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ELECTIONS 2013: Bideford East candidates - videos and fun facts

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: April 25, 2013

  • David Brenton

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On Thursday, May 2, residents across North Devon and Torridge will be asked to elect a county councillor for their area.

To help you make a well-informed decision on election day, the Journal has contacted all of the candidates and asked why you should vote for them.

We also asked them to submit a video to support their application and asked them a few fun questions which have thrown up some very interesting answers.

Below are the responses from candidates standing in Bideford East:



Why should you vote for me?

Of the many problems facing Bideford employment and housing present the biggest challenges.

With central Government money coming to Devon for capital projects it’s vital that Torridge, with its lowest wages in the country, gets its fair share.

For too long we have been the poor relation in the county but I would not be shy in promoting the needs of our area and I would use my lifetime of local knowledge and the experience of many years on the town and district council to the best effect in improving Bideford.

Our Labour county council colleagues who represent Exeter wards were instrumental in getting the funding for our new Bideford College and with a Labour county councillor for Bideford we could achieve so much more.


Occupation:Semi-retired potter and basket maker

If you could have one super power what would it be: The ability to see underground water and water courses anywhere in the world.

Most embarrassing moment: Missing the only ferry of the day by two minutes in Nord Fjord Norway whilst cycle touring in 1965. The captain spotted me at the quay so he turned round this massive ship to pick me up.

Favourite place in North Devon: Instow, I was born there.

If your house was on fire and you could only save one thing, what would it be: Family photos but carried out in our Harry Juniper harvest jug.

If you could invite any three people to a dinner party who would they be: Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and Tommy Cooper.



Why should you vote for me?

The services provided by Devon County Council are twofold, to plan for future expansion to meet population growth and maintain current levels of service.

Inevitably change and reform will bring its critics and supporters and too often decisions are taken in the chamber based on, or influenced by, political party policy.

The only party leader who has spoken publicly on this issue is Nigel Farage, who said UKIP councillors have one key difference from candidates from the other parties.

We make an election pledge not to instruct councillors to blindly toe the party line.

We only select people who have their local communities at heart.

We expect from each and every councillor the independence of mind to best serve the interests of the communities they represent.

I believe the majority of residents in East-The-Water want to protect our rural countryside, improve public transport and concentrate on affordable housing for local people rather than luxury second homes.

Education is the key to employment, where young people have under achieved I would like to see them attending training courses rather than standing in dole queues.

If you share my views take the trouble to cast your vote in my direction.


Occupation: Retired

If you could have one super power what would it be: Introduce compulsory voting

Most embarrassing moment: Addressing a Cremation Society conference on the advantages of recorded music and then having a mechanical failure.

Favourite place in North Devon: The Tarka Trail, the main reason I came to Bideford.

If your house was on fire and you could only save one thing, what would it be: The Wright Encyclopaedia of Gardening by Walter P. Wright, the most readable and comprehensive book on the subject.

If you could invite any three people to a dinner party who would they be: Leonardo da Vinci, Adam Smith and Isambard Kingdom Brunel.


SAM ROBINSON - Conservative:

Why should you vote for me?

I should be re-elected because I kept the promises I made four years ago, and so that I can fulfil those I have presented in my election literature this time.

Though I am a Conservative, or probably because I am an Old Tory, I stand up for what is right and I put my community’s and country’s interests ahead of Group or Party.

I give my total commitment to my work as a county councillor. I do not do half-days or occasionally.

I am a practical and common sense person who doesn’t believe in pipe dreams or in promising to do the impossible.

For the opportunity to build on my successes of the past four years such as campaigning successfully for speed-restrictions, in providing salt and grit-spreading machines for rural parishes, by gaining major programmes of road-resurfacing throughout my division, by establishing a Highways and Transport Liaison Group so as to coordinate the work of the three tiers of local government in Bideford.

I focus on local issues and in seeking to maximise the services of the county council in my area instead of annoying the electorate with national and international issues which are irrelevant to daily living in our communities.


Occupation: Retired from education

If you could have one super power what would it be: Bi-location, so that I can work in my division for the community at the same time as representing their interests at County Hall.

Most embarrassing moment: There have been many and various but the worst, which I generally avoid, is overlooking or being late for any appointment.

Favourite place in North Devon: Anywhere within sight or sound of the sea and everywhere throughout my division.

If your house was on fire and you could only save one thing, what would it be: My house, it is very old, very special with a lot of history.

If you could invite any three people to a dinner party who would they be: The Duke of Wellington, Sir Winston Churchill and Field Marshal the Earl Montgomery of Alamein.


The Journal had no response from Green Party candidate John Paul Hextall and Lib Dem candidate Trevor John Johns.

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