Thank you to Mark, Tara and John for taking the time to meet with me today to discuss The Torbay End Street Homelessness Campaign's 'Connections week' which runs the week beginning April 24th 2017, where volunteers from the community will go out and survey people sleeping on the streets. They will be trained and supported by experienced staff. The information that is gathered will help to prioritise who is housed first and to better understand what people need to help them move into, and sustain a home.
Alongside this they will be working hard to source accommodation for people to move into and recruiting a Volunteer Co-ordinator, who will support volunteers to visit people as they move into their new homes.
The Council are committed to the campaign, as are many agencies such as Shekinah, Westward Housing, the Street Pastors, Friends of Factory Row, the Police, and many others.
Thank you to Cllr Jacqui Hodgson, Anna Lunk and Kate Wilson for meeting with me today to discuss housing and the Neighbourhood Plans
Thank you to Cllr Simon Wright and David Parkes, Development Specialist at SHDC for taking the time to meet with me today to discuss community housing.
Thank you to SageTech Medical Innovations Ltd in Brixham for a fascinating visit to discuss innovation and the Health Select Committee's Inquiry into Brexit
This evening I met with constituents at an open meeting held at Brixham Theatre. Thank you to all who attended, where we discussed a wide range of topics. I hold open meetings in various parts of the constituency; to learn when my next meeting takes place do phone my office on 01803 868378
The NHS in Devon is working on a five-year plan for health and care services, known as the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP). I visited Kingsbridge today to attend one of a series of events where the NHS heard views on the NHS Acute Services. More of these events are being held in the County and more information about further meetings can be found via the following link
I enjoyed catching up today with the volunteers and supporters of Saltstone Caring. Thank you to Elizabeth and the team for all you do to promote the independence, physical and mental well-being of older, isolated or vulnerable people living in Kingsbridge, Salcombe and the surrounding area.
I was pleased to meet with Ian Arrow, HM Coroner to discuss improving support for those using the coroner's system and how we improve the consistency for recording suicides around the country. It is currently difficult to assess the most effective ways of reducing suicide, because of the inconsistencies in the way this is recorded.
I met with Liz Davenport at Torbay Hospital today. As Chief Operating Officer, Liz is responsible for the delivery of health and social care through the Torbay and South Devon NHS.
This afternoon at the Grove School Totnes, I met with Matthew Shanks, Chair of DASH (Devon Association of Secondary Heads) to discuss education in the Totnes constituency. We talked about the recent government consultation around the schools national funding formula and about how this will particularly affect schools in the constituency.
It was a pleasure to visit Froward Point today, one of the National Coastwatch stations, to officially open the improved Visitor Centre and see all the other recent developments at the lookout.
As with other NCI stations, Froward Point is manned by unpaid volunteers who maintain a watch for emergencies at sea and act as a contact point for emergencies on shore.
The station is totally dependent on the generosity of individuals, companies, and other organisations for funding.
This evening, I appeared on BBC Spotlight to discuss the pressure facing our NHS in the South West. I spoke alongside Councillor Claire Wright, Chief Exec of Royal Cornwall Hospital Kathy Byrne, and the Chief Executive of the Success Regime, Angela Pedder.
Today I went to Plymouth to take part in a discussion on winter pressures in the NHS on BBC Radio Devon with David Halpin, Cathy Gardner and David Jenner. We discussed a variety of important health issues, including NHS management, Virgin Care, and administration costs in the NHS.
I met with Richard Westlake, Devon County Council's Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee and his team to discuss health and social care in Devon.
I really welcomed the opportunity to catch up with the Mayor of Torbay and the Executive Committee and other councillors to discuss health and social care in Torbay
I was delighted to meet with Jane English, Principal of Paignton Community and Sports Academy this morning. I know that Jane is retiring next March and that she will be sorely missed.
Jane has made an enormous difference to the lives and education of children across Torbay and I am so pleased this was recognised when she was announced as a Silver Teaching Award Winner in the category of The Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Pearson Teaching Awards 2016. Jane was successfully chosen from thousands of nominations and her outstanding work is most certainly a huge factor in the wonderful Ofsted report that the school has recently received, where it now rates Good in all areas.
Many congratulations to all the staff and students on this success. You can view the new Ofsted report when the website is updated.
This evening I took part in a debate with Will Self, Louise Mensch, Nigel Farage, and Richard Burgon MP. We discussed a large variety of issues from the funding of the NHS to what will happen once we leave the European Union.
Photo Courtesy Chris Slack Photography
Today I was in Brixham and thank you to all who came out to support our small businesses.
Ritula Shah presented Any Questions from the Quarry Theatre at Bedford School with Labour MP Lisa Nandy, the SNP MP Tommy Sheppard, the Deputy Leader of UKIP and London assembly member Peter Whittle and myself in my role as Conservative MP and chair of the House of Commons Health Select Committee.
Questions included: The Richmond by-election - should parties on the left form a liberal alliance? Will UKIP win the working class vote from Labour, "Cake and Eat it" plan for brexit? How much would you pay annually for access to the EU single market? animal fat in the new £5 note, Should taxes rise to fund the NHS and social care? (35 minutes into the broadcast) and schools places and immigration.
Kevin Foster MP and I joined a meeting to discuss whether any other proposals could be explored to improve community healthcare in Paignton. The public consultation on the future of community services, including the proposal to close Paignton Community Hospital has now closed and the responses are being analysed by Healthwatch.
No decisions have been made and at the start of the meeting we both repeated our previously stated concerns about the future of services provided by Paignton Hospital. The meeting was held with representatives from across commissioners and providers of healthcare, the League of Friends, local GPs, Torbay Development Agency, Healthwatch and South Devon College to discuss the current and future challenges for primary and community care. The recent Care Quality Commission report and action to place Mears into special measures has highlighted the need to focus on recruiting, training and nurturing our health and care workforce and to make sure that all possible sites and opportunities are explored and considered.
It was wonderful to attend the unveiling of the 'Man and Boy' statue to celebrate our local fisherman and fishing heritage in Brixham.
Man & Boy' was created by local Brixham artist Elisabeth Hadley. Local men, including fellow artist Peter Stride, have modelled for the figures, and the design has been based on an etching called 'The Wheel' by Brixham artist Arthur Briscoe (1873-1943).
After almost a decade of fundraising, it is fantastic to see the project come to fruition.