My Dad and I have a lot in common, including us both buying our first home at approximately the average age of a first-time buyer when we did so.

The problem is Dad did it at 25 in 1975, whereas by the time I bought mine in 2015, the average first time buyer was aged nearer 36, reflecting how the housing market has changed.

Many factors have driven this change, but one key point is how the amount needed for a deposit has increased significantly.

It is estimated two million people are now in the position where they could afford the monthly mortgage payments but can’t raise the deposit needed, with many others relying on the Bank of Mum and Dad to do so.

It is therefore welcome news the Government will be looking at creating a system of long-term, fixed-rate mortgages with lower deposits to help generation rent become generation buy.

THREE WEEKLY BIN COLLECTIONS

Torbay Council’s ruling administration is looking at changing bin collections to once every three weeks as part of a ‘trial’ to increase recycling rates.

While I am not supportive of the idea, the council has launched a consultation allowing residents to have their say. I would encourage everyone to take part in it.

I have a strong feeling if this ‘trial’ goes ahead, it will quickly become the permanent service.

BUILD BACK BETTER

The biggest single investment in our Bay’s health services since the NHS was created in 1948 moved a step closer last week.

A massive rebuild of Torbay Hospital will be a major boost for staff and patients.

It will also inject serious cash into our local economy coming on the back of construction projects already underway on the hospital site to build new mental health and urgent care facilities. Unlike in the past, such investment no longer involves the use of PFI.

Yet this is not the only major project underway in our Bay, with the Fragrance Group busy on Paignton’s seafront, the Torwood Street development about to open and construction work set to start on the new Palace Hotel, which is set to be the most significant west of Bristol once completed.

Covid-19 has hit our economy hard, so it is vital we look to build back better.

The next goal is getting long-awaited projects like the new Edginswell station, plus regeneration schemes in the Torquay Deal and Paignton Future High Streets Fund Bids started.

SURGERY TIMES

Following recent changes in public health guidance, I have restarted my regular advice surgeries, although they must be by appointment only.

My next surgeries are on Saturday, October 10, from 11am to 1pm and Saturday, October 17, from 11am to 1pm. Both will be held at 5-7 East Street, Torquay TQ2 5SD. Social distancing measures will be in place and please bring a face covering with you unless you have a medical condition which means you cannot wear one.

To book an appointment you can email me at kevin@kevinjfoster.com or telephone 01803 214989.

Daily drop-in sessions from 10am to 1pm weekdays are also available at my office at 5-7 East Street, Torquay TQ2 5SD for residents with urgent queries. Please be prepared to wait outside if more than one person attends at the same time.