Every fortnight I write a "Kev's Column" for the Herald Express and you can read the latest edition (Published on Wednesday 12th June 2019) below:
I was honoured to join veterans, cadets, representatives of the British & American Armed Forces, plus hundreds of residents, to thank those who served and remember those who died on 6th June 1944.
A poignant photo taken by the Malloch Memorial just before D-Day shows American Troops as they neared the embarkation ramps.
Looking at the young faces heading to war brings home these were men with their whole lives ahead of them, but who answered freedom's call. Their sacrifice paving the way for the final defeat of the Third Reich and securing the freedoms we enjoy today.
A state visit by the President of the United States of America took place last week as part of events to mark the 75th Anniversary of D-Day when troops from our two nations fought to liberate Europe.
Donald Trump is a controversial figure, yet state visits are not about individuals. The United States is a key ally, with the links between our nations going far deeper than whoever the current President is. Other controversial leaders have made state visits such as President Xi of China and Emperor Hirohito of Japan.
I attended President Xi’s address to Parliament, not because I am a fan of a Communist Regime which used troops against unarmed protestors in 1989 and has an abysmal environmental record, but because seeing and hearing a world leader gives unique insights into them. It is a pity the same opportunity was not available during President Trump’s visit.
Major plans which will see a section of the Dawlish Coastal Railway moved out to sea are due to be revealed today (Wednesday 12th June).
The scheme aims to ensure the rail line is better protected from cliff falls, land slips and damage caused by the sea during extreme weather. The work will centre on the 1.1mile stretch of railway between Parsons Tunnel, near Holcombe, and Teignmouth.
Having seen a confidential preview the plans are significant, very much needed and would be the biggest upgrade to this section of the line since Brunel built it. We cannot waste a moment getting this vital work underway.
Shedden Hall Fire
Over the last two years I have frequently been in contact with Torbay Council to push for action on the dreadful condition of the former Shedden Hall Hotel, which has caused long-running problems for neighbours, including anti-social behaviour.
Whilst some changes were made and limited demolition work undertaken, stronger action at an earlier stage might have prevented the predictable outcome of a large fire.
Planning Permission was granted some time ago for a development of apartments on this site. It is now time for the Council to do all it can to ensure this eyesore is finally dealt with.
My next surgeries will be on Saturday 15th June from 11am till 1pm at 5-7 East St, Torquay, TQ2 5SD and Friday 21st June from 3pm till 5pm at Age UK Torbay, 12 Dendy Rd, Paignton TQ4 5DB.
Just call 01803 214 989 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a slot. You can drop in, but appointments are recommended to avoid a long wait or disappointment. My team also run drop in surgery sessions Mon to Friday 10am -1pm at 5-7 East St, Torquay, TQ2 5SD.