Kevin Foster’s (MP for Torbay) Residents’ Update: Friday 5th October 2018

Dear All,

After a sunny day here in the bay it is time for my latest update.

I started my week speaking at the MS SW Regional Conference (Top Left) at the Grand Hotel. I was asked to cover how those affected by Multiple Sclerosis could get their voices heard at Westminster and ensure local decision makers understood the issues they face accessing services. A particularly inspirational part of the conference was hearing Prof Giovannoni talk about research into how MS could be a preventable condition in future.

Saturday afternoon saw me in Mead Road, Torquay (Top right) attending the unveiling of a plaque by Torbay Civic Society commemorating Harry Brearley, a renowned metallurgist who lived there in retirement until his death in 1948. His monumental achievement was the invention of Stainless Steel, a material which revolutionised a range of equipment including the cutlery we use every day.

This week saw the Conservative Party Conference take place in Birmingham from Sunday till Wednesday. I do not use these updates to make or promote party political points so will not go into details about those, but a major party conference is a unique event to experience which has lots of similarities to the music festivals which take place in our bay.

The main acts take place on the Conference Stage, with the final day seeing the Prime Minister speak. These are relayed live on BBC Parliament and widely trailed. Yet many other debates, media interviews, stalls and events take place around these. My week at conference included: meeting IFAW to discuss Elephant Conservation, discussions with the Rail Industry about future reform, talks with James Brokenshire about Torbay Council and, rather bizarrely, playing a “Whack-A-Mole” game Guide Dogs had organised to highlight issues with pavement parking.

Some question the necessity for traditional Party Conferences in an era when digital communications mean much more information is available about what a party thinks than just listening to an annual conference on the TV or Radio. Yet they are a unique time when leading figures in charities, politics, the media, business and members of a political party come together to reflect on the year ahead, hence they will continue.

Last night I joined a large audience at St John’s Church Hall in Shiphay for SADS latest show “Hi-De-Hi” (Bottom left). Those who were fans of the show will love this version of it, with excellent performances from those cast in iconic roles including Peggy, Ted and Gladys. There is still one more chance to catch it at 7:30pm tomorrow night (Saturday 6th October). Tickets are only £7.50 for adults and it is well worth it!!! Best of all resurfacing work has finished on the stretch of Cadewell Lane outside the hall so you can easily park but must approach it from the Torbay Hospital End to avoid the closure still in place outside the Co-op.

Finally earlier today I popped into the South Devon Jobs Fair at Torquay Town Hall (Bottom Right) where 70 employers with 600 jobs available, including Midas a construction company working on the Torwood Street Regeneration, were speaking to local job seekers. It was great to see the range of work on offer, from apprenticeships and entry level jobs for those starting out on their career to highly technical and skilled roles.

This week’s update is below: Airshow Appeal Launched, Torbay is Blooming, Police Merger Blocked, Dawlish Train Line, Torwood Mural Relocated, TUFC Stadium Survey Result, Trunk in Charge, Council Housing Cap Lifted, Roselands Primary Playing Fields, Torbay Lottery, Dog Ban Lifted, Kev’s Column: More Councillors Needed? And finally……I’ve Got the Perfect Angle.

Airshow Appeal Launched, 

Torbay Airshow looked like it might be grounded after Torbay’s Elected Mayor announced sponsors and the public would have to come up with the money needed to fund it.

Yet hopes are now soaring as businesses have emerged to back it according to the team tasked with raising the £90,000 needed to replace the subsidy from Council Taxpayers. Hence a public appeal for donations is also being launched. If you would like to support it you can find full details by clicking here.

Unlike similar events across the country held at Airfields Torbay Airshow is free to attend, with many low-cost\free activities on the ground ensuring it is great fun for the family no matter what your budget. If you can afford to contribute it will ensure this continues. If the Airshow Team is not successful in reaching their fundraising target, your donation will be used to support other Arts, Culture or Events in Torbay.

Torbay is Blooming, 

The South West in Bloom award ceremony took place in Crediton yesterday, and Torbay was triumphant!

Torquay won Gold in the Champion of Champions, while Brixham, Paignton, and Babbacombe with St Marychurch all won Gold for the second year running. There were also many high-level awards in the It’s Your Neighbourhood competition for groups right across the Bay.

SW in Bloom is one of eighteen regional and national competitions that make up Britain in Bloom, the biggest horticultural campaign in Europe. The full details of the awards are due to be published soon by South West in Bloom.

Margaret Forbes-Hamilton, chair of Torbay Greenspace Forum as well as several voluntary groups gave me this quote for tonight’s update:

“It was my pleasure to escort the judges round the gardens in Abbey Park. Jon Wheatley, who has won 14 gold medals at Chelsea Flower Show, stated that he had never seen these gardens is such superb condition. He congratulated the gardeners personally on their excellent work, but was also complimentary about the offer of all facilities in the park for the tourists: cafes, sports and floral displays.”

Police Merger Blocked, 

Earlier today Councillors on the Police and Crime Panel for Devon & Cornwall voted to support the “minded to” decision by our local Police and Crime Commissioner to block a potential merger with Dorset Police.

As reported in last week’s update Alison Hernandez had expressed a range of doubts about the merger plans but decided the issue should be discussed by the panel made up of Councillors before issuing her final decision. After a range of questions and significant debate they voted 12 to 4, with one abstention, to support Alison’s decision. You can read more about this by clicking here.

Cornwall, Plymouth and Torbay Councils had expressed concerns about the proposed merger, not least the lack of clarity about what it might mean for front line policing in their areas.

Dawlish Train Line, 

The need to secure the Dawlish Coastal Rail Line for the future was top of the Agenda when Sir John Armitt, Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, visited Exeter.

Sir John made clear during his visit the region must come together to address the long running rail issue once and for all, something MPs of all parties have been calling on the Government to do since 2014 when a storm left the rail tracks at Dawlish hanging in the air.

Network Rail is currently conducting detailed survey work on plans to re-route the rail line around 30 yards out to sea from Smugglers to Teignmouth. This causeway option would see the line rebuild from the tunnel at Smugglers’ Lane, out on to the beach past Spray Point, and then curve back in land towards Teignmouth. This plan is based on the threat to the route’s survival posed by the potential for major cliff falls which could close it for months at a time.

At the Conservative Party Conference this week I again caught up with Chris Grayling, the Secretary of State for Transport, to discuss progress with this project. His indication was very clear work on the scheme, which could cost up to £500m, would progress if the survey works are positive.

Torwood Mural Relocated, 

A poignant mural painted on hoardings around the Torwood Street site have found a new home at Torquay Museum.

Four of the original 15 panels were carefully removed to be repositioned on the Museum Forecourt, where they will be displayed for the next month.

TUFC Stadium Survey Result, 

I recently sent out a survey to local residents living around Nightingale Park asking them for their views on the proposal from Torquay United Football Club for a new stadium to be built on it.

In the responses received so far, the majority of residents expressed the view Torquay United should stay at the ground in Plainmoor.

Only 18% of respondents said they would support the move to Nightingale Park.
I will use the findings from this survey in my continuing discussions with Torquay United Club owners, Torquay United Supporters Trust (Who I met at an event during the Conservative Party Conference this week) and Torbay’s Councillors who will decide whether this scheme should progress any further.

If you live near the park and have not returned my survey there is still time to do so using the Freepost envelope supplied with it.

Trunk in Charge, 

A local charity beer has raised an elephantine sum for wildlife conservation.

Paignton Zoo supports environmental education in the Omo Forest of south-western Nigeria, where the elusive forest elephant still survives. The Zoo has been funding work there since 2008. Bays Brewery helped generate £3,282 by selling a special beer, Trunk Ale, on behalf of wildlife charity Paignton Zoo Environmental Park.

Bays donated 10 pence from every pint sold to the conservation charity. So, with 32,282 pints sold if you saw a Pink Elephant after a night at the Pub you might have enjoyed making a donation to this worthy cause a little bit too much!!

Council Housing Cap Lifted,

For several decades the ability of Councils to borrow money against their assets to build new homes has been strictly limited, yet on Wednesday the Prime Minister announced this cap will be removed.

This technical change could pave the way for a major programme of house building by Councils across England. The ability to borrow capital to build homes, backed by the certainty of income streams from renting (or selling them under right to buy later) is how the building of major estates was funded in the past.

It has been several decades since a major Council Estate was built in Torbay, with this type of approach unlikely to return here or across the country. Yet it could allow Council’s the ability to invest in particular schemes to regenerate Town Centres or deliver specific social housing needs on sites they own.

Roselands Primary Playing Fields, 

Earlier today Cllr Jane Barnby and I visited Roselands Primary School to speak with the Headteacher about plans for the school to expand its playing fields into a neighbouring field.

The field is to the rear of the school and has not been developed previously for any purpose, with hay collected from it by cutting the grass. It is mostly used for dog walking and is owned by Torbay Council. The School wishes to expand its grounds to create a football pitch and build new facilities on an existing playground. The field would be surrounded by a green metal fence, similar to one around a nearby playground.

A decision will be made by Councillors later this month and the school has written to nearby homes asking for views on its plan.

Torbay Lottery, 

The Torbay Lottery is empowering local groups to generate vital funds in a fun and effective way, while enabling players to support the causes they care about the most.

109 local good causes have now signed up and the Torbay Lottery has raised £51,500 from them since it was launched in April 2017.

It is now easier than ever to choose the good cause you wish to support through the new category search.  Categories include: animals, carers, children and family, community groups, disability, education and learning, heritage, parks and open spaces.

You can find out more and sign up to play by clicking here.

Dog Ban Lifted, 

The arrival of Autumn always sets a few tails wagging in the bay as the seasonal Dog bans are lifted on several beaches.

Beaches where you can take you dog for a paddle in the winter include Paignton Sands, Preston Sands and Torre Abbey Sands. You can read the full list on Torbay Council’s website by clicking here.

Kev’s Column: More Councillors Needed? 

Every fortnight I write a “Kev’s Column” for the Herald Express and you can read the latest edition by following the link below:

https://www.kevinjfoster.com/news/kevs-column-more-councillors-needed

And finally…..I’ve Got the Perfect Angle.

Ending on a lighter note one local train enthusiast thought he had the perfect spot to see one of the icons of the Golden Age of Steam, Flying Scotsman, passing through Dawlish.

Everything was ready and as the world’s most famous train approached Dawlish in full steam hauling a special excursion train to Plymouth he had the perfect angle. The video started to record the glorious sight as Flying Scotsman headed through towards his carefully selected spot, yet a short horn blast indicates something slightly more modern is about to come into view. You can click here to see the magic moment for yourself.

If you would like to get a clear view of this magnificent train you can find the details of times she will be travelling back through Devon on Devon Live by clicking here.

That is all for this week and enjoy your weekend.

Best Wishes,

Kevin

Events

Thursday 4th Oct to Saturday 6th October 7:30pm   “Hi De HI” – Shiphay Amateur Drama Society’s latest production promises to be a good night out as they give their take on the classic comedy series.  St John’s Church Hall, Cadewell Lane, Shiphay.  Tickets are £7.50 for adults, £5.00 for under 16. More details by clicking here.

Saturday 6th October – Fund raising for the Special Care Baby Unit, Torbay Hospital
The event will be at The Medway Centre Watcombe. 10.30 – 3.30.  Many bargains to be had. Children’s clothes. Toys, cuddly toys. Shoes, books adults and children’s. Bric a brac. A PRIZE DRAW.  – Tea and coffee with cake.

New Season of Public Lectures at Torquay Museum:

Tuesday 9th October 10.45am – 12 noon,– Pearls Before Poppies: The story of the red cross Pearls, by Rachel Trethewy

Wednesday 10th October 10.45am – 12 noon, – A Brief Insight Into Seahorses & Their Ecology, by Neil Garrick-Maidment

Open to the general public, only £5 per lecture.   Further details of the complete season of lectures can be found on Torquay Museum’s website, www.torquaymuseum.org,

Friday 12th October – 7:30pm St Matthias Church, Torquay. Torbay Police Choir & Riviera Brass Concert. Tickets available on the door.

Saturday 13th October Torre and Upton Community Action Day from 10am till 4pm. A day of action is planned to improve local greenspaces. To get involved go and see the Community Partnership team at Brunswick Square, next to the Bowls Club in Upton Park or at their base for the day Upton Vale Church Hall

 

Advice Surgeries

Saturday 6th October, 11am – 1pm @ The Acorn Centre, Lummaton Cross, Torquay TQ2 8ET

Friday 12th October, 3pm – 5pm @ Paignton Baptist Church, 43 Winner Street, Paignton TQ3 3BJ

Saturday 20th October, 9.30am – 11am @ 5-7 East Street, Torquay TQ2 5SD

Saturday 27th October, 11am – 1pm @ Preston Baptist Church, 62 Old Torquay Road, Paignton TQ3 2RB

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  kevin@kevinjfoster.com or leave a message on 01803 214989 and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Saturday 13 Oct at 10am and Sunday 14 Oct at 5pm  @  Torquay Boys’ Grammar School. We welcome artists, families, friends and the general public to enjoy this brand new exhibition and the opportunity to buy some unique artworks to raise funds for the refurbishment of the Student Sixth Form Centre.

Saturday 20th October – The Ageing Well Festival  all day event at Paignton  Community College Borough Road. Taster sessions on fitness,music,arts, advice stands,talks, and all day entertainment, click here for more details.

Saturday 3rd November – Brainwave Charity – Jumble Sale – 11am to 3pm at Palace Avenue Methodist Church Hall – click here for more details.

Saturday 17th November – 12.00pm to 2.30pm. Inner Wheel Club of Torquay. Pasty and Puds Lunch @ St Matthias Church Hall, Babbacombe Road, Torquay.  Call 01803 21142 for tickets or email iwd17csjc@gmail.com – proceeds to Children’s hospice South West. Click here for info.

Every Monday and Friday – from 8pm. Torbay Brass Band are seeking players, they rehearse in The Salvation Army Hall, Torquay. Contact number for further information is 07901 647927 – Click here for more info.

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. Information is also available about volunteering to help with the Poppy Appeal in November. appointments can be made by phoning 01803 555838, or email paignton.bcs@rbl.community.

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 kevin.foster.mp@parliament.uk so it can be included.

Local Events

 Thursday 4th October Torbay Film Club are showing “Hunt For The Wilderpeople”  at St Matthias Church Hall. Doors open at 1900 for a film start at 1930. All welcome: non members £5.50.

Thursday 4th October English Riviera Seafood Feast Festival: Artizan Gallery Cocktails & Conversation with guest speaker, Barry Young. Tickets £12 booked in advance £15 on the door. More details by clicking here

Thursday 4th Oct to Saturday 6th October 7:30pm   “Hi De HI” – Shiphay Amateur Drama Society’s latest production promises to be a good night out as they give their take on the classic comedy series.  St John’s Church Hall, Cadewell Lane, Shiphay.  Tickets are £7.50 for adults, £5.00 for under 16s.  More details by clicking here.

Friday 5th Oct to Saturday 27th October Artizan Gallery latest exhibtion, ‘We Are Making A New World’ Entry is free and more details can be found by clicking here

Saturday 13th October Torre and Upton Community Action Day from 10am till 4pm. A day of action is planned to improve local greenspaces. To get involved go and see the Community Partnership team at Brunswick Square, next to the Bowls Club in Upton Park or at their base for the day Upton Vale Church Hall

Saturday 13 Oct at 10am and Sunday 14 Oct at 5pm  @  Torquay Boys’ Grammar School. We welcome artists, families, friends and the general public to enjoy this brand new exhibition and the opportunity to buy some unique artworks to raise funds for the refurbishment of the Student Sixth Form Centre.

Saturday 3rd November – Brainwave Charity – Jumble Sale – 11am to 3pm at Palace Avenue Methodist Church Hall – click here for more details.

Saturday 17th November – 12.00pm to 2.30pm. Inner Wheel Club of Torquay. Pasty and Puds Lunch @ St Matthias Church Hall, Babbacombe Road, Torquay.  Call 01803 21142 for tickets or email iwd17csjc@gmail.com – proceeds to Children’s hospice South West. Click here for info.

Every Monday and Friday – from 8pm. Torbay Brass Band are seeking players, they rehearse in The Salvation Army Hall, Torquay. Contact number for further information is 07901 647927 – Clickhere for more info.

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. Information is also available about volunteering to help with the Poppy Appeal in November. appointments can be made by phoning 01803 555838, or email paignton.bcs@rbl.community.

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 kevin.foster.mp@parliament.uk so it can be included.

Latest Kevin Foster’s Fund Payouts 

Latest Foster’s Fund Payouts 

Earlier today I welcomed four local charities and good causes to my East St for a presentation of the latest awards from my Foster’s Fund.

The four awards presented today totaled £1,700 and will be used to fund a range of activities including drama Sessions, community outreach work and providing new equipment for local Sea Scouts.

Foster’s Fund was established in 2015 following my pledge to donate the 10% pay rise for MPs to charity if it was implemented by IPSA. A change in the law made after the expenses scandal in 2009 means MPs no longer vote on their own pay.

The four awards were:

£1,000 10th Torbay (Babbacombe) Sea Scout Group
£300     Unleashed Theatre Company
£200     The Willows Community Church
£200     Smart Recovery

You can find out more about Foster’s Fund on my website by clicking here.

Kevin Foster Mp for Torbay Residents’ Update: Friday 28th September 2018

After a surprisingly warm couple of days it is time for my latest update.

Parliament has been in recess this week due to the ongoing Party Conferences, so I have been able to spend time here in the bay and take a couple of days off to spend with my family.

The very wet weather last Saturday meant my planned session out on the doorsteps had to be cancelled, although it did not stop a big crowd turning out at the Princess Theatre for the final performance of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”. The popular family musical was superbly performed by local amateur company TOPS to a full house. Whilst the car was the star for many, the performances of the two leads was exceptional.

Sunday and Monday saw me spend time with my family, but Tuesday was a chance for reflection on the challenges ahead for the Government as I headed back to London for a Cabinet Office meeting at Lancaster House. The Cabinet Office covers a range of areas including the Constitution, Electoral Law, Civil Contingencies, Government Procurement and Cyber Security. The meeting was a look ahead to issues coming up over the next few months, including Brexit.

Wednesday saw me spend time with family, including a rather poignant visit to Lanhydrock House in Cornwall, which I last visited as a teenager. On display in its church is the wooden cross which marked the grave of the MP for St Austell, Thomas Agar-Robartes, who died because of wounds received in the Battle of Loos. His former bedroom is preserved as it was when he left to fight, including some of his election leaflets and letters.

Yesterday I was back in the bay in time for a session out on the doorsteps in Upton. I enjoyed speaking to several residents about a range of issues in the Town Centre and surrounding areas, including crime, parking and town centre regeneration.

I was up early this morning for the Torbay Business Network Breakfast at Pierpoint, Torquay. Paul from the TDA gave a fascinating talk on Crypto Currencies and what these may mean for local businesses. After this I headed back to my East St office to make the latest presentations from my Foster’s Fund, more on these below.

Today saw the “World’s Biggest Coffee Morning” take place in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. There were many events across the bay and I managed to attend two. The first at Gargan & Hart Estate Agents in Chelston. The second in Forest Road, Upton. There was a great selection of cakes on offer at both and if you hosted an event today I hope it went well.

Finally I joined local resident Fleur Barr for a visit to the Torquay Hub, on the Torbay Hospital site, to discuss how local Mental Health Therapy Facilities and services could be improved. Our visit included seeing the Place of Safety, meeting mental health workers, seeing the two main wards and discussions about a major funding bid for an expansion of the services provided there.

This week’s update is below and includes: Police Merger Update, TUFC Stadium Plan Update, Crackdown on Gangs, New Hospital CEO Appointed, The World Comes To Torbay, Watching The Grass Grow, Plainmoor Road Safety Scheme, Violent Torquay Rapist Sent To Prison, GWR Autumn Upgrade Schedule, New Train Takes The Spray, Wellswood Wheels Volunteers Appeal and finally…….“Horned Beast” on the Loose?

Police Merger Update, 

A plan to merge Devon & Cornwall Police with Dorset Police was put on hold this week as our local Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez indicated she was minded to oppose it.

For the plan to progress the Chief Constables and PCCs for the two areas must support it. Whilst the PCC for Dorset and the two Chief Constables indicated their support, Alison expressed her doubts about the disruption a formal merger would cause given the relatively limited savings it may achieve.

The matter will now be discussed by the Police and Crime Panel for Devon & Cornwall, which is made up of local Councillors from the areas covered by the force, prior to Alison issuing her final decision.  You can read the papers they will consider by clicking here. Two Councils, Plymouth and Cornwall have already formally indicated their opposition to the merger.

Whilst I am not opposed in principal to a merger of the two forces, any change must make clear what benefits it will bring for Torbay, not just how a larger rural force would be created. It should also be clear how Council Tax rates will be merged. Dorset Residents currently pay on average £18 a year (per household) more in terms of the Police Precept. This may not seem a significant amount, but if applied across the combined force area it could see significant extra sums raised, with clear questions about how these resources might be used.

I spoke to Alison about her decision this week and agreed it is vital the business case is scrutinised, plus any benefits for Torbay clear, if it is to proceed any further.

TUFC Stadium Plan Update, 

Earlier this week Torbay’s Councillors were briefed on the plans announced by Torquay United Football Club for a new stadium at Nightingale Park.

The meeting was held in private, but I understand no significant new details will be forthcoming any time soon.

Meanwhile I am conducting a survey of residents living near to Nightingale Park asking them what they think of this plan. So far the majority of responses have indicated they do not support it.

Crackdown on Gangs, 

Work by our Police to crackdown on the unacceptable behaviour of gangs in Torquay and Newton Abbot has taken a step forward.

Special gang injunctions have been imposed on 11 teenagers after seven appeared at Plymouth Magistrates Court this week and four more agreed to the injunction.

The various conditions of the injunction include giving police the power to arrest the youths if they make threats in groups of three or more or make threats over social media, by phone or text messages. It is understood to be one of the first times Devon and Cornwall Police have applied for gang injunctions. You can read more on Devon Live by clicking here.

I welcome this action by the Police to deal with those who make life a misery for others and it sends a strong message their behaviour will not be tolerated.

New Hospital CEO Appointed, 

Torbay Hospital’s Chief Executive, Mairead McAlinden, decided to retire earlier this year.

Since then Liz Davenport, the substantive Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer, has been covering the Chief Executive role on an interim basis. This week the Trust which runs the Hospital confirmed she has been appointed as the new Chief Executive.

I have worked with Liz on several issues over recent years and look forward to working with her over the coming years to the benefit of Torbay’s NHS.

The World Comes To Torbay,  

“The World” has literally come to Torbay this week as it anchored in our bay.

Whilst “The World” looks like any other Cruise Ship it is the world’s largest privately-owned passenger ship. There are 165 Residences ranging from studio flats to expansive three-bedroom apartments and a six-bedroom penthouse suite, which boasts accommodations for up to 12 people. Approximately 200 people live on the ship.

She is in our bay for refueling and is due to leave tomorrow (Saturday 29thSeptember). You can read more about her on Devon Live by clicking here.

Watching The Grass Grow, 

Watching the grass grow has a very different meaning at Torquay’s Living Coasts.

Out of the sight of guests, staff at Living Coasts are working on a project to propagate the seagrass species Zostera Marina. The long-term aim is to find ways of growing it on a large-enough scale to make planting out areas of suitable seabed viable. They have successfully grown some seagrass plants from seed and whilst it may not look like much, it’s a significant achievement, as the seeds are notoriously tricky to germinate.

Seagrass is threatened by coastal development, irresponsible anchoring, dredging and other activities which disturb the seabed, including certain fishing methods. Seagrass beds are also at risk from pollution and increased amounts of sediment in the water, which block sunlight and prevent growth. If the seagrass beds disappear, the seahorses living among them will disappear, too.

You can read more on the Living Coasts’ website by clicking here.

Plainmoor Road Safety Schemes, 

As part of planned Road Safety Schemes for this year, Torbay Council have identified the School Crossing Patrol point on Reddenhill Road and the area around The Spires School as needing improvement works.

Reddenhill Road will incorporate improved signage and lights to indicate an advisory 20mph limit when lights flash. There will also be additional parking restrictions to improve visibility of the crossing point and signage.

The Spires School scheme will comprise of an enforceable 20 MPH zone restriction along the rear lane running parallel to Bronshill Road, which is used by school children walking to the school. There will also be parking restrictions on the junction with Cary Park Road to improve visibility of pedestrians crossing the road and allow safer access and passing ability for vehicles at this junction.

Ward Councillors have been asked for comment before Torbay Council formally advertises and commences works on these schemes.

Violent Torquay Rapist Sent To Prison, 

A Torquay man convicted of rape is now where he belongs, in prison.

He was convicted after a week-long trial at Exeter Crown Court, with the Judge handing down a six-year sentence.

You can read more on Devon Live by clicking here.

GWR Autumn Upgrade Schedule,

Several rail upgrade projects will be taking place across our region this autumn.

If planning an important trip by train later this year you can find all the details of the planned work on a dedicated part of GWR’s website by clicking here.

The key date for our bay is on Sunday 11th November when track renewal work will take place from Newton Abbot to Paignton until 16:00. As this is Remembrance Sunday do bear this in mind if planning to use the train to travel to an event.

New Train Takes The Spray, 

Whilst talking about trains one of the most common questions I get asked about the new Intercity Express Trains is if they will be able to withstand the waves at Dawlish.

Since the first service west of Exeter (to Paignton) in July many have been waiting to see what would happen when the sleek new trains got a wash from the sea at Dawlish. Whilst the Class 43 sets have ploughed through the waves for nearly 40 years, a weakness in the newer Voyager sets used by Crosscountry means their electrics fail if a big splash hits them.

This week saw the first winter weather put the new trains to the test and the Dawlish Beach Camera captured the moment one headed through the sea spray. You can see the video by clicking here.

Wellswood Wheels Volunteers Appeal 

Wellswood Wheels is run by the Wellswood & Torwood Community Partnership (CP) for those whose mobility problems prevent them from engaging in the social events many of us take for granted.

The CP have been invited by the Practice Managers at Parkhill and Brunel Surgeries to attend the Flu Surgeries in October and November to talk with those attending who might benefit from Wellswood Wheels, but do not currently use it. They are therefore looking for volunteers who would be prepared to give up a couple of hours of their time on a Saturday morning to deliver leaflets to patients as they leave the surgeries. The dates are:

Saturday 6th October, Saturday 27th October, Saturday 3rd November and Saturday 17th November between 10am and 1pm. If you could help let me know and I will pass your details to the CP Secretary Sue Kenway.

and finally……. ”Horned Beast” on the Loose?

In what sounded like the plot of a bad 1950’s “B” move it was reported a “Horned Beast” had escaped from Paignton Zoo into the nearby Clennon Woods.

The West Caucasian Tur, which looks like a mountain goat, escaped from Paignton Zoo by leaping over a fence while being herded to a new area. Whilst she could have been dangerous if cornered or feeling threatened, the image created by some reports of a “horned beast” escaping were rather wide of the mark.

After two days on the run she walked back into the Zoo following a trail of food left by Zoo Keepers to entice her into doing the right thing. You can read more on Devon Live by clicking here.

That is all for this week and enjoy your weekend.

Best wishes,

Kevin

 

Advice Surgeries

Saturday 6th October, 11am – 1pm @ The Acorn Centre, Lummaton Cross, Torquay TQ2 8ET

Friday 12th October, 3pm – 5pm @ Paignton Baptist Church, 43 Winner Street, Paignton TQ3 3BJ

Saturday 20th October, 9.30am – 11am @ 5-7 East Street, Torquay TQ2 5SD

Saturday 27th October, 11am – 1pm @ Preston Baptist Church, 62 Old Torquay Road, Paignton TQ3 2RB

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  kevin@kevinjfoster.com or leave a message on 01803 214989 and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Kevin Foster, MP for Torbay, Residents’ Update: Friday 14th September 2018

Dear All,

After a sunny day here in the bay it is time for my latest update.

My week started last Saturday with two sessions getting out on the doorsteps to speak with residents. The first was in Babbacombe with local Councillors Ray Hill and Anne Brooks, then later in the day I headed out in Shiphay with Cllr Mark Kingscote.

The perfect antidote to a week in Westminster is to get out and about hearing what local people think on the issues which matter to them. Light evenings and good weather have meant the last two months have given me several opportunities to do this. One big theme emerging from the hundreds of conversations my team and I have been having is the need to regenerate our Town Centres and deal with anti-social behaviour\crime taking place in them.

At lunchtime I popped into Preston Conservative Club for their open day and table top sale. The event was aimed at raising money for Bowel Cancer Research, a cause close to my heart given my Mother was affected by this illness. It was good to see many residents there and I even picked up a couple of Christmas Decorations from a craft stall.

I followed this with a visit to the Heritage Open Day being held at St Mary Magdalene, Torquay. Many update readers will pass this historic gem every day, yet not realise some of the history it has. The church has a memorial dedicated to a victim of the Titanic disaster, a small carved wooden mouse which was the “signature” of a Victorian church designer, some of the best decorative stonework of the era (Which is listed) and a full set of church bells. It was great to see some of the best bits of its history as it prepares for a new Vicar to arrive.

On Sunday I headed over to  Paignton Rugby Club for their family day and to hear about further expansion plans for their youth provision. Our tour included a visit to the Home Changing Room (Pictured above) and seeing what work the club is doing to bring more local children into the game. Last year they expanded to two new pitches in Torbay Park and are now looking to provide for some youth games in Victoria Park.

At a time when there is so much talk about needing to get more children exercising it is great to see the Cherries expanding like this. Subject to sensible restrictions, which are in place at other pitches, I see no reason why further expansion should not be welcomed.

The perfect weather of Sunday afternoon provided a superb backdrop for the St Martin’s Barton Cream Tea, held at a parishioner’s home in Watcombe. This was followed by the Patronal Festival at St Marychurch, before a late-night trip to London ahead of the House of Commons sitting for four days this week.

Today I have been back in the bay discussing the potential merger of Devon’s two CCGS and to visit a Care Agency which has just opened in our bay. There is more on these below, along with this week’s update which includes: Storm Warning, Riviera Centre Redevelopment, Thousands More Saving For Pensions, Offensive Weapons Bill Committee, Cornish Visitor, Organ Donor Bill, Scallop Fishing, Beat The Street, Great British Beach Clean Up The Lucky For Some Bus and finally……What Do Ali, Bronagh, Violet & Wyn all have in Common? 

Storm Warning, 

If planning to head out on the water or near the coast this week do check the latest weather forecast before doing so as the Met Office today issued a Yellow Warning for Mon\Tues night.

The best place to check the latest weather news is the Met Office website where detailed forecasts can be found for the week ahead.

Just click here to be taken to it.

Riviera Centre Redevelopment, 

Plans for a redevelopment of the Riviera Centre hit the headlines this week.

Since it opened the Centre has been controversial, with a large taxpayer subsidy required each year despite promises when built it “would not costs a penny”. Whilst this subsidy has been significantly reduced in recent years, the annual sum still stands at over £300,000.

The Centre is located on one of the most significant sites in our bay, with a commanding view over Torre Abbey Sands. It is the location for a range of conferences and events, although as it ages a debate is starting about what to do with it in future as facilities in other Towns\Cities have been developed in recent years, whilst venues like the Bournemouth International Centre have undergone major refurbishment.

In the long term the Riviera Centre does need to balance its books and operate without a subsidy, therefore it is right Councillors are considering a plan for its future. Major investment to modernise the conference halls and supporting facilities, supported by providing a new hotel, offices and some homes on the site could be an option. Yet suggestions this development would include building on the Bowling Greens in front of the Riviera Centre and the land in front of Torre Abbey (Which is prone to coastal flooding) are, I am advised, wide of the mark. The site plan does not include these areas (Page 10 of the Market Brief confirms this), although any major development of the RIC site could have an impact on them in terms of access and setting.

Councillors will be discussing the proposals at 5:30pm on Thursday (appropriately) in the Rosetor Suite of the Riviera Centre. You can read the papers they will be considering by clicking here and the proposed Market Brief here.

The meeting will be held in public if you would like to attend and listen to the debate.

Thousands More Saving For Pensions, 

New figures were released this week showing 7,000 more people in Torquay and Paignton have enrolled in a workplace pension.

Auto-enrolment was introduced so more workers can save for retirement, giving people greater financial security and independence in their retirement. National figures released this week show, due to changes in workplace pensions, over 9 million more people are now enrolled.

News of the impact of auto-enrolment followed figures released last week showing the number of workplace pension schemes has reached a record high of 41.1 million in 2017, up nearly 50 per cent in the last six years.

Offensive Weapons Bill Committee, 

Over the last two weeks I have been part of a small group of MPs examining line by line the offensive weapons bill.

This week we considered in detail provisions around firearms legislation and banning bump stocks. Bump Stocks became notorious after the massacre in Las Vegas where one was used to make a rifle automatic. Whilst the weapons used in the attack are already banned in the UK, bump stocks are a more recent invention with only an importation ban preventing them being available. This new law will make possessing one a criminal offence.

The bill committee finished its work on Tuesday and the bill will return to the floor of the House next month before heading to the Lords.

Cornish Visitor, 

Earlier today a regular visitor from Cornwall was out and about in Torquay Town Centre making some new friends.

PD Jet might not know the correct way to do a scone (cream first), but she can certainly sniff out those her friends from Torquay Police might wish to stop for a chat and a search for drugs. She not only made some new “friends” but helped identify a vehicle which was seized.

Jet’s visit was well timed as the new Basic Command Unit for South Devon came into being this week, ensuring the Police will be able to more effectively target resources to our area than when we were part of a unit covering Devon (Excluding Plymouth) as a whole.

This week I also challenged the Policing Minister about his awareness of the pressures our police face from drug usage in the House of Commons. You can read my question and his response by clicking here.

Organ Donor Bill, 

A new law intended to increase the number of Organs available for transplant passed its key committee stage this week.

The bill is being sponsored by Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson, who asked me to serve on the Committee considering it. Its main purpose is to switch the position in England and Northern Ireland to one of “deemed consent”, which means organs can be used for transplant unless the person has opted out or there is clear evidence they would have done if they knew of the provision to do so. There are also provisions which cover those who would not have been capable of making an informed choice to do so.

Currently Doctors approach relatives of those who have very recently died or whose life support system is about to be switched off to obtain consent for Organ Donation. This can be distressing for all involved, with occasions where the wishes of the deceased can be overridden. The new law is expected to make many more organs available for transplant, helping save lives here in the bay.

The most important part of this issue is letting your closest relatives know your wishes. You can also register your wish to be an Organ Donor online with the NHS quickly and easily by clicking here.  

Scallop Fishing, 

Over recent weeks the rights of British Fisherman to fish for Scallops in the Baie De Seine have been in the spotlight following violent attacks on boats exercising them.

Earlier this week negotiations aimed at finding an agreement between the French and British Governments broke down without agreement. Following this the Fisheries Minister gave a statement to MPs outlining the steps being taken by the Government to prevent a repeat of the violence.

I took the chance to emphasise our crews were acting lawfully and those involved in attacks on our vessels are committing a crime for which they should be prosecuted. You can read my comments and the Minister’s response by clicking here.

Beat The Street, 

Torquay, Paignton and Brixham are set to be transformed into a giant game this Autumn as thousands of residents compete to see if their school, community or business can walk, run or cycle the furthest.

Running from 19th September to 31st October, Beat the Street is a free, fun challenge where people are rewarded with points and prizes for exploring their town on foot or bicycle.

More than 80 special sensors called ‘Beat Boxes’ will appear across Torbay. Players tap the Beat Boxes will cards and fobs to track their journey and earn points for themselves and their team – the more Beat Boxes people swipe the more points they earn.

Want to find out more about Beat the Street? You can find all the info you need by clicking here.

Great British Beach Clean Up,

This weekend will see the Great British Beach Clean Up, with several events taking place in our bay.

Tomorrow’s activities are part of a national volunteer effort to tidy up our beaches at the end of a busy summer. There are events in Torquay and Paignton, with details easy to find online by clicking here.

Those wishing to take part in an event are asked to register beforehand, which is free to do.

The Lucky For Some Bus,

The number 13 bus, which serves Kingsteignton, Newton Abbot, The Willows, Torbay Hospital, Paignton, South Devon College and Brixham provides a link throughout South Devon.

Residents have campaigned and worked with Stagecoach to keep or maintain this vital route, but the public need to use these routes otherwise they may be “at risk” again in the future. As local campaigner, Mr Jean Potter says, “the watchword must continue to be; ‘Use it or lose it’.

You can find a copy of the timetable for the 13 by clicking here.

and finally……What Do Ali, Bronagh, Violet & Wyn all have in Common?

Whilst it may sound like the line up for a band, these names could soon be across the media for a very different reason, they are some of the official storm names for 2018/19.

This is the fourth year the Met Office and Met Éireann (the meteorological service in the Irish Republic) have jointly run the ‘Name our Storms’ scheme, aimed at raising awareness of severe weather before it hits.

The first storm will be ‘male’ and named Ali, while the second storm will be ‘female’ and named Bronagh, following the alternating male/female pattern established by the US National Hurricane Center in the 1970’s. Q, U, X, Y and Z will not be used to comply with the international storm naming conventions.

Storms are named to make it easier to describe them in media coverage and raise public awareness of imminent severe weather. You can read more on the Met Office website by clicking here.

That is all for this week and enjoy your weekend.

Best Wishes,

Kevin

Events

Fri 14 to Sun 30 Sep 2018 (2 weeks) – Torbay Art Collective/Open Studios @TorreAbbey click here for full details.

Until 22nd September  – Artizan Gallery 7 Lucius Street ‘Distraction’ A group exhibtion feat: Chantal Ashwell, Roger Lissenden and Sandra Lissenden. Click here  for full details

Until 23rd September  – Artizan Gallery 7 Lucius Street ‘Potters’ at Artizan/Devon Open Studios. click

 for full details

Saturday 15th September Friends of St. Matthias Church – Blackberry & Apple Fayre,10.30am. – 2.30 p.m.at the Church and Centre.  Many stalls and competitions. Live band between 11.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. and organ recital 1.00 p.m. – 1.30 p.m.  Refreshments with a delicious lunch followed by Raffle. Everyone welcome.

Saturday 15th September Torbay Brass Band – Last Night of the Proms. Raising funds for Life Care Radio. 7:30pm till 10:30pm, Salvation Army Hall, Market Street, Torquay, TQ1 3AF Tickets £5 on the door.

Saturday 3rd November – Brainwave Charity – Jumble Sale – 11am to 3pm at Palace Avenue Methodist Church Hall – click here for more details.

Every Monday and Friday – from 8pm. Torbay Brass Band are seeking players, they rehearse in The Salvation Army Hall, Torquay. Contact number for further information is 07901 647927 – Clickhere for more info.

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. Information is also available about volunteering to help with the Poppy Appeal in November. appointments can be made by phoning 01803 555838, or email paignton.bcs@rbl.community.

Every Saturday – Torquay’s U13 Rugby Team – fund-raising car wash to raise money for their World Cup Japan Tour 2019 – at Torquay Rugby Club. Click here for further information.

 

Advice Surgeries

Saturday 15th September, 11am – 1pm @ Preston Baptist Church, Old Torquay Road, Paignton TQ3 2RB

Friday 21st September, 3pm – 5pm @ 5-7 East Street, Torquay TQ2 5SD

Friday 28th September, 3pm – 5pm @ Paignton Baptist Church, Winner Street, Paignton TQ3 3BY

Saturday 6th October, 11am – 1pm @ The Acorn Centre, Lummaton Cross, Torquay TQ2 8ET

Friday 12th October, 3pm – 5pm @ Paignton Baptist Church, 43 Winner Street, Paignton TQ3 3BJ

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  kevin@kevinjfoster.com or leave a message on 01803 214989 and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.