Honiton stalwart one of three new faces co-opted onto town council

PUBLISHED: 20:22 09 September 2019 | UPDATED: 10:02 17 September 2019

The Beehive. Ref mhh 02 19TI 8122. Picture: Terry Ife

The Beehive. Ref mhh 02 19TI 8122. Picture: Terry Ife

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Honiton Town Council has welcomed three news members to its ranks - including a stalwart of more than 30 years.

Carol Gilson, Jason Hannay and James Wyatt all successfully pitched their way to co-option on the authority at a Honiton Town Council meeting on September 9.

The trio were successfully co-opted onto the council, just two months after a fiery meeting saw just two of five candidates, vying for six vacant seats, win election.

Cllr Gilson runs the Joe Gilson Mobility Scheme, which has donated hundreds of life-changing mobility aids to people all across the country.

Honiton stalwart Cllr Gilson, who will receive a British Empire Medal for her charitable work, was put in the hot seat by clerk Mark Tredwin at the town council meeting.

She told members more needed to be done increase the authority's presence in the town

Cllr Gilson said: "At the moment, Honiton Town Council is just names. Not many people in Honiton know who you are.

"You need to get out and do something."

Fellow new councillor Jason Hannay also answered questions from Mr Tredwin.

The player-coach for Honiton RFC told members that the 'general consensus' from residents regarding the town's history was the town simply stages a Charter Day and Hot Pennies ceremony, when there 'is so much more'.

Cllr Hannay told the meeting if money was no option, he would like the council to install a safe cycle route to school for the town's children.

The final candidate for co-option was James Wyatt, who moved to Honiton in the last year.

An army officer and engineer, Cllr Wyatt stressed the importance of tackling climate change and reducing the town's carbon footprint.

Cllr Wyatt said: "I come with a fresh experience and no preconceived ideas.

"Hopefully I can bring about change in a positive way.

"One of the things the council can do is, for a start, getting out and being seen a lot more."

After the interviews, Mr Tredwin told the meeting all of the candidates had been successfully co-opted.

The members were applauded and invited to sit on the council for the rest of the authority's meeting.

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