Some local (and otherwise) news


News and Information

Normal service will be resumed next week.

English Riviera links with China

An agreement of friendly exchange and cooperation has been signed between the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark and Tianzhushan UNESCO Global Geopark, China, during a visit of a delegation of senior officials for the territory.

Senior officials included Chief of Tourism, Deputy Director of the County Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office and the County Party Secretary.

Torbay’s Elected Mayor, Gordon Oliver, said: “This is the third agreement the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark has signed with Geoparks in China and it shows the importance of having a UNESCO designation for Torbay, giving us international reach and exposure for our own exceptional natural environment.”

Melanie Border, English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark Coordinator, said: “The visit and signing of the agreement came about as a result of Torbay hosting the 7th International Conference on UNESCO Global Geopark at the Riviera International Conference Centre in September 2016.

“Representatives from Tianzhushan attended the conference with a display stand at the GeoFair. The delegates were impressed with the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark and returned to China determined for our two areas to form a relationship. One of the benefits of being a UNESCO Global Geoparks is to establish exchanges and learn best practise from other Geoparks around the World. This agreement provides opportunities for Torbay to develop this.

“The delegation was welcomed to Torbay by Mayor Gordon Oliver and Councillor Nicole Amil at Kents Cavern. They presented their area which is incredibly beautiful with rich geology, cultural heritage, and community engagement which they use to create sustainable economic development.”

Situated in Qianshan County, Anhui Province, in the eastern part of China, the Tianzhushan Geopark territory has an impressive list of designations including National Scenic Area, National Forest Park and National AAAAA Tourist Attraction in addition to its UNESCO Global Geopark status.

During their visit the delegation from Tianzhushan were given a private tour of Kents Cavern. Following discussions and the signing of the agreement, the Mayor hosted a visit to Torre Abbey, Cockington and Brixham, before having dinner at the Yum Sing restaurant in Torquay.

The other two agreements are with the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark (2010) and with Zhangjiajie UNESCO Global Geopark, Hunan Province, China (2016) a territory used for filming the blockbuster movie Avatar.

For more information visit the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark and Global Geoparks Network websites.

Consumers urged to follow safety advice when shopping for soft toys

Consumers buying soft toys for young children are urged to follow advice from The Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service (DSTTSS) after some failed safety tests.

The advice includes checking the toy for small parts, sharp edges and accessories like jewellery and checking the age range of the toy before giving to small children.

If you are concerned safety advice can be found at

The warning comes after 40 per cent of toys tested by trading standards failed seam tension tests. Tension tests ensure that a soft toy is strong enough to endure regular use by a child without coming apart.

In total samples of 15 soft toys, selected at random from a mixture of high street, online and market retailers were seam tension tested under laboratory conditions. Six of the 15 failed indicating that they may not be safe for use by young children.

The retailers and manufacturers have withdrawn them from sale. The test purchasing was part of the service’s routine market surveillance.

Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service recommends that when buying a soft toy, consumers should check the age warning on the packaging. Toys not suitable for children under 36 months must display a warning because they may contain parts which could cause significant harm.

Always ensure a CE mark is on the toy or packaging before you buy. All toys, including ‘free’ toys that come with magazines or food purchases must display this and it shows that the toy meets legal requirements.

‘Homemade’ toys available online or from market stalls must conform to the same safety regulations. Even if a product is marked ‘this is not a toy’ it may still have to satisfy the safety tests if it is ‘child appealing.’

Be wary of bargains, as some popular branded toys are counterfeited. While they might look the same, they are unlikely to have undergone the same rigorous safety tests a genuine toy will have been subjected to. Take extra care when buying second hand toys that no longer have the packaging or instructions.

Attachments like hair, eyes and noses should be securely fastened, and seams tightly stitched. Give these a quick test by pulling on them yourself before giving them to a child and check all toys regularly to ensure they remain safe for play.

Diamanté decorations and personalised gems or ‘bling’ can look pretty, but are subject to strict controls. Filling materials and hair on toys can be potential choking hazards; check for any long cords, ribbons or ties and be wary of sharp edges, points or loose components which can appear over time or if the toy is broken or damaged. If in doubt, stop using it.

Make sure the toy is suitable for the child and check the label or box for the age range, particularly with toys for children under three.
Remove any and all packaging and plastic bags before you give a child the toy and always supervise young children at play.

Paul Thomas, the Head of The Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service, said:

“Ensuring the safety of consumers is one of our key priorities and we use intelligence led projects like test purchasing to cultivate safer, stronger and well informed communities.

“Safety requirements for toys are strict for good reason, but this shouldn’t deter those who make and sell their own toys from being innovative and creating new products.

“We work with businesses from the start of their invention to ensure that only safe products are put on the market.”

Child safety information and tips can also be found at, a website brought to you in partnership with Trading Standards South West.




Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust – Tots Go Wild! – Occombe Farm
Preston Down Road, Paignton TQ3 1RN
Join us every Monday (09.30-11.00am) in the Summer holidays bring your tot for a morning of fun on the farm! Click here for more details.

Paignton Regatta 2017 – Paignton Green, Paignton TQ4 6ED
5 Aug 2017 – 13 Aug 2017

Click here for full details.

Coffee and Croissants at the Legion – Paignton British Legion
12th August – Paignton Legion HQ, 39 Church Street, Paignton TQ3 3AJ
Time – 10:00 -12:00
Click here for more information

Paignton Harbour Festival
Saturday 12th August
For full details click here.

Children’s week 2017
15th – 19th August. – Paignton Green, Paignton  TQ4 6BG
The UK’s longest running children’s festival, Torbay Children’s Week is now in its 71st year.
Click here for further details.

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