• Busy

    Mid Devon Advertiser
    16 January 2015

    Last week was I was busy right across my vast constituency – one of the largest in the country. I had a great time in Okehampton opening the sales that are being held by local traders in Red Lion Yard – with discounts of up to 30% this little enclave of superb local shops and cafes is well worth an early visit. My time there included a tour of the number of exciting local retailers including the Boomerang Toy Shop which sells a wide selection of puzzles and toys (many of them crafted in wood – as I remember them as a boy), Rockin’ Beads (where I watched beads being handmade with the glass melted at 1,000 degrees), Kudos (great fashions) and Purple Penguin (expanding fast on the strength of great value, high quality jewellery). All these excellent little businesses run by local people offering outstanding service. The general mood amongst local traders is cautiously optimistic with a number reporting a good December and a promising start to the year. Then I was off to Exbourne where I dropped into the wonderful community store and café – The Burrow. There I caught up with local councillor James McInnes to discuss local issues. Afterwards we did some door to door canvassing – to listen to local and national concerns – on the national side there was some concern about the additional work there is to sort out the economy – whoever wins the next election there is a big job still to be done. In Crediton I met up with some local councillors and paid a visit to the Crediton Coffee Company – this booming café roasts and grinds its own speciality coffees that taste fantastic. The owner Dan Webb has a great success story on his hands and one that is supporting local jobs – more at If you want to visit why not combine it with a visit to Crediton’s Farmers Market (dates and details at Whilst in Crediton I took the opportunity to have a further look at the dual purpose parking bays that have been such a problem locally (with many visitors being inadvertently ticketed as a result of the bay’s unclear designation). Last week I had a meeting with our Roads Minister at the Department of Transport and it looks like we are now going to be able to resolve this situation something that will save hundreds of people the costs of a parking ticket. I also checked out a local speeding hotspot in the town. In Bovey Tracey I met at the local hospital with local councillors and the Chairman of the League of Friends of Bovey Hospital. The hospital is to have its beds temporarily removed and I have been in discussions with the CCG to ensure that they are replaced as soon as possible. I have received an assurance that the beds will be re-instated shortly. I will be keeping up the pressure. In Bradninch I met up with local councillor John Berry for a quick catch up.