My Week in Westminster

While in recess, I have continued to meet and gather views from local GPs on the NHS reforms. This week I had a very productive meeting with the team at Barton Surgery in Dawlish. They have a particularly complicated position – their patients look both to Torbay and to Exeter for District General Hospital treatment. They are also pretty unusual in having the community hospital on the same site. They share my concern that we need to deliver joined up thinking between health and social care as we move forward.

Education, education, education

As many of you know, education is very close to my heart. This week I had a real treat visiting Devon Vocational Training based in Newton Abbot. It’s a sight for sore eyes. This organisation has been open just 12 months and in that time has been working with employers across Devon to help them find apprentices and then provide the training –in house. They have been incredibly successful and many youngsters have found placements and training in a range of construction trades and in small vehicle repair. Brick- laying, painting and decorating were all in full swing –and I was pleased to see both sexes represented in what are usually seen as male only trades.

The Devon Association of Governors met at Newton Abbot College this week and as a Newton Abbot Governor I was pleased to be able to attend. This is a very valuable forum for all governors, not only to get up to speed with new developments but also to raise issues and concerns. A number were raised regarding the new Free Schools which I shall take back to Michael Gove to consider. The school funding consultations are under way and these are very very important. It’s a new approach to a funding formula and we need to make sure it works.

I was also lucky enough to visit South Devon College. An outstanding college with a reputation to match – and well deserved. I visited automotive, construction, technology, art and leisure and heard a lot more about engineering, hospitality and tourism courses all of which are crucial building blocks of training for our local businesses.

Out and About

Nicola Bulbeck and Phil Shears at Teignbridge District Council and I met to talk about the many issues constituents have raised with me, but more particularly their vision for Teignbridge. Inevitably they are having to look at how to deliver more for less, and I wanted to understand what their issues and concerns were.

Small businesses are our economic life blood and so it was a real pleasure to welcome the Federation of Small Businesses to my new offices in Salisbury Road in Newton Abbot. I really wanted to find out from the horse’s mouth what they thought we could do to help finance small businesses and keep them – in business. Taxation and regulation were key agenda items.

I have been very concerned about the vandalism and damage at Newton Abbot Community Transport by the livestock market and to that end I met up with the team, their trustees and drivers to talk about what was happening and what we could do about it. I have been working with the police who are now making sure the area is regularly patrolled. If those doing the damage could just see for themselves the disadvantaged people who are suffering because of the damage, maybe they would think again.

Surgeries and Getting Together

My next surgery will be on Saturday 2nd October at the Manor House in Dawlish. Please phone 01626 368277 for an appointment and details of future surgeries. My MP’s office is now open at unit 2, Salisbury House, Salisbury Road, Newton Abbot TQ12 2DF and the telephone number has now been transferred to this address.