North Devon councillor stands down

Joseph Bulmer

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.

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!”