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.

Rail Line Fails As Long Awaited Plan For The Future Is Launched

With Torbay and the South West once again cut off by rail this week following severe storms, Kevin Foster raised the issue with Theresa May at Prime Minister’s Questions.

This week the South West Region’s MPs came together with local councils and businesses (who ironically had to drive to London) to support the launch of the Peninsula Rail Force report into improving our transport infrastructure, and this week’s bad weather has once again highlighted the well-known and long standing shortcomings with our rail service.

You can listen to his question and the PM’s response to it by clicking here.

The Prime Minister’s response appeared to indicate more funding would be announced in the Autumn Statement. Yet when the Chancellor delivered his statement the only reference made in it was to money that had already been announced last week. Kevin therefore followed up on this with a question to the Chancellor to see if its inclusion was a sign of a much wider treasury commitment, not just a repeat of money already announced. You can read what he said and the Chancellor’s response by clicking here.

South West Growth Charter Delivered To Number 10

The new charter is a collaboration between businesses, public sector partners and Local Enterprise Partnerships that will be focusing on achieving growth in the South West.

In the coming months the South-West as a whole will see investment in broadband, railways and training in STEM subjects, in addition to Torbay Council creating a £50m growth fund that will help drive growth and regeneration in the Bay.

You can read what Kevin and other South West MPs who spoke in the debate said by clicking here.

Fuel Freeze Success

Two weeks ago more than 50 MPs added their names to a letter calling on the Chancellor to scrap a planned 2p rise in Fuel Duty.

Given the recent economic uncertainty, plus the need to ensure business and consumer confidence in the months ahead, now doesn’t seem to be the best time to be deliberately increasing the cost of petrol and diesel.

The Chancellor announced on Wednesday that he was scrapping this proposed increase, saving the average car driver £130 a year and the average van driver £350 a year. Fuel duty has now been frozen for 7 years in a row.

Autumn Statement

The big event at Westminster this week was the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, the first major financial statement since Chancellor Philip Hammond took office.

There was a lot of detail in it and positive news on issues ranging from further increases in the personal allowance for income tax to a new £23bn National Productivity Investment Fund.

You can:

Read the Chancellor’s speech and the questions asked by clicking here and the Autumn Statement plus a summary of its contents on the Government website by clicking here.

Thanks a Million Philip

Devon Air Ambulance had a million reasons to thank the Chancellor on Wednesday as in his Autumn Statement he announced the latest grants being made from the Libor (Bank Fines) Fund to charities.

The grants included a £1m donation to Devon Air Ambulance to support their work developing night landing sites. The charity is looking to create 300 such sites so their vital work can continue into the hours of darkness.

These sites are pre-surveyed and have state of the art technology with remote switching to turn on and off the lights at scene. The communities would still need to raise the funds to buy the equipment, but the grant would be available to fund the cost of installing the necessary flood lighting.

You can read more on the Devon Air Ambulance website by clicking here.

Hospital Consultation Closes

On Thursday the formal consultation period on the plans by the South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group to close Paignton Hospital ended.

It will come as a surprise to no-one who has attended the various consultation meetings that the public feedback has expressed strong concerns about and opposition to the plans. Many residents have made similar points to my own including how the loss of a Minor Injuries Unit in Paignton may see more heading to A&E at Torbay Hospital.

This week the Herald Express reported the response to the consultation put in by a number of Paignton Groups calling for services to be retained in the town. You can read the report on the Herald Express website by clicking here.

Cockington Stars in Christmas Commercial

You may recognise a familiar scene in some advertisements screened over the festive period as camera crews were spotted in Cockington this week.

Cockington is famous with tourists for being a true chocolate box scene with the thatched cottages, cricket pitch and historic church at its core. This makes it rather appropriate for the adverts being filmed.

You can read more on the Herald Express website by clicking here and let’s hope the advert sells its venue as much as the product itself.

Question Raised on Edginswell Station

In a week that saw me spending a lot of time talking about our railways Kevin also received a response to a written question about Edginswell Station.

He asked for an update about the progress being made on the station project with a view to confirming what Government support might be available to fill the final funding gap. You can read the response received by clicking here.

Could You Make A Difference To Next Year’s Christmas Carnival?

Last Saturday many people braved the bad weather to watch the Torquay Christmas Carnival.

Despite the rain pelting down many children and volunteers took part in the festive display, with lots of proud parents taking photos. Many present enjoyed themselves and there was lots of positive feedback.

If you could offer to lend a hand next year to help make the Carnival even better, the organisers would be pleased to hear from you. Just let us know so we can pass your details on.

Torquay’s Daftest Drug Dealer Nicked

One Torquay Drug Dealer who thought he would be able to get away with a heroin deal on the street appeared before Exeter Crown Court this week.

It is safe to say the man is not one of the UK’s criminal masterminds as he decided to conduct his latest deal outside a shop on South St, directly opposite Torquay Police Station!

Eagle eyed officers easily spotted him whilst looking out of the station’s windows and quickly brought his dealing to an end. You can read more on the Herald Express website by clicking here.


Torquay Town Centre Christmas Market
Saturday 26th November & Sunday 27th November – Fleet Street, Torquay, TQ1 1ES
Time – All Day
Cost – Free
Booking – No booking required
For more information please click here

Creative Christmas by the Sea
Saturday 26th November – Torquay Town Centre
Time – 11:00-14:30
Cost – Free of Charge
Booking – No booking required
For more information please click here

Paignton Meccano Group
Saturday 26th November – Torbay Court Hotel, Steartfield Road, Paignton, TQ3 2BJ
Time – 13:00-16:00
Cost – Free of charge
Booking – No booking required

Christmas Market in aid of Muscular Dystrophy UK
Sunday 27th November – Riviera Centre, Chestnut Avenue, Torquay, TQ2 5LZ
Time – 11:00-15:00
Cost – Entry is free – all profits go to Muscular Dystrophy UK
Booking – No booking required
For more information please click here

Outside Edge
Wednesday 30th November – Saturday 3rd December
Palace Theatre, Palace Avenue, Paignton, TQ3 3HF
Time – 19:30
Cost – £8.50 concessions; £12.50 adults
Booking – Can be made in advance here
For more information please click here

Victorian Christmas
From Thursday 1st December – Bygones, Fore Street, St Marychurch, TQ1 4PR
Time – 10:00-16:00 (Last entry 15:00)
Cost – Various, please click here
Booking – No advance booking is necessary
For more information please click here


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