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.


Magistrates Court Closure Confirmed

There was sad news this week as it was confirmed that Torquay Magistrate’s Court would adjourn for the last time on Friday 1st September.

When the proposals for closure were announced two years ago a “Keep Justice Local” campaign was launched and the organisers would like to thank all who supported it, despite the disappointing outcome. You can read more on the Devon Live website by clicking here.

The County Court in The Willows is not affected and will continue to hear Civil Cases as normal.

Plainmoor Freehold Decision Postponed

Earlier this week it was announced that Torbay Council and Torquay United FC have agreed to postpone a decision on whether the club could purchase the freehold of the Plainmoor Stadium.

The stated reason for this postponement is to allow the club time to develop plans for a new stadium and events arena.

Kevin Foster commented:
“As mentioned in previous updates whilst I could see in theory the merit of Torquay United having a facility similar to Exeter Chief’s Sandy Park, which would help it earn non-matchday revenue, I am sceptical a solid business plan for such a move can be put together. In the absence of such a plan Plainmoor should be protected as the only stadium in the bay capable of hosting League Football.

I will keep residents up to date on any further news, although a meeting I had planned with the Club’s new owner was sadly cancelled by him on Monday. That said he has committed to arranging a new date and my office will be seeking to get this arranged urgently.”

Bins Update

Residents have again been getting in touch with this week about problems with bin collections and this week the Council issued another update.

The Council’s statement is below:

“Further to our recent joint press release with TOR2 regarding waste collections, TOR2 have now deployed two new vehicles to assist with the collection of recycling. These vehicles will collect plastic and cans in one part and glass in the other. There will also be smaller vehicles that do not require HGV 2 drivers which will collect cardboard, paper and food separately. This way of collecting the recycling will release four drivers each day and they will be deployed to catch up with outstanding rounds.  Working this way will enable TOR2 to be back to its normal collection days by early next week.

All recycling material that is put out for collection will be recycled even if you see it being collected in a different way.”

Torquay’s Palace Hotel Sold To Singaporean Investor

It has been announced this week that one of Torbay’s largest and most iconic hotels, the Palace in Torquay, has been sold to a Singaporean Investor.

This news follows a number of recent hotel sales and less than a year after the Imperial Hotel was bought by the Brownsword Group. You can read more about the sale on the Devon Live website by clicking here.

It is good to see the level of confidence from investors in our bay’s tourism industry that is evidenced by the money being spent buying hotels here. It is hoped that this latest purchase is a sign that the long awaited plans for a major refurbishment and expansion of the Palace Hotel will soon be getting underway.

999 is 80 Today

Eighty years ago today the “999” Emergency Service was launched in London, marking the start of what is now the world’s oldest emergency call service.

A fire at a London doctor’s surgery in November 1935, that led to the tragic death of five women, resulted in a committee being set up by the government to look at the problem of how telephone operators’ could identify emergency calls.

The committee proposed that there should be a standard easy-to-remember nationwide number to alert the emergency services. They considered using 707, which corresponded to the letters SOS on the telephone dial and 333, but the technology of the time would not allow these to be used and 999 was chosen as the most practical number. It was believed to be easy to dial in the dark on the handsets of the time.

By 1948 the system had spread across the UK. You can read more about the history of 999 on the BT website by clicking here.

Paignton Zoo Unveils £2m Plan for New Attraction

Paignton Zoo has unveiled detailed plans for a new exhibit “Into Africa”, with a planned opening date of Summer 2019.

The Zoo was given planning permission last year to reshape its existing savannah area, which includes elephant, giraffes and zebras. The new project will see £2m invested in creating an area that could see White Rhinos brought to Paignton for the very first time.

The project will feature a walk-through vulture aviary, warthogs, banded mongoose and aardvark, and provide new spaces for species such as meerkats, elephant, giraffes and zebras. You can read more on the Devon Live website by clicking here.

It is great to see this investment being made as it will not only make a visit to the Zoo more enjoyable, but support the vital conservation work it undertakes.

Arts Council Confirms £382,000 For Paignton Project

There was good news for Doorstep Arts as it become the first organisation based in Torbay to become part of the Arts Council’s National Portfolio, unlocking £382,000 of funding over the next four years.

Doorstep Arts is a theatre and arts company in residence at the Palace Theatre in Paignton. It is among 103 organisations in the South West that will be in the Arts Council’s National Portfolio for 2018-22.

The funding will support the development of their excellent work with children and young people in our area. Doorstep Arts run drama groups across Torbay at schools, youth clubs and church halls, creating safe and educational spaces for young people to explore arts.

Kevin Foster took the chance to highlight this success in parliament this week and you can read the Art Minister’s response by clicking here.


Celebrating Summer Concert
Saturday 1st July  – Central Church, Tor Hill Road, Torquay
Time: 7:30pm
The South Devon Choir will sign a selection of songs and sonnets that are perfect for the season.
Tickets £12 – On the door or by calling 01803 846 058 (Students under 19 Free)

Family Fun Day
Sunday 2nd July – Torwood Gardens (weather permitting)
Time – 1pm till 4pm.
Sports Day, Homemade Cakes, Inflatables, BBQ and Lots More!
Riviera LIFE Church
Click here for more info.

Torbay Gilbert & Sullivan Society present “PATIENCE” aka “BUNTHORNE’S BRIDE” at Torquay’s LITTLE THEATRE from 11th-15th July each evening at 7.30pm with a Matinee on Saturday 15th – well worth the £12/£13 ticket cost.  Tickets to book or buy online at

Organ Recital by John Bryden
Saturday 22nd July – St Matthias Church, Wellswood, Torquay
Time: 7.30pm
Tickets £10 (Friends Members £9)
For tickets and information call – 01803 291033

Babbacombe Model Village Evening Illuminations
Every Thursday until End of October – Hampton Avenue, Torquay, TQ1 3LA
Time – 10:00-21:00
Cost – Usual Prices Apply
Click here for more information

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