MP Kevin Foster: Positive progress with plans to get rid of building everyone loves to hate

Crossways shopping centre in Paignton.

Crossways shopping centre in Paignton - Credit: Ed Oldfield / LDRS

It is great to hear there has been positive progress on getting rid of the building everyone loves to hate, Crossways shopping centre in Paignton.

The owner has agreed in principle the terms of the compulsory purchase order (CPO) which would see Torbay Council acquire the site for regeneration.

Sadly, Royal Mail are continuing to maintain their objection to the proposed CPO, although having met with them, it is hard to see why their points could not be addressed in talks with Torbay Council as the owner, rather than hold up its sale.

The Paignton Future High Streets Fund will see Government funding directed towards the site to kickstart its regeneration.

Under the redevelopment plans for the site, circa 90 extra care and sheltered housing units for local people - with commercial space retained on the ground floor for businesses - would be built.  

This latest progress is very welcome and brings closer the day demolition work can finally start, something I and most Paignton residents will be only too happy to lend a hand with!

Submarine deal  

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Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom have stood together in the defence of freedom on many occasions over the last century as new threats emerged.  

I, therefore, welcome the deal to help Australia develop its own nuclear - powered, not armed - submarine fleet, based on the expertise and knowledge of the US and UK in this area.

This deal will not only provide a capable ally in facing the challenges of the future but could provide direct economic benefits to South Devon.  

Most of the physical work on the submarines will be undertaken in Australia, yet there are few places in the world with the level of expertise, knowledge and experience in refitting and maintaining of nuclear-powered vessels as exists at Devonport Dockyard.

With dockyard workers living here in the Bay, plus plenty of jobs in its supply chain spread across the South West, this deal will not only boost our national security, but see some direct opportunities for our local area as well.    

Reshuffle 

Much of the talk at Westminster last week was about the reshuffle conducted by the Prime Minister of the Cabinet and wider ministerial ranks.

When a reshuffle starts there will be lots of speculation, although it is rare anyone knows what the Prime Minister’s plans are.

When a reshuffle is underway, sitting ministers must be re-confirmed in their posts. 

While some MPs stayed glued to their phones, I headed home on Thursday ahead of a busy weekend out and about in our Bay - getting a message Saturday morning confirming I would be continuing as a Home Office Minister.  

Surgery times 

My next surgeries are tomorrow, September 24, from 3pm to 5pm at The Windmill Centre, Pendennis Road, Torquay TQ2 7QR and Saturday, October 2, 11am to 1pm at Paignton Library, Great Western Road, Paignton TQ4 5AG.

Sadly, my surgeries must remain appointment only at this stage given the prevailing public health guidance. 

For an appointment you can either email me at kevin@kevinjfoster.com or leave a message on 01803 214989. You can also drop into my office at 5-7 East Street, Torquay TQ2 5SD between 10am and 1pm Monday to Friday.

Please note you may have to wait outside if others attend at the same time.