After a beautiful day in our bay and ahead of a weekend of aerial excitement in the skies above, it is time for my latest update.
My week started last Saturday with my regular weekly Surgery, held at Preston Baptist Church. Amidst all the debate about leadership (I have had plenty of calls from different campaigns this week lobbying for their candidate!!) hearing what is affecting residents individually is a good way to stay grounded.
Parliament was in recess this week allowing me to spend my time focused on the bay and to be with my family. After Sunday Night’s European Election Results I went on BBC Radio Devon the following lunchtime for a live discussion about what the results meant and where I saw our country heading next. The messages in our bay were clear and I cover this a bit more below.
Tuesday saw a full day of engagements. The first being a meeting with the Torbay Branch of Parkinson’s UK. The branch arranges a program of activities and meetings for those affected by this condition. Finding out about services available, getting good advice and sharing queries with others who are dealing with the same issues can make a big difference. The current Branch Committee is looking for new members and we discussed how they could seek to bring new life to the branch.
After this meeting I headed over to Exeter for two meetings focused on our NHS Services. The first was with the Chief Executive of the Devon Partnership Trust which provides Mental Health Services in our area. The second a visit to the South Western Ambulance Service’s Clinical Hub on the edge of the city. This hub is one of 2 places where 999 Emergency Calls are received.
During my visit I not only met staff and the management team to discuss additional response capacity coming to our bay over the next year, but also listened in on some calls. It is remarkable to see how calm, collected and professional the skilled team are. One is dealing with a GP calling to get a patient transported to Hospital, whilst next to them another team member is helping deliver a baby over the phone. Their dedication to duty was apparent, especially hearing of the many difficult circumstances they have had to deal with, never knowing exactly what the next call will bring.
Wednesday started with a chance to hear about an exciting new small business in the bay, Digital Puppets. The concept of a digital puppet is like a physical one, they are a character controlled by movement. A big advantage of this technique is the time to produce animations can be reduced dramatically, saving time and money.
Later in the day I headed to Torwood St for a tour of the development and an update on progress, more on this below.
Yesterday saw me have one of my regular catch ups with Chief Supt Keith Perkin, Borough Commander for South Devon. We discussed recent progress on issues in Torquay Town Centre, work being done to tackle the drugs trade and plans for an enhanced Police presence in Paignton.
Finally earlier today I meet with Network Rail representatives to discuss progress with works to secure the future of the Coastal Railway at Dawlish. There is more on this below along with this week’s update which includes: Torbay Airshow Cleared For Take Off, Torbay MCZ Enhanced, Coal Free Fortnight, EU Elections, Topping the Charts For Seaside Towns, Dawlish Sea Wall Work, B&Q Torre Update, Torre Marine Update, Meeting With Council Leadership, Torquay Stabbing, Mass Sewing Event, Kev’s Column: European Elections and finally…..The Tiger Who Turned Three.
Torbay Airshow Cleared For Take Off,
This weekend is set to be full of excitement as Torbay Airshow takes place over our bay.
Whilst the show is centred on Paignton Green the main displays will be visible from vantage points across the bay. This year there will be an expanded event village, with a special Armed Forces Village where many local groups supporting the military family will be present. Entry to the event area is free.
The programme is below and my personal highlight will be the two performances by the RAF Red Arrows. They will be displaying on Saturday 1st June between 3pm – 4pm and on Sunday 2nd June 11.30am – 12.00noon. Although do note all displays are weather dependent.
Saturday 1st June
2pm-3pm Tigers Freefall Parachute Display Team, Twirlybatics, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, RAF Chinook Display Team.
3pm-4pm RAF Red Arrows
4pm-5:30pm Fireflies Aerobatic Display Team, RAF Tucano T1, Navy Black Cat, Strikemaster, The Blades Aerobatic Display Team, RAF Typhoon 23.
Sunday 2nd June
11:30am-12pm RAF Red Arrows
12pm -1pm RAF Chinook Display Team, Twirlybatics, Tigers Freefall Parachute Display Team, Strikemaster.
1pm-2pm RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, Fireflies Aerobatic Display Team.
2pm-3pm RAF Tucano T1, The Blades Aerobatic Display Team, Navy Black Cat, RAF Typhoon 23
If travelling to the Airshow do bear in mind car parks nearby may be busy or even full. There will be a Park and Ride service available at Splashdown Keywest. I am advised there will also be extra capacity provided on Trains and Bus Services heading to Paignton over the weekend.
Boat owners are welcome to watch the display from their vessel but do bear in mind the Harbourmaster has implemented a restricted zone which will be in force during the display times.
You can find a range of other information to help you enjoy the weekend on the Airshow’s dedicated website by clicking here.
Torbay MCZ Enhanced,
Much of Torbay became a Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) in November 2013. This means specific features within this area are protected and, where necessary, regulators will manage marine activities.
The high level of biodiversity in the area surrounding Torbay MCZ has previously been recognised, with Torbay being described as “the jewel in South Devon’s crown” for marine wildlife. Extending from the shoreline out to a depth of 30 metres the MCZ includes a range of habitats exposed to different environmental conditions. This variation creates an area capable of supporting a rich array of marine wildlife.
Two additional features, peacock’s tail (Padina pavonica) and subtidal coarse sediment, were added to the protection list for the site last night as part of a Government announcement of 41 new MCZs. I am advised the actual area covered by the Torbay MCZ has not been altered.
You can read more about the wider announcement of new MCZs, including some on the South West, on the Government website by clicking here.
Coal Free Fortnight,
Earlier today a major milestone was reached as Britain has not used coal to generate electricity for two weeks, the longest period without doing so since the 1880s.
The body which manages the way electricity is generated, National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) said coal was last used at 15:12 on 17th May. It also confirmed the British record for solar power had also been broken this month.
Whilst coal was once King, its use to generate power is now declining sharply and all Coal Fired Power Stations will be phased out by 2025. This will reduce Carbon Emissions and reflects a changing mix of UK Power Sources as the growth in renewables continues. On 14th May, Britain generated a quarter of its energy from the sun, the largest proportion yet. You can read more on the BBC website by clicking here.
At a time when much debate is focused on Climate Change protests it is good to see this significant example of quiet progress being made on changing our energy supply.
The European Elections on Thursday sent a clear and firm message, voters in our bay and region want the 2016 Referendum Result implemented and Brexit to proceed.
There is no hiding from the fact the results were terrible for both Labour and Conservative Parties as voters sent a clear message, their votes decided on whether they backed Leave or Remain rather than wider policy areas.
Many voters are rightly as fed up as I am with Groundhog Day debates in Parliament which see progress blocked and no firm conclusions reached, with some MPs seeking to tie things up in procedural knots rather than be clear about their view.
My own Party needs to reflect during the forthcoming Leadership Election and deliver what people voted for 3 years ago and voted for again last week, an exit from the European Union.
Topping the Charts For Seaside Towns,
A travel website dedicated to helping families have fun asked over 2,000 families to tell them their favourite seaside towns and what they love most about the coast.
They then gathered data to “scientifically” decide the best seaside towns in the UK, in 2019. The key factors being considered for each town include things like how many Fish & Chip Shops, the price of ice cream, number of sunny days each year and even which was most instagrammed!!
Earlier today they announced their decision, with both Torquay and Paignton getting Gold as they were ranked in the top 10 UK resorts. Our neighbours in Teignmouth were ranked 47. You can read more by clicking here.
Dawlish Sea Wall Work,
Since the storms five years ago left rail tracks hanging in the air all eyes have been on the future of the Dawlish Coastal Railway.
After much lobbying and campaigning by myself and other local MPs, earlier this year the Government confirmed £80m of funding for a new Sea Wall to be built alongside the track at Dawlish to better protect it and make it more resilient for the future. These plans were approved by Teignbridge District Council last month. You can see images of the scheme on Devon Live by clicking here.
Earlier today I was delighted to be advised by Network Rail work will start on the new Sea Wall in the next few days, a major step forward for our region and securing our long term transport links. Work will be suspended during the peak summer period to ensure impact is minimised on the tourism industry.
Later this month Network Rail will unveil their plans for the next phase of work (between Holcombe and Teignmouth) at an exhibition in Torquay.
B&Q Torre Update,
Those driving past or using the Number 12 Bus will have noticed scaffolding has now gone up on the other side of the old B&Q building.
This marks work now starting on the main elevation. The first job is to concentrate on removing the existing fibre glass cladding and creating the new frontages on that level before constructing an additional floor.
Although there has been much work being carried out internally, it is great to see more visible progress being made with a building which has been an eyesore for too long. My thanks especially go to Torre and Upton Community Partnership for the regular stream of information on this project.
Torre Marine Update,
After over a decade of waiting, last year the playground on Torre Marine was finally completed, with the surrounding area landscaped.
Sadly this was not the end of the saga involved with securing the long term use of this site and its maintenance. Earlier today the Torre & Upton CP and myself were sent an update by Barratts.
Whilst progress has been made in getting the legal paperwork completed ready to hand the site over there is now a problem with securing agreement from the development’s Management Company.
My team and I will continue pursuing this issue as finally putting this one to bed would be a boost for the whole community.
Meeting With Council Leadership,
Yesterday I held my first meeting with Cllrs Steve Darling and Darren Cowell, the new Leader and Deputy Leader of Torbay Council.
Whilst we differ on several national issues the meeting was a constructive exchange of views and ideas on how we could work together. I was pleased to hear their commitment to tackling housing issues, working to regenerate the bay’s economy and their interest in pursuing a greener bay. I also highlighted how it was vital Torbay Council was outward looking and engaged with both the Local Government Association and national Government in a constructive way.
We agreed to look at meeting for a discussion every other month and exchanged the all-important mobile numbers in case of urgent issues!!
Earlier this evening I was alerted to an incident in the park between Morgan Avenue and Union Street, Torquay.
A large section of the park between Morgan Avenue and Union Street was sealed off with police tape. The victim and his attacker are thought to be known to each other, with Armed Police having raided an address in Warren Road. You can read more on Devon Live by clicking here.
If you have any information about the whereabouts of the attacker, contact Torquay Police on phone number 101 and quote log 735 for today.
Mass Sewing Event,
A mass sewing event, Fabrics of Home, is to be held on the lawns of Oldway Mansion, Paignton as part of an arts installation.
“Fabric of Home” will be held as part of the 10-day Eyeview (extra)ordinary programme on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June 2019. You can find out more on the Shorley website by clicking here.
All are being invited to join-in. Just register your interest on the Eyeview website by clicking here or just go along and watch as an army of sewers make something new together.
This is a free event for participants and audience.
Kev’s Column: European Elections
Every fortnight I write a “Kev’s Column” for the Herald Express and you can read the latest edition by following the link below:
and finally…..The Tiger Who Turned Three.
Ending on a lighter note, the classic tale of The Tiger Who Came To Tea has delighted a generation of young children, yet this week a three year old Paigntonian celebrated his third birthday.
The Birthday Bash held in the Tiger Enclosure at Paignton Zoo celebrated Lucu turning 3 this week and his Dad, Fabi, turning 12 last week. There was plenty of fun on offer for the pair as some meaty treats had been wrapped up by their keepers, but Fabi may have found himself reflecting like so many parents on how playing with the box was the biggest attraction.
You can see what I mean by watching a wonderful video on the Zoo’s Twitter feed by clicking here.
That is all for this week and enjoy your weekend.
4th – 15th June– Imaginary Drawn with Light Exhibtion at Atizan Gallery 7 Lucius Street TQ2 5UW Featuring works of Dr Martin Raskovsky. For further information head to https://www.art-hub.co.uk/june19
Saturday 8th June – ToADS Little Theatre – Special Charity Performance in support of local Mencap. Tickets at discount price of £8.50 available on the door or in advance from the Bright Bean Cafe near Preston Bus Shelter or contact email@example.com
Saturday 22nd June – 10:30am till 3pm Summer Fayre, All Saints Church, Babbacombe A range of stalls, refreshments and a bouncy castle will be on offer, with a dog show at 2:15pm.
Saturday 22nd June 10am till 6pm – Torbay Armed Forces Day, Babbacombe Downs. There will be a parade,stalls,military stands,large marque,food, drink and entertainment all day. This is a wonderful family day so the people of Torbay can say a thank you to our serving members and the Veterans of the bay.
Saturday 29th June. 10.30 am – 12 noon. Friends of Rowcroft Coffee Morning in aid of Rowcroft Hospice, at St. Matthias Church Centre, Babbacombe Road, Wellswood, Torquay TQ1 1HW. Admission £2.50. Cake stall, raffle, bring & buy. Everyone welcome.
Every Wednesday night through to 25th September, BMAD, Paignton Esplanade, gates open 6pm. Raising funds for sick, disabled and under privileged children in the TQ area. (Not 31st July but Thursday 1st Aug due to Paignton Carnival.)
On behalf of Disabled Sailing Association – Stall on Marina Torquay. Andy and Pauline Baker are running this and would appreciate help. They need BOTTLES of glass or plastic for prizes – they are wrapped and placed among empty bottles filled with sand. If a “good” bottle is chosen it is kept. So anything in a bottle, edible or cleaning or beauty needed. Please either contact andy or bring to the Musgroves at Morden House or make a small monetary donation so Andy can buy things. Most are less than £1 – Andy’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Every Tuesday from 0930 till 1230. The Royal British Legion Office, 39 Church Street, Paignton is open. It is where ex members of the armed forces can receive help and advice. Appointments can be made by phoning 01803 555838, or email email@example.com.
Every Tuesday & Wednesday (10:45 – 12 noon) – Lectures at Torquay Museum
529 Babbacombe Road, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 1HG – Lectures are free to TMSM,& cost £5 to Non-Members on the door! For more details click here.
2nd Wednesday of each month at the Quaker Meeting House in Torquay – Torbay Interfaith Forum meet. For more details Click here.
PARKFIELD Youth services have a range of activities throughout the week for young people – click hereto see what’s on and when.
Are you running an event in the Bay? I am always looking to promote local events, big or small. If you have an event coming up, please email firstname.lastname@example.org so it can be included.
Friday 7th June, 3pm – 5pm @ Paignton Baptist Church, 43 Winner Street, Paignton TQ3 3BJ
Saturday 15th June, 11am – 1pm @ 5-7 East Street, Torquay TQ2 5SD
Friday 21st June, 3pm – 5pm @ AGE UK, 12 Dendy Road, Paignton TQ4 5DB
Saturday 29th June, 11am – 1pm @ Acorn Centre, Lummaton Cross, Torquay TQ2 8ET
Saturday 13th July, 11am – 1pm @ Torquay Library, Lymington Road, Torquay TQ1 3DT
Friday 19th July, 3pm – 5pm @ Paignton Library, Gt. Western Road, Paignton TQ4 5AG
It’s always best to book a slot to guarantee being able to see me. Full details of how to do this are on my website or you can call my office on 01803 214989, Monday – Fridays, 9am – 5pm.
You can either email me at email@example.com or leave a message on 01803 214989 and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.