Honiton by-election: Community centre will be an issue

Two independent candidates - one for, one against.

CONTROVERSIAL plans for a community centre in Honiton will be an election issue in the town when voters in the St Michael’s ward go to the polls on Thursday, September 16.

Two independent candidates are vying to fill a vacancy on Honiton Town Council, created by the resignation of Jeff Ayres.

One is in favour of the town council-led project and the other is against.

The candidates:

Nick Cornwell, who has worked in community development, lives in Honiton and has had an association with the town for eight years.

He says he is standing for election because “I’ve got no axes to grind”.

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“I have got no manifesto,” he told the Midweek Herald. “I believe in working constructively with others to make improvements and to keep a vigorous eye on priorities.”

Mr Cornwell said: “An obvious issue at the moment is the proposed community centre. I’m strongly in favour of Honiton having a modern multi-purpose community centre. The town deserves it. If the proposed site isn’t really viable, we should try to find a better one. We owe it to the younger generations.”

Mr Cornwell enjoys reading and collects books. He also likes spending time with his grandchildren, who live in Honiton.

Neil Foster, 23, is a Honitonian and was educated at Honiton Primary School and Honiton Community College.

He works as a warehouseman at Dorset Auto Spares, in King Street, and is “not in favour” of the community centre project.

“There is no need to borrow money. It is completely unnecessary,” he told the Midweek Herald.

“We will end up with something that costs more than it brings in.”

Mr Foster, who is single and enjoys banger racing, said: “I am standing for election because I want to do something for Honiton.

“Joining the town council would be a way forward for me.”

He is also concerned about the vitality of the town centre and fears it is “dying”.