A closing thank you from Nick

Nick : May 9, 2011 5:26 am : Nick's Blog

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all those who voted for me on Thursday & all those

who have helped in the campaign. In particular a huge thank you to my agent

Colin Hurst, also my family & so many close friends who delivered well over thirty

thousand leaflets & came along to the exhausting count at the RICC.

Of course I would like to have come first, not second, but I am immensely proud of

putting up a decent fight on behalf of all those, regardless of party, who want to see the

Bay move forward & genuinely welcome regeneration. In fact, I achieved more votes

than in 2005 & just about the same share of the vote in a higher turnout. Nearly

8,000 first preference votes is no disgrace.

The last five & a bit years have been fulfilling, at times frustrating. The regeneration

projects across the Bay, as well as improved services & improved public spaces as

well as lower council tax rises, balanced budgets & money put into reserves are not to

be sneezed at.

I wish Gordon Oliver & his team every success.

Nick Bye.

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A busy time including a visit to the much improved Hele

Nick : May 2, 2011 7:35 pm : Nick's Blog, Uncategorized

With just days to go, this election is impossible to call Yours Truly has enjoyed being

out & about, delivering leaflets & attending a host of community events. It has been

quite a weekend: the BMAD Bikers event at Paignton with fantastic fireworks & the

town absolutely packed; the opening of the Drake’s Den play area at Youngs Park,

Goodrington ….& for all the moans & groans, here is a part of the Bay which has been

transformed in recent years with the Council working with Friends’ Groups, the Coast

& Countryside Trust & businesses large & small. Another highlight was the Rotary

Royal Celebration at Cary Park, Babbacombe: huge crowds, lots of fun & Mr Mayor, a

long with Miss Torbay, asked to judge the children’s prince & princess competition. I

also managed a visit to Brixham to observe the mile of pirates: quite something &

humble apologies for not dressing up. On Saturday night I decided to show my face

in several of my favourite watering holes in town: JD’s Bar, the Green Ginger, Cafe

Mambo & Candy Floss as well as to say “hello” to some of the Street Pastors. The

atmosphere around the Harbour has greatly improved in the last few years, although

I was concerned to learn the police are disbanding their night time economy team. If

re elected, one of my first calls will be to the Chief Constable Stephen Otter to ask him

what he will put in its place?

Campaigning has included a busy “standing in the street” session at Victoria Street,

Paignton on Saturday morning when I was joined in conversation, briefly, by Adrian

Sanders MP & he was quite kind in his comment about my comments on AV. The

session in Torquay, during the afternoon, was less productive with most of the people

in town either visiting or too busy (?) to talk. But in Hele this morning, including the

Pendennis Estate, Lichfield Avenue & Salisbury Avenue, the reception was both

friendly & encouraging. Perhaps a straw in the wind: one lady, all smiles, gave me my

leaflet back, saying she had already voted, by post, for me.

But what impressed me again were the improvements to the area. In addition to the

flagship projects such as the re build of Torquay Community College, there has been a

whole host of smaller projects such as new play areas & improved public spaces. The

housing stock has been the subject of investment after years of neglect & the small

blocks of flats have new windows, smart hallways & stairways, new entrances, etc.

This has not happened by accident. Yours Truly had “blood on the carpet” meetings

with Riviera Housing & encouraged, to put it mildly, their marriage with Sanctuary

which has led to this investment & improved management.

Sanctuary also hosted a sneak preview on Thursday of their flagship supported living

project on the Dunboyne site at St Marychurch/Plainmoor. Wow! What a fantastic

facility for older people & something I am genuinely proud of, following on from all the

controversy & upset over the closure of the old home there. But this is a brilliant

facility & something which Torbay just did not have before, providing both care &

independence. I understand there has been strong demand for the flats. Some of the

facilities will be available to the wider community also. My thanks & appreciation to

all involved in this project & I look forward to a similar project at Hayes Road Paignton

taking shape.

Tuesday evening will be the last opportunity for electors to see the Mayoral

candidates in action together at the hustings event arranged by the Herald. Come

along to the Princess Theatre for 7 pm & make your own mind up who is best placed

to take Torbay forward for the next four years.

 

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My reply to the article in the Herald Express today (29.4.11)

Nick : April 29, 2011 3:01 pm : Nick's Blog



May I add to the report in Friday’s paper concerning the Paignton Question time

session for Mayoral candidates?

First, from where I was sat, there looked to be more like 70/80 people present & not

the 20 reported, although about half had left by the end.

Secondly, I did not “refuse to comment” on the issue of the planning application for

housing on the old gas works site at Hollicombe. I simply pointed out Councillors not

the Mayor determine these things & over the last five years I have refrained from

commenting in advance on “live” planning applcations. This was in the context of a

discussion when some people said the Mayor has too much power, although this did

not stop 3 candidates from saying they would simply stop development on this site if

they had their way!

Thirdly, in an attempt to inject a little humour into the evening’s proceedings, in

response to the question to Independent candidates about whether they were or

recently had been a member of a political party, I simply stated it would have to be

a very long evening indeed if I described my entire political history.

However the facts are these: I have been a member of the Consevative Party since

January 1999. I am also proud of the fact I was the Liberal SDP Alliance

(not Liberal Democrat) Parliamentary candidate for Torbay in June 1987 & gained

circa 20,000 votes. But this does now feel like ancient history.

Finally, it is a shame your report did not highlight the candidates woeful responses to

the question about how they would handle future multi million Pound “cuts”?

One candidate did not even seem to realise further cuts were on their way & had

presumably not bothered to study the spending settlement for Torbay 2012/13 & the

Council’s financial plans. None appeared to have given this hugely important matter

any serious thought.

Like your “Opinion” column in the previous day’s paper I am concerned candidates,

whilst articulating what they see as Torbay’s problems, are remarkably light in terms

of coming up with clear plans about what they would do differently to improve

matters.

Sincerely,

Nick Bye.

 

 

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