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 Meeting
On Monday evening Kevin Foster met with Health Minister, Philip Dunne MP, to discuss my concerns about the changes to our local NHS services.
The meeting followed the news that Paignton Hospital will cease taking in patients on 3rd April 2017 and 32 beds will be lost at Torbay Hospital by June. Kevin emphasised my concerns at both the pace of change being undertaken and the impact this could have later this year when the NHS faces the pressures of winter.
He made clear to the Minister that the NHS should looking to have its own supply of beds locally that allow patients to be discharged from Torbay Hospital whilst waiting for social care packages or a permanent residential care place. This could be done as a residential home style, rather than community hospital, similar to convalescent homes that once existed. He also raised the pressure that could be put on Torbay’s A&E.
The Minister indicated he would take away Kevin’s first point and raise questions. He also indicated a fund had recently been announced for providing enhanced facilities at hospitals to provide GP services and tackle pressures on them.
Torre Marine Work Starts
If you have driven past the Torre Marine site this week you will have seen that after about a decade of delays work has now started on converting the large piece of wasteland into a useful public space.
Following a meeting with the developer there was real progress in getting the final agreements sorted, resulting in work getting underway. The developer of the estate is paying for the works being undertaken, not Torbay Council taxpayers.
The final design of the play equipment to be placed on the site will follow a consultation being undertaken by Play Torbay.
£1.2m Boost for Torbay Culture
There was news yesterday that Torbay received an award of £1,191,400 that will help put art and culture at the heart of the future vision for the area.
The grant from Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund’s Great Place Scheme will help to fund an ambitious project being led by Torbay Culture Board. This will include creating cultural activities in unexpected places and making more of currently underexploited heritage sites, such as Torre Abbey and Paignton Picture House.
Promoting Health and wellbeing is a key part of this project. Activities will include specialist choirs for respiratory patients, dance classes to support mobility and arts programmes to promote mental health amongst young and isolated older people.
You can find out more about the work being done to promote culture in the bay by visiting the Torbay Culture website. Just click here to be taken to it.
“Good” Rating For Devon Mental Health Services
This week the Care Quality Commission published its latest report into Devon Partnership NHS Trust, which is responsible for mental health services in our area.
They have reported finding significant improvements since their last inspection and have graded the Trust as “Good”.
You can read the CQC’s report for yourself by clicking here.
Fare Share Food Cloud
FareShare FoodCloud is an organisation that arranges for surplus food from supermarkets to distributed to charities and charitable groups that would use it – schools, charities, youth groups etc.
Starting in May, a number of Tesco stores in the Bay will be working with FareShare to ensure that any surplus food is donated to charities free of charge and used, rather than be consigned to the bin.
The donation works as follows – the charity nominates the day/days each week it is available to collect surplus food from a designated store; that nominated evening the charity receives a text explaining what food is available for collection; the food is packaged and available from the store later that evening.
If you are involved with a charity/community group/not-for-profit group that you think would benefit from surplus food, please contact my researcher James Vickery at firstname.lastname@example.org who will be happy to provide more information and put you in contact with the organisation.
There is always regular correspondence from residents complaining about enforcement practices at two local car parks Crossways in Paignton and the Marina, Torquay.
Kevin Foster has now secured a debate in parliament about how the DVLA engages with private car park enforcement companies. It is the information supplied by the DVLA that allows letters to be sent levying enforcement penalties of up to £100 after a motorist has left a car park.
“Given that I intended to refer to it under parliamentary privilege during the debate I wrote to the company that manages Crossways Car Park, Premier Parking Services, to inform them I planned to do this. They responded immediately to ask for a meeting and I agreed to meet them today.
During the meeting I outlined that their car park had produced a very high number of complaints compared to others and other colleagues had been in touch about it. I also pointed to media coverage about the car park and those who had received tickets.
In response they indicated they have upgraded the car park’s lighting, improved signage, changed their software to tackle issues with tickets being issued for matters like 1 digit wrong when inputting and were happy to provide a direct contact for complaints raised with me. They advised that there had been discussions with Devon Trading Standards (They are based in Newton Abbot) as well.”
The debate in parliament will take place at 09:30am on Tuesday in Westminster Hall. You will be able to watch it live on Parliament’s website by going to www.parliament.uk
Thar She Blows
There was a spectacular sight in the bay on Monday as two visitors enjoyed playing in the sea on a sunny day.
Yet these visitors were real heavyweights, two Humpback Whales, with one breaching in full view of a cameraman who managed to film it. You can see the footage on YouTube by clicking here.
Earlier on Monday in the only country still engaged in commercial whaling (Iceland) it was announced Fin Whale Hunting would not take place this year. The news must have travelled fast to prompt this celebration!
It is wonderful to see these beautiful creatures so close to our shores. The only reminder being given by the Police is that it is a criminal offence to disturb Whales, so if on the water when they appear do keep well back from them and get your camera out.
Family Fun Day
Saturday 18th March – Torbay Leisure Centre and Velopark, Clennon Valley, Paignton, TQ4 5JR
Time – 10:30 – 16:00
Cost – Free
Click here for more information
Riviera Concert Brass Band Annual Concert
Wednesday 22nd March – Central Church, Tor Hill Road, Torquay, TQ2 5RF
Time – 19:30
Cost – £5
All proceeds in aid of Cancer Research UK
Transition to Adulthood – Torbay Parent Participation Forum
Thursday 23rd March – Upton Vale Baptist Church, St Marychurch Road, Torquay, TQ1 3HY
Time – 09:30
Cost – Free but must be booked in advance
Click here for more information