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ELECTIONS 2013: Braunton candidates - videos and fun facts

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: April 25, 2013

  • Caroline Chugg

  • Elizabeth Mary Spear

  • Jooley Fowles-Smith

  • Steve Crowther

  • ValerieJeanCann

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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 Braunton:

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VALERIE JEAN CANN - Labour:

Why you should vote for me:

I have lived in Braunton since 1975 and taught for 25 years at Kingsacre Primary School until retiring in 2007.

During my time at Kingsacre I was involved in organising many community based activities with the children.

I was a Community Governor at the school until 2013 and was Chair of the Teaching and Learning Committee.

I’m concerned that the arguments given in support of academies and free schools are seriously flawed.

I feel that a far better alternative is for schools to remain maintained schools or become Co-operative Trust Schools, especially in the case of Primary Schools.

We must also protect our Early Years Services and Sure Start children's centres.

Government policies are not helping and our economy is at a standstill.

Tourism has suffered and many local people are being hit by the latest round of tax credit and other cuts.

If elected, I will work hard to see that the County Council does all within its powers to support our local shops and enterprises while also protecting the services we need.

We have a community to be proud of in Braunton. The recent flooding brought the whole village together and if elected I would work hard to foster that spirit and look to build a more effective partnership between the council and the community.

QUESTIONS:

Occupation: Retired teacher

If you could have one super power what would it be: The ability to speak to everyone in the country to try to get them to understand and support my views on how to make this country a fairer, more tolerant and more respectful place to live. Oh and to make inaccurately interpreted statistics a thing of the past.

Most embarrassing moment: Getting my skirt caught in my knickers at a public event.

Favourite place in North Devon: The flag pole on Braunton Burrows because there is a 360 degree view of the most dramatic scenes anywhere.

If your house was on fire and you could only save one thing, what would it be: Our black Labrador Rusty

If you could invite any three people to a dinner party who would they be: Martin Luther King, Bob Marley and Jesus

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CAROLINE JEAN CHUGG - Conservative:

Why you should vote for me:

I have lived here all my life and feel passionately about the area.

I have been proud to be your County Councillor for the past four years for Braunton Rural.

I have plenty of drive and energy to have our voice heard at County Hall.

I am not afraid to stand my ground and fight for what we need and can put across a good reasoned debate.

I am direct yet approachable and will do my best to get the job done and resolve the problem. I am also a good listener and will always get back to you.

You need to be able to think quickly and move from one area of concern to another, you can be dealing with potholes one minute and direct payments the next. I have always been good at multitasking.

I like helping people and improving their lives. I have secured funds for many projects, you can find out more details on my Blog on www.Carolinechugg.wordpress.com also about the committees I am on.

I would like to continue to work for you at Devon County as I know the people and the issues that affect the community and I am determined to do what is best for my area.

QUESTIONS:

Occupation: Councillor and farmer

If you could have one super power what would it be: To make everyone happy and improve their lives

Most embarrassing moment: I recently went to Cribbs Causeway, got in a lift and thought it was a long time for the doors to open. I turned around to speak to my aunt and the doors were open behind us with a young family having a right laugh.

Favourite place in North Devon: Exmoor and the glorious beaches

If your house was on fire and you could only save one thing, what would it be: My large oval cross-stitch with nine cherubs and doves and roses.

If you could invite any three people to a dinner party who would they be: Gene Kelly, John Wayne and Margaret Thatcher.

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STEVE CROWTHER - UKIP:

Why you should vote for me:

Why should you vote UKIP on May 2? I’d like to tell you a story.

For the last 20 years, the governing parties – Conservatives, then Labour, then Conservatives and Liberal Democrats – have completely failed to plan for our energy needs, by building new power stations.

As a consequence, we’re going to have blackouts, and rocketing electricity prices in a couple of years' time.

What are they doing about it? Negotiating (badly) with the French to try and get some new power stations built and frantically throwing up thousands of wind turbines in a futile attempt to plug the huge gap.

Yet this week, a committee of MPs berated some of the power companies for ploughing their profits back into investment in generating capacity because they said it was avoiding paying tax.

What's all that got to do with Devon County Council, I hear you ask?

It’s why we need new people in politics. People who don't want to cover our horizons with wind turbines.

People who want to keep your taxes to a minimum. People who understand something about how business works, how you pay for things, and what makes the lights come on.

People with common sense, like you.

QUESTIONS:

Occupation: Writer

If you could have one super power what would it be: I’d like to have a prodigious memory. Mine's not bad, but Nigel Farage's is astonishing, it’s a real gift.

Most embarrassing moment: I recently announced at National Conference that we were about to hear from one of the brightest young stars of our party, but then could not actually recall her name – until the laughter started, which seemed to help.

Favourite place in North Devon: Crow Point

If your house was on fire and you could only save one thing, what would it be: Assuming my wife, dogs, cat and any guests were safe it would be my grandfather’s medals which are priceless.

If you could invite any three people to a dinner party who would they be: Prince Rupert of the Rhine, Oliver Cromwell and Hester Stanhope.

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JOOLEY FOWLES-SMITH - Green Party:

Why you should vote for me:

I am a married mum with two gorgeous daughters, both still at school. I love crafting and all things vintage.

I moved to North Devon from London 18 years ago, struck by its uniqueness and a longing to live by the sea.

Since that time I have seen many changes and with more to come, my wish is that North Devonians embrace those changes whilst protecting what is most precious in a sustainable and socially justified way.

I joined the Green Party two years ago after becoming increasingly disillusioned with the path our country was taking.

I found a group of people who also believed that fair really is worth fighting for.

I think it’s high time for a fresh voice in politics both locally and nationally.

As a Green candidate I believe, as our manifesto states, in equality, a prosperous and resilient economy and community participation.

In order to be fair we have to listen to the quiet majority. Vote Green and be heard.

QUESTIONS:

Occupation: Full-time Mum, part-time Invigilator

If you could have one super power what would it be: The ability to make cheese and chocolate fat free and heart friendly

Most embarrassing moment: Too numerous to mention and mostly involve falling over or off something

Favourite place in North Devon: A bench above Combesgate Beach, Woolacombe, when the waves are crashing and the wind is blowing. It settles my soul.

If your house was on fire and you could only save one thing, what would it be: Assuming all the most important living beings were safe I was going to say nothing, after all it’s just stuff. But as I thought about it I felt very emotional about all the little notes and drawings my daughters have done for me. I am now going to put them all in a box and that is what I would save.

If you could invite any three people to a dinner party who would they be: Eric Morecombe, Oscar Wilde and Elvis Presley.

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ELIZABETH MARY SPEAR - Lib Dem:

Why you should vote for me:

Becoming a County Councillor brings with it considerable responsibilities – helping residents with issues while understanding the challenges and opportunities that we all face in North Devon.

My two daughters and seven grandchildren help to keep me closely in touch with the day to day challenges that we all have to face in a fast changing world.

Like many other families of my time, the conversation at home was about North Devon and thanks to my parents I met many people of all walks of life.

In the 1990s, I decided that I had the time and commitment to be actively involved in the community and have served for many years as a Braunton Parish Councillor, currently chairing the Parish Council.

It has been a year of both opportunity and considerable challenge. The twelve years I served as District Councillor, including chairing North Devon Council, I believe has put me in good stead.

I enjoy working with people. I believe it is most important to be a team player in these times of economic recession, that’s why I believe that one of the roles of councillors is to work with the private sector to achieve a fairer and prosperous North Devon.

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