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ELECTIONS 2013: Torrington candidates - videos and fun facts

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: April 25, 2013

  • Catherine Hannah Simmons

  • Adrian Freeland

  • Andy Boyd

  • Gillian Tesh

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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 Torrington:

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GILLIAN TESH - Labour:

Why should you vote for me?

I’ve had experience of working in the public sector and of running my own business so I know that the public and private sectors are inter-dependent.

The public sector educates our staff maintains our infrastructure, runs our health and welfare services, and in the right hands, it can stimulate growth and innovation.

In his PPB Cameron claims “Conservatives are freezing council tax, cutting costs, and protecting the services you rely on”.

We all know that only the first two statements are true. The current Tory leadership at County Hall boast that they’ve reduced staffing by 25 per cent.

Cost-cutting and dismantling the public sector to create wealth for the select few is a disastrous policy for the majority of people in this County.

I support Devon Labour Party’s policies contained in “A Fair Deal for Devon”.

I would like to be part of a strong Labour-led authority at County Hall which would adopt policies to support business, employment, the community and the environment.

If you would like to see a change from the tired old slash and bum policies at County Hall, please support me as your local Labour candidate.

QUESTIONS:

Occupation: Businesswoman

If you could have one super power what would it be: Being able to fly would be good and an eco-friendly way to travel.

Most embarrassing moment: I’m easily embarrassed.

Favourite place in North Devon: I enjoy cycling along the Tarka Trail, it’s such a varied and interesting journey.

If your house was on fire and you could only save one thing, what would it be: My laptop.

If you could invite any three people to a dinner party who would they be: Clement Attlee, Nye Bevan and Barbara Castle.

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ANDY BOYD - Conservative:

Why should you vote for me?

As the incumbent County Counillor for the Torrington Rural Division, I have helped direct many of the successes that the area has seen in the last four years, successes that have been as diverse as our communities are.

There have been a few local housing projects, allotments, childrens’ play areas, and pre-schools, as well as activity groups, community health equipment, and training.

All have assisted with the health and wellbeing of our communities, as well as helping the local economy.

However, the work has not been completed.

And I pledge to continue the work that I have already started by working to improve local health provision, and to ensure that broadband is accessible to all, to continue to engage with youth and employers in order to encourage local employment, and to support our local communities to develop according to their needs and wishes.

The county has benefited from a strong Conservative administration since 2009.

One in which we have been able to make real progress by keeping Council Tax down for the last three years, significantly reducing the County’s debt, and managing the changes in adult health, education, and community safety.

So when you complete your ballot paper, I hope you consider what has been achieved, and what needs to be continued, by placing your mark next to my name.

QUESTIONS:

Occupation: Councillor

If you could have one super power what would it be: Memory

Most embarrassing moment: Far too many to single out

Favourite place in North Devon: The whole area for its beauty and its people

If your house was on fire and you could only save one thing, what would it be: A first edition of Harrisons Life of Nelson that my father gave me.

If you could invite any three people to a dinner party who would they be: Horatio Nelson, Cleopatra and Audie Murphy.

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ADRIAN STUART FREELAND - Lib Dem:

Why should you vote for me?

I am standing for the Torrington Rural seat at the Devon County Council elections on May 2 as a Liberal Democrat candidate, albeit as a Eurosceptic one.

I believe internal reform would improve the European Union.

For those who don’t know me and my services to the local community over the last two decades, including twelve years on Torrington Town Council and fifteen years with Torrington in Bloom, here’s a very brief summary.

I moved to Great Torrington from London in 1988 and worked at the Creamery in North Tawton for over twenty years until I took early retirement in 2009.

I am a fit, active 67-year-old who continues to give a great deal of time to local concerns including The Plough Arts Centre.

If elected I would like to have an input in the County Council’s Highways and Environment decisions.

I care passionately about the area in which we all live, and investing hundreds of man-hours into improving our lives and our surroundings, gives me great satisfaction.

Vote for me if you want a hard working, conscientious person representing you at Devon County Council over the next four years.

QUESTIONS:

Occupation: Retired

If you could have one super power what would it be: The ability to please all the electorate all the time.

Most embarrassing moment: Inviting my headmaster for lunch, unfortunately because of my dyslexia the invitation read the 32nd instead of the 23rd.

Favourite place in North Devon: The view over the valley from Sydney House car park in Great Torrington, one of the best views in the UK.

If your house was on fire and you could only save one thing, what would it be: My cat Moggie-Chops, everything else can be replaced.

If you could invite any three people to a dinner party who would they be: Lord John Burnett, his wife Billie and Aneurin Bevan MP.

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CATHERINE HANNAH SIMMONS - Green Party:

Why should you vote for me?

I am standing as a Green candidate because I passionately believe that we need to be represented by councillors who are prepared to make the correct decisions to lesser the effects of climate change.

Social justice is another issue which I feel is being neglected at present.

Vulnerable people are falling through the safety net as indicated but the steady increase in the use of Food Banks.

It is essential that the local economy in Devon is supported with policies which help local businesses.

We need to keep the wealth within the local economy so it will circulate locally.

The Torrington Area needs to expand it local food production, to bring into operation the old creamery site which has stood empty for far too long.

Building more houses when work is unavailable is not the way forward.

QUESTIONS:

Occupation: Retired Housing Manager

If you could have one super power what would it be: To end war and poverty throughout the world

Most embarrassing moment: The disregarding of public opinion as shown on the massive marches against the Iraq War. Tony Blair and his labour government went against public opinion which was not good for democracy. The aftermath will be with us for decades.

Favourite place in North Devon: The view from the Barley Grove car park in Torrington, the steep drop to the River Torridge is spectacular.

If your house was on fire and you could only save one thing, what would it be: The many photos of my children, grandchild and family

If you could invite any three people to a dinner party who would they be: Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Marie Stopes and Mo Mowlam.

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The Journal received no response from UKIP candidate James Conabere.

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