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.


Digital Radio Bill

Next Friday Kevin Foster will be presenting his private member’s bill on Digital Radio Licensing that aims to change the licensing system to allow community and more local stations to broadcast on DAB.

The current structure of broadcasting is (roughly) county based systems that are perfect for national chains or stations looking to cover a very wide area. Yet for smaller or community stations they can face the cost of using a system that covers an area far wider than they are looking to appeal to. For example a community radio station just looking to serve Torbay would, under the current digital licensing regime, end up covering a large area (where adverts from local companies would be irrelevant) just so it can broadcast.

The bill will be the first to be debated so if you would like to listen to the debate it will be broadcast live on BBC Parliament, starting at just after 09:30am. You can read a copy of the bill by clicking here.

Healthwatch Consultation Report Published

Earlier today Torbay Healthwatch published its report on the consultation undertaken on proposals to alter Health Services in our area that include plans to close Paignton Hospital.

You can find the document online by clicking here.

Save Our Trains Update

The campaign to stop Crosscountry Train’s proposals to axe most of their direct services to Torquay and Paignton is continuing.

As reported in the last update Dr Sarah Wollaston and Kevin Foster handed in the petition collected by their team and the Herald Express to the Rail Minister just before Christmas, although you can still sign it online by clicking here.

This week Torbay Council sent in a detailed objection to the cuts and at Transport Questions on Thursday Ministers will be urged to use their powers to block them.

TUFC Plainmoor

Following the recent takeover by GI several Gulls Fans have been in touch with me to express their concerns about the future for Plainmoor Stadium given past talk of a new stadium and a potential council sale of the freehold.

During a meeting with the Mayor yesterday it became clear that a formal approach has not been made to the Council by the new owners in terms of the stadium’s freehold. There were indications though that they would consider any approach made on its merits.

There will be a meeting with the new owners to discuss what they see as their vision for the club.

Torbay Hospital Pressures

This week has seen several reports on the pressures being placed on local health services from financial issues and heavy demand after the festive season.

You can read more on the issues relating to Torbay Hospital on the Herald Express website by clicking here.

Remember that if you’re thinking of visiting A&E it is worth checking out other options, such as local Minor Injuries Unit, first unless the situation is
serious or life threatening. You can find out more, plus check current waiting times, by clicking here.

Injured Torquay Man Flown Back To Britain

Over the festive period many local residents may have followed the case of Chris Tester, a Torquay man who was shot in the head during a robbery at his parents’ bar in Antiqua.

Thankfully Chris is now back in the UK and being treated at Derriford Hospital following a fundraising campaign that raised £105,000 to pay the costs of bringing him back home. You can read the latest on his case on the Herald Express website by clicking here.

This is a reminder of why getting travel insurance before going abroad is so important. You can read the latest Foreign Office Advice on this by clicking here.

Bravery Award For Torquay Couple

A Torquay couple who rescued a woman from the River Avon while celebrating the New Year in Bath are to be commended with a bravery award.

Mark Burdis and Lisa Haynes are to receive the Royal Humane Society Award after coming to the woman’s aid at around 1am on New Year’s Day.

You can read more on the Herald Express website by clicking here.

Latest News on Former Nortel Site

For many years the former Nortel site on Long Road Paignton has been an eyesore and in need of redevelopment.

This week there was news that revised plans for a major housing and retail park development have been submitted to the Council for approval. These plans include suggestions that retail chains The Range and Pets at Home will move onto the site.

The site, which is one of Torbay’s largest brownfield sites, needs significant infrastructure and improvement works before building can start, hence the long delays in getting it reused. You can read more on the Herald Express website by clicking here. and see the full plans on the Council website by clicking here.

Whilst in the ideal world it would have been great to see a further industrial or high tech usage, perhaps as part of an expanded South Devon College, this site has been a prominent eyesore for such a long time it is welcome some plans for improvement are now moving forward.

Councillors Set To Tie The Knot

Despite what you might read in the press love is in the air at the Town Hall as two Paignton Councillors have announced their engagement.

Cllr Chris Lewis (Preston) proposed to his partner Cllr Barbara Cunningham (Roundham with Hyde) over the festive period and she was quick to say yes.

Latest on Parkfield

Long standing readers of these news posts will have been following the ongoing debate about the Parkfield Centre and proposals to relocate Torbay School to it.

Late last year Councillors on the Development Management Committee voted to refuse permission for the relevant planning application which had been expected to go before all councillors this month for a decision.

The latest indication is that a revised planning application will be drawn up and considered by the Committee again. When there is any further news we will include it in a future update.

For clarity we are advised there will be no changes proposed to the Skatepark or BMX Track.

Vandalism At St Martin’s Barton

Regular readers may recall the news a few months ago that St Martins Barton had been the victim of three nights of vandal attacks.

Four of those involved in the attacks have been identified and in this month’s St Martin’s Parish Magazine there is a report on two meetings held in December as part of a restorative justice process. The process involved the four boys concerned visiting the church with their parents to hear first-hand the upset their actions caused, to explain why they had behaved in that way and to see for themselves the damage done to the church.

The comments on the process in the magazine from Trevor Snowden and Fr Gorran are interesting to read and copies are available from the church priced 40p.

The appeal launched in November to fund the necessary repair works and to protect the windows from future attack now stands at £20,335.00, with a target to reach of £25,000. If you could help them get to their total you can get in touch via the contact details given on their website. Just click here to be taken to it.


Coffee Morning
Saturday 7th January St Martin’s Church, Barton Hill Road, Torquay
Time – 10:00 am
Cost – Small Donation for refreshments
Booking – No booking necessary
A chance to make new friends over a cup of coffee or tea.

Music Rhythm & Rhyme
13th January – Torquay Library, Lymington Road, Torquay, TQ1 3DT
Time – 09:45 or 11:00
Cost – Free
Booking – No booking necessary
For more information please click here

Artizan 2017 Solo Series – Sam Regan
9th – 29th January 2017 – Artizan Gallery, Lucius Street, Torquay, TQ2 5UW
Time – 10:30-16:30
Cost – Free to enter
Booking – No booking necessary
For more information please click here

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