Some local (and otherwise) news


News courtesy of Kevin Foster

(MP for Torbay)
Any views expressed in this news post are those of Kevin Foster, unless stated otherwise.

Latest On Pavilion Planning Decision

After nearly three years of discussion a decision on plans for a development next to the Pavilion is getting closer.

This week Councillors on the key committee were given a tour of the building and one member tweeted a number of photos he took during it. You can see these photos on the Herald Express website by clicking here.

It was understood that the plans would be voted on next month, but now this looks set to be delayed until December.

Dawlish Rail Resilience Gets Minister’s Backing

The Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, was in Dawlish yesterday to see for himself the sea wall and the work done since 2014.

During his visit he was asked a number of times about the Government’s guarantee to ensuring the long term resilience of the line. He gave positive indications about this and you can read what he said on the Herald Express website by clicking here.

The Peninsula Rail Taskforce is set to issue its report on the long term future for our railway network later this year. It will need to set out clearly how we can deliver real improvements and a structured plan that we can all get behind.

Sale of Annuities

There has been a lot of coverage in the media this week of the government’s decision not to proceed with plans to allow the sale of annuities (pensions).

Some were hoping to take advantage of such a change to cash in their pension, particularly if the deal they were originally sold was not the best given issues in the annuity market. That said the evidence gathered so far indicates that very few providers would look to buy them, meaning many face the real danger of a poor deal for the second time or not getting a fair price.

Given for most people their annuity (Pension) represents the bedrock of their financial security in retirement it is vital any change protects this and ensures informed decisions can be made.

Kevin Foster raised this with the Minister during a debate on this subject and you can read what he said, plus the Minister’s response, by clicking here.

Turing’s Law

Parliament have been debating the so called “Turing’s Law”, named in honour of the great World War 2 codebreaker.

Three years ago he was formally pardoned for the convictions he received in the 1950’s for being a gay man. At the time he was forced to undergo chemical castration as the only alternative to prison, something that is widely believed to have led to his later suicide. It was a shameful way to treat a man who had literally helped save this country from the Nazis.

Since Alan Turing’s pardon there have been growing calls for a wider scheme to pardon and clear the records of those men convicted of being gay or under laws that discriminated against them. Two proposals have been before parliament this week to do this. One is a Government supported proposal contained in a bill that is being debated by the House of Lords. The other was today’s private member’s bill introduced by an SNP member.

Kevin spoke in yesterday’s debate and, given Hansard is not yet available, you can watch what he said on Parliament’s website by clicking here.

The bill discussed today will not proceed but the Government’s plan will almost certainly become law later this year. You can read the details of it by clicking here.

Community Pharmacies

Over the last few months a number of residents have asked about the future for community pharmacies in the bay as the Government looks to reform the funding model.

Earlier this week the Minister responsible for the consultation answered an urgent question in parliament on the plans. You can read the questions he was asked, plus his responses, by clicking here.

New Business Park For Paignton?

The Torbay Development Agency, on behalf of Torbay Council, has this week applied for planning permission to develop land at Claylands Cross, in Paignton into a new business park.

Investment in the site by Torbay Council will provide new, high quality employment space, which will create new jobs and boost the local economy. The investment is expected to generate rental income for the Council whilst also creating approximately 275 new jobs in the Bay.

The 10 acre brown field site, located on the Brixham Road in Paignton, will provide occupiers with larger industrial type buildings that are currently not being provided by the private sector. Once fully developed, Claylands business Park will provide over 115,000 sq. ft., accommodating over 270 employees and contributing around £10.4m per year to the value of the economy.

Phase one of Claylands Business Park will consist of space across three units. Each unit will have office facilities, dedicated parking and shared use of a secure service yard at the rear of the buildings. Construction of the buildings will only be commenced once tenants are secured to reduce the risk to the Council.

Subject to Planning Permission being received in January, I am advised that development is expected to start early in spring 2017.

Poppy Shop Launched

As November approaches the Royal British Legion has launched a range of items on its on-line Poppy Shop. You can find it by clicking here.

Teacher Training Opportunities

The Parliamentary Education Service is offering a free 3-day course for all educators of Citizenship, Law, Politics, History and related subjects, that will provide an informative and unique view of Parliament.

The ‘Teachers’ Institute’ takes place from 23-25 January 2017, and delegates will experience a variety of events, including Q&A sessions with Members of both Houses, talks from subject specialists, and workshops dedicated to linking the National Curriculum to the work of Parliament.

All transport and accommodation costs are covered and applications for the ‘Teachers’ Institute’ close at 5pm on Friday 18th November. More information can be found by clicking here.

Old Paigntonian Gets National Attention

One former resident of the bay has been getting a lot of attention this week after he got a bit of undeserved bad press.

Former Paignton Zoo resident, Kumbuka, a 29-stone Silverback Gorilla, managed to find his way from his den at London Zoo into an area used by his keepers when he was called in for his evening meal. Whilst exploring the usually out of bounds area he decided to have a quick drink, downing 5 litres of undiluted blackcurrant squash!

Kumbuka was spoken to calmly by his keeper, who was able to leave the area safely, and was later tranquilised before being returned to his enclosure, presumably with a bit of a hangover.

Yet some social media reports have made this incident sound like a rerun of King Kong with talk of broken windows and smashed doors. You can read the real, less dramatic, version of what happened on the London Zoo website by clicking here.


Winner Street Community Car Wash Fundraiser for Christmas Lights and Local Scouts

23rd October 2016, 10:00-13:00, Forecourt at Millgate Motors, Winner Street, TQ3 3BQ
Cost: Fundraiser
Booking: No booking necessary
For more information please click here.

Super Villains Week
24th-30th October 2016, Living Coasts, Beacon Quay, Torquay, TQ1 2BG
Cost: Standard Living Coasts admission prices apply (£1 fee for coffin trail)
Booking: No booking necessary (coffin trail available while stocks last)
For more information please click here.

Halloween Hob Goblin Trail
25th-27th October 2016, 10:00-15:00, Occombe Farm, Preston Down Road, Paignton, TQ3 1RN
Cost: £2.50 per child
Booking: No booking necessary
For more information please click here.

Horrible Halloween Trail
26th-30th October 2016, 12:00-17:00, Torre Abbey, The Kings Drive, Torquay, TQ2 5JE
Cost: Under 18s go free. Accompanying adults cost £1.50
Booking: No booking required
For more information please click here.


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