News courtesy of Kevin Foster
(MP for Torbay)
Any views expressed in this news post are those of Kevin Foster, unless stated otherwise.
Bin Collection Times
Just a quick reminder that waste and recycling collections will be delayed by one day for all residents next week (Week Commencing 26th December)
Collections will then return to their normal day on Monday 2nd January 2017.
Torbay Council Opening Times,
Torbay Council has confirmed the following opening times over the Christmas\New Year period:
Paignton Connections office
It will be open from 9 am to 5 pm on Friday 23, Wednesday 28, Thursday 29 and Friday 30 December with normal service resuming from Tuesday 3 January. The office will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Tuesday 27 and Saturday 31 December as well as Sunday 1 and Monday 2 January.
The call centre will be open during normal working hours, 9am to 5pm and can be used to book appointments for the registrars’ office.
The Connections ‘Self Service’ Zone provisions within the buildings of Torquay and Brixham Libraries will be available during the library opening hours.
Torbay Libraries will be closed from Saturday 24 December to Tuesday 27 December inclusive, and on Monday 2 January.
Benefits, Council Tax and Business Rates
Enquiries to 01803 207201 will be open during normal operating hours, 9 am to 5 pm except on the 26 and 27 December, and 2 January.
Housing Options service can be contacted on 01803 208723 for enquiries. This service will be available until 5pm on Friday 23 December. The service will be unavailable from the 24 to the 27 December. Service resumes at 9 am to 5 pm on the 28, 29 & 30 December. The service is then unavailable on the 31 December and 1 and 2 January. Normal service resumes at 9 am on the 3 January.
The Emergency duty service will be available from 4.30 pm to 9 am throughout the holiday period for anyone who is actually homeless at this time. The service can be contacted on 0300 456 4876. This service should not be used for non emergency enquiries.
The Crisis Support Team will provide a service over the Christmas period during the council’s Christmas opening hours. There will be no service on Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 December 2016 or Monday 2 January 2017. Applications for daily living expenses received when the office is closed will be looked at on the next working day. Other claims will be considered within 7 working days. Please refer to the Council’s website www.torbay.gov.uk/crisissupport for details of how to make a claim
Pharmacy and Health Services,
Local NHS Services continue to be available throughout the festive period and if you feel unwell or have an accident there are several choices available.
If you need to visit a local pharmacy you can find the opening times for pharmacies across Torbay by clicking here.
If the situation is not an emergency or a life-threatening situation the NHS 111 helpline is available 24 hours a day.
You can also visit one of our local Minor Injuries Units who can deal with a range of issues that need immediate attention, such as a cut or wound, but are not to the level where a visit to A&E is required. You can find out details of their opening times, plus check live waiting times at each of them, by clicking here.
Train Petition Presented
On Monday Dr Sarah Wollaston and Kevin Foster took the fight to save our Cross Country train service to the Bay to the heart of Government.
They, assisted greatly by the Herald Express, have gathered over 1,500 signatures from Torbay residents and commuters who object to CrossCountry Trains’ proposals to cut virtually all their services to the bay. Rail Minister Paul Maynard MP agreed to meet us at the Department for Transport to receive the petition personally.
We expect a decision on the proposals early in the new year and you can keep up to date with the campaign on Kevin Foster’s Facebook Page by clicking here
Housing Cash Boost For The Bay
A letter from the Housing Minister, Gavin Barwell MP, confirms the funding Torbay will receive from the Community Housing Fund.
The national Community Housing Fund is worth £60m per year and one third of that, almost £20 million, will be allocated directly to Councils in the South West as our area is the most popular region for second homes in England. It accounts for 21% of all second homeownership in England. This funding will be targeted at the community-led housing sector and distributed to groups via local councils.
Torbay Council will receive £643,208 per year under this scheme. The focus is to deliver affordable housing aimed at first-time buyers in response to the problem second homes can cause in reducing supply.
Fancy A Visit To Parliament?
Christmas can be an expensive time and if you are trying to think of something you can do in the New Year for a low cost how about a visit to the Houses of Parliament?
If booked well in advance and using off peak tickets train travel to London can be quite affordable and Westminster is a short ride by tube from Paddington. My team can take small groups of visitors round (Up to 6) and if timed appropriately this can include a chance to visit the two chambers, there is of course no charge for this although we do have to check those attending are constituents of mine.
If this would be of interest just e-mail Nick Gray in my Westminster office on Nicholas.Gray@parliament.uk
Given the current international situation many readers (in particular their children or grandchildren) may be concerned that Santa might have some issues with air defence systems on high alert.
Thankfully Santa’s friends at NORAD are helping him out by tracking his flight across the world and keeping everyone updated about his location. They will be tracking his flight using their advanced radar systems that normally keep watch for any Ballistic Missile attacks on the United States of America or its Allies.
You can find the Santa Tracker station by clicking here and there are some fun games you can enjoy for free as well whilst waiting for the track to start.
Guaranteed White Christmas For Torquay Electrician
The weather forecast from the Met Office predicts that Torquay has virtually no chance of snow on Christmas Day this year, yet one local man will have no trouble seeing plenty of it from his temporary home.
Electrician Matt Meaden will be able to see snow all around him as he has been working at the British Antarctic Survey’s Halley VI Research Station since November and will now play a key role in its 23km relocation inland.
Halley plays an important role in studies into global issues such as the impact of an extreme space weather event, climate change and atmospheric phenomena. Matt’s job as an electrical power generation technician sees him help maintain electricity at the station all year round among other important roles.
You can read more on the Herald Express website by clicking here and given he is scheduled to be at the station until March 2018 he is guaranteed a White Christmas in 2017 as well.
Earlier this week it was announced that Riviera Stadium a subsidiary of Gaming International had purchased a controlling interest in Torquay United AFC.
You can read the statement issued by the Club confirming the takeover on the TUFC website by clicking here. The Club Chairman David Phillips gave an interview to the Herald Express on the takeover which you can find by clicking here. and the Chairman of the Torquay United Supporters Trust also gave his reaction which you can find by clicking here.
Although chairman David Phillips is staying during a ‘handover’ period, the small outgoing board of supporter-directors are all expected to leave the club.
The main concern is that a sustainable position be secured for the long-term future of League Football (Which is the whole aim of TUFC even though not currently playing in it) in the bay. A return to the Football League, on a sound financial footing, would boost the bay generally, not just those involved with or who support the club. This means future success must be built on encouraging a partnership with the community who support it.
Need A Last Minute Christmas Present?
Christmas Eve tomorrow will see the traditional sight of last minute shoppers, mostly male, panic buying those last-minute gifts they need.
Yet one gift seeker could hit gold with one “gift” idea that has appeared on line for just £1. Whilst for many Children a toy fire engine is on the list for Santa, this is a chance to buy the real thing, a 1980 Bedford Fire Tender. The price indicates that the Engine is not in the condition it was when in service with Devon County Fire Service, but you can check it out for yourself on the Herald Express website by clicking here.
Christmas at Paignton Zoo
17th-24th December – Paignton Zoo, Totnes Road, Paignton, TQ4 7EU
Time – 10:30; 12:00 & 14:00
Cost – £9.50 + entry to the zoo for non-members
Booking – Must be booked in advance – click here
For more information please click here
Christmas at Babbacombe Model Village
17th-24th December – Babbacombe Model Village, Hampton Avenue, Torquay, TQ1 3LA
Time – 12:30-16:00
Cost – Adult £10.95; Senior £9.95; Child £8.95; Family (2+2) £36.50; Meet Santa £3.50 extra
Booking – No booking required
For more information please click here
‘Santa Claws’ Christmas Special
17th December-2nd January (Excluding Xmas Eve, Day, Boxing Day and NY Day)
Torquay Dinosaur World, Victoria Parade, Torquay, TQ1 2BB
Time – Entry 11:00-15:00, closes at 16:30
Cost – Varies – click here
Booking – No booking necessary
For more information please click here
Boxing Day Dip – Torquay
The Boxing Day Dip is an annual event organised by No. 200 (Torquay) Squadron Air Training Corps and is enjoyed by both members and the general public in aid of raising funds for the unit as well as an additional chosen charity. The charity selected for this year is Rowcroft Hospice and all proceeds will be split 50% between both organisations.
The Dip will take place from Corbyn Head Beach, Torquay (opposite the Grand Hotel) on 26th December 2016.
Participants and supporters should aim to arrive for 10.30am ready to enter the sea at 11.00am. Tasteful fancy dress is encouraged and changing facilities will be kindly provided for participants in the Grand Hotel after the event. For more info click here.
Boxing Day Walk Into The Sea – Paignton
Paignton’s Boxing Day “Walk in to the Sea” started 26th December, 1976 and from what was a “one-off” it has been a major Christmas Holiday attraction ever since.
The Walk in the sea starts at 12.00 lunchtime, with judging of the fancy-dress 15 minutes before the walk in the sea. Cost of registration is £5.00 for under 18, and £10.00 per adult, which helps cover the cost of the event.
People are also encouraged to raise sponsorship for their own nominated charity, and Paignton Lions, who use money raised to support local people in Paignton. Please contact Suzanne Davies 01803 606966 or Malcolm Stone 01803 554864 for further information