News courtesy of Kevin Foster
(MP for Torbay)
New Minimum Wage Rates
New Minimum Wage rates came into effect this week, with apprentices seeing a large rise in their earnings.
The main rate for the Minimum Wage has risen from £6.50 to £6.70 per hour, the largest real-terms increase since 2007 with apprentices seeing their minimum wage increase by over 20% to £3.30 from £2.70 per hour.
It is easy to check whether you are being paid the Minimum Wage by using the calculator on the Government website. Just click here to find it.
Latest Link Road News
As the South Devon Link Road nears completion the final edition of the regular newsletter about the works has just been published.
You can read it on the dedicated link road website by clicking here. and it includes some handy diagrams of the new junctions that will soon be in use.
Finally a new round of lane and road closures for general roadworks across the bay has just been announced. You can find it on the Herald Express website by clicking here.
Carrier Bag Charge
On Monday (5th October) the new single use carrier bag charge will come into force requiring large retailers to charge 5p for each bag they issue.
The purpose of this legislation is to reduce the amount of plastic waste that is produced and needs disposing of, by encouraging the reuse of bags by consumers. Many of us may have the odd kitchen drawer stuffed full of bags and now is the time to have them to hand when you walk out the door.
The charge is compulsory for retailers employing over 250 or more full time (or equivalent), although other retailers may take part on a voluntary basis. You can find out more on the government website by clicking here.
New Buses for Baylink
Many residents will be familiar with the Baylink service and earlier this year they won a grant from the Department for Transport to fund two new minibuses.
There has been quite a delay in these two buses arriving bu, according to the Department for Transport, it appears the delay is due to confusion over the size of buses ordered versus what are available. Hopefully this should be relatively easy to resolve by facilitating a discussion between the two groups, so the buses will soon be on their way to bay.
Smoke Alarms Now Required
Yesterday a strict new law came into place in relation to the provision of Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors in private rented properties.
If you rent a property do make sure you are up to date with the new regulations as they are a strict liability offence and can carry a fine of up to £5,000. There was a very good session explaining the new rules at a recent meeting of the Devon Residential Landlords Association. You can also find a handy guidance booklet produced by the Government explaining the regulations online by clicking here.
It is estimated this requirement could help prevent more than 25 deaths and nearly 700 injuries a year. The new law follows a campaign led by Devon and Somerset Fire Services which harnessed the support of Fire Authorities across the country and a private members bill introduced by my predecessor.
In addition to the new regulations for Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors new protections for tenants who raise legitimate complaints about the state of their properties also came in yesterday. You can find details of them by clicking here.
History Grant for Bay Libraries
Torbay Libraries will be exploring the Bay’s rich past after successfully being awarded £31,700 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Celebrating Torbay, a year of local and family history, will be starting in January 2016 and aims to engage local residents of all ages. As well as a website several other projects related to local history will be taking place.
These include: a project digitising Torbay Libraries’ extensive range of archive photographs; a book written by local school children which will detail some of Torbay’s more blood-curdling secrets; and a local history calendar will be produced to showcase the library’s rarely seen images from the past
Tipping Policy Changes
A few weeks ago the Las Iguanas chain, which has a restaurant in Torquay, was in the news about its tipping policies.
At the time Kevin Foster wrote to the company asking for a response to the comments made in the media. A couple of weeks ago he received a letter from their Managing Director which, unsurprisingly, defended their position and confirmed some key elements of it, whilst disputing other parts of the coverage. Yet they have now performed a u-turn and changed their policy.
If you receive tips as part of your job the Government is keen to hear from you and there is an ongoing consultation asking for evidence of practices across the industry. You can take part by clicking here.
Academy Status for 2 More Bay Schools
Both Oldway Primary School and Roseland Primary School have received final approval from the Government to convert to Academy status.
Britain’s First Humans at Torquay Museum
On Wednesday 14th October Professor Stringer from the Natural History Museum, London will be visiting Torquay Museum to talk about ‘Britain’s First Humans’, detailing the epic history of life in Britain, from man’s very first footsteps.
He will describe times when Britain was so tropical that man lived alongside hippos and sabre tooth tiger, then times so cold we shared this land with reindeer and mammoth. Tickets for the talk cost £7.95 and it will start at 7pm. For more information contact Torquay Museum: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01803 293975
Parking Review & Grace Period For Private Car Parks
This week the Council launched another consultation on parking asking the opinions of residents, visitors, businesses and communities on a subject pretty much everyone has a view on.
The review covers everything from the price of parking and conditions of car parks to parking issues within communities that are raised with me regularly. The Council also wants to hear what people think about parking in Torbay compared with other places and their views on whether new technology could improve the parking services on offer.
A survey is available online by clicking here and paper copies are available at local libraries. The consultation will close on Friday 13 November 2015.
In a separate piece of news the British Parking Association has this week amended its code of practice which covers many operators of private car parks. It now grants a grace period of 10 minutes after a parking ticket has expired before a ticket can be issued, this is the same as the rules that already exist for Council operated car parks. You can read a report on this from the Independent by clicking here.
Check, when parking, who owns the Car Park you are using as it may be a private company.
Starting Sun 4th Oct: Every Saturday indoor MARKET, Torquay Town Hall. 10am-2pm. And from 4th October every Sunday indoor CARBOOT. 1pm-4pm. Torquay town hall TQ3 3DR. 20p admission. £8 table. For bookings or enquiries ring 01803 400206 or text 07476939544
Thurs 8th – Sat 10th Oct, 7.30pm: Shiphay Amateur Dramatics Society presents the Odd Couple. St John’s Church, Cadewell Lane, Torquay. Tickets: adults £6, under 16’s £4 available via Shiphay Post Office or by calling 07913 109672
Tues 13th – Sat 17th Oct, Hairpsray. The TOPS Musical Productions team will be staging their production of this ever popular musical. For tickets and performance times click here.
Sat 17th Oct, Family History Day, Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints Belle Vue Road, Paignton SIX EXPERT GENEALOGISTS will be giving of their time to help local residents find their lost Ancestors. The event is free of charge, as is parking at the church.
Sun 18th Oct: Apple Day, 10am-4pm, £3.50 adults, £1 children, Cockington Court, Torquay