UPDATE: De-selection was 'anti unitary' vote

REACTION has been coming in following the de-selection of Fremington's County Councillor Rodney Cann by the local Conservatives. Following a meeting of the North Devon Conservative Association executive last night (Wednesday,) district councillor John Gil

REACTION has been coming in following the de-selection of Fremington's County Councillor Rodney Cann by the local Conservatives.Following a meeting of the North Devon Conservative Association executive last night (Wednesday,) district councillor John Gill was chosen as Fremington Rural candidate for the June 4 Devon County elections. Mr Cann, who has represented the ward for eight years as a county councillor and is also district councillor for Bickington and Roundswell, told the North Devon Gazette he took a very positive view for his future and said, "now is not the time for recriminations or further comment."John Gill, who represents Fremington at district council level, told the Gazette that his challenge of Cllr Cann's seat had been endorsed by the Conservative Party Central Office.He said he made the challenge due to Cllr Cann's support for a unitary authority for Devon."A unitary authority would be an absolute disaster for North Devon," he said."We wouldn't get any money; we'd be like Lazarus waiting for the scraps from the table."Mr Gill, who lives in Fremington, read physics at Oxford and worked as a banker in the City of London. Now a househusband, he currently serves as a North Devon district and a Fremington parish councillor, seats he has held for two years.He is also treasurer of the SAS youth football club.Mr Gill said the fight for North Devon at county level was now all the more important because of the current economic climate."The Conservatives currently hold three of the eight county councillor seats in North Devon and I think six or seven of those look winnable."If we win them, it would give the Conservatives tremendous leverage in Devon and ensure the group doesn't get the short straw."North Devon Conservative Association chairman jasmine Chesters said both candidates gave a 10 minute presentation to the executive, before a paper ballot was held."It was obvious that both care very much for their area and the well being of North Devon," she said."I would like to say that both candidates showed passion in speaking about their desire to help residents. Cllr Cann is a good councillor and has worked hard for all the people in his area."It is a shame there can only be one winner. I hope that Cllr Gill will go on to keep the seat in Conservative hands and I am sure he will put all his strength into doing so." County council and European elections are due to take place in June with Government's decision on proposals for a unitary authority for Devon to be announced in July.


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