Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Benefit Changes

In tough times benefits can make a big difference, especially for families and older people. Far too many people miss out, often assuming that they don’t qualify. But it really is worth checking again, new rules come in to effect on Monday 2nd November. So even if you haven’t been eligible before, you may be, come 2nd November.
Here is the detail from the council: from 2nd November two major changes to the way benefits are calculated will provide additional help to families and older residents, and may make more people eligible for assistance. Firstly, child benefit will no longer be counted as income when assessing eligibility for Housing and/or Council Tax benefit. Secondly, for anyone aged over 60, capital, savings or investments to the value of £10k will be disregarded in the calculation of any benefit. Anybody currently receiving benefits will have their entitlement automatically recalculated by Teignbridge Council, which will write to anyone whose benefits may change. However, under the new rules many people who don’t currently qualify for help may become eligible, and Teignbridge is urging anyone who’s unsure to contact the council on 01626 361101 or visit www.teignbridge.gov.uk to confidentially check their entitlement.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Graffiti Clean Up

With help from Liberal Youth, I’ve been busy wiping out graffiti in and around West Teignmouth and Shaldon. The ‘Welcome to Teignmouth’ on Bishopsteignton Road, lampposts on Coombe Vale Road, pedestrian crossing on Bitton Park Road all having been targeted by one particular vandal, who uses an orange paint with acid that burns into the surface of whatever his tag is put on, if left for too long.

Graffiti is, thankfully, not a major problem in Teignmouth, nevertheless I believe it important to clean it off as quickly as possible. Once graffiti appears it is only a matter of time before others are encouraged to add to it. If anyone requires graffiti removing please contact me, if I can't get rid of it I'll get the Blitz Team on it. I’m happy to help remove graffiti tags off private property, with the owners permission. If you know who is causing graffiti round the town, you can claim a reward under the 'name that tag' please phone 0800 555 111.

Friday, 16 October 2009


Plans to regulate boats on the beach above Mean High Water by Teignmouth Harbour Commission have caused a few ripples of disapproval. The Commission seem to be coming up with solutions to a problem that doesn’t really exist. Laissez faire (leave it be) is my take on it, the fishermen and watermen have managed very well self-regulating matters. Creating a bureaucratic system of registering boats will cost more than it is worth. I'd better declare my interest; I keep my boat on Shaldon beach in the winter paying Shaldon Sailing Club the princely sum of £13.

Reheat Britain

I'm pleased to say our MP Richard Younger Ross has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) in the House of Commons, to support the Reheat Britain campaign for a boiler scrappage scheme. I've submitted similar a motion to Teignbridge District Council.

The campaign was started by Mick Williams, who runs a chain of plumbers' merchants in the South of England. Inspired by the government's car scrappage scheme, Mick saw that the building and plumbing industries also needed help from a similar scheme. With plumbers and builders largely being small businesses based in the UK, his idea would do much more to help the economy and the environment than the car scheme.

The Boiler Scrappage Scheme makes sense on many different levels. It is a great way of stimulating demand in these tough economic times, saving jobs and creating new ones. From an environmental point of view, every old boilers replaced will help the country meet its carbon reduction targets. Saving households £200 year on their heating bill will help fight fuel poverty.
You can sign Reheat's petition here http://reheatbritain.org.uk/