Peter Heaton-Jones MP
Working Hard for North Devon
News Update -
Date: 4th January 2019
Can I start by wishing everyone a very happy new year. Please make it your new year’s resolution to forward this newsletter to someone who you think may be interested, and urge them to sign up.
I try and make it non-party-political: it’s about my work as North Devon’s MP, not a campaigning tool.
Thank you for all the kind comments I’ve received recently about these newsletters – I really appreciate it. All the best for 2019!
Next week, the campaign to save Royal Marines Base Chivenor shifts into an even higher gear.
More than 20,000 households in Barnstaple and Braunton will be receiving letters from me inviting them to write to the Defence Secretary demanding that the base is saved.
And on Wednesday, I’ve arranged a debate in Parliament to raise the issue again and put our case afresh to the Minister.
You’ll recall that in November 2016, the Ministry of Defence announced plans to close Chivenor. I arranged a visit by the then Defence Secretary, during which he agreed to review the decision. But, more than two years later, there's still no final announcement.
It means huge uncertainty for the local area, fuelled by rumours and counter-rumours. This has to stop. We need a firm commitment now that Chivenor will remain open.
I want to ensure the Defence Secretary knows the strength of feeling in our community. Many local councils, business groups and individuals have been running an extremely effective campaign. Now it’s time to bring all that energy together and get the message across loud and clear to the MoD: Chivenor must remain open, and the community remains united in fighting for its future.
If you live in the Barnstaple & Braunton areas, look out for my letter in the coming week. If you don’t receive one or you’re not in the area, we’ll be putting details on the website shortly.
Shares of a £1 million package are being awarded to dozens of charities working to keep inland waterways and beaches around the country safe. The funding is to help with the cost of new equipment to enable volunteer search teams to save lives more quickly and easily.
Saunton Surf Life Saving Club received over £14,000, the highest award in Devon. I am delighted that the Government have recognised the fantastic work being done here in North Devon and are providing support to allow them to continue doing so.
The volunteers of our surf lifesaving clubs are the unsung heroes of our award-winning beaches. On behalf of the whole community, I extend my sincere thanks to them for their work and congratulations on this successful grant.
You may remember last year I took part in this campaign, promoting the mental health benefits of Running Every Day. Well, I’m trying the same again in 2019.
Rather than repeat everything, here’s a link to an article I wrote last year for a campaign website which explains what it’s all about:
Put briefly, there’s now a huge amount of evidence that a bit of physical exercise (it doesn’t have to be running and it doesn’t have to be every day) is extremely beneficial for your mental wellbeing, as well as your physical fitness. It’s supported by the charity MIND, so there’s a lot of good information and support available. Remember always to seek medical advice before starting a physical exercise regime, especially if, like me, you’ve passed a bit of a birthday threshold in the past year!
We’ve now put in place the schedule of constituency surgeries for the first few months of the new year. You can see them on the homepage of my website: https://www.peterheatonjones.org.uk/
We've also sent details to all the Parish Councils in North Devon for advertising on local noticeboards.
Please call or email my office if you would like an appointment.
Remember, we can deal with the vast majority of cases straight away without the need to wait for a personal meeting. That's why my excellent team will always ask for full details of your issue; quite often we can resolve it before the next surgery even happens!
However I can assist, please do get in touch.
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