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.

Paignton Hospital Decision

Given the debate about the NHS many residents may be interested to know about what the latest position is with the proposals around Paignton Hospital.

Our understanding is the Clinical Commissioning Group will be considering the proposals and the response to the consultation on Thursday 26th January when a decision will be made. We hope to have more details next week.

Community Digital Radio Bill Clears First Commons Hurdle

The current licensing system makes it very expensive for radio stations looking to cover a community or small local area to get onto DAB. This is due to there being only two levels of multiplex (The broadcasting system). These are the 3 national ones and 58 local areas that are mostly based on counties. This contrasts to analogue where it is possible to apply for an FM licence to cover just a small area.

In effect a small community station wanting to go digital ends up with the only option being to pay for coverage over a wide area it is not seeking to get listeners in. This means most do not even attempt it. Recently OFCOM ran ten trials of new, small scale, DAB broadcasting systems that successfully created new community radio stations on digital, yet to extend this opportunity across the UK a change in the law is needed. This is where the new bill comes in.

The House of Commons has agreed to give the bill its second reading and it will now be considered in detail by a small Committee of MPs. You can listen to the debate on the parliament website by clicking here.

Pothole Cash Announced

There was good news today as the Government announced £117,000 of extra funding to fill in potholes across the bay.

The state of our roads is consistently raised with me by local residents and remains a great source of frustration for many drivers. This latest funding is therefore welcome news in helping tackle the issues recently raised.

Stonehenge Tunnel Plan Finalised

Another source of frustration is that for too long our region’s infrastructure has lagged behind others, in particular the bottlenecks along the vital A303 route to our region, the most notorious of which is at Stonehenge.

These bottlenecks on our critical road infrastructure act like a foot on the neck of our region’s economy, restricting the flow of vital goods and causing delays that deter visitors and investors from heading west from London and the South East to our bay. It is therefore welcome that plans to resolve the bottleneck at Stonehenge have now been finalised after decades of waiting as part of a £2bn program of upgrades for the A303 route.

A public consultation on the plans for Stonehenge will run till 5th March with construction expected to start in 2020. You can read all the details on the government website by clicking here.

How Many Flip-Flops?

If you have ever wondered just how many flip-flops Torbay’s Street Pastors have issued then the answer is at hand as this week they released their figures for 2016.

The answer is that they handed out 1,398 pairs of flip flops in 2016, and have handed out 11,499 in total since 2008. Whilst out on patrol the volunteers picked up 3,507 bottles, glasses and cans in 2016, adding to a total since 2008 of 27,118.

In total man hours worked by the Street Pastors added up to a total of 5,177 in 2016, and they have now worked 37,034 since 2008. An amazing commitment from a group of people who only look for the reward of knowing they have helped someone.

You can read the full set of statistics released by Torbay Street Pastors on the Herald Express website by clicking here.

College Students To Rebuild Shelter (HE Mon)

In October an act of vandalism destroyed the historic shelter on Ilsham Marine Drive that had overlooked Thatcher Rock for nearly 100 years.

Following this destruction the Council indicated it was unlikely they would be able to replace it, yet now South Devon College’s Construction Students are stepping in to get the job done. You can read the full story on the Herald Express website by clicking here.

It is great to see this community contribution by the College and knowing the quality of their training the new structure will last for decades to come.

Are You A Triskaidekaphobic?

If you have spent the day avoiding ladders and encouraging black cats to cross your path then there is a good chance you might be a Triskaidekaphobic.

A Triskaidekaphobic is someone with a real fear of Friday 13th. It is believed that up to one third of Britons might change their plans today due to the perception that it is a day of bad luck and this is not surprising when you consider nearly three quarters of adults report that they have suffered from bad luck on a previous Friday 13th.

These findings were revealed in a report published today by Travelodge, who surveyed 2,500 British adults to seek their views on whether they believe certain numbers bring them good or bad luck. Yet a poll on the Herald Express website showed that in the bay most of us dismiss this all as superstitious nonsense. You can judge for yourself by clicking here.


Torquay Town Centre Partnership Public Meeting
Thursday 19th January – St Mary Magdelene Church Hall, Union Street, Torquay, TQ1 4BX
Time – 18:30
Cost – Free
Click here for more information

Teddy Tales
Monday 16th January – Torquay Library, Lymington Road, Torquay, TQ1 3DT
Time – 09:45 or 11:00
Cost – Free
Booking – No booking required
Click here for more information

Music, Rhythm and Rhyme
Monday 16th January – Paignton Library and Information Centre, Great Western Road, Paignton, TQ4 5AG
Time – 09:30 or 11:00
Cost – Free
Booking – No booking required
Click here for more information

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
Click here for more information


Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.