News courtesy of Kevin Foster
(MP for Torbay)
New Nest for The Gulls?
It is safe to say that the last couple of years have been difficult ones for most Gulls Fans, yet there was some interesting news announced this week about a potential move to a new nest near the Willows.
The Herald Express revealed that Torquay United are in talks with a major American development company and Plainmoor landlords Torbay Council over an ambitious new stadium scheme in the Barton area.
If negotiations between the council and the developers reach agreement, they could leave their home of 105 years and be in the new £7.5 million stadium, which would have a 4G all-weather pitch and an initial capacity of 6,000 as early as the 2017-2018 season. The suggested site is between the Willows retail area and Torbay Crematorium’s site. You can read more on the Herald Express website by clicking here.
MPs to Debate Great Western Railway
Over the last two weeks the future of our vital rail links has been in the spotlight.
After a meeting with the Chancellor on Monday it now appears the vital funding for two key engineering reports will be forthcoming. Yet the report from the Peninsula Rail Taskforce will only mark the start of a long process of work needed to build a 21st Century Rail network in the South West.
In light of this on Tuesday Kevin Foster made an application to the backbench business committee for a debate to be held on the future of our railway in the House of Commons. This application was approved and he will be leading the debate on Monday night.
If you want to watch the debate it is expected to start at 6:30pm and will be shown live on BBC Parliament.
Whilst on the subject of transport Torbay Council’s Future Planning and Transport team would like to hear resident’s thoughts on the latest projects for improving how people move around the Bay.
These projects have come from feedback provided during a previous consultation that took place December 2015, which asked residents for their priorities and if they had any other ideas for the team to consider.
Councillor Mark King explained to me the reason for the latest consultation: “The council receives a grant of £5.3 million from the Department of Transport to help us deliver our projects over the next five years but it is clear that not all the projects can be completed with this budget. Which is why comments and feedback from our residents are so important as it helps us to focus and prioritise funding, and to find appropriate external funding, for potential improvements that will have the biggest impact on our communities.”
This latest consultation will end on Sunday 21 February 2016. All comments will be considered and a final version of the 2016/21 Local Transport Implementation Plan will be available in March 2016.
To view the consultation document, which is called Local Transport Plan 3, and to see the results of previous consultations just click here.
Whilst the European Referendum has been attracting the most publicity another one is rapidly approaching that will have a big impact on the bay.
On Thursday 6th May voters in Torbay will be asked to decide whether to stick with the current system of a directly Elected Mayor leading the Council, or revert back to the previous system (that existed until 2005) where a Council Leader is chosen by Elected Councillors.
There is not much sign of any campaigning being done on the streets for this Referendum, although a couple of campaign groups have been established on Facebook.
Don’t Forget To Register Your Right To Vote
Talking of Referendums imagine how you will feel if having listened to the debates and made your choice, you then discovered that you had not registered to vote.
Whilst the date for the EU Referendum is yet to be set, on Thursday 5th May 2016 voters in Torbay will go to the polls to elect a Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall. They will also be able to vote in a referendum to decide whether Torbay Council will continue to be run by an elected Mayor. Yet anyone who isn’t registered to vote won’t be able to take part and have their say.
The deadline to register to vote in these elections is Monday 18 April 2016.
Whilst there is still time, it’s running out quickly. The good news is that it only takes a few minutes to register online by clicking here.
More Road Closures For South Devon Highway Works
Whilst the main carriageways of the new South Devon Link Road are open work is continuing on a number of linked projects.
This means there are a number of closures planned on roads near the new bypass, although the main Link Road is not affected. You can find more details of them on the Herald Express website by clicking here.
Pensions Auto Enrolment
Recently, there has been a review undertaken by the Public Accounts Committee of the progress being made with plans for every business to be covered by Auto Enrolment for workplace pensions.
For those who work for larger employers this is already a reality and the scheme is set to be expanded to all employers, including the smallest of businesses, over the next few years. In future all employees working in the UK earning over £10,000 a year and aged between 22 and State Pension Age must be automatically enrolled into a workplace pension scheme.
Whilst the Committee found things have gone well so far, the extension to 1.8m small businesses is likely to be the most challenging phase as these companies do not have the sort of HR support the largest businesses do.
If you are an employer and not sure what this might mean for you there is plenty of advice on the Government website. Just click here to be taken to the relevant section.
PCC Monthly Report
Our local Police and Crime Commissioner, Tony Hogg, has published his latest monthly report and it is easy to read online.
This month’s edition includes details of the Police Budget for the year ahead and other details of the work of our PCC. Just click here to be taken to it.
Since the closure of Stoodley Knowle School last year many residents have been asking what the future of the site will be.
There was an update given at this week’s meeting of the Wellswood and Torwood Community Partnership and an update has been received from Sue Kenway, the Secretary, about what was said which is:
“Not much news re Stoodley, several interested parties. Two retirement Home options, Redrow and Council still interested in putting a new primary school on the Tennis Courts to the right of the main drive from Ilsham Marine Drive. Not a preferred planning option as this would be on the woodland/coastal side and there has been no development here previously. Going to the market in March, no price revealed. Likely to be three months considering best options and then three more tying up legal so wont know new owners until autumn.”
Bogus Cops Meet a Real One
Three criminals found their master plan to steal a car by pretending to be Police Officers backfired spectacularly.
At 4am on Sunday Morning the two crooks flashed their lights at a vehicle to get the unsuspecting driver to pull over. The driver dutifully responded yet when asked to get out of his vehicle, but leave the keys in the ignition, he became suspicious. Not a surprise as whilst the two crooks were pretending, the driver they had pulled over was a real Police Officer on his way home from work!!
Since the incident three men have been arrested and you can read the full story on the Herald Express website by clicking here.
Sat 6th Feb: 7pm onwards – Charity Fun night in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, Appleby’s, Sheddon Hill, Torquay
Sat 7th Feb: Devon Wedding Show, Riviera Centre, Torquay
Sat 13th Feb: Glow in the Park in support of Marie Curie, Torbay Velopark, Paignton