MAKE sure you vote on Thursday in the local elections.
Who will get your vote in the Ashburton & Buckfastleigh Ward of Teignbridge Council, where three candidates will be your next councillors?
Here's some information on each of the candidates:
SUSAN LOUISE CLARKE, SOUTH DEVON ALLIANCE:
I have worked as a Youth Justice Service Officer for Torbay for nearly 20 years and lived in South Devon for 35 years, raising my two children here (they both attended South Dartmoor Academy).
I have a deep love for our countryside but also recognise how rural communities can be impacted by poor transport links and high unemployment.
In 2019 I was elected as a Town Councillor in Buckfastleigh as part of the independent ‘flat-pack democracy’ movement.
In 2020 was voted in as Council Leader and Mayor helping to steer our town through Covid lockdowns, floods and the threatened closure of our swimming pool.
I am passionate about my community and want to help improve services for everyone.
HUW WILLIAM COX, LIBERAL DEMOCRATS:
I HAVE been a Teignbridge councillor for the last 4 years and town councillor for 5 years.
I will be standing again in this May’s district election. The last 4 years have been challenging for us all with covid, cost of living crisis and other problems.
Sadly available funding and resources are now even less than 4 years ago so it is even more important that resources are fairly and efficiently distributed. There is a great need for more affordable housing and the recent development in Ashburton shows this can be provided. Environmental issues are also important and more should be done to prevent pollution and promote green technologies. Health care, including physical, mental and dental are in an appalling state and need addressing. I cannot promise to put right all the problems we face but if elected I will do my utmost to champion our area.
CHARLIE DENNIS, CONSERVATIVE:
CHARLIE was born and bred in Ashburton, but also has ties to Buckfastleigh having lived in the town and raised his daughters there with his wife Lucy, a teacher.
He is retired after serving in the army, working in construction (he helped to build the Channel Tunnel!) and running his own local chimney sweeping business.
Charlie volunteers as a flood and snow warden in Ashburton and as a driver at the South Devon Railway.
He is a former Poppy Appeal organiser for the Royal British Legion and during the pandemic he drove hundreds of local residents to hospital and other urgent appointments.
Charlie is an experienced town and district councillor, representing Ashburton & Buckfastleigh Ward at Teignbridge from 2011 to 2019.
ROGER HAWORTH, GREEN PARTY:
ROGER Haworth has lived in Widecombe, which is now part of the above ward for over twenty years. As a Green Party candidate his priority if elected to Teignbridge District Council would be to pressure the council to help Widecombe become more environmentally and socially sustainable.
In particular the Council should: Help residents switch from heating their homes with highly polluting fossil fuel heating oil to affordable, renewable energy sources.
Establish regular public transport between Widecombe and Bovey Tracey with an emphasis on helping children get to and from Widecombe School without the need for parents to transport them by car. Enable further affordable housing development in Widecombe.
Pressure the mobile communications industry to provide signal in Widecombe village.
DAVID KNOPFLER, SOUTH DEVON ALLIANCE:
I moved to Devon when my wife took a teaching job in Ashburton where our daughter attended school.
We continue to live nearby. As a musician, economics graduate and ex- social worker, I am committed to ensuring that our council is transparent, accountable, and honest with residents.
Transparency International UK’s research in 2021 revealed that up to 50% of English councils have planning practices that make them susceptible to corruption. If elected, I will work constructively with all councillors to make our council “best in class” and without any appearance of conflicts of interest between big developers and councillors.
Your vote will help ensure back-room fixes are not the norm for our council, recently censured by the Ombudsman for its conduct.
JACK ANTHONY MAJOR, LIBERAL DEMOCRATS:
HAVING lived in Ashburton most of my life and being a Town Councillor over the last 4 years has helped reinforce my belief in the benefit of our local communities as best demonstrated by the amazing response from our community during the covid outbreak.
My aims for standing in this election are Local maintenance such as the condition of our paths and roads. We have also seen our public services struggling whether that be transport, youth services or our community care programs. Lastly, Housing continues to be an ongoing issue in our communities, whilst the new development at The Mead has been a welcome change bringing new accessible housing into the area, we must continue to evaluate the local need for housing as well as ensuring any future housing is fit for purpose as well as upholding our commitments to as low an ecological impact as practically possible.
JOHN NUTLEY, LIBERAL DEMOCRATS:
I am proud to be standing again for the Ashburton & Buckfastleigh Ward, and would continue to do everything within my position as District Councillor to help those with any issues or problems they may have as I have done over the last 4 years.
I want to see affordable and social housing that families CAN afford. I want better facilities for our youth and the elderly. We must do everything to protect local services and to look at the environmental issues to ensure everything is being done to protect us and future generations. We must also do everything we can to help those suffering with high energy costs.
If you want someone that will work hard for you all year round and get things done, then,
“Let Me, Huw and Jack make the difference that YOU deserve”. Voting Labour, Independent or Others, could probably put the Conservatives back in administration.
JANETTE ANN PARKER, LABOUR PARTY:
WITH your help together we can ensure the community has a strong voice on planning, housing and the environment, but we will also work together to develop activities in the arts and sports and leisure because these are the building blocks of communities.
We will together give those who are in need of community support a voice.
We will build a community where everyone living and working will have a say in planning for a prosperous and diverse future together with all residents having a voice.
Your voice and aspirations are important to me and I believe that by working together we can have a strong voice at the table of decision making.
STUART JEFFREY ROGERS, CONSERVATIVE:
STUART runs Ashburton Post Office, which he has transformed into a real community hub.
He absorbed the town library into the post office in 2015 which trebled its opening hours and retained a key public service for the community.
He has raised vital funds for many worthy local causes and was recognised for his outstanding public service in the 2018 Honours List with a British Empire Medal.
Retaining vital services and making communities more sustainable have been Stuart’s missions since moving to Ashburton a decade ago and he hopes to pursue these goals for every community in Ashburton and Buckfastleigh Ward if elected to serve on Teignbridge District Council.
MARK SEARIGHT, CONSERVATIVE:
MARK served our country in the Royal Marines for 32 years, with tours in Belize, Kosovo, the Congo and Afghanistan.
He lives in Ashburton where he serves on the town council and has a particular interest in environmental issues.
Mark would like to see Teignbridge do more to reduce its own carbon footprint and facilitate more EV charging to promote greener travel.