MP Kevin Foster: Credit to Bay businesses during ‘steady Saturday’

Torbay MP Kevin Foster meets Babbacombe Inn owner Martyn Strange on his 'Steady Saturday' tour of th

Torbay MP Kevin Foster meets Babbacombe Inn owner Martyn Strange on his 'Steady Saturday' tour of the Bay - Credit: Archant

Many described it as 'Super Saturday' and predicted crowds of people would descend on pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers as our tourism industry was allowed to re-open.

Yet for most businesses it was more steady than super Saturday as people treated themselves to a long-awaited haircut, a pint in a beer garden or headed to an attraction, while following the social distancing measures necessary for them to do so.

While some customers ignored the restrictions, most did not and many business owners in the Bay deserve credit for the way they tackled some who were determined not to follow the guidance.

Reopening our Bay to visitors is key to ensuring we recover post Covid-19.

While the threat of the virus has not gone away, it is greatly reduced thanks to the work done over recent months.

We, therefore, cannot ignore the huge social, economic and ultimately health impact of allowing our iconic tourism sector to collapse, taking with it thousands of local jobs.

A great deal of work has been done to ensure Torbay is good to go this summer for residents and visitors to enjoy what we have to offer safely.

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As the sun shines over our Bay it is vital we all take the chance to (responsibly) enjoy what makes Torbay special to ensure those businesses will be there in future as well.

TOWN DEAL

Our town centres needed a boost before coronavirus hit, but now regeneration work is all the more urgent.

Therefore, it is great news the Government is offering Torquay a grant of £750,000 to fund capital projects which can be delivered in this financial year, helping kickstart the wider Town Deal process worth £25 million.

Getting work underway quickly on good schemes will be vital and this money can ensure residents and visitors quickly start seeing changes in Torquay town centre.

DOMESTIC ABUSE BILL

For most the recent lockdown meant spending more time with their partner and lover, yet for too many it also meant being trapped with an abuser.

Last week, MPs passed the ground-breaking Domestic Abuse Bill which strengthens protections for victims, while also tackling perpetrators at the earliest stage.

New measures recently added by the Government will see emergency housing prioritised for victims, remove the 'rough sex' defence which has allowed perpetrators to evade justice and ensure children are treated as victims in their own right, opening up support and services to them.

This Bill has been widely welcomed by charities and stakeholders and will ensure survivors of this horrendous crime get the support they need.

SURGERY TIMES

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

My next surgery will be tomorrow - Friday, July 17 - from 3pm to 5pm at 5-7 East Street, Torquay TQ2 5SD.

Social distancing measures will be in place.

Residents with urgent queries can drop into my office in East Street, Torquay TQ2 5SD from 10am to 1pm weekdays, where one of my team will be available to help.

Please note you may be asked to wait outside if more than one person attends at the same time.

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