Stopping second homes and improving broadband will keep communities connected, say election candidates

Election candidates in the Tiverton and Honiton constituency. Picture: Alex Walton/Canva

Election candidates in the Tiverton and Honiton constituency. Picture: Alex Walton/Canva - Credit: Archant/Canva

A clampdown on second homes and improvements to broadband will help keep rural communities connected, according to Tiverton and Honiton’s prospective MPs.

The candidates hoping to represent the constituency in parliament have been sharing their ideas on how to keep the rural areas from becoming isolated.

Ahead of the election on Thursday, December 12, each candidate was asked how they would keep communities connected in a rural environment.

Joined up public transport networks was also suggested.

Margaret Dennis, standing for UKIP, called for an end to construction on agricultural land.

She said: "Grow and produce more locally on farms, in orchards, allotments and gardens.

"This will relate to emissions and food miles - XR (extinction rebellion) please note.

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"(It will) Slow or even stop imports of the foods we are able to grow/produce ourselves."

Conservative candidate Neil Parish said his party will connect communities with superfast broadband and mobile coverage.

He added: "We will also extend the Devon Metro to Cullompton, connect bus services to train timetables, create dual A roads and fix potholes."

Elizabeth Pole, standing for the Labour Party, said: "Labour will fund super-fast broadband and regional investment banks allowing rural businesses, home-workers and start-ups to thrive whilst reducing carbon.

"Three million extra bus journeys will prioritise rural communities. Labour will nurture post offices, shops, pubs and police in communities."

Colin Reed, standing for the Green Party, said implementing educational improvements will facilitate keeping communities connected 'where all enjoy simple connection within their community and to the world at large'.

He questioned why electricity improvements would not be as important as broadband upgrades adding that 'greenifying' the existing transport network would also help.

Liberal Democrat candidate John Timperely, said his party will provide affordable rural housing and prevent empty second homes driving prices up.

He said: "We will prioritise 21st century communications technology for rural communities and integrated community hubs based around medical centres, post offices and pubs.

"We will give local authorities greater control over their transport networks."