My childhood house was a B&B on Lymington Road, opposite the coach station in Torquay. As a five year-old, I used to enjoy sitting with the guests as my parents served them dinner in the 70s.
Quite rightly, my father didn’t think that this was the best way to welcome people to Torquay and, on one occasion, he hoisted me from the table, only for my shoe to fall in the soup, splattering the guests.
The guest houses on Lymington Road have long gone but we continue to have high tourism aspirations for Torbay, with Torquay the number one destination on Trip Adviser last summer. An improved resort offer across the Bay is important for residents and visitors alike.
Despite more than £500m of cuts and pressures on our budget over the last ten years, we have got a firmer grip on the council’s finances. We’re able to invest in our resort assets.
The council has provided funding to Torbay Harbour services for beach improvement projects across the Bay throughout the winter months. These upgrades include new marine-grade stainless steel handrails, replacing the older corroded ones. Beach cabins, chalets and railings have been repaired and painted. New steps, sinks, traffic barriers and lifebuoy boxes have also been installed.
The first new pontoon at Torquay Marina is in place. The buoyancy packs that keep the pontoon afloat are encased in concrete, so there will be no polystyrene released into the harbour, protecting the environment.
Further pontoons will be replaced over the winter months of the next few years. The upgrade and improvement programme will continue into March and will include painting of the sun deck area at Goodrington Beach.
We also need to enrich Torbay through culture and events to establish it as the premier resort. The English Riviera Air Show will be one of the highlights this year and I look forward to seeing Paignton alive with spectators watching breath-taking displays in the sky.
This year’s event takes place during Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee weekend from Thursday to Sunday 2- 5 June, so there’ll be even more celebrations than usual. There will be ‘Music on the Meadow’, a Jubilee Flotilla, the Queen’s Jubilee Beacons and The Big Lunch - a giant Air Show street party on the Sunday.
This will be a huge weekend in the Bay, and I am happy we are able to welcome the return of the Air Show after a two-year break. It’s a fitting tribute and a great opportunity to celebrate our monarch’s 70 years of service. It will provide a boost to the tourism industry, the business community and local economy after the devastating impact of the pandemic.
Keep an eye out for all the latest news on the official English Riviera Air Show website: https://englishrivieraairshow.co.uk/
Alongside the desire to boost our economy, improve our environment and enrich the lives of residents is the very real need to tackle housing concerns. Torbay Council currently has a consultation underway about house building numbers, and we need to hear from you.
This relates to housing supply. Housing need is set by a formula from central government, and this states that a minimum of 560-600 new homes should be created in Torbay each year. This is an unrealistic ask from central government for a community such as ours, where we have the sea on one side of us and significant parts of our green spaces designated as areas of outstanding natural beauty.
With around 1,400 households identified as being in housing need in Torbay, there is a balance to be struck between protecting our green spaces and providing homes for those who need them. We have come up with five options on how this figure can be met and we would like to hear your thoughts.
This consultation closes at midday on Monday, 28 February and can be found on the council web pages www.torbay.gov.uk/consultations
Torbay Weekly Newsletter
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.