Andy and Rachel help High Street adjust to life after lockdown

Andy Squires and Rachel Payne aim to help independent businesses to operate safely and give confidence to customers

East Devon District Council compliance officers Andy Squires and Rachel Payne aim to help independent businesses to operate safely and give confidence to customers - Credit: EDDC

Two new officers have been employed by East Devon District Council to help High Street businesses reopen safely and follow Covid-19 guidelines.

The council said: “Whilst Covid has closed down our thriving centres, we are now on a journey of transition, dedicated to reopening shops, restaurants and community venues in a safe and sustainable way.”

Covid compliance officers Andy Squires and Rachel Payne aim to help independent businesses to operate safely and give confidence to customers.

The council said Andy and Rachel would visit businesses on High Streets across the district, helping them to understand and comply with Covid legislation and guidance.

One of their main aims will be to support small and medium-sized enterprises to navigate the safe reopening of their business and reassure them if they are doing the right thing and help where they may not.

Councillor Marianne Rixson, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder with responsibility for coronavirus response and recovery, said: “Andy and Rachel will be a first point of contact for enquiries and have already started visiting businesses in the Exmouth area. We would urge business owners to get in touch if they are unsure whether their procedures are correct.”

They will also help businesses to go through Covid risk assessments and advise them if there are any gaps in the measures they have taken to protect staff and clients from the risks of infection.
The pair will also point struggling businesses to other sources of help available, such as grant funding and advice.

They will also deal with enquiries and reports from anyone who is concerned about Covid-safety compliance.

Most Read

They will be working alongside regulatory and enforcement professionals, other agencies and partners to provide advice, education and assistance to business customers.

The funding for these new posts comes from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 through the EDDC Reopening High Street Safely project, which has received £130,992 of funding.

If you would like help from a covid compliance officer, who will always carry ID when visiting a premises, you can contact the council’s Environmental Health Team on 01395 517456 or email environmentalhealth@eastdevon.gov.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter