East Devon Elections 2019 - Meet the candidates

East Devon Elections 2019 - Meet the candidates image

Here the candidates vying for one of the 11 seats available on Ottery Town Council to explain why they want your vote next month.

Ottery St Mary North (two seats)

Paul Bartlett
'I have represented Ottery St Mary North Ward as their Councillor for the past 7 years. I am married and have 3 married grownup children also 4 grandchildren. I have lived in Ottery all my life. For the past year I have been the Mayor and the Chairman of the Finance Committee. I will continue working tirelessly behind the scenes coordinating improvements for the benefit of the community, if I have the honour of being re-elected.'

Josefina Gori (Independent)
'As an elected councillor I will continue the work I started in 2015, being a staunch supporter of the North Ward and ensuring that your views are known in matters such as fairer business rates, road safety, health and well being. I will also continue promoting initiatives to increase levels of cycling and walking at all ages, protecting our farming industry, providing our youngsters with opportunities to develop numerous skills and encouraging local tourism.'

Richard Grainger (Independent)
'I’ve lived and worked in East Devon for 25 years, the last 10 in Ottery. My children, now grown, attended Kings School. I worked for The Arts Council and The National Trust before finding my niche in Ottery’s award winning hardware store, where I work part time. I am standing as an Independent for the North Ward as I believe councillors should be chosen by the electorate, not selected by their peers.'

Vicky Johns (Independent)
‘I believe it is important for councillors to talk to and more importantly listen to their constituents. If I am voted in, as an independent councillor, I will be looking to represent the people within the Ottery Ward to the best of my abilities. I have lived in Ottery for over 35 years, including going to Ottery Primary and The Kings School. So I have seen how much it has grown and changed over the years.’

Ottery St Mary Tipton St John (two seats)

John Harding
'I am standing in the Tipton St John Ward of Ottery St Mary Town Council. I have previously represented the community on Ottery Town Council and, if elected, will again focus on the issues that concern the community in and around Tipton St John. I am not standing as a District Councillor so I can fully focus on making sure that our community is properly represented on and served by Ottery Town Council.'

Lyn Harding
'For those of you who do not recognise me my name is Lyn Harding. I have represented the Ward of Tipton St John for the past eight years and I want to carry on, with your help, for another four. I have had lots of interactions with planning some successful and some not. I will continue to do my very best for the residents of Tipton, Metcombe, Lancercombe, Fluxton. Wiggaton and Coombe.'

Geoff Pratt (Independent)
'Being independent means that I represent you rather than a political party and am free to decide things on their merits rather than from a political standpoint.I am a founder member of the Ottery St Mary Neighbourhood Plan working group and have chaired the town’s regeneration working group and been a Ottery town councillor since 2014. I am a property lawyer by profession and have lived in the Parish for the past 12 years.'

Ottery St Mary Town (seven seats)

Paul Carter
'Born in the heart of the Ottery St Mary Town Ward, I have lived and worked within the farming community in East Devon all my life. I have been on the town council for nearly 15 years. I have been planning chairman and now proud to be deputy mayor. Becoming a district councillor in 2015, I have enhanced my knowledge and experience in dealing with local issues and very much look forward to continuing with this.'

Richard Copus (Independent)
'I moved to Ottery two years ago from south Dartmoor attracted by its vibrant community and thriving town. I have seen the threats from over-development and insensitive planning and as a country person appreciate how important it is for a town like ours to retain its rural charm and facilities. This includes revitalisation of the town centre Conservation Area, pro-actively supporting the future of our excellent hospital and encouraging maximum use of our wonderful variety of shops.'

Glyn Dobson (Independent)
'Having been a councillor in Ottery for 16 years I am still passionate about the town and doing all I can to make it a desirable place to live.
Eleven of these as Chairman/Mayor which was a privilege. I have led many projects in the Town including, Coleridge bridge, Station,New Library, Museum.If elected I promise to continue working with the same enthusiasm.'

Anne Edwards
'I have been a town councillor for the past four years and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and wish to continue to pro-actively serve the community.
I am currently chair of HR, vice chair of planning and have been involved in various working groups. I have been working towards securing the future of the local hospital and representative on the Business Forum, Ottery in Bloom and regeneration group. I relocated with my husband 10 years ago.'

Peter Faithfull (Independent)
'As a local resident I have lived in Ottery for 26 years and in the area for about 52 years. I used to be in Whimple Scouts and went to the Kings School. I also used to be in Whimple and Broadclyst Young Farmers Club. I have been an independent councillor since 2015 and always aim to find the best outcome for the community without influence from any party line.'

Roger Giles (Independent)
'It has been a great privilege to be able to represent the people of Ottery St Mary on the Town Council for the last 28 years. I shall be eternally grateful for the opportunity to be able to work on behalf of this wonderful town. I once again seek the support of Ottery people to be able to continue to do my best for the community.'

Ian Holmes
'I have been an Ottery Town Councillor for the last fourteen years, ten of them as Deputy Mayor and over five as Planning Chairman. I am also Vice Chairman of Property and involved in the Library, Museum and Allotment relocations and preserving the Youth Club at the Station. This is a wonderful Town to live in and if re-elected I will do my best to keep it that way and to strive to improve it.'

Stewart Lucas
Stewart Lucas lives in Ottery St Mary with his partner of 20 years and three children. He is standing as an independent councillor as he feels he can bring about positive changes for the town. Stewart runs the successful Silver St Tattoos. Stewart wants to be able to be more involved at a local level and feels that he has a lot of experience which would enable him to effectively represent the needs of the people.

Elli Pang
Elli has been a town councillor for eight years, contributing positively throughout.
Voluntary work includes, chairman of the ‘Ottery Health and Care Forum’ since 2008, chairman of the Ottery Later Life Forum (17 years) and Successfully instigated and with volunteers to open Ottery Skate + BMX Park in 2012 after five years of hard work.
She is Austrian and lived in Ottery for 32 years and has two daughters, four grandchildren and various animals.

Harv Sethi
'Over 25 years working within the travel and events industry. My aim is to encourage greater tourism within the East Devon area whilst also helping resolve serious issues that can help those less fortunate. I bring fresh ideas and support any vision that enhances our community, and I would like to introduce more public events to help bring the town together.'

Dean Stewart (Independent)
'I am standing as I do not believe the wonderful town of Ottery St Mary today has the leadership and drive it needs to take this town with its rich history, wonderful traditions and friendly community events into the 2020s. I want to secure the hospital’s future, empower young people to participate in decision making and introduce environmental initiatives. My motivation is my eight week old son, I want him to grow up safe and happy here.'

Alister Trendell (Independent)
'I have been working with, or in, councils since 2001 and have a great understanding of the challenges involved in the development process. I believe that well considered future development in Ottery can provide many opportunities to improve the amenity and sustainability of Ottery as a desirable place to live and work in. Lets make Ottery great again.'

Meet the candidates: from left to right; top to bottom

Ottery North Ward Paul Bartlett, Josefina Gori (Independent), Richard Grainger (Independent), Vicky Johns (Independent)

Ottery Tipton ward Lyn Harding, John Harding and Geoff Pratt (Independent)

Ottery Town ward Paul Carter, Peter Faithfull (Independent), Harv Sethi, Glyn Dobson (Independent), Elli Pang, Alister Trendell (Independent), Anne Edwards, Dean Stewart (Independent), Ian Holmes, Richard Copus (Independent), Roger Giles (Independent) and Stewart Lucas

Pictures and content courtesy: Sidmouth Herald