Torquay war memorial. Credit: Derek Harper / geograph.org.uk

MP Kevin Foster: Torbay Weekly awards showcased how Bay businesses are adapting to changing times

Kevin Foster

After two years which have seen lockdowns, a staycation boom and many changes to how businesses in our Bay operate, it was good to celebrate their achievements at the Torbay Weekly Naturally Inspiring Business Awards.

The evening was a showcase of how new businesses have emerged and traditional ones have adapted, plus the contribution made to our community by many of them.

It was good to catch up face to face with many who have been at the fore of adapting their business to changing times.

As we look forward, we can see the two new hotels being built on Paignton seafront, the new CCS factory at Claylands, the £21.9m Torquay Town Deal, the £13.4m Paignton Future High Streets Fund, Edginswell Station and the major investment at Torbay Hospital.

We must ensure local businesses are a key part of delivering them.

Ukraine

As the war continues to rage following Putin’s unprovoked and unjustified attack, it was good to join the congregation at All Saints’, Babbacombe, for a service for peace in Ukraine.

The most thought-provoking part was the sermon from Fr Porphyrios of the Ukrainian and Russian Orthodox community which meets in Exeter.

He outlined the history of persecution the Russian Church had faced under Communism and how today many Orthodox Christians in Russia itself are unable to speak out on the current war due to the repression of Putin’s regime.

He particularly highlighted the statements from many figures in the Russian Orthodox Church, who are based outside Russia, making clear the attack on Ukraine cannot be justified and their opposition to it.

It was a timely reminder Putin’s claim to represent all that is ‘Russian’ is false.

Many Russians long for him to be ousted and for his war of conquest in Ukraine to end.

Falklands 40

This week marks 40 years since the end of the Falklands War and the liberation of the islanders.

I joined the Torquay branch of the Royal British Legion for a service at the war memorial to remember Cpl Jeremy Smith RM, who died during the Battle of Mount Harriet.

Another person there had been in the air cadets with him. When I asked about his memories of Jeremy, he recalled the friend he had known, including how he had once been part of the guard of honour on Remembrance Sunday at the memorial which now bears his name.

It was a poignant reminder how every name on our war memorials is someone who was known and loved, who had a life before them, but for our tomorrow gave their today.

Surgery times

My next surgeries are on Friday, June 17, from 10am to midday at The Windmill Centre in Pendennis Road, Torquay, and Saturday, June 25, from 11am tol 1pm at Paignton Library and Information Centre in Great Western Road, Paignton.

For an appointment, you can either email me at kevin@kevinjfoster.com or leave a message on 01803 214989.

Surgeries are for personal queries from residents they would like me to help them with, such as housing or welfare, rather than a wider policy debate.

There are also drop-in sessions at my office 5-7 East Street, Torquay, between 10am and 1pm, Monday to Friday, where a member of my team will be available to help with any queries.

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