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.


New Owner’s Pledge on Palace Hotel

The new owner of the Palace Hotel has confirmed their intention is to refurbish the building and pledged to spend “millions” doing so.

The news has ended some uncertainty that has existed since the announcement that the iconic bay hotel would close on 1st August 2017, with many long serving staff having been issued redundancy notices. The indication from the new owner is that they are buying it as a “closed hotel” from the previous owners, but they do intend to re-open a refurbished Palace Hotel in future. You can read more on the Devon Live website by clicking here.

There were reports this week that those working to find the staff at the Palace new jobs were confident they could find a place for all of them. You can read more about this on the Devon Live website by clicking here.

Get On Board The Bus Petition

The closure of all Local Links scheduled bus services in April has left several communities without the service they relied upon.

The loss of the 65 in the Lyme View Road area has left many elderly residents isolated as whilst they have a bus pass, a walk up a steep hill is necessary to get home after using it. The same goes for those living in Lichfield Avenue and parts of Ellacombe.

Local residents agreed to help get a petition underway calling for a service to be reinstated. Work has already been done, by Torbay Community Development Trust community transport, to ascertain if a route would be viable financially if run on a not for profit basis.

If you would like to support the petition you can find it by clicking here. Signatures on a paper copy are needed to be able to present it on the floor of the House of Commons.

Palace Theatre Update

Discussions are now underway to raise the curtains on a new future for Paignton’s 107 year-old theatre following Torbay Council’s decision to work with a new Community Interest Company (CIC).

Formal discussions between the parties involved have commenced with the target of having a robust forward plan in place by October.

There has been huge interest in the identity of the CIC and the individuals involved. Now that formal discussions are underway, the council has taken the decision to disclose details of the parties involved.  The CIC to be known as Jazz Hands is led by Maureen McAllister and Deirdre Makepeace, who are local professionals with significant business, tourism and arts experience which they will be able to bring to the new venture.

You can read more about it on the Council’s website by clicking here.

HMS Torbay On Parade

On Wednesday 19 July HMS Torbay will be handing back the Honorary Freedom of Torbay, which was presented to the crew of the submarine by Elected Mayor, Gordon Oliver in 2015.

The Honorary Freedom of Torbay gives the submarine’s crew the right and honour to march through the Borough bearing arms. Granted under the Honorary Freedom of Boroughs Act 1885, the title is being returned as the submarine is due to be decommissioned.

To mark the event, a ceremonial service will take place at 2pm (Wednesday 19thJuly) outside Torquay Town Hall followed by a parade through the town centre led by the Royal Marines Band.

The parade will start at the Town Hall, through Union Street and Fleet Street then around the Clocktower back towards Torbay Road finishing at the Princess Theatre. There will be a number of road closures between 1.30pm and 3.30pm and signed diversions will be in place.

Rowcroft’s Pirates Find Treasure Chest

Last Saturday more than 1,400 ladies completed their choice of a five or ten-mile night walk across Torbay, helping raise an amazing £120,000 for Rowcroft.

EU Withdrawal Bill Published

The most significant bill to be considered by parliament in a generation was published yesterday.

The bill will give legal effect to the Referendum Result and repeal the European Communities Act 1972, which is the constitutional basis of the UK’s membership of the EU. You can read the bill for yourself by clicking here.

The bill will be the subject of significant scrutiny in both Houses of Parliament and may be amended, although some of the claims being made online about it allowing unlimited changes to the law post Brexit ignore our own constitutional rules.

Major Changes Announced on Plan to Make Tax Digital

The process of making tax digital has been an issue those who currently use the tax return system have contacted me about regularly.

The theory of moving to an online, pay as you earn, system makes sense in theory. Yet for many self-employed workers and very small businesses there have been some fears about what this could mean in practice.

Yesterday the Government announced further changes to the timetable for introducing this system and which businesses will be covered. You can read the full details of these on the Government’s website by clicking here.

Pirates of The Bay?

If you have ever fancied yourself as the next Captain Jack Sparrow then, for a price, your next ship awaits.

The famous replica of the Golden Hind in Brixham Harbour is seeking a new Captain as the business is up for sale for only the second time in 45 years. That said you will need to have a treasure chest buried in the garden to pay for it as offers over £399,000 are being sought.

The ship is a life size replica of the boat in which Sir Francis Drake circumnavigated the globe. Yet those tempted to think about taking it to sea might wish to remember the fate of a previous replica that sank in rough seas off the Devon Coast in 1987. You can read the full story on the Devon Live website by clicking here.


Classic Car Show
Saturday 22nd July 11am till 4pm
St Martin’s Church Barton
In addition to cars there will be a model railway exhibition, book and cake stalls, plus refreshments in the church hall. If you would like to take your own vehicle along please contact Julia Rolls on

Torbay Children’s Centres
Saturday 22nd July 10.00am -2.30pm
Palace Avenue Gardens, Paignton
Come along and have some fun
Bouncy Castle, Cake and Refreshments Stall and Face Painting

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

Paignton Festival
Tuesday 25th July @ Paignton Green
Torbay Neighbourhood Watch – Working Together
Teams from D&S Fire & Rescue Service, Trading Standards, Guide Dogs for the Blind and lots of others will be on hand to give advice.

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