Kev's Column: European Elections

 

Every fortnight I write a "Kev's Column" for the Herald Express and you can read the latest edition (Published on 29th May 2019) below:

European Elections

The European Elections on Thursday sent a clear and firm message, voters in our bay and region want the 2016 Referendum Result implemented and Brexit to proceed.

There is no hiding from the fact the results were terrible for both Labour and Conservative Parties as voters sent a clear message, their votes decided on whether they backed Leave or Remain.

Many voters are rightly fed up with Groundhog Day debates in Parliament which see progress blocked and no firm conclusions reached, with some MPs seeking to tie Brexit up in procedural knots rather than be clear about their view. My own Party needs to reflect during the forthcoming Leadership Election and resolve to deliver what people voted for 3 years ago and voted for again last week, an exit from the European Union.

Prime Minister’s Resignation

In an emotional speech outside Number 10 Downing Street Theresa May confirmed her Premiership will shortly come to an end.

The decision to resign coming after a speech outlining a “new” Brexit Deal received little support.

Whatever anyone thinks of her politics Theresa May is someone who was diligent and hardworking, committed to preserving the Union of the United Kingdom. She is a genuinely decent person who is easy to talk with, very different to the image sometimes given of her in the media.

Being Prime Minister is a uniquely challenging role, which takes its toll on all who hold it. Many happy to criticise from the side-lines would struggle to deal with the pressures for 1 day, let alone 3 years. I wish Theresa and Philip all the very best for their future.

Local Government Funding

Ensuring a future local government funding formula is fair to our bay was the subject of a meeting I arranged last week.

Torbay Council’s Chief Finance Officer and Chief Executive joined me for the meeting with the Local Government Minister to make clear how the formula must reflect the needs of coastal communities.

Our bay is not unique in facing pressures through growing demand in areas such as adult social care and child protection services. There is also a need to drive forward Town Centre Regeneration and ensure affordable housing is delivered for those on the local housing need list.

During the meeting we made clear to the Minister how the proposed formula could be altered to reflect these needs and ensure fairness between different councils for the funding available. This includes ensuring items like funding for concessionary fares reflected the age and economic profiles of our area.

The meeting was a valuable chance to put over the needs of our bay as getting this formula right is vital for ensuring we can not only deliver services, but vital regeneration schemes.

Surgery Times

My next surgeries will be on Saturday 1st June from 10am till 12noon at St Martin’s Church, Barton Hill Road, Torquay TQ2 8JA and Friday 7th June from 3pm till 5pm at Paignton Baptist Church, 43 Winner Street, Paignton TQ3 3BJ.

Just call 01803 214 989 or e-mail me at kevin@kevinjfoster.com 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