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 Protest Planned
There was disappointment at the decision taken by the Clinical Commissioning Group to close Paignton Hospital without replacing its services.
A protest march against this decision has been arranged by Torbay and South Devon TUC. It will take place on Saturday 25th February and the marchers will assemble near Paignton Hospital between 10:30am and 11am. All residents are invited to take part.
School Funding Question
Education Ministers faced questions from MPs in the House of Commons on Monday and the issues facing our local schools were raised.
Whilst Torbay Schools see a welcome rise in funding overall some, including our three Grammar Schools, could see a cut based on the indicative amounts included in a consultation currently being undertaken on a new funding formula. This is despite them (like all schools in Torbay) receiving some of the lowest amounts of funding per pupil in England due to problems with the current funding formula.
You can listen to the debate and the Minister’s response by clicking here.
Police Crime Figures Questioned
There has been some debate in the media this week about the way our local Police Force records crime.
Question Time In Torquay
Last Thursday night Question Time was in the bay for a session of lively debate at the Riviera Centre.
Judging by feedback on Social Media some lucky residents managed to get a ticket to join the audience and take part in the debate, although quite a few were posting their disappointment at not being chosen.
If you missed it last night you can catch the show on the BBC I-Player by clicking here.
Paignton Ring Road Works Reminder
Just a reminder that there is set to be major disruption in Paignton as work to improve the Ring Road continues.
The section of the Ring Road between Spruce Way at Kings Ash to Churscombe Cross, (the roundabout near Ye Olde Smokey pub at Marldon,) will close at the beginning of February until the end of March and even after the road reopens there will be roadworks through the summer until Christmas with traffic lights in place.
The closure will allow major earth works to take place, but if you depend on travelling via this road on a regular basis plan to allow plenty of extra time for your daily commute when these works are taking place.
Planning Set To Discuss Two Torre Eyesores
We are pleased to report that proposals to redevelop and improve the old B&Q Store and the Zion Road Chapel in Torre are on the agenda for the Council’s next planning meeting.
The meeting will take place at 2pm in the Grace Murrell Suite at the Riviera Centre, on Monday 13th February and you can find the Agenda for it by clicking here.
Given the current condition of these sites I hope the applications are successful and that work will soon get underway. We are advised that the Chair of the Torre & Upton Community Partnership will be attending to speak in favour of the applications.
Former Mayors’ Funeral Held
The funeral of Frank “Gerry” Skinner took place yesterday.
Gerry was a former Mayor of Torbay who devoted much of his life to improving St Marychurch. He played a key role in the early 80’s securing the bypass and pedestrianisation project that has helped sustain St Maychurch as a vibrant shopping centre to this day.
It is safe to say that he has left a legacy to the area that will continue for decades.
Interested in Joining The Police?
Our Police Officers in Torbay do a job that is sometimes difficult and dangerous, but also highly valued and respected.
If you think you might have what it takes to serve as a Police Officer our local force is currently recruiting, although you need to get your application in by Monday 13thFebruary 2017.
You can find all the details you need on the Devon and Cornwall Police website by clicking here.
Miss Torbay Hangs Up Tiara
For many years being crowned Miss Torbay was a much sought after title, yet in 2017 the tiara and sash could be being hung up more permanently.
It has been announced this week that due to a lack of entries the competition for the title of Miss Torbay will not be run this year and will only come back in 2018 if interest levels increase. Only eight years ago 25 entered, with 18 contestants for the final night, but in the last few years the numbers have been as low as three on finals night.
Taking on the title of Miss Torbay does involve attending a range of local events and carnivals. The estimate given by the organisers is that a total of 1,000 hours of voluntary work is involved for Miss Torbay and her chaperones. You can read more on the Herald Express website by clicking here.
There have sometimes been debates about such competitions, not least the one depicted in “Carry On Girls” back in 1973 and a lot was said in the press by my predecessor when the Miss & Mr England contests were held in Torquay back in 2013.
13 Bizarre Laws
Every year new laws are passed by parliament that are intended to either prevent people causing harm or tackle a modern-day issue.
Yet given our parliament has existed for hundreds of years some previous acts still sitting on the statute book can seem almost bizarre in a modern society not confronted by the problems they were meant to tackle.
This week the Herald Express listed its selection of 13 odd UK Laws, including one that bans me from wearing a suit of armour into Parliament and another one that states you can’t get drunk in a pub. You can read the full list by clicking here.
Every Paignton Kids’ Dream Job Just Became Available
If you are thinking of a career change this year then the job most Paignton Kids have dreamed of doing is now being advertised.
Paignton Zoo has this week posted a number of seasonal and more permanent vacancies on its website, including Train Driver! Yes, the opportunity of a lifetime to drive the miniature train round the Zoo is now on offer.
Thanks to the zoo’s well designed enclosures there is no danger of finding giraffes on the line or a gorilla wanting to go places whilst doing this job, although many younger members of the homo sapien species will be climbing on board throughout the summer.
You can find full details and how to apply on the Zoo’s website by clicking here.
February Fossil Festival
11th-19th February – Victoria Parade, Torquay, TQ1 2BB
Time – 11:00-17:00 – final entry at 15:00
Cost – £5.95 per visitor, unlimited reentry for 3 months
Click here for more information
Valentines Heart Trail
11th-19th February – Cockington Court, Torquay, TQ2 6XA
Time – 10:00-16:00
Cost – £1 per child
Click here for more information