• Busy

    Mid Devon Advertiser
    04 May 2018

    Last week I was flat out across our vast constituency. In Half Moon, close to Crediton I visited Hanlon’s Brewery and met up with Dan Taylor the brewery owner and his mother Sue. It was a little early in the day to drink but I did have a few sips of their Yellow Hammer bitter – a superb pint – fruity with a strong hoppy aftertaste. I am hoping to get the beer featured as a guest ale in the Commons to provide further promotion. Hanlons has an illustrious history going back to Dublin where it was renowned for its bottled port stout. As a part of its development the brewery is hoping to build a number of guest rooms alongside the brewery which in turn will support their brewery tours and the bright, airy and inviting bar that they have created onsite. Dan and his small team do a great job and are part of a huge army of people out there creating jobs and the tax revenues that keep our vital public services going – he deserves to succeed. At New Park near Bovey Tracy I was delighted to meet up with this park home site’s excellent association committee. We discussed a wide range of issues not least those relating to the government consultation being conducted on the workings of the regulations that have been brought in through the Park Homes Act. I was closely involved in that legislation and it was good to receive feedback. We also discussed health and social care with a number of issues to consider. This community really looks after each other and I am hugely grateful to all Chairman Colin Back and the committee does on behalf of both New Park residents and those from other local park home sites that they support. In Ashburton I met up with Stuart and Jackie at the Post Office and discussed our on-going work on supporting our high streets. I have commissioned some research at the Treasury and will be working closely with Stuart to see how best to take it forward. My thought is to see what government might be able to do to provide support where high streets are struggling in return for businesses engaging more with the local community. On Sunday I attended a wonderful service at St Boniface Roman Catholic Church in Okehampton which was presided over by the Bishop of Plymouth. After the service I was said a few words and officially opened the new car park that the local church community and councillors have worked so hard to bring into being. This will be a great local asset for many years to come. I said that for me officially opening the car park was perhaps something of an elevation given that the last event of this kind over which I officiated was the opening of a public convenience on the platform at Buckfastleigh steam railway station! More from Mel on twitter at @MelJStride.