12th March 2019
by stlukesranews
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Looking for Financial Advice, Information & Resilience? (part of the Ageing Well Torbay programme)

The FAIR project is a service for people over 50 in Torbay. It stands for Financial Advice, Information & Resilience and offers advice and information on benefits, local welfare provision, getting the best utility deals and help for those in debt. The project is a joint venture involving local community groups and specialist providers and is led by Citizens Advice Torbay.  It is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund via Ageing Well Torbay.

FAIR community volunteers will assist clients with simple benefits and debt enquiries and refer more complex cases on to specialist partners as appropriate.  The specialist partners are Citizens Advice Torbay, Age UK, Homemaker SouthWest and Torbay Advice Network.  Mencap are another one of our partners and run workshops for unpaid carers and people with a learning disability around various aspects of finance.  Healthwatch Torbay, Sanctuary Housing and VisualEyes are also partners in this initiative.

We offer a drop-in service and people can self-refer at four community access points:

The Acorn Youth Community & Sports Centre, Lummaton Cross, Barton, Torquay,
TQ2 8ET.  01803 328819  www.acorn-centre.org.uk
Open Monday – Friday 9 am – 9pm, Saturday 9 am – 5 pm.

Brixham Does Care, Old Market House, Town Hall, 1 New Road, Brixham, TQ5 8TA.
01803 857727   www.brixhamdoescare.co.uk
Open Monday – Friday 9.45 am – 4 pm.

Brixham Youth Enquiry Service (YES), The Edge, Bolton Street, Brixham, TQ5 95H.
01803 851414  www.bxyes.org.uk
Open Monday – Friday 11 am – 5 pm.

Crafty Fox Café ‘n’ Hub, 103 Foxhole Road, Paignton, TQ3 3SU.
01803 669005  www.craftyfoxcafe.com
Open Monday – Friday 10 am– 3 pm.

Volunteers at the community groups will assist clients with simple benefits and debt enquiries and refer more complex cases on to specialist partners as appropriate.  These specialist partners are Citizens Advice Torbay, Age UK, Homemaker SouthWest and Torbay Advice Network.  Mencap, Healthwatch, Sanctuary Housing and VisualEyes are also partners in this initiative. Mencap will be running workshops for unpaid carers and people with a learning disability around various aspects of finance.

Join us as a FAIR volunteer

We are always looking for more volunteers to join FAIR at various community settings across Torbay.  This is an exciting opportunity for people who want to help others in their local community, learn new skills or utilise existing ones.

No experience is necessary as we offer a comprehensive training programme, including sessions on client confidentiality, listening skills, identifying advice needs, effective form filling, financial capability, mental health awareness and the various welfare benefits. The training is provided by Torbay Advice Network (TAN).

The service is for people aged 50 and over and, whilst all are welcome, we are particularly keen to recruit volunteers from this age group.

For more information on becoming a volunteer, or any aspect of FAIR, please contact FAIR co-ordinator Susan Bottomley:

Email: susan.bottomley@citizensadvice.org.uk

Phone: 07706 714366

11th March 2019
by stlukesranews
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Kevin Foster MP for Torbay Residents’ Update: Friday 8th March 2019

Dear All,

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

Earlier today I managed to dodge the showers and headed over to Torquay Museum for the exhibition of what could be the largest private sector investment in our bay since the modern Borough of Torbay was created in the late 1960’s. More information below, along with links to where you can give your opinion on it.

My week started very differently with an early start on Saturday for my regular visit to the Christians Together in Torquay Prayer Breakfast. This gathering is a chance for me to reflect on recent events and what issues local churches may wish to pray about. I do not get into Party Political points, with the focus being for this month praying for Parliament as it approaches key decisions on Brexit.

After Breakfast I headed to St Martin’s Barton for my regular weekly surgery, followed by a welcome visit to Cary Park Tennis Club as I formally opened their new Clubhouse. The club has done great work to get more people playing the game, with a vibrant group of young players who could one day be champions themselves.

New Tennis facilities were not the only thing I was opening on Saturday as a new business, Torbay Cycle Hire, invited me over to open their new shop in Preston.The new business is aimed at increasing the opportunities for visitors to enjoy cycling when in our bay, including a range of electrically assisted bikes to make our famous hills a little bit easier to climb.

Sunday morning started with a visit to Torquay ARFC for a discussion about problems they are having with the pitch used by some of their youth teams in Torre Valley South. The pitch is next to a car park and sadly a small minority of dog owners are spoiling it by not cleaning up after their pet. This is wasting the club’s time each Sunday Morning when a major clean up is needed before games can take place. We discussed what could be done to improve this.

I headed up to London on Sunday evening ahead of a busy week in parliament, with a wide range of issues debated by MPs. I detail below some of those I have been involved with in the main chamber, plus I also got to sit on two Smaller Committees of MPs dealing with more technical pieces of legislation. One on the regulation of Medicines post Brexit, the second on Electronic Invoicing.

I returned to the bay last night ahead of a busy day of appointments today which included visiting the Torwood Street Development (Bottom Right), heading to the Beaches Guest House in Paignton and finally attending a spectacular performance of Les Miserables at Torquay Boys Grammar School tonight.

This week’s update is below and includes: Torwood St Development Update, Paignton Harbour Investment, Torquay Waitrose Closure, Town Centres Fund Question, Devon & Cornwall Infrastructure Spending, Community Housing Day, Roadworks Rule Changes Proposed, Knife Crime, PIP\ESA Assessment Changes, Kashmir, Kev’s Column: Palace Hotel and finally…….Great Escape Spirit Lives On.

Torwood St Development Update, 

Earlier today Cllr Dave Thomas and I visited the Torwood Street Development for an update on progress from Ivan Hodgson the Site Manager for Tolent Construction.

It was great to see so much activity on the site with the first concrete already being poured which will form the Ground Floor Base. The erection of the tower crane at the end of February marked a significant milestone in the works and I am advised the operator has a fantastic view of the bay from his cab. During late January and most of February almost 5,500 cubic metres of earth were removed from the site to reduce the site level down to the street level of Torwood Street.

The next 3 months will see the completion of the groundwork’s (piling, drainage, and foundations) residents will then see the structural concrete frame of the new building reaching skywards. The main structural frame is due to be completed in late Autumn 2019.
It was great to hear of the progress being made on this scheme which is not only providing jobs but helping spur more investment into Torquay’s Harbourside Area.

Paignton Harbour Investment, 

It is not just Torquay’s Harbourside which will be seeing investment as this week it was confirmed Torbay Council will grant a 90 year lease of the Harbour Light building to St. Austell Brewery (subject to planning)

The Harbour Light is a Grade II listed building at the entrance to Paignton Harbour, visible from Paignton Green and Paignton Beach. It is in urgent need of investment to not only preserve it, but to attract more people to the Harbour, which is one of the “hidden gems” of our bay.

I understand they have some exciting plans for the building and you only need look at the Old Market House in Brixham, also owned by St Austell Brewery, to see what could be done.

Torquay Waitrose Closure, 

Amidst the positive economic news for our bay, there was also the sad news Torquay’s Waitrose Store in Plainmoor will close.

Waitrose has operated on the site for nearly 10 years but will now close on 9th June. I am advised they have already agreed the sale of the store to another retailer, although they have not confirmed the identity of the purchaser despite some speculation online. 96 people work at the Torquay store.

Staff were told this week and Waitrose have also sold their store in Teignmouth which was only opened in 2014. You can read more on Devon Live by clicking here.

I have requested further information on the future use of the building as so far the only info provided to me is the purchaser “will be undertaking works to the unit for an extended period of time with plans likely to be shared at a later date”.

Town Centres Fund Question, 

Pushing forward plans for much needed regeneration of our Town Centres is one of the issues I prioritise as Torbay’s MP.

In recent updates I have covered the plan to make a bid for significant funding to help regenerate Paignton Town Centre after the Government launched its Future High Streets Fund.

On Monday I got selected to ask a question about this fund to the Minister responsible, so took the opportunity to see if he agreed with me Paignton is exactly the sort of place this fund should be looking to help!!!

You can listen to my question and his response by clicking here.

Devon & Cornwall Infrastructure Spending, 

Securing investment into our transport infrastructure is one of the key priorities for MPs representing Devon and Cornwall.

I was lucky to be drawn for a question to Treasury Ministers on Tuesday asking what plans they had for additional investment in our two counties infrastructure. The timing could not have been better either as it was also St Piran’s Day.

I pushed the Treasury for more commitments towards rail resilience at Dawlish and you can read my question, along with the Minister’s response by clicking here.

Community Housing Day, 

Residents who want to help end homelessness are invited to a Community Housing Day to explore ideas, opportunities and practical action that we could take together locally.

I am advised the event will be participatory, interactive and creative. During the event you will hear examples of community led housing and discuss their potential to deliver housing for people who are homeless in Torbay. The aim of the event is to share experiences, explore ideas for change and develop plans for action.

The event is being held on Saturday 23rd March at Paignton Library, with tea and coffee available from 9:30am for a 10am start. Lunch and refreshments will be provided on the day with the event due to finish at 3pm.

For more information please contact savana.lawler@torbay.gov.uk or call 01803 208725.

You can register to attend online by clicking here.

Roadworks Rule Changes Proposed, 

Potholes are not only a nuisance to motorists, but a menace to cyclists and motorcyclists.

Many form at the edge of reinstatement works done on trenches cut into the road surface by utilities as water gets into even the smallest gap left. The utility who undertook the work is required to guarantee it for either two or three-years, yet afterwards the cost can fall on the taxpayer.

This week the Government launched a consultation on increasing the guarantee on roadworks, so if a pothole forms as a result within five years, the utility company responsible must return to bring the road surface back to normal. The aim is to issue revised guidance over the Summer.

This is a welcome move and should not only improve the quality of our roads, but ensure taxpayer funded repairs can focus on other issues.

Knife Crime, 

The tragic murders of two teenagers brought into sharp focus the issue of Knife Crime and the terrible impact it can have.

Last year I was part of a Committee of MPs examining in some detail the Offensive Weapons Bill which will change the law around knife sales, including closing loopholes relating to online sales and updating the law on flick knives. This legislation will have some impact when implemented but will not solve the current issues on its own, meaning careful consideration will need to be given to it, including the resources available to the Police.

On Monday MPs questioned the Home Secretary about his issue, with many MPs speaking about the experience in their own areas. The drivers and trends in such behaviour vary dramatically between different areas, making it vital national strategies to tackle it are tailored by local Police Forces to be as effective as possible.  You can read the point I raised by clicking here.

PIP\ESA Assessment Changes, 

Major changes to the process of assessment for key disability benefits were announced this week which will benefit many here in the bay.

The currently separate work capability assessment for ESA and universal credit and PIP assessment services will be combined into one unified, integrated service from 2021. This will prevent those applying for the payments facing separate assessments of their health for these benefits.

It was also announced those receiving Personal Independence Payment (PIP) who have reached State Pension age will no longer have their awards regularly reviewed, instead moving to a light touch review every 10 year. This will affect around 270,000 pensioners with disabilities and will end an unnecessary experience for older people.

During a discussion on these changes I also highlighted another issue, ensuring an independent record of the assessment undertaken to aid appeals and improve accuracy.
You can read my comments and the Minister’s response by clicking here.

Kashmir, 

Recent events in Kashmir have caused concern around the world.

Kashmir has been a flash point for decades, with India and Pakistan having fought over it in the past. Yet despite the intense rivalry over this disputed province the armed forces of both nations enjoy good relationships with the UK military. Last year my course at the Royal College of Defence Studies saw students from both nations work together on assignments and in seminar groups.

Yesterday MPs discussed the situation and I highlighted how the informal links provided by such study might be used to ensure both sides can communicate with each other to avoid a mistake leading to conflict.

You can listen to my comments by clicking here.

Kev’s Column: Palace Hotel 

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://kevinjfoster-admin.conservativewebsites.org.uk/news/kevs-column-palace-hotel-plans

and finally…….Great Escape Spirit Lives On.

Three weeks ago the last survivor of the 76 airmen to take part in the “Great Escape” from Stalag Luft III passed away at the age of 99.

Their efforts, plus the sacrifice of those murdered by the Gestapo afterwards, were immortalised in the iconic film. Yet the spirit of escape seems strong amongst a group of Paignton Zoo’s residents, with their second break for freedom being made this week.

A young female West Caucasian Tur was spooked while vets were working with the herd and escaped from their enclosure. This follows another member of the herd making a dash for nearby woods in September. You can read more on the BBC website by clicking here.

This break out did not get past the Zoo’s perimeter fence and the animal returned to its enclosure.

That is all for this week and enjoy your weekend.

Best Wishes,

Kevin

Events

8 March to 23 March – Tuesday 11:00 – 19:00,  Wednesday to  Friday  11:00  – 18:00 and Saturday 10:00  – 18:00.   Natural Affinity at  Artizan Gallery Cafe Torquay, 7 Lucius Street, Torquay, Devon, TQ2 5UW. Click here for full details.

Wednesday 13th March at 7.30pm at the Quaker Meeting House, 48 Tor Hill Road
Torquay TQ2 5RT.  The talk: “Pastoral Theology in the Catholic Church”
The speaker: Julia Beacroft, author of “Sanctifying the Spirit”

Every Thursday until 18th April – Lent Lunches at the Parish Hall of St Mary The Virgin, St Marychurch. Lunch only £4.50 – All proceeds to Charity of the week. Click here for full details.

Sunday, March 17 (All day) – Preston Baptist Church, Old Torquay Road, Paignton, TQ3 2RB Membership Explored Lunch – For those interested in becoming church members. For more details click here.

What’s Going On In Wellswood? – click here to see a full list of the many social events taking place in Wellswood throughout March.

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.

2nd Wednesday of each month at the Quaker Meeting House in Torquay – Torbay Interfaith Forum meet. For more details Click here 

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

Are you running an event in the Bay? I am always looking to promote local events, big or small. If you have an event coming up, please email kevin.foster.mp@parliament.uk so it can be included.

Advice Surgeries

Saturday 16th March, 11am – 1pm @ The Acorn Centre, Lummaton Cross, Torquay TQ2 8ET

Saturday 23rd March, 11am – 1pm @ Paignton Library, Great Western Road, Paignton TQ4 5AG

Friday 29th March, 3pm – 5pm @ The Windmill Centre, Pendennis Road, Torquay TQ2 7QB

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.

6th March 2019
by stlukesranews
0 comments

Torbay Over 50’s Forum

Work has been progressing well on the plans for the Torbay Over 50s Assembly (TOFA), and we now have a date and a venue for the launch – Saturday, April 13th from 1 pm at Preston Baptist Church on Old Torquay Road, Preston, Paignton TQ3 2RB.

The launch will be an opportunity to find out more about the Assembly and to sign up to become involved at all levels.

TOFA will provide people over the age of 50 with the opportunity to shape key decision-making across the Bay. For more information on how TOFA will work and how you can take part, or become a member, visit our website: https://ageingwelltorbay.us18.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b84fca88864ba7a1d240c45d7&id=55c55adcb8&e=59b10ff067

We’ve had more than 200 people contact us, expressing an interest in being part of TOFA, so thank you everyone who’s been in touch via postcard, email or over the phone, to let us know they want to be part of shaping Torbay’s future.

To book online for the launch in April, please use the following Eventbrite link here: https://ageingwelltorbay.us18.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b84fca88864ba7a1d240c45d7&id=cd3c70d7c0&e=59b10ff067

Tickets are free, so please book, as spaces are limited.

Alternatively, give us a call on 01803 212638, or reply to this email, and we will be able to book your space for you.

Ageing Well Torbay

6th March 2019
by stlukesranews
0 comments

Community Housing Day – 23rd March

On behalf of Torbay End Street Homelessness (TESH), we would like to formally invite you to an exciting Community Housing Day that will be happening on Saturday 23rd March, at Paignton Library, Great Western Road, TQ4 5AG.

This will be an exceptional opportunity for the local community to come together, to think about ways that local involvement can help with housing people who are homeless.

The event will be interactive and creative and you get free lunch!

If you are able to attend please let TESH know or alternatively click here to sign up.

To contact Torbay End Street Homelessness, call 01803 208725 or email savana.lawler@torbay.gov.uk

 

 

3rd March 2019
by stlukesranews
0 comments

Kevin Foster MP for Torbay Residents’ Update: Friday 1st March 2019

Dear All,

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

My week started on Saturday with a session out and about in Livermead. It was good to meet some regular readers of these updates whilst doing so and glad you find them a useful source of information.

Later in the day I headed over to The Willows for a meeting with Liz Wimbledon, the Chair of Torbay Olympic Gymnastics Club to discuss recent changes made to parking restrictions outside their premises. Whilst it is Torbay Council, not myself as the local MP, who decides on traffic issues there are several concerns they wanted me to raise about the new restrictions and the impact these have had on their activities.

It was an early start on Monday as I headed up to London for a busy week in parliament. There were more dramatic moments as a major debate on Brexit was held, with the prospect of the Government suffering a significant defeat becoming very clear. More on some of the issues discussed below.

Whilst the Main Chamber is the focus of business in parliament significant decisions on proposed legislation are also taken during the Committee Stage. This is where a smaller group of MPs conduct “line by line” examination of the detailed aspects of a bill. Tuesday morning saw me take part in such a Committee scrutinising a bill from the House of Lords on Financial Services looking to make changes essential for Brexit.

Animal Welfare is an issue I have taken a great interest in for some time, including presenting two Private Member’s Bills. One issue which has regularly been raised over the last four years is the sentencing for those who steal pets. An event on Tuesday saw MPs from across the political divide call on the Government to alter the rules so those involved are no longer sentenced as if they had just stolen an item of property.

Yesterday I returned to the bay in time to attend a Public Exhibition on plans to strengthen the Dawlish Sea Wall, more on this below. I also attended the Digital Torbay event being held at Tubers in Lymington Road (Bottom Left). Not only did I have my first introduction to the gaming phenomenon which is “Fortnite”, but also saw the work this new business is doing with others to promote and develop tech businesses here in the bay.

Finally today I was pleased to welcome to our bay the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and De-Facto Deputy Prime Minister, David Lidington. Regular readers will know I act as his Parliamentary Private Secretary (Fancy title for note taking and bag carrying) which during the current Brexit process is providing a fascinating insight into the Government’s workings.

This week’s update is below and includes: Paignton Murder, New Hotel Investment For Torquay Harbourside, Palace Hotel Exhibition Reminder, Brexit Debate, Windy Corner, Minigog, Relationships Education, ESA Underpayments, Trade Remedies, Sea of Azov and finally……Waiter’s Race.

Paignton Murder, 

A woman appeared in court yesterday charged with the murder of a 74 year-old man in Midvale Road, Paignton.

You can read more about this incident on the Devon Live website by clicking here.
If you have any information which might assist Paignton Police with investigating this incident do get in touch with them on their 101 non-emergency number.

New Hotel Investment For Torquay Harbourside, 

Whitbread, Premier Inn’s parent company, has signed an agreement with Torbay Council to build a new 120-bedroom Premier Inn hotel and Whitbread-branded restaurant to Torquay’s Harbourside area.

The new Premier Inn hotel will be located on Montpellier Road, next to the Torwood St Development currently under construction. Whitbread, Premier Inn’s parent company, will be taking a long-lease on the completed hotel building. Approximately 30 new year-round jobs are expected to be created at the hotel.

Subject to planning permission, the new hotel and restaurant will bring back to use a piece of under-used land by the main entrance to the Terrace Car Park, on Montpellier Road.

The site is being delivered by TDA, on behalf of Torbay Council, and will be constructed by Midas Construction, part of the Midas Group.  A planning application is expected to be submitted to Torbay Council in the next three months and subject to planning approval, work could begin on site this autumn. There will be a public exhibition of the proposed development during the afternoon and evening of 14 March at Torquay Museum.

Subject to planning permission the proposed hotel will be Premier Inn’s second hotel in Torquay, adding to the seafront hotel on Shedden Hill Road.

Palace Hotel Exhibition Reminder, 

In addition to the news about the new hotel being built by Premier Inn, this week will see the unveiling of plans for what maybe the biggest Hotel scheme in our bay for several decades.

The now empty Palace Hotel in Torquay was once one of the great hotels of our region, with many residents having memories of special occasions or events there.

The Hotel was acquired by the Fragrance Group 18 months with promises of a major redevelopment, potentially as a 5 Star Hotel. I have been advised an exhibition of their proposals for the site of the Palace Hotel, Babbacombe Road will be held on the following dates:

THURSDAY 7th MARCH  1pm – 7pm  and FRIDAY 8th MARCH 10am – 7pm at the Pengelly Hall, Torquay Museum, Babbacombe Road,

From Thursday 7th MARCH you will also be able to obtain more information at: www.palacehotelexhibition.co.uk

After many years of concern about the future of our Tourism Industry we could soon be seeing one of the biggest periods of hotel building in our bay for decades. A very welcome sign of us being able to offer the standards modern travellers demand, whilst also boosting the wider economy.

Brexit Debate, 

As mentioned above Wednesday saw the latest major debate on Brexit in the House of Commons.

Whilst the motion submitted by the Government was a neutral one, in effect noting the ongoing negotiations, the ability for backbenchers and the opposition to propose amendments to make it a more substantive motion gave the debate much greater significance. This was especially the case as it became clear a rebellion could see the Government lose a key vote which would have altered House of Commons procedure. This would have seen control of the parliamentary process shift from the Government to a group of Backbenchers promoting a bill to delay or even stop Brexit.

In the face of this almost certain defeat the Prime Minister made several announcements in relation to when the next votes will take place. The next Meaningful Vote, which could approve a deal with the EU, will be by 12th March. If not then by 13th March MPs would vote on leaving with “No Deal” and then after this on a potential delay.

Just delaying the date does not change the arguments or the choices MPs face. I am aware talks in Brussel on the NI Backstop are going better than some might have predicted, but when the vote returns MPs will have to face deciding on the options which exist, not those we may wish for.

Windy Corner,

If travelling to Brixham over the next few months then do bear in mind the final phase of Torbay Council’s £16.5 million Western Corridor project is due to start on site on Monday 11 March 2019.

The £700,000 scheme at the Windy Corner junction between Paignton and Brixham will improve traffic flow and reduce queueing at peak times. The works will provide an additional approach lane for traffic heading towards Paignton by constructing a new lane towards Brixham, which uses a short section of Bascombe Road.

I am advised this scheme, along with the works currently taking place on Brixham Road by Sainsbury’s, are scheduled to be completed in time for the main 2019 summer period.

Let’s hope this deadline is met!

Minigog, 

Torbay Council and Continental Drifts are delighted to announce Minigog, a micro version of Grinagog Festival, will be coming to Torbay this Easter holiday.

Minigog will run on Saturday 13 April 2019 at Torre Abbey’s Spanish Barn and Gardens.

Festivalgoers can expect an action-packed day of fun and mischief with performances from the likes of Dutty Moonshine Big Band, Neville Staples (The Specials) who will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of 2 Tone Records.

There will be family friendly events during the day, followed by an evening of live music and DJ performances including Dat Brass, DJ Chris Tofu, and Drum and Bass legend Mr Nice. In addition, there will be a full day line up in the One World Café, creating the ultimate party atmosphere in the heart of Torbay.

You can find out more on the dedicated website by clicking here.

Relationships Education, 

The guidance on Sex and Relationships Education was last updated in 2000, a time when Social Media did not exist, internet connections did not allow the type of streaming services commonly used today and “Tinder” might be something used to start a fire.

Given this delay there was a welcome from all sides of the house on Monday to the publication of revised guidance. The new guidelines are designed to ensure the curriculum is appropriate for an era when Social Media and the Internet has changed dramatically the way these issues are perceived.

All lessons must be age appropriate and parents retain the right to withdraw their children from sex education classes (Apart from exceptional circumstances) until the last 3 terms before they reach the Age of Consent when they can opt to take part themselves.

Whilst some concerns have been raised the new guidance does strike a balance between the many competing demands. I am also clear lessons should not just be about the “mechanics”, but cover how relationships should be based on love, respect and consent.

You can listen to the points I made and the Minister’s reply by clicking here.

ESA Underpayments, 

On Monday MP’s questioned the Minister responsible on the progress being made with ensuring those who were underpaid their ESA entitlement receive they amounts they are due.

A series of questions were asked by MPs and I decided to focus on what work had been done with local advice services to ensure those eligible were aware of how much money they were owed.

You can read my question and the Minister’s response by clicking here.

If you think you might have been affected by this issue do contact my office in East St on 01803 214 989 and we will be happy to help chase any amounts outstanding.

Trade Remedies, 

The term “Trade Remedies” may prompt readers to think of medical matters, yet it is the term used for Tariffs designed to protect key industries from unfair competition.

Whilst a member of the European Union the UK is part of a common system of Trade Remedies shared by all 28 nation states. These include measures designed to prevent dumping of subsidised steel products from China on the UK market.

As Brexit approaches the International Trade Secretary gave a statement to MPs on Monday setting out what the UK’s approach will be to these after Brexit. In effect we will continue Tariffs where there is a domestic industry to protect, yet not if there is no UK production of the item concerned which needs protection.

I raised the issue of Torbay’s vital Photonics Industry and you can listen to the response I got by clicking here.

Sea of Azov 

A unique aspect of my role is the range of issues I get involved with.

Whilst I focus my time on matters affecting our bay earlier this week I was selected to ask a question to Foreign Office Ministers on any subject relevant to their brief. I checked which issues were already due to be raised and decided to question them on the latest support being offered to Ukraine following recent Russian attempts to deny their shipping access to key Ports located on the Sea of Azov.

You can watch my question and the Ministers response by clicking here.

and finally……Waiters Race.

The news of another new Hotel being built on Torquay’s Harbourside brings reminders of an event which used to be a highlight of the summer season, the Torquay Waiter’s Race.

In a time before modern event safety rules Waiters from Torquay’s Hotels would dodge the traffic whilst running from The Queen’s Hotel (by the Clock Tower) to the Town Hall with a drink on a silver tray. You can watch the “highlights” of the 1963 Race on the BFI website by clicking here.

The closure of the Queen’s Hotel some years ago and changes in the industry saw this event fall by the wayside. Yet with two new hotels due to open on the Harbourside perhaps it might make a comeback?

Dawlish Sea Wall Exhibition

As mentioned above I got back to the bay just in time to attend an exhibition being held at the Grand Hotel detailing Network Rail’s Plans to improve the resilience of the line at Dawlish.

One of the exhibition boards made clear what most residents and those who depend on this crucial rail artery realise, doing nothing is not an option. The collapse in 2014 brought to a head an issue which has been rumbling for decades, especially since the closure of the former Southern Rail Line from Tavistock in 1968 which left this iconic rail route as the only one heading west of Exeter.

The Exhibition showed in some detail how Network Rail plans to spend £80m creating a new sea wall at Dawlish. This will not only better protect the rail line, but enhance the Town’s flood defences as well. It will upgrade the wall, increasing its height by 2.5m, whilst also widening the walkway on it to 4m.

Plans have been submitted by Network Rail to Teignbridge Council for “prior approval” under permitted development rights.

I appreciate those with sea front properties at Dawlish will not welcome a higher wall to look at from their ground floor, yet these concerns cannot override the interests of our whole region in getting this work done. The most encouraging part of the discussions I had with Network Rail’s team was how quickly they could get to work. If permission is granted they could be on site in May.

When asked for my formal view as Torbay’s MP I simply said: “Start Work ASAP”

If you could not make the exhibition yourself you can find out more by clicking here.

That is all for this week and enjoy your weekend.

Best wishes,

Kevin

 

Events

5 March to 23 March – Tuesday – Friday 11:00 – 18:00, and Saturday 10:00  – 18:00.   Natural Affinity at  Artizan Gallery Cafe Torquay, 7 Lucius Street, Torquay, Devon, TQ2 5UW. Click here for full details.

Wednesday 6th March from 1:30pm to 2:30pm and the session on Thursday 7th from 10:30am to 11:30am.  World Book Day is on 7th March 2019 and Paignton Zoo have teamed up with Torbay Libraries to bring you some storytelling and mask-making fun! In collaboration with Torbay Libraries, the zoo will be running FREE* storytelling and animal mask making sessions on the 6th and 7th March 2019.  Also for both days, children can come to the Zoo dressed as their favourite book character to be in with the chance to win a standard animal adoption of their choice! Click here for more details.

Thursday 7 March – Torbay Film Club are showing the Academy Award nominated animation The Red Turtle on at St Matthias Church Hall, Babbacombe Road, Wellswood. Doors open at 1900 for a film start at 1930. Non members very welcome for £5.50 on the door. For more details go to website http://www.torbayfilmclub.co.uk/

Starting on Thursday 7th March, every Thursday until 18th April – Lent Lunches at the Parish Hall of St Mary The Virgin, St Marychurch. Lunch only £4.50 – All proceeds to Charity of the week. Click here for full details.

Friday 8 March –  Get Active in Nature with your Grandchildren! Are you over 55 and wanting to get more active? Come and join us for a free outdoor walk and activities with your grand child! Let us know you are coming by ringing 01803 696244 or emailing Chloe on chloe@countryside-trust.org.uk – for info click here.

Sunday, March 17 (All day) – Preston Baptist Church, Old Torquay Road, Paignton, TQ3 2RB Membership Explored Lunch – For those interested in becoming church members. For more details click here.

What’s Going On In Wellswood? – click here to see a full list of the many social events taking place in Wellswood throughout February.

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.

2nd Wednesday of each month at the Quaker Meeting House in Torquay – Torbay Interfaith Forum meet. For more details click here.

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

Are you running an event in the Bay? I am always looking to promote local events, big or small. If you have an event coming up, please email kevin.foster.mp@parliament.uk so it can be included.

Advice Surgeries

Saturday 9th March, 11am – 1pm @ Preston Baptist Church, Old Torquay Road, TQ3 2RB

Saturday 16th March, 11am – 1pm @ The Acorn Centre, Lummaton Cross, Torquay TQ2 8ET

Saturday 23rd March, 11am – 1pm @ Paignton Library, Great Western Road, Paignton TQ4 5AG

Friday 29th March, 3pm – 5pm @ The Windmill Centre, Pendennis Road, Torquay TQ2 7QB

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.