• Busy

    Mid Devon Advertiser
    08 July 2016

    Last week I was out and about right across the constituency. Central Devon is one of the largest in the country and it takes over an hour to drive across it. In Crediton I made another visit to the local business park, this time to CS Engineering a family owned and run business that started 30 years ago. The company employs a couple of dozen people and carries out bespoke metal work including sandblasting and spray painting. It is not difficult to see how this company has thrived for so long – the high level of professionalism and commitment from the workforce is clear and the fact that family members run the business adds additional stability. During our chat before we went onto the shop floor I asked about staff turnover. It is close to zero. This surprised me but on meeting the team all became clearer – the personnel in the company are towards the older end of the age spectrum and they have tended to stay put rather than moving around. An important point for other employers to bear in mind is that the loyalty level of older workers (who are sometimes seen as less desirable than their younger alternatives) is high, and of course they bring great experience with them too. In Okehampton I met up with OkeRail to discuss the Sunday rail service between Okehampton and Exeter. I have lobbied hard in Westminster for a new ‘Northern’ rail route which would bring serious rail connectivity to tens of thousands living in West and North Devon and North Cornwall. A key part of moving towards this goal is to show that there is demand for the existing line and so the Sunday service is important. I will be looking into various issues for the group including trying to secure an additional coach for the service and await with interest for the forthcoming Peninsula Rail Task Force report– this paper will be vital in advising government on the preferred long term rail options for the South West. In the Teign Valley I had a very good meeting with Torbay Telecom who provide internet solutions for isolated properties that can not access superfast broadband. The technology is similar to that being rolled out in Dartmoor at the moment and uses mast to mast transmissions to carry internet traffic. I will be liaising with Connecting Devon and Somerset (the body tasked with overseeing superfast internet roll out in our constituency) to ensure that companies like Torbay Telecom are able to play as full a roll as possible in ensuring that we all benefit from this vital technology. I also hosted an evening event last week - a very well-attended speaker meeting with Boris Johnson as our guest. At the time that I persuaded him to agree to join us for the evening, little did I know that his visit would fall the day after his prime ministerial ambitions were to crash so brutally to the ground. It was an interesting occasion.