Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Encouraging new candidates in East Devon's elections

The general, district and town council elections are fast approaching:
Futures Forum: ‘Become a councillor’ roadshows in East Devon ... but not in Seaton or Sidmouth, because the last roadshows there "attracted very little interest"

There have been several calls for some 'fresh faces':

Appeal for new town council candidates

09:02 10 January 2015

Budleigh Salterton

Budleigh Salterton residents are being invited to stand for the town council, creating the first election it has seen for 20 years.

Since 1995, whenever Budleigh Salterton town council have been due for re-election, there have been more places than applicants, meaning all the councillors have been elected automatically, without voters getting the chance to choose.

With the next elections due to be held in May, the council, which has 12 seats, is hoping to bring this to an end, by getting new candidates to come forward and force an election to be held.

Council chairman and town mayor Caz Sismore-Hunt said: “If we have 18 people stand and the same people go back on, then that’s the choice of the town.

“If we had 18 and most of us got voted off that’s the way it is, but it must be the choice of the town, and the town hasn’t had the chance to choose for 20 years. We need good councillors who care about Budleigh Salterton. It’s not for the glory. It’s purely because you want to do something for the town. You want the town to be better.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about can contact the council offices at the Public Hall, in person or on 01395 442245.

Appeal for new town council candidates - News - Devon 24
Budleigh residents: rise to the town and district council challenge | East Devon Alliance

Businessman leads Sidmouth Town Council shakeup

07:00 01 September 2014 Stephen Sumner

A father and businessman wants to spark a shake-up of Sidmouth Town Council - saying the population’s changing demographic should be better represented.

Marc Kilsbie thinks whether or not he is elected is an irrelevance, but wants to end residents’ apathy and inspire them to stand alongside him.

He believes current civic leaders do a good job but need to represent a broader section of the community to make the most of the town. “People say there’s no point standing for council, that they will be outnumbered and won’t get anything done,” said the 48-year-old, who has run Fore Street shop Flo and Us for seven years. Well, I’m putting my money where my mouth is and I’m standing next May.

“Whether I get elected or not is an irrelevance but I would like to get my opinions to a larger part of the community – not because they are worth any more or any less, but because they are different. The councillors do a very good job but they do the things that they understand and are appropriate to their way of life.”

With the natural products and massage business he runs with wife Julie, and through raising his 13-year-old daughter, Marc said he regularly interacts with large sections of the community, so he is encouraging people from all walks of life to stand.

“It’s a few hours a month – you aren’t signing your soul away,” he said. “I can’t believe they have to co-opt people on to the council – I would’ve thought in a community as wealthy and as proud as Sidmouth, there would be people keen to be a driving force.”

Marc and his family moved from Oxfordshire to Ottery to be close to Exeter’s then nationally-renowned mobility centre as he learned to walk again – he uses a cane after suffering frostbite. He was employed at Luxtons but they moved to Sidmouth so Julie could expand her massage business and Marc soon retrained.

He lives above his shop, so will be standing to be the town centre ward member and believes all councillors – and politicians at all levels – should live in the area they represent. Marc does not foresee a future in politics but has not ruled it out.

Town clerk Christopher Holland said: “I would encourage anybody who is thinking of standing to do exactly that. I think it’s healthy to have a good selection of councillors.”

1 comment

It's good to see new people wishing to get involved with the Council, however the article doesn't actually tell us anything about Mr Kilsbie's views or his plans for Sidmouth.

Businessman leads Sidmouth Town Council shakeup - News - Sidmouth Herald

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