News courtesy of Kevin Foster
(MP for Torbay)
Any views expressed in this news post are those of Kevin Foster, unless stated otherwise.
Services are being held across the bay this Remembrance Sunday (13th November).
Torbay’s main Civic Service will be held at Torquay War Memorial in Princess Gardens. A parade of contingents (including veterans) will leave Torquay Pavilion at 10:30am, ahead of the service at 11am. All are welcome to attend and we advise getting there for 10:45am.
In Paignton a Remembrance Day service will be held at Paignton Parish Church at 3pm (There is a request to be seated by 2:45pm if attending), with a parade after the service to the War Memorial in Palace Avenue for Wreath Laying. All are welcome to attend.
The plans to electrify large parts of the Great Western Railway have been in the news this week after it was announced that completion of four sections was being deferred until 2024.
The sections affected are, mostly, on the route between London and Bristol. It had already been confirmed that trains being ordered for these routes would, like the new sets that will be used in Devon & Cornwall, have both diesel and electric power. Despite the headlines it is worth noting that the changes do not directly affect the main rail routes which serve Torbay and South Devon (That go through Newbury).
The National Audit Office also released a highly critical report about the planning undertaken by Network Rail for this project and the escalating costs of it. This report follows earlier reviews that have been equally critical, including one instance that saw Network Rail admit the estimated cost of electrification would rise significantly the day before a Public Accounts Committee Inquiry into it.
Refuse Collection Problems – HGV Drivers Required
A few residents have been concerned about problems with their recycling collection and if you are a qualified HGV Driver looking for work you could be part of the solution.
Councillor Mark King, Executive Lead for Planning, Transport and Housing on Torbay Council said: “We want to reassure residents that collecting recycling from the kerbside is still a priority for us in Torbay, and we really do appreciate the efforts residents have been putting into sorting into the correct bins. There is currently a shortage of appropriately trained drivers and this has meant some recycling containers have not been collected at the usual time. TOR2 are currently using a contingency plan on some of its collection rounds, and all recycling will be collected and recycled but not all sorted at the kerbside. Can I please urge everyone to continue putting your recycling containers out as business as usual will resume soon.”
TOR2 have asked if your waste is not collected on the normal day that residents leave it out for collection.
Finally to solve this problem TOR2 are looking to recruit full time HGV drivers to support its Waste and Recycling Collection teams. Anyone interested should contact GAP Recruitment on 01803 526605 to arrange an interview.
From Russia With Love?
The sight of a Russian Ship coming into the bay this week caused some to worry about whether a Spy Vessel was in our waters.
Reassuringly the explanation of what the ship was doing owed more to fishing than spying and you can read the full story on the Herald Express website by clicking here.
St Martin’s Church Attack
There have recently been three nights of vandalism that have left a local church facing a £25,000 bill to reinstate their stained-glass windows.
St Martin’s Barton has stood at the heart of the local community since 1939, surviving the air attacks on Torquay during World War 2. The recent attacks, which saw stones thrown through the windows, are the most serious incident of vandalism in its 76 year history. Whilst its insurers have agreed to pay for the windows a special coating must be added to prevent similar damage, if not the church could find itself without insurance cover for further attacks.
Concerns were raised about the Police response to the first two nights of attacks, which raised these with the Chief Constable on Tuesday during a meeting with MPs. You can read more about this on the Herald Express website by clicking here.
The church has launched a fundraising appeal to help get the funds they need and if you would like to make a donation or support their fundraising efforts more generally, then you can find contact details on their website by clicking here.
Speed Cameras On Link Road?
The new South Devon Highway has had a massive impact on journey times between the bay and Newton Abbot since it opened last year.
One issue being debated is the speed at which many drivers are using it and Devon County Councillors recently discussed whether to install speed cameras on the road. They ultimately decided to defer a decision until more information was available. You can read more on the Herald Express website by clicking here.
Child Poverty Figures
Figures released this week indicate that Torquay and Paignton has the fifth highest number of children living in poverty in the South West region.
The figures indicated only parts of Bristol and Weston Super Mare have more children living in poverty then the area I cover. A range of reasons are cited for this, with similar issues being seen in other coastal\seaside towns. You can read more on the Herald Express website by clicking here.
These figures emphasise why it is so vital that after many years of decline we look to regenerate our Town Centres and create more opportunities for those needing the best start in life.
What Does the Tooth Fairy Give?
Do you remember the excitement as a young child when you found a coin under my pillow that had been left by the “Tooth Fairy”.
If you were wondering what the going rate is for a tooth today then you might be interested to hear that new research has shown that in the South West the average rate per tooth is £3.70. Why exactly someone would wish to research this fact is not clear, but you can read more on the Herald Express website by clicking here.
Public Meeting on Paignton Hospital Closure Plans
On Saturday hundreds of people for a Public Meeting at Paignton Parish Church on the proposals to close Paignton Hospital.
At the start of the meeting the Clinical Commissioning Group outlined their proposals for change and this was followed by an excellent speech from Matthew Clarke of the Friends of Paignton Hospital. If you could not make it yourself you can read Matthew’s comments on the Torbay Times website by clicking here.
The official consultation is continuing, despite calls for it to be abandoned, and you can find out more on the CCG website by clicking here.
Council Budget Consultation
As mentioned in last week’s update Torbay Council has started a consultation on its Budget proposals for 2016/17.
A summary of the draft budget proposals for 2017/18 can be found on the Council’s website by clicking here.
A six week consultation on the proposals commenced on Monday with final decisions due to be taken by the Council in February.
Consultation on St Matthias Changes
Since the mid-19th century St Matthias Church in Wellswood has been at the heart of the local community and now some (internal only) changes are being proposed.
Many residents will have fond memories of the church and will be relieved to hear that its magnificent internal architecture is not proposed for change. Yet there is a discussion about whether it should retain its traditional wooden pews as other historic churches in the bay, such as Paignton Parish Church, already use more flexible seating.
In order to gain local views there will be a public exhibition at the church on Sunday 20th November from 12pm till 3pm. All are welcome to attend.
Torre Christmas Sparkle,
Friday 18th November – Brunswick Square, Torre.
All are welcome to join in the festive fun from 3pm till 6;30pm in the heart of Torre with the light up at 5:30pm.
Saturday 19th November – Palace Avenue Methodist Church Paignton.
Lots of fun from 10am till 1pm with cakes, refreshments, stalls and crafts on offer. Admission is only 50p.
Saturday 19th November – Goodrington Methodist Church, Grange Road, Paignton.
There will be crafts, gifts, cakes, face painting and much more on offer from 10:30am till 2pm. All monies raised will go to Rowcroft Hospice.