Thank you to Annie Bowie for giving me the opportunity to look after the wonderful Remain Chair. Created by Bundle Maclaren, the chair illustrates beautifully that we can be proud to be British and proud to be European. The best of both worlds. I'm delighted to look after it for a while on behalf of Totnes.
I loved joining some Extinction Rebellion members walking up Totnes High St., singing together and marking the action of their friends in London. They are helping drive urgent and essential action.
Thank you to all those who came along to share their view on tackling Climate Change, especially those who joined in from the terrace after the hall capacity was reached. Thanks also to Wera Hobhouse and Caroline Voaden for making the time to come and discuss this important issue with members of the community.
Thank you to the staff and pupils of the South Devon Steiner School for inviting me to their assembly to discuss their concerns about climate change and the environment. It was inspiring to see such well-informed young people. I was delighted to be able to give them my Extinction Rebellion tree for their wonderful gardens. We need to leave them the future they deserve.
Thank you to all the volunteer facilitators helping with the Hope Programme and Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust for coordinating support, I really enjoyed meeting you all today in Dartington to hear about the evidence behind the courses from Coventry University.
Thank you to Wendy and all the team from Totnes Writers Group for putting on the Write Now Totnes event celebrating, encouraging and promoting creative writing for wellbeing. I really enjoyed joining you to listen to the readings at the Totnes Library.
Thank you to Harula Ladd, who wrote me a 3 minute poem on the theme of "Healing"
"Healing the divide"
When skin splits
Denying its job of keeping life in
The number of stitches
Depends on how deep
The wound goes
But when the split
Goes too deep to stitch
Perhaps it's time
To climb out of the old container
And grow an entirely new body
Rather than leave an open wound
Festering and deepening,
Revelling in its own ability
To cause suffering
And distract those in pain
From taking the necessary action
Needed to move life on.
But stepping out
Of familiar skin
For in stepping out
There are no guarantees
About what we'll find ourselves
Thank you to RNLI Salcombe for 150 years of dedicated service saving lives at sea. I was privileged to attend the unveiling of Jim Martin's beautiful sculptures to celebrate lifeboats old and new at Kingsbridge Quay today.
I attended the opening of the fantastic new £8m photonics facility in Paignton, brilliantly named the EPIC (Electronics and Photonics Innovation) Centre. The centre supports research and development and has links to South Devon College. More information can be found at the following link
It was refreshing to be in Bournemouth for my first Liberal Democrat conference this month, and to have joined a Party where evidence is at centre of policy making and debate, and where members rather than corporate lobbyists or the block votes of powerful unions have the final say. I gave a clear commitment at the time of joining the Lib Dems that I would vote for a general election. I have kept that promise but the government did not reach the two thirds majority required to trigger an election.
Thank you Lee, Jacquie & Jane from Torbay and South Devon NHS for the helpful meeting to discuss the serious concerns raised with me, by district nurses, GPs, voluntary groups and local residents about the review of community nursing. Hope to see an update to the position issued soon.
Thank you to the Dartmouth Cllrs, Torbay and South Devon NHS , the NHS Devon CCG, Dartmouth Caring, the Dartmouth Area Health Action Group, Dartmouth Medical Practice and patient represenatives for meeting today to discuss the Health & Wellbeing Centre and why I am calling for the plans to cut District Nurses, to be scrapped. It is not possible to take 3.5 WTE district nursing posts out of the Moor to Sea locality without seriously undermining essential care for patients. It would also break a clear promise made by Torbay and South Devon NHS to the people of Dartmouth to increase community service.
It was lovely to catch up with Greg Parston, chair of the Dartington Hall Trust at Dartington today to hear about future plans. An amazing place with an extraordinary history!
Thank you to all the team at the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) for meeting with me today. I really enjoyed visiting their headquarters to discuss waiting times, growing and supporting workforce and the needs of rural & coastal communities. Thank you too for this important top tip
Thank you to Dr Andy Haytread of NHS Devon CCG for coming to discuss commissioning of mental health services and the importance of getting resources to the front line, the case for ring-fencing and the need to address key gaps and waiting times
I was delighted to join local service users, carers, peer supporters and practitioners from around the UK at a meeting in Torbay to discuss the Open Dialogue approach to mental health and the importance of research. It was so refreshing to hear emphasis on involving families, wider networks and continuity of care.
I was warmly welcomed by the local Lib Dems along with Caroline Voaden MEP and it was an opportunity to thank all those who have offered their support. We're looking forward to working together as Lib Dem MP and MEP
It is seriously worrying that Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust is planning to cut district nurse posts and today I met with nurses and the voluntary sector to hear their concerns about the impact on patient care. I've seen first-hand the value of what they do and we cannot afford to lose them.
Thank you to Graham, Chair of Local Dental Network, Tess and Amanda of NHSEngland for meeting to discuss concerns about access to local and national NHS Dentistry. It was very helpful to hear their thoughts on the Committee's Health Inquiry into dentistry
If you would like to submit your views, you can do so via the following link
It was an absolute joy to catch up with local cliff rescue heroes Ian Pedrick and Richard Clarkson as they await the outcome of their appeal after being dismissed for acting as good Samaritans. They are courageous volunteer coastguards with nearly 60 years' experience between them who should be immediately reinstated and who frankly deserve medals. It is totally unacceptable that such a long stretch of the South Devon coast has been left with reduced protection at the busiest time of year.
What is so striking about cliff rescue volunteering is the dangerous and often harrowing nature of their call outs which is matched only by the compassion and courage of those like Ian and Richard who put their own lives on the line.
Thank you to the Friends of Hope Cove Harbour Committee for showing me the damage to the vital breakwater which protects this wonderful community and to the Environment Agency for help with ongoing analysis. I am looking forward to seeing the plans and supporting the campaign
Thank you to Acting Inspector Tom Blanchard for meeting to discuss drugs and policing, local issues, the impact of county lines and their targeting of vulnerable people
In Totnes today, many community groups got together to discuss the Climate Emergency. Thank you to everyone who attended and to the speakers for their insight and discussion into what happens next.
I was Britannia Royal Naval College today to celebrate the centenary of the Wilton Memorial Trust, a charity that offers sheltered accommodation and retirement homes for the elderly.
I met with the Torbay Samaritans today, where they have had extensive alterations in order to improve the conditions for this wonderful bunch of volunteers. The volunteers are there for everyone and anyone in the toughest of times. Find out more about joining and how you can help.