Torridge district elections: What the political parties say
- Credit: Archant
Ahead of the elections on May 2, we spoke to the political parties about their ambitions for Torridge.
There are 100 parties standing for seats in the district elections in Torridge on May 2.
Before voters head to the polls, we quizzed the main political parties on their ambitions for the district, should they gain seats.
There are also 26 non-politically-aligned Independent candidates standing too. View a full list of the candidates here.
The Conservatives are contesting 28 seats in Torridge district elections, more than ever before.
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As well as some familiar faces, there are some younger candidates, including two candidates who are both 21.
There is also a new candidate who is standing assisted by her guide-dog, Amber.
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The party’s key priority is economic development, including increasing the vibrancy of our three main town centres through supporting local business and securing funding from central government.
A spokesman for Torridge Conservatives said: “We want to make our towns attractive places to live and visit.
“We will be providing a new work-hub to support start-up businesses during their first years of trading. We will make grant funding available for businesses taking on their first employee, making it easier for them to create jobs. This will improve job choice and lead to higher wages in Torridge.”
Improving leisure facilities and recycling are also on the agenda.
Labour has 19 candidates drawn from across the community ranging in age from 18 to 74 years.
Their diverse set of experiences range from nursing, teaching, the forces, small business and working at Appledore Shipyard.
The experienced and able team is committed to a manifesto based on the needs of local families, looking to improve social housing provision and protect local amenities from sell offs and privatisation.
The team has a wealth of campaign experience, including one candidate who lead the Save Appledore Shipyard campaign; one who was prominent in the Save Westward Ho! Park campaign and another who lead the campaign to return the Bideford BMX track to the community.
Labour is committed to ensuring Torridge is carbon neutral by 2030 and has a plan to create green growth, to aid employment, build community spirit and improve the health of everyone in Torridge.
The full manifesto is at: www.torridgeandwest devon.laboursites.org/manifesto.
The Liberal Democrats have 10 candidates standing in the district elections for seats in Torridge.
The party has candidates in nine of the 16 wards.
Two candidates will be defending their seats, including one former town mayor.
In rural areas like Winkleigh, Hartland and Shebbear and Langtree, campaigners report a strong surge in support from electors who want to see new ideas and a fresh approach in the council chamber.
A Liberal Democrat spokesman said: “Fighting for our communities and for the environment are important Liberal Democrat policy priorities.
“The Liberal Democrats are angry at the continuing Tory cuts at all levels and at the failure of local councillors to get a better deal from the Tory Government and to protect the NHS and care for the elderly.
“They are also angry at the ‘Transforming Torridge’ Tory pet project which is costing money that should have been spent on vital services.”
The Green Party has seven candidates standing in the Torridge district elections.
One candidate holds a doctorate in news, conflict and democratic debate and has worked as a teacher, journal editor, school governor, carer, climbing assistant, writer and entrepreneur.
Another has been a mayor twice, and is one of the longest serving members of the Green Party in the UK.
Climate change is the party’s main priority.
A spokesman said: “There can be no sustainable economy without a healthy environment, hence ‘One World, One Chance’ - there is no planet ‘B’.
“At the local level there are many opportunities for positive action such as major tree planting and reducing waste, especially plastics, that mitigate both climate change and pollution.
“Other policies focus on restoring public services with better funding for our schools, health and care services, replacing fossil fuels with renewable sources, improving public transport and promoting better, more affordable housing.”
Six UKIP candidates are standing in the Torridge District Council elections.
All six UKIP candidates have said they will focus on local issues, including policing, transport and affordable homes.
A UKIP spokesman said: “We will invest in local policing to fight drug related crime and anti social behaviour by ensuring we give all communities a 24-hour service, if necessary by opening up local police stations.
“We oppose the bedroom tax and we will encourage building affordable homes for local youngsters, preferably on brown field sites.
“Local services and infrastructure must be part of any planning procedure for all new developments.
“We will prioritise spending at home and reduce the Foreign Aid budget to ensure our sick and elderly are cared for properly and with dignity.
“A good local bus service is a lifeline for many of our rural communities, thus Improving public transport in our country areas is a priority.
Torridge Common Ground
Torridge Common Ground (TCG) has four candidates in the district elections.
Apart from one, all others are brand new candidates.
One candidate is a young mother who works with homeless people and is well fitted to speak up for the more vulnerable in our society
Another was born and raised in Clovelly to a fishing family and has lived in North Devon for most of his 42 years.
A prime campaigning commitment is to provide regular forums or assemblies for residents to freely air their hopes and concerns, enabling us to keep councils in close touch with key issues.
A spokesman for TCG said: “We believe that party politics has no place at a local level.
“As a group of independents we will work with all others who share our values and seek consensus in helping to make Torridge a better place for all to live in.
“Decision-making will be forged by the community, with a can-do approach and sustainability at its heart.”
You can see a full list of every candidate standing in the Torridge district elections here.