it’s not ideal. There have been quite a few meetings, and emails behind the scenes, and the League of Friends have been very helpful in setting out their thoughts throughout. Finally, the Trust have finally started to genuinely recruit nursing staff to fill the vacancies. The Chief Exec has given me an assurance that in this case, it is NOT budgets, but recruitment that is the only issue, for what it’s worth, I have that in writing! I’m sure we will all keep the pressure on to monitor the ongoing situation, and make sure promises are kept. Meanwhile, if you know any Band 6 nurses who fancy our wonderful coastlines and fresh clean air, there is now an application form on the NHS recruitment website!
Roads, roads and more roads…….
We’ve seen a few minor roads get resurfaced this week, and I hear comments that there were better places to spend the money. Maybe true, but there are specific budgets and departments for different jobs, and when you see a flash of budget available, you grab it while you can! Also, some of these roads were literally worn out. Because they’re always forgotten, the tarmac had worn through to the stones underneath, a sure sign that we got value for money in 1972, or whenever! Of our major problems, the Tesco roundabout has now been marked out for the new drainage works, and I am promised that Torrs Park should be done by November.
I chased up some hedges, and am assured that the hedges from Marlborough Road to Princess Avenue, and Green Parks to Tesco have been contracted, and will be done this week or next. There are discussions about the infant hedges, as it’s not a highway, but I heard that progress was being made.
Lynton Cross will be starting soon. I have an extensive list of dates, where chaos will ensue, but I believe BT and Western Power are doing a few non irritant bits and bobs of preparation in August, but that won’t affect anyone, and then the main works start in September. If you use that junction a lot, it’s worth keeping this list handy, if only to berate me when the works don’t go to schedule! 😊
Works are scheduled to begin in Mid September. During the works, it will be necessary to close the A3123 between Hore Down Gate and Lynton Cross for a period of up to 8 weeks. By doing this, the length of the works programme can be reduced and allow the Contractor the working space required to carry out the works in a safe manner. There is a significant amount of work to do on this arm of the new roundabout, which includes raising the road levels and installing deep drainage. The signed diversion will be a bit wacky, as it has to allow for 44 tonne artics to arrive facing the junction, so it proposes going from Hore Down Gate to Mullacott, then Braunton, Barnstaple, Blackmoor Gate, Easterclose then Lynton Cross. In reality, any car that does that needs to take a long hard look at themselves, (as Two Potts would take 30 seconds, but we’re not allowed to send artics that way), and indeed, any lorry will find a better original route. Be aware that from Ilfracombe, apart from a very few days, there should always be a way to Muddiford, albeit either through Iron Letters or Hore Down.
It will also be necessary to close the B3230 between Lynton Cross and Iron Letter Cross (after the 8 weeks) for a period of up to 2 weeks, in order for the contractor to install service ducting, drainage and raise the road levels. Towards the completion of the works it may be necessary to close all 4 arms of the new roundabout separately for 1 day each to complete the surfacing work, however this will most likely be during December/January (subject to the works starting as planned).
Finally, after an email trail going back 3 months, and some reasonably forthright discussions, I am promised new painted lines on Quay Road by the 28th July. This should reduce the amount of chaos slightly, by allowing enforcement of the loading bay.
Right, now you’ve read all that, go back out in the sun, and have a nice day.
Cllr Crabb regularly posts updates on community group Gossip Around Ilfracombe to keep residents informed. 👍🏻
If you live in Ilfracombe, Hele, Lee or Lincombe and have got an issue Paul can help out with, you can get in touch with him at: firstname.lastname@example.org