Torbay MP Adrian Sanders today urged the Rail Minister to improve Great Western services in the South West.
During a Transport Select Committee hearing on the state of rail franchises in the UK with Minister Simon Burns, Mr Sanders highlighted the uncertainty that stemmed from the postponement of the renewal of the Greater Western franchise, which covers services across Devon and Cornwall.
While other intercity services now have on board wi-fi, trains between the South West and London still do not, which puts the region at a disadvantage for business travellers.
There also remains no firm commitment to maintain direct rail services between Torbay and London.
Adrian Sanders said:
“While the Minister continued to evade the question on whether to specify vital services in the new franchise agreement, which will come into force in around two years’ time, he did at least promise to consult with local communities on what their priorities are.”
Local Lib Dem Councillors have obtained a list detailing the £10 million of outstanding road repairs in Torbay. You can check the list here (PDF) to see if your road is awaiting repair.
Local Liberal Democrat Councillors have called on the other political parties to join them in fighting to get a fairer deal for social care services.
Brixham Councillor Andrew Baldrey said:
“We are calling on the other parties on Torbay Council to put aside their political differences and say to the Government with a united voice that we want urgent reform of the social care system. We have had two key reviews – the Royal Commission on Long Term Care and now the Dilnot Commission – to look into this matter.
So the Liberal Democrat Group on Torbay Council has tabled a motion at the next Full Council meeting calling on the Government to speed up its commitment to funding this.
The time for commissions and reports is over – we now need to take action to make sure we can fund social care properly into the future and give people the support they deserve.”
The text of the notice of motion, to be debated at the Torbay Full Council meeting on December 6th, is as follows:
This council notes that according to the latest census figures Torbay has 9,500 residents of 80 years of age or greater and that this represents almost twice the national average figure for this age group. This is without doubt the age group most likely to be in need of long term social care.
This Council notes that the report of the Commission on Funding of Care and Support chaired by Andrew Dilnot was sent to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the then Secretary of State for Health on 4th July 2010. The report recommended, inter alia:
a) that a cap should be set on an individual’s contributions, and
b) that the upper threshold for means-testing should be raise.
This Council calls upon Her Majesty’s Government to:
i. bring forward legislation to implement these two proposals without any further delay and
ii. ensure that the necessary funding provided to all local authorities is based upon the demographics of the eligible population rather than an arbitrary formula.
The Council calls on the Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Health outlining these concerns
Proposer Andrew Baldrey
Seconder Steve Darling
Torbay Lib Dems’ Council Group Leader Steve Darling has slammed Tory Mayor Gordon Oliver’s palm tree roundabout revamp as ‘foolish’, when so many cuts are being made elsewhere.
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