Anger as Torbay…

Torbay Mayor spends £7,000 on Torquay palm tree

Anger when  mayor Gordon Oliver’s plans to spend £20,000 on a giant palm tree scheme for the entrance to Torquay.

A showpiece 20ft tall potted palm will have to be removed in three years’ time to make way for the new Kingswerswell bypass.

The floodlit Canary date palm is being craned in from Spain on Monday on to the Kerswell Gardens roundabout, which will be demolished when the new South Devon Link Road is completed.
The £7,000 palm tree will be the centre piece for the £20,000 improvement scheme. Torbay Council says the money will come from a £100,000 Gateway Project to improve the entrance to the town.

Opposition councillors have questioned whether the money is well-spent at a time of up to £10million cuts;

  • overspending on adult and children’s serves
  • lack of funds for other facilities such as Brixham’s Shoalstone Pool.

Brixham councillor Mike Morey said: “Gordon Oliver is not prepared to save Shoalstone Pool, which is a major tourism attraction in Brixham, but he’s prepared to stick a tree on a roundabout for that kind of money.

Work started on Monday clearing and levelling the overgrown roundabout.The centre is being raised by two metres, and will be covered with a blanket of large limestone rocks.The Phoenix Canariens palm is being positioned in a pot at the centre of the island. It will be lit by solar LED at night.

Mr Oliver said “The tree and the limestone rocks will provide a suitably welcoming sight as people head into the Bay, and indeed leave our many thousands of visitors with an abiding memory when they set off for home.This is a beginning of changes made as a result of the start of the bypass last week.”

Cllr Julien Parrott said: “I wasn’t aware of this. I have nothing against palm trees but we can all think of something we would rather see £20,000 spent on whether it is adult services, children services or keeping a day care for older people open for six months.

Gordon Oliver below.

 ​Gordon oliver 3
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English GCSE exam resit:

More than 45,000 students are to resit their English GCSEs next month after complaining they had been downgraded.

Figures from exam boards show about one in 14 of those who took the exam earlier this year will take the paper again. More than 45,000 candidates have opted to take part in the November English GCSE resit.

The move to allow pupils to resit their papers follows the shifting of English GCSE grade boundaries which left thousands of pupils with lower grades than expected.

Many pupils who had been expecting a crucial C grade were given a D as a result of the grade boundary changes. This means many will miss out on college places.

Heads claim those who sat the exam in June were put at an unfair disadvantage over those who sat them earlier in the year. Instead of regrading, pupils would be offered early resits in November, .

While it has refused a regrade, it is investigating the quality of exam marking, following complaints about the unreliability of some results.

Pupils from England, Wales and Northern Ireland have been offered the chance to redo part or all of their GCSE English. Exam boards are offering the English resits free of charge to schools.

However, head teachers have warned thousands of London teenagers will miss out on the chance to re-sit their English GCSEs.

Pupils who have left school, started work or moved house will miss out, and children from schools that do not have sixth forms will be the hardest hit, heads claim.

But Not everyone is happy about the resit, head teachers say pupils who were affected should not have to resit, as the problems were not their fault. They are calling for this summer’s GCSE English papers to be re-graded.    

“What this shows is that it is a gross injustice that this vast number of students are being subjected to go through a resit when the fact is this is not their fault.” Last month a GCSE English moderator of 16 years resigned over the shifting of English GCSE grade boundaries.

As a result, nearly 2,400 Welsh pupils who took English with the exam board received better results,BBC news reports.

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This is my first post on this blog. i have made another blog about Torbay but this one is about News in Torbay. 

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