North Devon councillor stands down

WELL known North Devon councillor David Butt has announced he will be standing down at the May local elections after more than 20 years as a district councillor.

Mr Butt said he would not be contesting his Landkey, Swimbridge, Bishops Tawton and Tawstock seat on May 5 for two reasons – his dislike of local “party politics” and because he felt “out of step” with the current Liberal Democrats party.

“I am not convinced about party politics in North Devon – I think it’s irrelevant and we should be picking the right person to do the job,” he told the Gazette.

“It’s also no secret I am pretty much out of step with my own party, as I have always been anti-Iraq and Afghanistan, although I have always supported our forces to the hilt.”

He added that North Devon Council needed to decide what it wanted to be, whether to “die by a thousand cuts” or “to have the moral courage” to take the lead on promoting the region and, as one of its biggest employers, to invest more in North Devon.

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Mr Butt was elected in 1987 and was deputy leader of the council when a Liberal Democrat majority held sway. He admitted losing “his great compatriot” and Landkey parish councillor Dick Joy last year was also a great blow.

“I would like to think I have achieved a few things and I shall probably miss it – but I won’t miss the late nights and the long council meetings!”

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