|Posted by [email protected] on January 19, 2019 at 7:30 AM|
When Paignton Town Hospital closed in 2017, the town was promised a new medical hub. Since then, things have gone very quiet, with hardly a whisper of a bright new beginning for health care in the town. In fact, facilities for Devon’s fourth largest town with a population of 49,021 do not even include an x-ray department or minor injury unit. At the same time the convalescence beds lost when Paignton Hospital closed, has increased the burden on Torbay Hospital and local care homes, some...Read Full Post »
|Posted by [email protected] on December 23, 2018 at 7:05 AM|
I was deeply saddened to hear yesterday, of the loss of former Liberal Democrat leader, Paddy Ashdown.
Paddy was never my party leader, and to be honest at the time I had a number of differences of opinion with his views. I also only met him once, very briefly when handing out an anti-racist leaflet at the Lib Dem conference in Torquay. This was at the time of accusations of a racist attitude within the party in Tower Hamlets. He took the leaflet, looked at it as he walked away, turned ...Read Full Post »
|Posted by [email protected] on December 23, 2018 at 6:05 AM|
I have been busy in recent months, trundling the streets of Paignton’s Goodrington with Roselands ward and speaking to local residents. There is certainly a wide variety of issues which concern local residents. Many are still outraged at a waste collection service which, despite assurances from Torbay’s Conservative administration is still facing problems. Others with young families in rented accommodation fear the impact the introduction Universal Credit shall bring. Some residen...Read Full Post »
|Posted by [email protected] on September 24, 2018 at 11:35 AM|
The figures don’t lie, and Paignton as the poor relation of the Bay’s towns is apparent when you look at the investment placed in its neighbours. Figures show £161 per head in Torquay, in excess of £1200 per head in Brixham, whilst Paignton lags behind with a mere £12 per head. I am not suggesting investment in Torquay and Brixham is wrong, far from it, but what I am suggesting is that Paignton deserves its fair slice of the cake and not simply the crumbs.
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|Posted by [email protected] on September 9, 2018 at 4:55 AM|
When a large crack appears on a building it is normally a sign of some serious structural fault. Papering or painting over the crack might make a cosmetic difference but it does not resolve the underlying problem.
Policing and crime can be viewed in a similar way. Cracks have appeared as the number of police officers and PCSO’s has significantly fallen. Since 2010 figures show the force has lost one in every six of its officers, a reduction of 17% in less than a decad...Read Full Post »
|Posted by [email protected] on September 8, 2018 at 8:00 AM|
I am honoured to have been selected as prospective Liberal Democrat candidate for Goodrington with Roselands, and to stand alongside our branch Chair Lee Howgate. Together I am certain we will make a great team and if elected hard working representatives for the ward.
There are challenges in Goodrington with Roselands, just as there are across the whole of Paignton and Torbay. Insufficient police and PCSO numbers, concerns over health and social care and affordable housing ...Read Full Post »
|Posted by [email protected] on August 18, 2018 at 8:15 AM|
Yesterday afternoon myself and other Liberal Democrats met at Paignton's almost abandoned Crossways Shopping Centre. Apart from a few shops at the Hyde Road end, the remaining units were all empty becoming a virtual blank canvas for graffiti and fly-posting. Even the car park above the centre has a run down appearance, yet apparently it still provides a reasonable income for the owner of this failed 1960's experiment!
When you consider Crossways is in the heart of Paignton,...Read Full Post »
|Posted by [email protected] on July 28, 2018 at 7:35 AM|
Below is an excellent letter from Swithin Long, Liberal Democrat councillor for Barton & Watcombe. I have lived in Torbay since 1989, and have seen Torbay slowly decay. For the vast majority of that time the Bay has had a Conservative administration, so therefore it can be argued they have created and managed that decay. The question we have to ask is what type of Torbay do we want future generations to inherit - one of constant managed decline, or one which values people, values the loca...Read Full Post »
|Posted by [email protected] on July 17, 2018 at 12:10 AM|
Below is a statement from Steve Darling, the Liberal Democrat group leader on Torbay Council.
It was welcome news that Devon & Cornwall Police are to ensure that Torbay has a stronger voice by being part of a basic command unit, however, with an 80% reduction on the number of PCSOs from 25 to just five in Torquay it is boots on the ground that many residenst would be happier to see.
The National Police Inspectorate describe community policin...Read Full Post »
|Posted by [email protected] on June 23, 2018 at 5:15 AM|
Some important decisions on the future of Torbay have been made by Torbay Council this week, namely on the future of Oldway and the opening of discussions on the acquisition of Kier's shareholding in Tor2. I'm delighted at these bold steps being made, but I do see this placing Torbay at a crossroads, one which could fully engage sections of the community.
As I said in a previousRead Full Post »
|Posted by [email protected] on June 15, 2018 at 11:05 AM|
When I was communications Officer for Torbay & South Devon TUC, I penned the name 'Gordon The Dictator' to describe the Bay's mayor Gordon Oliver. His decision to overrule what appears to be a perfectly good plan to renovate Paignton's Oldway Mansion and bring it back into use demonstrates that whilst 'Gordon The Dictator' is alive and well, democracy in Torbay is sadly dying.
As far as I am aware, Oldway Mansion was left to the people of Paignton, not Mr. Oliver, and i...Read Full Post »
|Posted by [email protected] on June 2, 2018 at 6:25 AM|
I walked down to Paignton harbour with my wife on Saturday morning as she was gig rowing. As I sat having a coffee I was watching people tending their small fishing boats and pleasure craft as well as the rowers preparing their gig. Small businesses were opening and locals, visitors and four legged friends were enjoying a morning stroll. All this emphasised that this quaint, much loved corner of Paignton is a community harbour and asset.
This is why it frustrates me that Tor...Read Full Post »
|Posted by [email protected] on June 2, 2018 at 5:55 AM|
There is a great deal of concern been raised over Paignton's proposed Park Hotel development. In one respect it does show people care about the town and its heritage. But I also feel there is a sense of emotion which can sometimes outbalance reality.
I spent an hour at the exhibition for the proposed development with my eldest son Dan, in which we raised a number of practical concerns over flooding, parking, impact on the local area and even low wages which unfortunately are...Read Full Post »
|Posted by [email protected] on May 12, 2018 at 12:55 AM|
A couple of years ago I drafted a pamphlet on the 'Localisation of Society'. Amongst other things it looked at restructuring basic local services, making them the responsibility of Town Councils and representative of local communities. My ideas were based on the assumption localised employment reduces travel, therefore it is better for the environment, and if people were carrying out maintenance tasks within their own neighbourhoods it would increase a sense of local pride.
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|Posted by [email protected] on May 11, 2018 at 11:45 AM|
The old saying 'A week in politics is a long time' is definitely true, and the month of events since my last blog posting has been eventful to say the least.
First we have the anti-Semitism row with the Labour Party. I do not believe Jeremy Corbyn is an anti-Semite, and I actually applaud his lifelong opposition to racism. But like it or not Corbyn is heavily involved in the Palestinian cause, and within a campaign which is generally well meaning there are those that oppose...Read Full Post »
|Posted by [email protected] on April 13, 2018 at 5:05 PM|
Liberal Democrat leader, Vince Cable, has outlined certain 'tests' the government should reach before a decision is made on what action to take on the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria. In his statement the Lib Dem leader said
"Firstly, in advance of any debate or vote, the Government should share with Parliament what evidence it has of the Syrian Government’s involvement, and that of their Russian backers, in last weekend’s attack.
Secondly, the Go...Read Full Post »
|Posted by [email protected] on April 7, 2018 at 4:10 AM|
Its tragic that so many young people have lost their lives or have been injured in the recent spate of stabbings and shootings in London. Families and friends have lost loved ones whilst others live in fear that their child, although not directly involved in the gang wars which are festering, maybe in the wrong place at the wrong time. But we have to remember these things don't just happen. Nobody is born into this world as a gangster or a drug dealer, the conditions have to be created. What ...Read Full Post »
|Posted by [email protected] on March 30, 2018 at 12:50 AM|
“The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity”.
The Preamble of the Liberal Democrats members may very well be familiar with. However are we also confident the type of society we wish to build, as described in the Preamble, can be created through unrestrained capitali...Read Full Post »
|Posted by [email protected] on March 24, 2018 at 8:25 AM|
The sight of former UKIP leader Nigel Farage dumping fish in the River Thames is a typical ploy from a politician that cares about making headlines but little of those he is making headlines about. What Farage was basically doing was another display of self publicity and climbing on the back of Britain's fishermen to inflate his already substantial ego.
The thing is Brexit will not offer a deal which will create a sustainable fishing industry. If the government decides to op...Read Full Post »
|Posted by [email protected] on March 20, 2018 at 1:15 PM|
When I was Chair of the St.Michael's Community Association (SMCA) in Paignton, a number of cases concerning what are commonly called 'rogue landlords' was brought to my attention. The whole purpose of the SMCA in those days was to be a campaigning organisation to campaign and represent the interests of residents in one of the most deprived areas of Paignton. Housing was therefor a major issue which seemed to be raised at a number of meetings.
The growing number of 'Rogue Lan...Read Full Post »