News courtesy of Kevin Foster
(MP for Torbay)
South Devon Link Road Closures
The South Devon Link Road is nearing completion and much of the tarmac surface has now been laid, yet sadly there is a little bit more inconvenience to come over the next few weeks.
The latest closures that have been announced will mostly focus on the area just north of the Penn Inn Roundabout and are linked to connecting the Penn Inn Flyover to the A380. One of these is in force this evening and there will be lane restrictions throughout the next week.
Rather than list all the specific closures in this update you can find them on the Herald Express website by clicking here.
There has been a lot of coverage in the national media of work by the Government to devolve powers to groups of local authorities, in particular the agreement that has been made with Greater Manchester and a prospective deal for Cornwall.
The drive behind these changes is to allow a greater number of decisions on items such as skills training, economic development and transport infrastructure to be taken locally, reflecting more closely the needs of an area. It has always been one of my frustrations that building a small railway halt in the 21st Century can take as long to deliver via a complex approval process as it did to build the mainlines themselves in the Victorian Era.
Earlier today it was announced that Councils across Devon & Somerset, including Plymouth and Torbay, will be submitting a statement of intent about creating a devolution deal to cover them all in response to the Government’s offer to devolve power and budgets from Westminster.
The key themes of the document focus on economic growth, health, social care and wellbeing, infrastructure and local resilience. The document will set the scene for discussions with Government about what powers could be devolved and will be followed up with more detailed proposals. You can read it for yourself on Devon County Councils website by clicking here.
Future of Torquay Magistrates Court to Be Raised in Parliament
In July a consultation was launched by the Ministry of Justice on proposals to close Torquay Magistrates Court.
There are a number of concerns about this proposal, not least the loss of any sense of local justice if all cases from the bay are heard in Plymouth or Newton Abbot. Whilst the most serious are transferred to the Exeter of Plymouth Crown Court if this goes ahead not only those facing a hearing for a range of offences will need to travel, but witnesses and victims as well.
This issue will be raised by Kevin Foster in the Commons on Tuesday (8th September) after submitting a question to the Lord Chancellor, Michael Gove, in what will be the first chance to raise this since the announcement. You will be able to watch the session live on BBC Parliament from 11:30am – Kevin is number 3 on the order paper.
Smoking In Vehicles Law
You might recall a debate last year about the introduction of a law banning smoking in vehicles where someone under 18 is present.
The date for the law to come into force has now been set, 1st October 2015. After then drivers who allow people to smoke in their vehicle when they are carrying children could face a fine for doing so. The full details of the law are available on the Government website by clicking here.
The issue of tips and what happens to them has been in the news after a restaurant chain was widely criticised for a policy of charging staff a percentage of their sales whether they had received one or not.
In light of a number of such issues being raised over recent years the Government has launched an investigation into tipping, with a request for evidence both from restaurant owners and staff. You can find it by clicking here.
Police in Paignton are looking for a pair of thieves who decided they wanted to make a splash by stealing a Jacuzzi from a local store.
Whilst one of the crooks was prepared for summer with his shades the pictures taken from CCTV are very clear and you can see them on the Herald Express website by clicking here.
Hopefully someone will recognise this pair so they can have an early bath instead.
Fans of Palm FM may be interested to hear that there is a new name being given to the popular local radio station.
Its new name will be “The Breeze” FM, similar to other stations in the network it is part of. The name change will take place on 21st September so you will see something different on your radio from then.
Many people are disappointed to see this loss of a local identity that firmly roots it here in the English Riviera and lets visitors know they are somewhere different. Yet it appears the firm concerned has made its final decision given the name changes it has already made to the stations it owns and the short time frame.
Sat 5th Sept: Fishstock, Brixham Quay, 10am-late £6 per adult, children free
Sat 5th Sept: Festival of Fun, Torbay Holiday Helpers’ Network, Babbacombe Downs, Torquay 12pm-late, Free admission
Sun 6th Sept: St Luke’s Residents’ Association Street Party, Cary Road, Torquay. The event opens at 2pm. The flyer may be seen here.
Sun 6th Sept: Torquay Cowes Classic Offshore Powerboat Race, Vaughan Parade, Torquay – 15 boats expected to enter Torbay between 10.30am-12.30pm. Race will start 1.30pm south of Daddyhole Plain
Thurs 10th Sept: Revolution Skate, Torbay Velopark, 6-8pm, £3, inline skating, entry firstname.lastname@example.org