East Devon elections 2019: Meet the candidates vying for seats in Axminster, Seaton, Colyton and neighbouring parishes
- Credit: Archant
Residents will be heading to the polls on May 2
East Devon District Council (EDDC) elections are fast approaching on May 2.
Meet the candidates standing in the Axe Valley and neighbouring wards, including Axminster, Coly Vale, Newbridges, Seaton Trinity and Yarty.
Here, the candidates or their agents say why you should vote for them:
Axminster (three seats):
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Ian Hall (Con):
Ian Hall is Axminster born and bred, proud of his local roots. He is deeply embedded and passionate about many aspects of Axminster life. He will support new businesses and shops. Encourage the development of new facilities for locals and visitors alike. He wants to strengthen the range of food and beverage outlets, during the daytime and in to the evening, but most of all drive a campaign to relieve traffic congestion in the town centre.
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Steve Holt (Con):
Steve lives and works locally following a career with a major worldwide company that has equipped him with the skills to understand and deal with a wide range of issues. He is heavily involved with health matters in Axminster and is treasurer of the hospital league of friends. Steve will work to deliver the very best local health provision across the Axe Valley, working with voluntary group and health professionals.
Douglas Hull (Lib Dem):
Veteran campaigner Doug works tirelessly for Axminster, over the years. He promoted the Heritage Centre project and the Millwey Rise industrial Estate . His most recent campaign to end the scandal of shoddy housebuilding in East Devon is bearing fruit as the council unanimously adopted his recent proposal to demand Government action on the Housebuilders Obudsman. .Doug Hull is the longest serving East Devon Councillor and wants to continue serving the people of Axminster, campaigning for more social housing provision and investment in the town.
Sarah Louise Jackson, (Independent East Devon Alliance):
Time for something different - I’m young(ish), female and dedicated. The district council could use a healthy dose of those attributes! As the only Independent candidate for Axminster, I believe your local elected representatives should answer to the public, not their party. Axminster has so much to offer and potentially a great future but needs your help. By voting Independent, together, we can unlock Axminster’s potential without destroying its unique charm. Vote for change - people before party.
Susan Patricia Kerr (Lib Dem):
Susie lives in Axminster her interests include walking, gardening, local history, and membership of the newly formed WI. She said: “The local need for quality low-cost housing concerns me and I fully support our wonderful local hospital. I believe Lib Dems have the best policies and work hard to act in the best interest of all residents of Axminster.”
Andrew Moulding (Con):
Andrew has been a district councillor for 32 years and current chairman of EDDC and former chairman of Devon County Council. He has served as a governor at the Axe Valley Academy for over 20 years and led the development of Cloakham Lawn Sports Centre. He is a trustee of the Axminster Heritage Centre and Patron of Arc. He will ensure that Axminster is an attractive place for businesses to create new employment opportunities.
Martin Mynard (Labour):
I have lived in Axminster and the surrounding area all my life, went to local schools, and have been employed by a successful local family business for over 20 years. Over the years I have seen many changes, some good and some not so. I am concerned about the loss of services, with banks and shops and beds at the local hospital closing. It’s time to stop the exodus as Axminster deserves to be thriving.
Elizabeth Pole (Labour):
I am a mum, business owner and school governor living in Devon’s Axminster division. I will particularly push for: a bustling, business-friendly, town centre celebrating heritage, culture, community and creativity; employment opportunities; parking and traffic management; the neighbourhood plan with housing geared to social and local need; sports, wellbeing, arts and community spaces; environmental initiatives; ‘joined up’ decision-making; innovation, skills, youth projects and police to tackle drugs, crime and make the town a safe place.
Martin Spurway (Lib Dem):
Martin is a long time resident of Axminster, having run the family business in the town for many years He now concentrates on fundrauising for local and national charities. Martin will campaign for Axminsters Hospital and school funding in the face of government cuts.
Jeremy Walden (Labour):
I have lived in Axminster since 1982, and now run my own small food production business. I have been a member of Axminster Town Council for more than 20 years, and am a Governor at Axe Valley Academy. I volunteer at our youth club and job club. I am passionate about our young people, their education, employment and housing, and to see the town grow and thrive as a vibrant employment, cultural and sporting hub.
Coly Vale (two seats):
Paul Arnott (Independent East Devon Alliance)
I am chairman of the East Devon Alliance of Independents, supporting 11 Independent candidates across the district. Our experience is that the ruling party at East Devon, dominant on many town and parish councils too, has done great harm to people’s faith in democracy. Their refusal to play straight on hospital bed closures, underfunding of education, and putting landowners profit before desperately needed social and affordable homes, follows national party orders. We can and will stop this.
Carol Dawson (Lab)
We spent 20 years building up our business running the tool shop in Colyton, and I ran the youth club for four years. It’s a fantastic community and a great place to grow up for my own children, and now my grandchildren. I want much more affordable housing for Coly Valley, improved facilities for young people and everything possible to support our older generation and the environment now and for the future.
Helen Parr (Con):
Helen Parr is a long established EDDC councillor, living and working with her family in Colyton, where they operate the family business. She works tirelessly on behalf of local resident and will continue to do so, if re-elected. She is keen to see small scale development of affordable homes for local young families, maintaining the viability of our communities, as well as protecting the green wedge between Colyton, Colyford and Seaton.
Andrew Pearsall (Con):
Andrew Pearsall lives with his Family in Wilmington, operating his own business, as well as being chairman of Widworthy Parish Council. He is particularly concerned about congestion on our main roads, built for a bygone time, now causing harm to resident’s quality of life in many ways. He will continue to work with Highways England, our local MP Neil Parish and others to resolve unacceptable air quality problems along the A35 and A3052
Seaton (three seats):
Peter Burrows (Lib Dem):
Peter Burrows is standing for re-election having first being elected in 2003. He is the community leader for the Plastic Free Seaton group and has been a committee member of the carnival for 20 years. He got Seaton’s own dog warden appointed and calls for more action to be taken against those that don’t pick up. Ten years ago Peter helped save the town hall when the Willoughby House purchase by the council was stopped by people power.
Terry Burrows (Lib Dem):
Terry Burrows has been a nurse in the NHS for more than 40 years. She was a community matron and senior district nurse in Sidmouth, Seaton and Axminster for 20 of those years. Terry was part of the team that managed to reinstate the Seaton Hospital at Home after its closure. Terry now works part time as a specialist practitioner in the NHS, spending the rest of her time as a ‘hands on grandmama’ to her four grandchildren.
Marcus Hartnell (Con):
Marcus Hartnell has lived in Seaton all his life and runs the town’s post office, as well as being one of the town’s district councillors. He sits on the EDDC cabinet. He brings a wealth of experience in retailing and the local economy to this role. Marcus understands and shares the concerns of Seaton residents and understands what makes the town tick, not least protecting local healthcare services at Seaton Hospital and our natural environment.
Abi Jones (Labour):
I grew up in Seaton. My son attends Seaton Primary and I work as a Teaching Assistant. I’m active on the PTA and passionately oppose the funding cuts that leave schools struggling to plug gaps in vital resources and staffing. Seaton has seen improvements, but many losses, including cuts to Children’s Centre Services, the Youth Centre and St Claire’s. As your councillor I will push EDDC to plan and build housing local people can afford.
Dan Ledger (Independent East Devon Alliance):
I was born and raised in Seaton and work locally for my family’s scaffolding business. My main focus is to improve employment, housing and leisure facilities for local families and young people in the area. I believe that Seaton has been let down for far too long when it comes to housing and infrastructure and there is a serious need for new voices to be heard.
Jack Rowland (Independent East Devon Alliance):
I’m standing for election to represent Seaton as an East Devon Alliance candidate. I want to represent to ensure that EDDC support my efforts to retain Seaton Hospital. I set up and chair Seaton Area Health Matters and a business case has recently been submitted to NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group and the Royal Devon and Exeter Trust to use the Seaton Hospital site as a Health and Wellbeing Hub by retaining and expanding the clinics and services.
Jacquie Russell (Con):
Jacquie moved to East Devon with her Family in 2017. She is currently renovating her property in Seaton. As a county councillor who brings a great deal of experience to Seaton, particularly in respect of town centre regeneration and development. Jacquie is passionate about environmental issues and is a governor at the Axe Valley School where her daughter attends. She recognises that Seaton town centre needs urgent intervention, which must be a priority for EDDC.
Juliette Williams (Lib Dem):
Juliette will work to promote greater transparency and accountability across local government, support creative partnerships between arts and commerce and highlight action in key local environmental issues. Juliette will encourage better communication and inclusive engagement between local communities from different backgrounds and ages. Experienced at senior event management in international media, travel consultancy and local government, she’s a great communicator, has a keen interest in antiques and is qualified in art market law, tourism and design.
Newbridges (one seat):
Iain Chubb (Con):
Residents in Newbridges ward have the bonus of Iain Chubb as their ‘one stop shop’ when it comes to councillors, being both the current district and county council member, which brings significant advantages to them in terms of his knowledge and expertise. Representing a largely rural area he is all too aware of the problem caused by rural crime and will continue to lobby the police and crime commissioner for improvements in visible policing levels.
George Neate (Lab):
I am 54 years old and I have lived in East Devon since 2007. I am a husband, father and business owner. My interests are the environment, affordable housing and improving the living conditions of the disadvantaged members of our society. I am a strong believer in meritocracy and the power of education.
Trinity (one seat):
Sarah Birnie (Lab):
I am a local business owner with extensive customer service experience. I have two children attending Axminster and Colyton schools, as I did before them. For me, EDDC should be more open and accountable about its decisions. The decisions EDDC make should be about listening to the residents’ needs. I am particularly passionate about recycling & reducing single use plastic. EDDC should be 100 per cent committed to protecting our environment for the future generations.
Ian Thomas (Con):
Leader of EDDC, Ian has served Trinity Ward, the beautiful coastal parishes of Axmouth, Combpyne-Rousdon and Uplyme, since 2009. Elected to lead EDDC in 2018, his team has already led the council to significant success, hitting 2030 EU targets for recycling in 2018, recycling 60 pe cent of kerbside collections with no waste to landfill. Committed to ensuring his Conservative led team delivers services East Devon residents’ value, within a balanced budget, despite removal of central Government grant funding.
Yarty (one seat):
Alasdair Bruce (Con):
Alasdair Bruce’s Family has lived in the Yarty area for over 30 years. A leading environmental geologist, he previously worked with the BBC and government departments. He is passionate about and a strong advocate for The Blackdown Hills AONB, working with the farming community and local groups. Alasdair believes in a strong sustainable future for East Devon, with a sensible approach to local planning and infrastructure, with a focus on affordable homes for local people.
Diane Cheshire (Lab):
I feel grateful for living the past 20 years amid East Devon’s natural beauty and friendliness. I have been a social worker, single parent and am a retired grandmother, with a disabled sister. With good systems and resources, we can support more vulnerable members of society. Local services are key: affordable social housing, local transport, accessible facilities and supporting local businesses. I will listen to residents to improve life for the many not the few.
Paul Hayward (Independent East Devon Alliance):
I’m delighted to be the only Independent candidate for Yarty ward. I believe people are fed up with party politics. Communities want councillors who listen to them and act solely in their best interests. People before Party. Too many times our local voices are ignored at the district council, what matters to you, matters to me. If you want the best for your family, friends and
community, vote Independent on May 2 and vote for change.
Gillian Jordan (Lib Dem):
Gill is a school governor in the Axe Valley and has experience as a parish councillor, She lives in Axminster and has been involved in education for many years. She is committed to campaigning for fairer funding for schools and in supporting our hospital . Gill is also concerned about the chronic lack of rural buses and affordable social housing for local families.