On 1 January this year Devonport turned 200 years old. Renamed two centuries ago on this day in 1824, a year of celebration has now begun with events, talks and activities for the community across the coming twelve months.
I am proud to be Devonport’s member of Parliament. The area is home to a diverse set of proud communities, as well as incredible businesses and sports teams big and small. It’s the people who make Devonport. The same spirit and ambition of those who petitioned King George IV to change the name of Plymouth Dock to Devonport way back in 1823 persists in our community today.
However, there are many within our community who are still struggling, and too much of our proud history is being allowed to rot. In 2014, I campaigned for and with our local councillors to install a ‘Welcome to Devonport’ road sign to promote the community. We need to do much more to promote the history of Devonport. This is a challenge for Plymouth as a whole. We don’t show enough how deeply proud we are of our city. We don’t promote ourselves as we should, nor do we challenge what’s wrong with the energy we ought to. We also accept a poor deal from government and that needs to change.
Since being elected in 2017, I’ve argued for change. From leading the campaign to base the new Type 26 frigates in Devonport, campaigning to recycle the old nuclear submarines, winning the funding with PCH to replace the dangerous cladding on the Mount Wise tower blocks, campaigning to regenerate Brickfields and to deal with leaky windows and poor build quality in the new homes at North Corner. As a Stoke resident, I live just up the road from Devonport. It’s part of my neighbourhood and I’m proud to represent the people of this town in Parliament.
Devonport200 is a chance to promote an overlooked corner of our city. There’s so much good about Devonport that is worth rediscovering. We need to tell the story of how we got there, who came before us, what they did and what they left us. Devonport’s story is Plymouth’s story.
You can read more in the Herald: https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/news-opinion/people-say-theres-nothing-good-9031526