Welcome to my website. In May 2021 residents of Castle Ward went to the polls for Town and District Council by-elections. I stood in both to represent my home ward. I am an active local campaigner as a member of the Tiverton & Honiton Liberal Democrats. On these pages I will explain what motivated me to stand, what I will work to achieve for for Castle and Mid Devon residents, and local groups and services I would like to share with you.
There is nothing wrong with lobbying politicians as long as it is done openly and transparently so we, as affected citizens, can use our votes to support or reject it. When it is done behind closed doors, they deny us the ability to respond. How often has this been happening? What other groups have been lobbying them behind closed doors?
The number one concern people have with politicians is that they don’t listen to, or act in our interests. In many cases that is unfair, but once public trust is eroded it is very difficult to build it back. Whether it is cash for curtains, or private influence in backroom meetings, we have the right to know who has access to the politicians who control our lives.
I support efforts to rewild green spaces and get wild flowers on verges, vitally increasing our biodiversity and helping to absorb airborne pollution and improve local air quality. The Liberal Democrats working alongside Green Party members were key voices in Mid Devon’s plans to be carbon neutral by 2030, and we will keep on putting forward improvements.
We want to expand projects to plant even more trees, and allow community groups to take over unused green spaces to create wildlife habitats. We want to invest in more charging points across Mid Devon for electric vehicles to make our communities ready for the future, putting the infrastructure where we need it to encourage greater use.
If you are fed up with politicians who never listen to you, don’t do what they say they will, have one set of rules for them and another for you, and make you feel disenfranchised and disconnected to the decision making that affects your daily life, then you need to be interested in good governance.
Having lived and worked in the ward for 21 years, I have seen many changes. There has been extensive new housing development, a new hospital, a new leisure centre, expansion of Petroc’s Tiverton campus, and so much more.
Over the next few years there are a number of large new developments being explored. Some of these will bring much needed affordable housing and infrastructure such as a new high school and theatre, and a town centre redevelopment, but others threaten overdevelopment and removal of vital green spaces. Whilst development must always be decided within the agreed planning framework, the voice of residents is an important part of guiding that process.
When elected I will listen to your suggestions and concerns and ensure your views are heard in the decision making process.