• Busy

    Mid Devon Advertiser
    16 September 2016

    Last week I was working hard right across our vast constituency – it takes well over an hour to drive across it and comprises 125 towns and parishes – one of the largest in the country. I was delighted to address a packed constituency lunch club in Matford. These are always important occasions to catch up on the issues that matter -  both national and local and a vigorous question and answer session afterwards covered a wide-range of issues. The Junior Doctor’s dispute, Grammar schools, the potential Chinese investment in the Hinckley nuclear power station and the forthcoming parliamentary boundary changes were all covered in depth. I am particularly keen to solicit views from constituents on recently announced plans to introduce more Grammar schools – so please do contact me via with your thoughts. In Sandford, north west of Crediton I had the great pleasure of discussing with members of the local parish council their exciting plans for building a new sports pavilion. The local football club is thriving with strong teams in the Devon and Exeter League with plenty of young people from the area participating. We inspected the site and with a grant of £75,000 already secured from Sports England to help fund the project I am confidently looking forward to the opening of the new centre early next year. The new facility replaces a 40-year-old hut – this will be some improvement! In Silverton I attended the Parish Neighbourhood Plan public consultation. Neighbourhood plans are a vital new tool permitting local communities to take greater control of development in their area. The event was very well attended and a great tribute to all the hard work of the parish council and local volunteers. I have spent much time in the constituency promoting this approach to community development and if your parish or town is not yet involved with a plan please do get in touch - I will be happy to advise. In the evening in Silverton I attended a packed ‘meet your MP’ event – lots of discussion of Brexit, Grammars and the recent changes at the top of government. In Okehampton I spent time meeting representatives from local charities that provide support to the elderly including Age Concern, the Forget me Not Memory Café, Devon Senior Voice and Okehampton Town Council along with the local Lions Club. We discussed a number of issues that are important to their work. My meeting was hosted by Community and Voluntary Services who provide excellent support to voluntary organisations in their area. Social services support including out of hours crisis support and funding were high on the agenda. There was also an opportunity to once again spend time at the Ashburton Food and Drink Festival – an outstanding day bristling with enthusiastic visitors. Ashburton continues to thrive as a ‘destination town’ – one that draws in visitors from right across the county and beyond. A great tribute to some of the finest local traders in country and the significant strength of the local community.