News courtesy of Kevin Foster
(MP for Torbay)
Broadband Universal Service Obligation
There is a need for the remaining “not spots”, places in the bay that do not receive high speed broadband, to be dealt with.
There has been a call for the Government to consider introducing a Universal Service Obligation (USO), similar to the one that exists for the Postal Service. As more services move online many households could find themselves cut off from them if their broadband speeds do not keep up.
The embargo on the Government’s plan to introduce just such a system has been lifted. The new USO will give people a legal right to request an affordable connection to broadband, no matter where they live. The aim would be to allow consumers to request a broadband connection with a speed of at least 10Mbps by the end of this parliament.
More details will be forthcoming in the near future but this is great news for the few places left in the bay that are not covered by good broadband speeds.
Latest News on Police Funding
There have been concerns about the funding for our local Police Force, given the significant reductions suggested by a new funding formula.
It transpires that there has been a major development in that the Government has indicated in a letter to Devon and Cornwall Police that the funding indicated for the force was based on incorrect data. It appears the indicative funding figure under the new formula should have been higher than suggested.
You can read more on the BBC website by clicking here.
Last Chance to Sign Magistrates Court Petition
If you would like to sign Kevin Foster’s petition, just click here to download a form that can be printed and posted back FREEPOST.
Latest on the Link Road
The South Devon Link Road is getting closer and there has been an update this week confirming it should be fully open next month.
As stated recently, a story circulating on the internet about Toll Booths being placed on the road is a hoax.
Fair Funding on Education
It seems that Torbay’s schools receive some of the lowest funding per pupil in the country.
The current funding formula can see wide variations in the amount provided per pupil between different areas, mostly based on historical differences that are now irrelevant. Torbay is part of the F40 campaign that brings together the 40 areas with the lowest amounts of funding per pupil to campaign for change.
Following a recent letter sent to the Prime Minister a debate was held yesterday in parliament in which Kevin Foster spoke, along with other MPs calling for change. You can read his remarks, and those of other MPs who took part, by clicking here.
The major reforms to Pensions have given people across the bay welcome flexibility to use their retirement nest egg in the manner that is right for them.
With any such change there are some who are confused about it and others who seek to exploit those who have spent a lifetime working for a comfortable retirement.
The Pension Wise service mentioned can be found on the Government website by clicking here.
Coca-Cola Truck Rolling Into Town
The Coca-Cola Christmas truck will return to the Bay on Thursday 26th November as the iconic ‘Holidays Are Coming’ TV advert celebrates 20 years on UK screens
The council has been working closely with the promotional company to ensure that the UK’s favourite Christmas truck returns to spread a little festive happiness. It will be situated in Victoria Street, Paignton, between 12noon and 8pm on the day.
Council Budget Consultation Starts
Last Thursday afternoon Torbay Council published its draft budget proposals for 2016/17 marking the start of a public consultation on them.
One key part is that after a five year freeze a small rise in the Council’s element of the Council Tax is being proposed. Savings are continuing to be required at a local level as the Government moves to eliminate the reminder of the national deficit.
You can find the full details of the draft Budget, plus how to have your say in the consultation, by clicking here.
Torbay Council has teamed up with the metal packaging manufacturing and recycling industries to urge residents to ‘make their metals matter’ and recycle more of the metal packaging items they use at home every year.
The latest recycling campaign will focus on the importance of metal packaging recycling and increase the amount collected from households. It is estimated that 24 million drinks cans, food cans, aerosols, aluminium foil trays and wrapping foil is used in UK homes every year, much of which is not recycled.
The campaign, which will feature leaflets and bus adverts, is being jointly funded by MetalMatters, an industry partnership comprising the UK’s leading producers, users and recyclers of metal packaging.
Pavilion Comments Deadline Nears
The deadline is nearing for submitting comments on a revised and a new planning application for development of the Torquay Pavilion.
Compared to the earlier proposal the latest application proposes two blocks of 10 and six storeys, reduces the number of flats from 45-43 and replaces a double height restaurant unit with a single storey one, but includes a roof level bar. The existing application, which was submitted in June last year, has been revised to include a taller tower element than the new application.
If you want to comment on the applications or take a look at the plans for yourself, you can find links to all the relevant details from a specific page on the Council website. Just click here to be taken to it.
Comments need to be with the Council by Thursday 18th November 2015.
Sat 7th (2.30pm & 7.30pm) & Sun 8th Nov, 7.30pm: Grit – An original musical, Palace Theatre, Paignton. Tickets £5 available via tel: 01803 665800
Sat 7th -Sat 14th Nov, 1.00pm-6.00pm: Torbay to London, pre-launch of artwork that will be taken to London for exhibition, Artizan Gallery, Lucius Street, Torquay
Remembrance Sun 8th Nov: 11am (Try to arrive by 10:45am) Remembrance Service, Princess Gardens, Torquay and also at 2.45pm Remembrance Service, Paignton Parish Church. I will be attending both events.
Wed 11th – Sat 14th Nov, 7.30pm: The Canterbury Tales, TOADS, Little Theatre, St Marks Road, Torquay, Tickets £8, Concessions £6. Tel: 01803 299330
Thurs 12th Nov, 7.30pm: We’ll Meet in Moscow, a performance at South Devon College. Tickets £8 via Doorstep Theatre
Sat 14th Nov, all day: Torquay Town Centre Light Switch On. Entertainment. Santa will arriving in Fleet Walk at 11.30am