News courtesy of Kevin Foster
(MP for Torbay)
Any views expressed in this news post are those of Kevin Foster, unless stated otherwise.
HMS Somerset in the Bay
It is always good to see the Royal Navy visiting the bay and HMS Somerset is currently anchored here for the Torbay Airshow.
HMS Somerset traces her history back three centuries, but it was in 2005 that she adopted her motto from the Duke of Somerset, for whom she is named: Foy pour devoir – faith for duty. she was recently involved in a joint NCA, Border Force and Royal Navy operation in the North Sea which saw a quantity of cocaine being seized.
The type 23 Frigate is based in Devonport and some lucky residents have managed to register for a visit aboard before the tickets ran out early yesterday.
Torbay School Funding Raised With Education Minister
Justine Greening, Secretary of State for Education, visited the bay on Saturday and Kevin Foster took the chance to discuss the proposed new school funding formula with her.
Torbay Schools currently receive one of the lowest amounts of funding per pupil in the country, for reasons that are now lost to history. A proposed new funding formula was published late last year and whilst many Torbay Schools gained, a few, including the Bay’s 3 Grammar Schools, were set to lose out.
Earlier this year Kevin arranged a meeting with the Schools Minister Nick Gibb for the schools to put their case and when she visited this week he discussed with Justine the impact of a new pledge that no School will lose out from the changes. This removes the losses some were facing, but still leaves a clear challenge as to how our schools can catch up with the funding levels other parts of England have had for decades.
Overhauling the out-dated school funding formula is vital for our bay’s future as if the current one is retained we will continue to lose out, whilst London and a few other areas gain, literally, at our expense.
Congratulations To Torbay Coastwatch
The National Coastwatch Institute Torbay has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
The award is seen as equivalent to an individual receiving an MBE and is in recognition of the 24 hour watch the volunteers keep. From their station on Daddyhole Plain they have a superb view over the beaches and cliffs that make up our bay, ensuring they can quickly alert the MCA of anyone in trouble.
Their role is to be the eyes on the coast and having visited them the dedication of the whole team is clear.
Goodrington Hotel Plan Could Need The Toilet
The headline might sound amusing, but a plan to expand the Inn on The Quay in Goodrington literally needs the land a public toilet currently stands on.
We have been advised that Premier Inn is in discussions with Torbay Council about adding a further 20 bedrooms at the back of the current building.
To facilitate this development the council has been asked to consider selling off land next to the Inn on the Quay in Tanners Road, Goodrington which hotel operator Whitbread already rents. This includes the public toilets which could be demolished to make way for extra parking to replace spaces at the back of the hotel which would be built over.
The plans do not currently include provision for replacement of the toilets, in what is a popular location for residents and tourists, hence a consultation will be undertaken. You can read more on the Devon Live website by clicking here.
Police Appeal After Attack on Islamic Centre
Police in Torquay are investigating an attack on a local mosque during early morning prayers on Saturday (27th May).
They were called out to reports of three men in their 20s throwing stones at the Torbay Islamic Centre in Avenue Road and shouting abuse.
Police are appealing for witnesses, along with anyone who has any CCTV from that location, to get in touch on their non-emergency 101 number, quoting crime number CR/040963/17.
Single Person Discount on Council Tax
Torbay Council are sending letters to all the residents who currently receive the 25% council tax discount asking them to check their details are up to date.
The Single Person Discount is claimed when an adult is the sole occupant of the property. If you currently claim this discount do keep an eye out for this letter and return it as soon as you they can. The Council is indicating that if no response is received confirming up to date details the discount will be removed and a full council tax bill sent.
You can read more about this on the Council’s website by clicking here.
Seafront Paignton Pub Sold
For some time The Lighthouse, a large Pub overlooking Paignton Green has been boarded and looking a mess.
There was some good news this week though as local agents Bettesworths announced a deal to purchase the freehold of it has been completed.
Let’s hope this sale marks the start of work to get this building rejuvenated and open again.
Why Did the Gorilla Stick His Tongue Out?
Earlier this week Paignton Zoo gorilla Kiondo treated ace photographer Miriam Haas to a piece of his mind.
He stuck his tongue out in what could be either a comment on the photographer himself or reflecting what many others might now be feeling about the election as a whole!!!
You can see the picture and read more on the Devon Live website by clicking here.
Babbacombe Ukulele Festival 2017
Saturday 3rd June – Oddicombe Beach by the Cliff Railway at Babbacombe
Time – 10am till 7pm.
Free to enter and there is a large marque if the weather changes. There are 17 bands and acts appearing including Primary School children from Babbacombe. I am advised you can come and go as you please.
Click here for more info.
Mendip Road Fun Day
Saturday 10th June – Mendip Road, Torquay, TQ2 6UQ
Time – 10:00am – 4pm
A range of fun including a bouncy castle, face painting and stalls will be on offer
Birmingham Community Gospel Choir Concert
Saturday, 10 June at 7.30pm at All Saints (Babbacombe) Church, Cary Park, Torquay.
Time – 7:30pm
The Birmingham Community Gospel Choir are one of the best groups in the country and winners of the prestigious Gospel of the Year Award in 2015. It promises to be a lively and joyful evening and a fitting way to celebrate 150 years of All Saints Church. Tickets are £10 each and can be obtained from Geoff or Jan Bradley on 01803 369936