Peter Heaton-Jones MP
Working Hard for North Devon
News Update -
Date: 14th April 2019
Thank you and welcome to my latest Newsletter. Please do forward this on to someone who you think may be interested, and urge them to sign up.
To start with, a quick (I promise) few lines about Brexit.
We now have an extension to our leaving date, potentially until October 31st. I’m not happy that Brexit has been delayed, but it was pretty much inevitable after the House of Commons rejected the Prime Minister’s departure deal three times. MPs also rejected the idea of leaving without a deal, having a second referendum, or cancelling Brexit altogether.
I want the delay to be as short as possible. In particular, I don’t want the UK to have to take part in the European Parliament elections next month.
My position has not changed. I want the UK to leave the EU, with a withdrawal agreement, as soon as possible. I hope, therefore, that sense will prevail, and a deal will be agreed that can get through the Commons as soon as possible after we return from the shortened Easter recess.
Institute of Technology
We had more great news about funding for North Devon last week, with the announcement that the region has been successful in its bid to establish a new Institute of Technology.
The project has won £15million of government funding to set up the new institution, which will offer top quality, higher level technical education.
In North Devon, the bid was spearheaded by Petroc College, TDK Lambda and Applegate, highlighting the vital collaboration between employers and the education sector. One of the IoT’s campuses is set to be right here in North Devon.
This is excellent news, and is a huge vote of confidence in North Devon’s employers and educators, as well as our young people who will benefit from this new facility.
Competition for this funding was extremely intense from around the country. I have supported our region’s proposal and always knew we had a strong case, and so it’s fantastic that the government has listened and recognised the strength of our bid.
I warmly congratulate Petroc, TDK, Applegate, our region’s Local Enterprise Partnership and the many other organisations who have been involved in this bid. I hope this project can now move forward, and the details of the Institute of Technology’s presence in North Devon can be confirmed.
This is a huge boost for North Devon. It’s yet another example of our area being successful in bidding for funding, and I’m delighted we’re being recognised yet again.
Quince Honey Farm
Last Friday, as the picture shows, I had the pleasure of visiting the Quince Honey Farm at its impressive new site on the outskirts of South Molton.
This is a really important local business, employing several dozen people and bringing valuable investment to the local economy. It’s a popular visitor attraction of course, and with school holidays now upon us and the Easter long weekend just round corner, the opening was perfectly timed to take advantage.
I was lucky enough to get a tour from owners Jean & Paddy and a sneak preview of some of the great new facilities – including a honey tasting session! The site really is such an improvement on the previous rather cramped facilities near the centre of town.
By happy coincidence, it came during English Tourism Week, when we promote our local visitor attractions. Of course the tourist economy is so vital to us here in North Devon, and with the season now getting underway, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who works so hard to make North Devon such a great place to visit and contributes so much to our local economy.
Let’s hope the weather cooperates!
Last week I was able to speak in Parliament, again, to highlight the plight of our military veterans and the support they need. The debate was specifically about suicide rates among former armed forces personnel, and the mental health challenges they’re facing.
I used the opportunity to promote the work of an excellent local charity which does so much good work in this area.
You can see my speech via this link (please note it may not work on all devices):
Finally this week, and slightly unusually, an invitation.
Former Brexit Secretary and potential Conservative Party leadership candidate Dominic Raab MP will be visiting North Devon next month. He's the latest in a series of high-profile government ministers and notable political figures we’ve brought to the area.
Dominic Raab is one of the leading Conservative politicians of his generation. He's no stranger to controversy, having resigned from the Cabinet over Brexit. It's almost certain he'll be a candidate to be the Party's next leader, so the fact he's coming to North Devon is a real coup for us.
The event, on 9 May, is open to Conservative Party members and supporters. For further details or to book tickets, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, or ring 01271 343101, or write to the North Devon Conservatives, The Strand, Barnstaple, EX31 1EU.
Tickets are limited so early enquiries are recommended.
Peter Heaton-Jones MP
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Mail: 1st Floor Office Suite, Church House, Church Lane
Barnstaple, North Devon, EX31 1DE
Telephone: 01271 327990