20th October 2019
by stlukesranews
0 comments

Thanks to Kevin Foster for this weeks residents’ update.

My week started with a taste of Italy at Torquay United’s Plainmoor Stadium as I attended a fundraising quiz night organised by the Torbay Hospital League of Friends. There was a great atmosphere and those who had an Italian passion were well placed for the Quiz! Cllrs Foster, Barrand and I joined a team and we finished in the top half of the league!

Sunday was a chance to catch up on a range of work and issues ahead of heading up to London for a rather special sitting of Parliament on Monday.

The Queen’s Speech is one of the great state occasions, complete with carriages, military bands, plenty of traditions (The cellars are checked the night before by the Yeoman of the Guard for any repeat of the gunpowder plot) and some fantastic job titles including Black Rod and Silver Stick! It is also great to see the area around parliament decked out for the occasion as well.

After all the arguments of recent months it was good to see a range of proposals come forward on the many domestic issues which need Parliament’s attention in addition to Brexit, more on some of these below.

Most of my time at Westminster this week was focused on meetings in my Ministerial roles, plus plenty of time dealing with the large amount of correspondence I receive.

Whilst answering questions in the main House of Commons Chamber is the most visible way Government Ministers are held to account, the most detailed Scrutiny takes place in front of the Select Committee which covers each Government Department. On Tuesday it was the turn of Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns, and I to answer questions about our work on Growth Deals. A unique part of this Committee’s sessions are they are held simultaneously in English and Welsh.

Thursday night I headed home ahead of a busy schedule here in the bay today. This included attending a drop in organised by Paignton Branch of the Royal British Legion for those looking to volunteer as poppy collectors. This was then followed by a meeting with the Torbay Peer Support Project which works with those aged over 50 who are struggling with their mental health to discuss the challenges they face, not least the need for support services for those under the age they are funded to help.

Finally I got a unique view of the coast at Dawlish this morning thanks to GWR , more on this below along with this week’s update which includes: Brexit Deal, £150m Torbay Care Deal, Queen’s Speech, Voter ID, Torbay Council Buys Fleet Walk, Bonmarche, H&M To Close, New Peacocks In Paignton, Terrace Car Park Disruption, Rogue Landlords Fined, Beacon Cove, Kev’s Column: Queen’s Speech and finally……. One In A Million.

Brexit Deal,

Normally on a Friday I am at home in the bay writing this update, yet this evening I am in London ahead of what could be the biggest vote by MPs for a generation. The result is believed to be on a knife edge.

Yesterday the Prime Minister announced a new deal had been reached with the European Union, which if agreed would see the UK Leave on Thursday 31st October 2019. There is not space in these updates to go into the level of detail needed on every aspect of this issue, but the following links may be useful:

House of Commons Library Briefing Note on the Agreement.

Government Explainer for the New Deal.

The Government’s legal position on the question of terminability of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.

The House of Commons will sit at 09:30am tomorrow (Saturday 19th October 2019) and votes are expected at 2:30pm. The debate and results will be broadcast live on BBC Parliament (Available on Freeview TV).

For those wondering, the last time the House of Commons met on a Saturday was 37 years ago in the aftermath of the Argentinian Invasion of the Falkland Islands.

£150m Torbay Care Deal,

Care funding for the elderly and disabled is set for a big financial boost in Torbay.

Torbay Council has done a three-year £150m deal with health service partners to provide adult social care, this represents an increase of around £10m a year on the current funding package. The new agreement, which has yet to be finally approved by the council and NHS providers, would give financial certainty and allow better planning, for example with staff training.

From next April, Torbay Council would provide funding of £47m, with £3m NHS cash known as a “health premium” to acknowledge how the system reduces pressure on health services. An example of how the system works is home care staff are trained in tasks like putting cream on an elderly person’s legs, which frees up nurses to deal with more complex cases.

The service also has a “rapid response” in-house team to look after people with the greatest needs. The service will continue to be provided by Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust through community teams in Torquay, Paignton and Brixham, with mental health services provided by Devon Partnership NHS Trust.

This is welcome news and the way our care services are integrated is a model regularly cited across the country as an example of good practice. You can read more on Devon Live by clicking here.

Queen’s Speech,

The Queen’s Speech mentioned 22 bills (proposed new laws) which the Government is seeking to introduce into parliament, with another 4 included in the briefing packs around it.

Given the ongoing debate around Brexit it will not surprise many update readers to hear several major bills connected to the UK’s departure from the EU were included. The most notable is the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill to formally ratify the deal (if approved in principle tomorrow), but there will also be an Agriculture Bill and a Fisheries Bill to create the new legal structures necessary once we leave the EU’s Common Agricultural and Fishing Policies.

Other proposals include:

  • Legislation to establish the Health Service Safety Investigations Body – the world’s first such body.
  • A Sentencing Bill will change the automatic release point from halfway to two-thirds for adult offenders serving sentences of four years or more for serious violence or sexual offences.
  • A Police Protections Bill will support the police, establishing a Police Covenant.
  • A landmark Environment Bill, including a new Office for Environmental Protection, more local powers to tackle air pollution and charges for specified single use plastic items.
  • Re-introducing the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill to increase maximum sentences for animal cruelty.

You can read the Queen’s Speech on the Government website by clicking here.

Voter ID,

One item in the Queen’s Speech which excited a lot of interest was plans by the Government to introduce a requirement to show a basic proof of identity when voting at a Polling Station.

Currently a voter merely need state a name and address on the roll to be given a ballot paper, if suspicious the Presiding Officer can ask further questions. This system of identification originates from the 19th Century when only a small percentage of men could vote, with the local polling clerk likely to know many of them personally.

For some time, the Electoral Commission has recommended this system be changed to prevent electoral fraud and a basic form of ID be presented when asking for a ballot paper. In May 2018 and 2019 the Cabinet Office conducted trials of different systems of Voter ID, with over 99% of voters having no problem presenting an acceptable form of ID at the polling station. You can read the Electoral Commission assessment of this year’s trials by clicking here.

Sadly this announcement saw false claims being circulated implying voters would only be able to vote in future if they held a passport or driving licence. Whilst these are two of the forms of ID accepted, these are not the only ones and, in the trials, the third most popular form of ID accepted by Polling Clerks was a Pensioners Concessionary Bus Pass. Other forms of ID items such as Military ID cards were also accepted. In all pilot areas a free of charge electoral ID was also available from the local Council concerned for any voter who did not have one of the items listed.

Northern Ireland has had a system of photographic voter ID since 2003 which is also used during UK General Elections, with no appreciable impact on turnout, but a strong impact on confidence in the electoral process.

Torbay Council Buys Fleet Walk,

Last week I reported on Torbay Council purchasing a food warehouse in Oxfordshire, this week a purchase much closer to home has been made.

Fleet Walk Shopping Centre in Torquay has been bought by the Council for an undisclosed sum. I was made aware a few weeks ago this was likely but advised this was subject to commercially confidential negotiations. You can read more on Devon Live by clicking here.

Provided Torbay Council got the price right this is a sensible move to secure a major piece of real estate within Torquay Town Centre, which may assist in future regeneration efforts.

Bonmarche,

A not so positive piece of news for Fleet Walk is retail chain Bonmarche heading into administration.

The chain appointed FRP Advisory as administrators today to look for a new buyer. There are no redundancies at this stage, with its 318 stores and concessions staying open, but the future of the chain is uncertain.

You can read more on Devon Live by clicking here.

H&M To Close,

Sadly there was another major hit to Torquay High St this week with H&M confirming its large store in Union Street is now up for sale.

Many update readers will remember the store as Woolworths, with a sign still visible at the back of the building in Pimlico from these times. The store is one of the largest in Torquay and the company has confirmed it is likely the store will now close as they approach the end of their lease agreement. You can read more on Devon Live by clicking here.

This latest news coming on the back of the closure of New Look again reinforces why it is vital to take firm and realistic decisions about our Town Centre. The growth of online shopping and the change in shopping habits has presented a unique challenge not just to Torquay Town Centre, but the whole retail industry.

Local leaders need to grasp the opportunities being offered by the Government’s Town Deal and Future High Streets Funds to our bay, plus take the decisions needed to reshape our Town Centres for the future. I will do what I can as our bay’s MP to support them in doing so.

New Peacocks In Paignton,

On a much more positive note retail chain Peacocks has opened a new store in Paignton, directly facing onto Station Square.

Given the challenges facing retail across the country it is welcome to see this new investment at the heart of Paignton Town Centre.

Terrace Car Park Disruption,

Motorists are being advised to plan their journeys and parking as work is due to start on Monday (21st October) to pave the way for a new hotel in Torquay.

Part of the Terrace Car Park will be closed for a period of six to eight weeks to enable construction work which will be starting on a new hotel.

The ramps off Montpelier Road will be closed to vehicles during the demolition period, however there will still be pedestrian access from Montpelier Road. This means only the top level of the car park will remain open during this period, so cars will only be able to access the car park via Museum Road.

I am advised there will still be around 150 spaces available to the public during the 6-8 week period of the construction work.

Rogue Landlords Fined,

Torbay Councils Housing Standards team have issued fines to landlords who have been operating unlicensed Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO’s) in Torbay.

Since October 2018 landlords are required to have a licence for HMO’s if they contain five or more people in two or more households which contain shared, or lack, facilities, such as a kitchen, bathroom or toilet. Information about HMO’s and how to report a potential unlicensed and unsafe HMO can be found by clicking here.

Fines have so far amounted to over £15,000 with other cases currently being investigated likely to result in further financial penalties.

Most landlords in our bay provide good quality accommodation at a reasonable rent. Yet the minority who seek to avoid the rules can put tenants at risk, hence it is right the Council takes this action.

Beacon Cove,

It was once known as the locals beach, yet residents have been in touch with me about constant anti-social activity at Beacon Cove.

Whist mainly being excessive loud music late into the night, starting fires and leaving behind debris from their partying it has also included graffiti and general vandalism.

In a show of community spirit residents have been working with Council officers and myself to find a solution to this problem and have put their hands in their pockets to help pay towards several security solutions, such as a gate and installation of CCTV.

Hopefully these measures will help turn Beacon Cove back into a treasure to be enjoyed, rather than a place to be anti-social.

Kev’s Column: Queen’s Speech

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-queens-speech

and finally……. One In A Million.

Ending on a lighter note one Torquay resident had an incredibly rare visitor to their garden this week, an Albino Sparrow.

It is sometimes described as a million to one chance for such a bird to be born, with the distinctive colour being caused by a lack of pigment. The small creature has been spotted nibbling at a feeder and hopping along a fence. You can read more and see some close up pictures on Devon Live by clicking here.

Events

Artizan Collective Autumn Showcase   Unit 5 Fleet Street util 16th November. Join the team for our 2019 Autumn Showcase featuring new works and Artizan exclusive collections from South Devon masters and new contemporary talent. Featuring works of Martin Dutton, Richard Slater, Arthur Homeshaw, F. G. Davis, Kirsteen Titchener, Susan Cavaliera and Jo West. Wednesday – Sunday 11 am – 4 pm

Melting Snow, Sidmouth Gap: Arthur Homeshaw

Artizan Gallery My World 7 Lucius Street 22nd October – 2nd November. With the kind support of Cavanna Homes, Artizan Gallery is delighted to be inviting students from across Torbay to participate in an exciting opportunity to exhibit with us in the show ‘My World’ this October. The diverse exhibition will showcase the talented work of aspiring artists and creatives with submissions from four categories: photography, sculpture, fine art and other media. Work will be judged and awards presented to 4 successful practising artists. Tuesday – Friday 11 am – 6 pm Satrudays 10 am – 6 pm

Monday 21st October onward – Coffee and Conversation get together, every Monday.  They will be in the new big coffee shop in Brunswick Square from 10am

From October 2019 – an exciting new series of daytime talks on the Palace Theatre stage.
 The talks will be on a range of fascinating subjects and will take place once a month on a Thursday morning.  Please see the attached leaflet for dates and details. Click here to see leaflet.

There will be lots of opportunities to socialise in the Theatre Bar before and after the talks, to meet new people, learn interesting facts and to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee (which is included in the ticket price!)

Tickets can be bought online via the Palace Theatre website or by calling the Box Office on 01803 665800 (between 11am and 3pm on weekdays).

Wednesday 30th October at 10.30 – Wellswood branch of the Torbay Hospital League of Friends will be holding a fundraising Coffee Morning at the Imperial Hotel on . Liz Davenport, Chief Executive of the Torbay and South Devon Healthcare Trust, will be speaking about the future plans for healthcare in our area. Tea/Coffee (with top-ups) will be served together with Danish pastries. Please buy your tickets in advance from Lynne and Shirley, click here for full details.. The group has just raised £1.3m for the latest Cancer detection equipment and would be very grateful for your support.

Sunday the 3rd of November at 12pm to 3pm. Meet and Greet. The event will be hosted at Terra Marique and will feature stalls from the four founders- Us, Greenwyse, L’il Mamas vegan kitchen, and The Vegan Bakery Torbay. The event is a way to introduce the general public to veganism and to us here at VITAT, we are also inviting other vegan traders to join the event and get involved. We will be answering questions, giving out samples and having a lovely day! 

Monday 11 November at 2pm  – Living with and Preventing Diabetes – Members Event,  Venue is TREC Lecture Theatre, Torbay Hospital – Click here for full details.

Every Monday Noon until 2-pm (Soup from Noon) – Snack and Natter is in the Coverdale Centre, Church Path, Paignton. We are also looking for volunteers to come along and help out, either at Snack & Natter or Christ Church. Please call Anita 07895925785 for more information – for more info click here .

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 paignton.bcs@rbl.community.

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.

Torbay Interfaith Forum  – The Forum will be re-named as Torbay Faith and Belief Forum from 1st January 2020. Please click here for the updated talks until the end of this year and click here for the new Programme that has just come out for 2020.

PARKFIELD Youth services have a range of activities throughout the week for young people – click here to 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 kevin.foster.mp@parliament.uk so it can be included.

Advice Surgeries

Saturday 2nd November, 11am – 1pm @ The Acorn Centre, Lummaton Cross, Torquay  TQ2 8ET

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.


20th October 2019
by stlukesranews
0 comments

Police and Crime Commissioner Update October 2019

Devon and Cornwall Police to receive an extra 141 officers in year one of uplift programme.

Devon and Cornwall Police will get more officers than any other force in the south west under the national programme to increase police numbers, it has emerged.

The National Policing Board on Tuesday, October 8, announced what year one of the Government’s officer uplift plan would look like for each of the 43 forces in England and Wales.

In total the officer uplift will amount to 20,000 officers over three years.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Alison Hernandez has welcomed confirmation that the national uplift will allow her force to recruit an additional 141 officers over 18 months.

The uplift for years two and three of the scheme are yet to be confirmed.

Avon and Somerset will receive 137 officers, Dorset will get 50, Gloucestershire will get 46 and Wiltshire will get 49.

In Devon and Cornwall the 141 officers recruited in year one of the scheme will be in addition to the 126 extra officers that has been funded since Alison Hernandez became the Police and Crime Commissioner in 2016.

More: bit.ly/33iGq70

Police and Crime Commissioner requests Special Grant funds to address ‘summer surge’

MPs from across the south west were united recently (Thursday, September 26) to see policing minister Kit Malthouse accept Devon and Cornwall’s bid for additional funding to help police deal with the impact of millions of summer visitors.

Alison Hernandez headed to Westminster with a delegation of councillors, MPs and police representatives from across the force area to hand in the bid.

Geographically Devon and Cornwall is the largest police force in England and receives more tourists than any other force outside London, yet has one of the lowest police officer densities in the country.

Visitor numbers have boomed in recent years due to the popularity of Westcountry resorts and a low pound.

While tourists bring prosperity to the two counties and islands that make up the force area, there is no direct revenue from this to fund police, who feel the strain of the ‘summer surge’.

Officers and staff struggle to cope with an 11% rise in crime in the months between April and September, a 14% rise in incidents and an 18% increase in missing people.

The Home Office Special Grant fund comprises of £73m which is ‘top-sliced’ from police forces and then used to deal with exceptional or unusual circumstances.

Last year it was used to help Wiltshire Police cope with the Salisbury novichok nerve agent poisoning.

The bid details £17.9m of expenditure over three years that is linked to the ‘summer surge’ and requests compensation for this.

More: bit.ly/2lnGt1l

Public sector can do more to reduce road casualties.

Alison Hernandez has told public sector employers in the south west that more must be done to reduce road casualties in the region.

Speaking at the Highways England – Driving for Better Business south west regional summit, held in September at police headquarters in Exeter, Ms Hernandez – who is the national PCC lead for road safety – said the region’s employers had a major role to play in keeping the road safe.

Around 70 representatives of public bodies attended the event with the aim of promoting work-related road safety.

More: bit.ly/35ppzkP

Op Snap launch.

The launch of Operation Snap in Devon and Cornwall is a fantastic opportunity for members of the public to help make Devon and Cornwall’s roads safer.

Op Snap encourages members of the public to film other drivers undertaking, speeding, crossing white lines, and generally posing a danger to others on the road.

Motorists turning the wrong way, undertaking on a bus lane and a lorry driver narrowly missing a cyclist are just some of the examples of poor driving filmed by members of the public in past 10 days.

In the first week after launch Operation Snap 17 offences were identified, two official warning letters sent and a number of other drivers warned they faced prosecution.

Submit dashcam footage here: bit.ly/2q1sGzs

PCC says Devon and Cornwall force ‘must not be complacent’ as latest crime figures are released.

The Office for National Statistics report for the 12 months to June this year shows that Devon and Cornwall is the fifth safest of 43 force areas in England and Wales.

The annual increase in total reported crime was also among the lowest, at 1.3% down from a 4% increase at the end of March 2019.

PCC Alison Hernandez said work to combat organised drug supply was reflected in the figures.

More: bit.ly/2Bo2Xnc

17th October 2019
by stlukesranews
0 comments

Devon and Cornwall Alert

Wanted – Sarah Cole:

Has links to Exeter and Torbay
Police are appealing for information to locate a 32-year-old Exeter woman who is sought on recall to prison. 
Sarah Cole, who was originally convicted for theft, and is wanted by police for breaching her licence conditions on release from prison. 
Numerous enquiries have been made by police to locate her.
Officers are appealing to the public to report any sightings of Cole who is described as white, of medium build with brown hair.
She also has links to Exeter and Torbay.
Anyone who sees her or knows of her whereabouts is asked to contact police on 999, quoting log number 346 08/10/19.
Image can be seen via link: https://www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/media/971752/sarah-cole.png

14th October 2019
by stlukesranews
1 Comment

Kevin Foster, MP for Torbay, Resident’s Update 11th October

I started my week last Saturday with one of my regular advice surgeries, this time at Preston Baptist Church. It is always good to be able to help residents who come to see me about their concerns and provides useful feedback on how public services are performing locally.

Later in the day I headed out on the doorsteps in Roselands and it was great to meet several regular update readers, plus sign a few more people up to it. It was interesting to hear the thoughts of residents on all the recent goings on at Westminster and some recent decisions by Torbay Council.

Saturday evening was a chance to relax with friends at the Open Mic night organised by the Friends of St Matthias. There was some real local talent on display with performances including a piano recital, poetry, classic songs and some great one liners from Dean the compere.

St Marychurch held its Harvest Lunch on Sunday, so Cllr Foster and I headed over to join the congregation for some delicious food and some wonderful fellowship. It is also safe to say the portion sizes were generous

On Sunday evening I headed up to London ahead of Parliament sitting for two days before being prorogued again on Tuesday evening. There was a lot less controversy this time as Parliament will return on Monday for the Queen’s Speech, plus a potentially very significant session could take place on Saturday 19th October.

The Queen’s Speech is a wonderful state occasion and well worth watching on the TV, although I am not the Government Whip due to be held hostage at Buckingham Palace as an insurance for the Monarch’s safe return from parliament under a centuries old custom!!

The restart of the Parliamentary session did though give me a chance to get through a piece of legislation I have been piloting through the House of Commons. More on this below.

Wednesday saw a major announcement on Policing, as the allocations of the first tranche of 6,000 new officers from the 20,000 promised were announced, with more heading to Devon & Cornwall.

Yesterday I was back in the bay in time to attend the South Devon Business Awards. It was great to catch up with many familiar faces and to see the former Principal of South Devon College, Stephen Criddle, receive a well-deserved life time achievement award. Yesterday was also World Homeless day and I joined with Torbay Council and others in making a pledge to tackle this issue here in the bay.

I have also spent quite a bit of time this week taking part in meetings about what many people now describe only as “the B word” given how fed up they are of hearing about it. This included dialling into meetings with the Scottish and Welsh Governments. Very constructive discussions were had, but not a meeting of minds.

Finally this evening I finished my week as I started, with an advice surgery, this time at the Windmill Centre.

This week’s update is below and includes: TUFC Dump Barton Tip Stadium Plan, Schools Funding Boost Announced, Hays Travel Buys Thomas Cook Stores, Torbay Council Buys £30m Oxfordshire Warehouse, Bus Crash, Drunk Driver Jailed After Fatal Incident, Vegan Business Network, Flu Jab Time, Census Bill Passes, Ageing Well Festival and finally……Shelling Out For Physio.  

TUFC Dump Barton Tip Stadium Plan,

In news which came as little surprise to those who know the site well, Torquay United yesterday confirmed it was abandoning plans to build a new Stadium on Nightingale Park, which was formerly known as Barton Tip.

Long standing update readers will be aware I was sceptical when a range of images of a new stadium first appeared in the media, not least given one appeared to be of a stadium design for Hull with the TUFC Badge superimposed. A meeting with the club to ascertain some details of their plan produced little in the way of further information, with my suggestion being they needed to get key ground condition, transport and environmental impact studies undertaken before this idea could be considered any further.

Nightingale Park was not developed as part of the Willows estate due to the issues with its former use. It has now become a useful green space for residents and home to a range of local wildlife. You can read more on Devon Live by clicking here.

The gulls are having a good season after promotion last year and show all the signs of heading back towards the League fairly soon. I know the team appreciate every voice cheering them on to victory.

Plainmoor Stadium is the Club’s historic home, but like many Gulls Fans I accept in the long-term a modern stadium with conference and other non-match day facilities could help create sustainable revenue for the club and be a boost for the bay’s economy. Yet any such proposal must be based on realistic business and construction plans.

Schools Funding Boost Announced,

There was good news today as the Government announced a major funding boost for Torbay Schools.

Schools in Torbay will receive (on average) 5.13% more funding per pupil next year as part of the Government’s recent multi-billion investment in primary and secondary education. This compares to 4.86% in Devon and 4.16% across England as a whole. The total provisional funding for Torbay Schools in 2020-21 will be £81,311,648.

The extra money, available from April, will ensure per-pupil funding for all schools can rise at least in line with inflation and will deliver promised gains in full for areas like Torbay which have been historically under-funded. You can find the details of indicative funding for each school on my website by clicking here , opening the spreadsheet and selecting “Torbay” Constituency, although please note to find details for schools in Brixham, Churston and Collaton St Mary (inc Paignton Academy) you need to select “Totnes” Constituency on the spreadsheet.

The Government has committed every secondary school will receive a minimum of £5,000 per pupil next year and every primary school will receive a minimum of £4,000 per pupil by 2021-22.

This funding follows the Prime Minister’s announcement in August that the budget for schools and high needs would be increased by a total of over £14 billion over three years, rising to £52.2 billion by 2022-23. Schools and local authorities were today being advised how the first part of that investment – £2.6 billion – will be allocated for the coming year.

For too many years Torbay’s requests for historic underfunding issues to be addressed were ignored. Whilst there is still work to do, I am pleased we are now making real progress in righting this historical wrong.

Hays Travel Buys Thomas Cook Stores,

There was a moment of sunshine for our high street this week as Hays Travel acquired the entire retail portfolio of over 555 former Thomas Cook shops in the UK.

Hays have announced they intend to re-open every Thomas Cook store in Devon and reinstate former staff. You can read more on Devon Live by clicking here.

This is great news for those in the bay who were made redundant by Thomas Cook and were facing having to look for new jobs in the run up to Christmas.

If you have a compensation claim relating to a lost booking with Thomas Cook it is best to use the online forms available on the CAA website. Just click here to be taken to them.

Torbay Council Buys £30m Oxfordshire Warehouse,

Earlier this week it was revealed Torbay Council has spent £30m buying a chilled and frozen food distribution centre 150 miles away in Didcot.

The purchase is the latest to be undertaken as part of its policy of making commercial property investments in order to generate income returns. You can read more on Devon Live by clicking here.

Update readers can judge for themselves the wisdom of this, but it is interesting how those who were quick to criticise the former Mayor for purchasing a Pasty Factory in Cornwall under the same scheme, have now approved this purchase.

Bus Crash,

The images of a double decker bus on its side in a field having left the road between Paignton and Totnes were shocking.

Thankfully due to the skill of our local emergency services and NHS staff dozens were rescued and treated. Miraculously no-one was killed. You can read more on Devon Live by clicking here.

The role of the Fire Crews who were quickly on the scene is a reminder they don’t just deal with fires, but provide a vital rescue service, hence my support for the campaign to retain the wholetime crew at Paignton 24/7. This week the Fire Service announced they were pushing a decision on their proposals back to December due to the sheer volume of responses to their consultation, hopefully a sign of a rethink in the offing. You can read more on The Breeze website by clicking here.

Given the ongoing investigations into the crash it is not appropriate for me to comment on the details of it.

Drunk Driver Jailed After Fatal Incident,

A drunk driver who failed to stop after hitting a woman lying in Torbay Road has been jailed for four and a half years.

The driver is believed to have drunk at least 8 pints before getting behind the wheel, with the court rejecting the excuse he was unaware he had hit someone. You can read more by clicking here.

This tragic incident serves as a reminder why drinking and driving is totally unacceptable. The safety of others is worth far more than the price of a cab ride home.

Vegan Business Network,

If you run a vegan business in the bay then a new business network is for you.

The Vegan Independent Trading Association Torbay (VITAT) is a group of 100 per cent vegan small businesses who are getting together to help develop their offer and make more people aware of it. The network already includes some unique local businesses like the Kind Grind in Lucius Street and the Vegan Bakery in Torquay Market.

You can find out more on Devon Live by clicking here.

Flu Jab Time,

As the nights get longer and winter approaches a record number of people in England are being offered a vital vaccination against flu this winter.

The total number eligible has topped 25,000,000 as for the first time all primary school children will be offered the nasal spray vaccine.

People who are eligible for the NHS flu vaccine this year include:

·       Those aged 65 and over
·       Those aged 6 months to 64 with a long-term health condition
·       Children aged 2-3 (on 31 August 2019) via their GP practice
·       School children in years reception, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6
·       Pregnant women
·       Health and social care workers
·       Carers

Flu is not just a bad cold, it can be a killer. You can find all the details you need about the vaccine, plus where to get yours, on the NHS website by clicking here.

Census Bill Passes,

Just before the longest parliamentary session for 400 years came to an end one final bill completed its passage on Monday night.

The bill sought to allow any questions on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation in the 2021 Census to be asked on a voluntary basis, rather than be compulsory as most other questions in the census are. This reflects the provisions made when a question on religion was added in 2001.

I was the bill minister guiding it through the House of Commons and you can listen to the speech I gave by clicking here.

Ageing Well Festival

The Ageing Well Festival is an annual celebration, marking International Day of Older Persons celebrating ageing and promoting the concept of growing older in Torbay.

This year’s festival will be taking place on Saturday 19th October, 10am-5pm, at the Riviera International Centre, Torquay. There will be a fantastic line up of dance, music, talks, pampering and fashion, exercise and relaxation.

You can find out more by clicking here.

and finally……Shelling Out For Physio.  

Ending on a lighter note many of us will often reach for a heat pack to ease aches and pains, with a visit to the physio if something more serious is wrong.

35-year-old Sophie, who weighs 16 stone and lives in Paignton, has been under the weather recently, causing her to lose muscle and strength in her legs. To help a physiotherapist has been helping treat her and ensure she can come out of her shell.

This all sounds very normal, except for the fact Sophie is an Aldabra giant tortoise. You can read more about her rather unique treatment program on Paignton Zoo’s website by clicking here.

Hopefully the physio will do a good job as Sophie’s breed can live to the ripe old age of 200!!!!!

Police Numbers and CCTV Boost

There were two crime fighting boosts in our bay this week.

The first was confirmation Devon & Cornwall will be allocated 141 of the first tranche of 6,000 police officers being recruited under the target to recruit 20,000 extra officers over three years. These officers will be recruited in 2020-21 .

All officers recruited as part of the 20,000 uplift will be additional to those hired to fill existing vacancies. They will also be in addition to the extra police officers being recruited under the budget plans agreed by local Police & Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez which was already seeing officer numbers increase to 3,100.

Government funding for recruitment in 2020-21 will cover all associated costs, including training and kit. 

A new CCTV system also went live in Torbay this week following a £420,000 investment by Torbay Council and our PCC. The Torbay system is the first of its kind in Devon and replaces ageing analogue cameras and wiring with state-of-the-art, high resolution digital equipment. The mostly wireless network now consists of more than 300 cameras and includes cover in areas where previously there was none.

On Wednesday Government Ministers were asked to visit forces across the country to discuss the new resources. Given my Wales Office role I was asked to join officers on patrol in Cardiff to talk about their work. 

Events

Artizan Gallery 7 Lucius Street ‘The Hidden View’ Rosemary Bonney, Diana Booth and Ann Chester King show their latest work of contrasting, harmonising and distictive styles featuring the Devon Landscape. Tuesday – Friday 11 am – 6 pm Saturday 10 am – 6 pm. Runs until 19th October.

Artizan Collective Unit 5 74 Fleet Walk ‘Autumn Showcase’ Join us at our pop-up venue on Fleet Walk to view paintings, photography, ceramics and sculpture from some of Devon’s finest artists. Wednesday – Sunday 11 am – 4 pm

Monday 14th October onward – Coffee and Conversation get together, every Monday.  They will be in the new big coffee shop in Brunswick Square from 10am

Thursday 17 October –  The Blue Walnut Film Club (Walnut Road, Chelston) are showing Touch Of Evil on . Doors open at 1930 for a film start at 2000. Non members very welcome (£6). Please ring 01803-392522 to reserve your place

On until 19th October // Tuesday-Friday: 11:00-18:00 // Saturday: 10:00-18:00 //   The Hidden View Feat: works of Rosemary Bonney, Diana Booth and Ann Chester King.  Three accomplished Devon artists come together to show their latest work of contrasting, harmonising and distinctive styles featuring the Devon landscape.
For more information visit https://www.art-hub.co.uk/oct19

19th October  @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm – Ageing Well Festival 2019, at the Riviera International Conference Centre, Chestnut Ave Torquay TQ2 5LZ –  FREE ENTRY – for more details Click here.

From October 2019 – an exciting new series of daytime talks on the Palace Theatre stage.
 The talks will be on a range of fascinating subjects and will take place once a month on a Thursday morning.  Please see the attached leaflet for dates and details. Click here to see leaflet.

There will be lots of opportunities to socialise in the Theatre Bar before and after the talks, to meet new people, learn interesting facts and to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee (which is included in the ticket price!)

Tickets can be bought online via the Palace Theatre website or by calling the Box Office on 01803 665800 (between 11am and 3pm on weekdays).

Wednesday 30th October at 10.30 – Wellswood branch of the Torbay Hospital League of Friends will be holding a fundraising Coffee Morning at the Imperial Hotel on . Liz Davenport, Chief Executive of the Torbay and South Devon Healthcare Trust, will be speaking about the future plans for healthcare in our area. Tea/Coffee (with top-ups) will be served together with Danish pastries. Please buy your tickets in advance from Lynne and Shirley, click here for full details.. The group has just raised £1.3m for the latest Cancer detection equipment and would be very grateful for your support.

Every Monday Noon until 2-pm (Soup from Noon) – Snack and Natter is in the Coverdale Centre, Church Path, Paignton. We are also looking for volunteers to come along and help out, either at Snack & Natter or Christ Church. Please call Anita 07895925785 for more information – for more info click here .

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 paignton.bcs@rbl.community.

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.

Torbay Interfaith Forum  – The Forum will be re-named as Torbay Faith and Belief Forum from 1st January 2020. Please click here for the updated talks until the end of this year and click here for the new Programme that has just come out for 2020.

PARKFIELD Youth services have a range of activities throughout the week for young people – click here to see what’s on and when. 

The Corn Centre – 

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.

Advice Surgeries

Saturday 2nd November, 11am – 1pm @ The Acorn Centre, Lummaton Cross, Torquay  TQ2 8ET

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.

10th October 2019
by stlukesranews
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Forthcoming AGM

WEDNESDAY 23RD OCTOBER 7-9 PM.

All Welcome

WALDON POINT MEETING ROOM St Luke’s Road South

NOMINATIONS ARE NEEDED FOR THE ROLES OF:  CHAIR: VICE CHAIR: SECRETARY: TREASURER: WEBSITE MANAGER. PLEASE INFORM ANY NOMINATIONS TO Julie Brandon via email: stlukesra+chair@stlukesra.org.uk

Agenda

Welcome and Apologies

AOB Declarations:

Approval of previous Meeting Minutes 22nd May 2019

Short Presentation Sean McTiernan Community Builder

Fundraising Group Update

Treasurers Report

Chair’s Report

Nominations for Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, IT. Nominations will be sought for the following positions and we will hand over to a Cllr if present to Chair the meeting to allow for any discussion and to cast votes. Newly elected Chair will then conclude the meeting

AOB

The meeting will be followed by some time to socialise with wine/juice and nibbles provided by the committee.