News courtesy of Kevin Foster
(MP for Torbay)
School Funding Campaign Launched
This week a campaign is being launched to get a fairer deal on education funding for Torbay schools.
As you may be aware, schools in Torbay receive an unfair deal regarding funding per pupil compared to other areas. Kevin Foster is therefore actively supporting the F40 Fair Funding Campaign who are pushing the Government to amend the formula. What this means for Torbay is an opportunity to increase education funding by up to £2.6m, equivalent to £160 per pupil. You can find out more about the campaign by clicking here.
if you want to help local pupils be in with a chance of obtaining this extra funding by showing your support and signing the petition that can be downloaded by clicking here. You can send it back to Kevin at the House of Commons FREEPOST address given on it. Please note this address can only be used for parliamentary petitions, not general correspondence.
There is a sense of urgency to this appeal and the petition to Parliament will be presented on Tuesday 1st December so all signatures of support will be needed by Monday 30th November.
Paris Attacks and UK Security
Following the attacks in Paris, this week at Westminster was dominated by discussions about both the support being provided to France and our own security situation.
You can read the Prime Minister’s statement by clicking here.
As with the attack on Charlie Hebdo earlier this year the attacks involved battlefield weapons being used against unarmed civilians, along with suicide bombings. In June our Security Forces rehearsed their reaction to such an attack in London, with footage of that exercise looking eerily similar to what happened for real last week.
For background the UK has been on a heightened state of alert since June with the current threat level set at “severe” meaning an attack was very likely. This rating means extra security measures were in place and specialist units of the military are available to support the Police in responding to terror incidents. It’s understandable why the Government does not give details of their exact deployment.
Following the attacks the Government announced that it will be providing funding to expand our intelligence services as part of next week’s Strategic Defence and Security Review. This will include over 1,900 additional security and intelligence staff and more money to increase our network of counter-terrorism experts in the Middle East, in North Africa, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Good intelligence is vital to preventing attacks or identifying those operating in failed states where we may need to take military action to prevent attacks on our country.
Everyone can help deal with the terror threat by keeping their eye out for suspicious behaviour and letting the Police known about it. One plot was foiled because a neighbour was curious as to why their male neighbours were using a lot of hair dye after seeing the bin overflowing with empty bottles. A call to the Police meant a raid quickly followed.
The National Counter Terrorism Security Office has a lot of information on its web page which you can find by clicking here.
Presentation on Future of Healthcare
The Torbay and South Devon Clinical Commissioning Group issued their second stakeholder update this week, summarising some of the issues that have been covered in engagement discussions across the area they cover.
They have established a dedicated section of their website to host copies of the presentations which they have used at different meetings in each part of their area. These pages will be updated regularly as they cover different issues at their engagement meetings. You can find the information concerned by clicking here.
Prompt Testing for HIV Available
Ahead of World Aids Day on 1st December next week is National HIV Testing Week.
Getting a test is really easy. Eddystone, the local HIV and sexual health charity, will be holding a rapid result HIV Testing session in Torbay as part of the week and no appointment is necessary. The session is taking place on Thursday 26 November between 5.30pm and 7.30pm at Endeavour House, Union Street Torquay, TQ2 5QS.
For more information please call 0800 3283 508 / 01752 254406 or click here to visit their website.
It was saddening to hear the news on Monday that a murder investigation had started after a 36 year old man’s body was found.
The body was found just after 11am on Monday in Warberry Road West and the Police have already made a number of arrests in connection with their investigation.
The Police are asking that anyone with information about the incident call their non-emergency 101 number or email email@example.com, quoting log 244 of 16 November.
Give the Council Your Views on Future Transport
Torbay Council is launching a consultation to hear local people’s thoughts on over 70 future transport projects in Torbay.
The 5 year budget of £5.3 million will not fund all the projects, so the consultation is focussed on finding out what residents believe are the most beneficial projects for the area and whether there are other ideas which should be considered.
An initial consultation began on 18 November and will end on 4 December. Residents are invited to view the wide range of proposed projects on the Council’s website and to submit any comments during the consultation period.
Cllr Mark King said: “I would urge residents to take a look at the proposals and submit their priorities and comments. All comments will be considered and a final version of the 2015/20 Local Transport Plan implementation plan will ‘go live’ by 31 March 2016.”
To view the proposals and submit a comment online, click here. Hard copies of the consultation are available from local connections offices, libraries and harbour offices.
New Bay BID being Prepared
Last week a proposal for a Bay wide Tourism and Retail BID failed after the majority of businesses covered voted against.
This week the ERTC has announced that it will now lead work on a proposal that will only cover the Tourism Sector. The next steps include the preparation of an online consultation survey, which the ERTC will forward to tourism related businesses shortly asking whether they would support the development of a dedicated TBID, with a spring 2016 ballot possible.
In the meantime, the ERTC will need to revise all of their operations and budgets as a direct consequence of the failed TRTBID ballot last week. As part of this the English Riviera Visitor Information Centre on Torquay Harbourside will close its counter service from January 1st until further notice as part of the savings now necessary.
Road Set For Diversion Due To By Pass Works
As the work to build the South Devon Highway continues a major diversion is set to be put in place that may cause some significant congestion during peak periods for those heading to Newton Abbot from the bay.
From Monday, 23rd November, a diversion near the Hanson’s Quarry entrance and Aller Roundabout will be in place and is likely to cause disruption, especially at peak times.
The diversion will take all northbound traffic off the existing A380 at the new Aller Roundabout, through the Langford junction onto a section of the new road, over the railway and on towards Penn Inn Roundabout. Traffic will be directed around the new twin roundabouts on Kingskerswell Road and re-join the A380 near the new sign gantry by Hanson’s Quarry entrance via the new dual carriageway on-slip. You can read full details on the Herald Express website by clicking here.
This work is likely to have a significant impact this week so do remember to allow extra time for your journey through Kingskerswell.
Boost In Numbers of Apprenticeships
Yesterday figures were released showing that 1,140 new apprenticeships were started by people in Torquay and Paignton over the last year.
The figures also showed a strong rise in the number of apprenticeships started across our region, up 12% across the South West in 2014/15 from the year before. In total 5770 new apprenticeships have been started in Torquay and Paignton since 2010, meaning more young people getting the skills they need for a successful and secure future.
The Government has committed to deliver 3 million more high quality apprenticeships by 2020. The recently announced masterplan for the expansion of South Devon College shows the possibilities to put the highest levels of apprenticeship training at the heart of our bay’s economy.
Torbay GEOPark Gets UNESCO Status
Previously operating with the informal support of UNESCO, the status of UNESCO Global Geoparks has now been recognised under a new programme. The English Riviera, which includes the three towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham, and covers the entire Torbay area, became a Global Geopark in 2007 and, against competition from China and Europe, won the bid to host the 7th International Conference on Global Geoparks in September 2016 when delegates from around the world will attend what will now be the first UNESCO Global Geoparks conference.
This recognition is great news for our bay and will help attract more visitors to see the unique geology our area is built on.
Sat 21st Nov: 6.30pm, Karing Concert, Palace Avenue Theatre, Paignton. Tickets £6
Sat 21st Nov: 10am – 3pm Grand Autumn Fayre organised by All Saints’ Torre at Torquay Town Hall, Lymington Road. Charity stalls, homemade cakes, Grand Raffle and other stalls, Refreshments. Admission 20p
Sat 21st Nov – 24th Dec: 10.30am-4pm, Santas Magical Reindeer Grotto, Thursdays-Sundays, Gallery Level, Fleet Walk Shopping Centre, Torquay
Thurs 26th Nov: Paignton Society Talks: Paignton’s Missing Heritage by Ken Rowe, Gerston Centre, Gerston Place, Paignton call 01803 556969 for further information.
Fri 27th Nov: 7.30pm-1am, Sparkle Ball £25, Rivera Centre
Sat 28th Nov: Music Makers, Torre Abbey, Torquay for 9-19 year olds £5 per session.
Sat 6th Dec: Santa Sunday, fun run and cycle around the velopark in Paignton. Adults £10, Under 16’s £7