Meet the candidates for the Colyton by-election

  Posted: 01.05.21 at 10:03 by Francesca Evans

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Colyton and Colyford residents will be going to the polls on Thursday, May 6 to elected three new councillors.

A by-election for three vacancies on Colyton Parish Council has been called, and seven candidates have put themselves forward.

The vacancies arose after two members were automatically removed from the council having not attended meetings for six months, and one resignation.

Ahead of placing your vote on May 6, find out more about the candidates below...

Andrew Jarman

I was born in Colyton and have lived here all my life. My wife Gail and I have four children and six grandchildren and we are lucky that two of our children live here with their families.

I feel I must mention how well this community pulled together during this difficult time well done everyone.

I work locally and belong to the Nunsford Nutters Carnival Club that not only entertain the crowds, but raise money for local charities.

I have previously served on the parish council for a number of years and have experience in this.

I was part of the flood defences team and would like to continue with this. I will try my best to find a solution for safe parking at the school for parents, children and the public.

I will try to ensure that any future building works not only include affordable housing to enable the young people to stay within the area, but that it maintains the identity of Colyford and Colyton so that both places stay the beautiful places we are so proud of.

Robert Kenyon

My working life was in the information technology industry, giving me plenty of experience in project management and people management.

After retiring I moved to Colyford with my husband in 2017. Our working life was centred around London and the South East, and we have travelled in the UK and abroad with work. My interests include nature, photography and the environment.

I have become involved in the local community with a view to to improving and protecting the character of our beautiful surroundings, striving for resolution of local issues and the way local government operates here, especially in regard to the way Colyford has been treated in the past by the parish council.

Numerous local issues need addressing, the major ones being:
-    Improving road safety especially on the A3052 and the Seaton and Coly Roads
-    Providing safe footways, better public transport and improving the state of the roads
-    Affordable and greener homes
-    Developing infrastructure for a greener future
-    The needs of our young people

I want a fairer management of the local area together with better use of the funding that is available.

I’ve been helping highlight weaknesses in the draft Neighbourhood Plan, getting it changed for the better to support and protect our local area and its character.

I’m a keen walker and member of a local walking group and have been actively involved in several other local groups.
I feel I can contribute more by becoming a parish councillor, so please vote for me on May 6.

Andrew Mills

I am a resident of Colyford and 11-year veteran of the Armed Forces, serving multiple tours of Iraq and Afghanistan. Currently I run my own gardening business working for my lovely customers both in and around our parish.

I have two young children, aged eight and four, that go to primary school locally and I feel blessed to be living, working, and raising a family in such a beautiful part of our United Kingdom.

I have decided to run for parish councillor to enable me to take a more active part within the community and would be honoured in joining the parish council to help ensure that Colyton and Colyford will be an outstanding area socially, economically, and environmentally for generations to come.

Although outstanding, the parish is not without its shortfalls. Lack of safe pedestrian access from Colyford, parking issues in Colyton, excessive speeding along our roads to name a few.

Military service has given me a resounding sense of integrity, honour, and pride. With total transparency I will ensure to adhere to my core values enabling me to impartially represent the whole views of our parish community.

Having once served the British public for a large portion of my life, I look forward to serving my community with the same tenacity and vigour if voted in.

Keith Mills

I have lived in Colyford for 12 years with my wife, deciding to reside here two years after retirement to be closer to family.
My working life was spent for some considerable number of years with a large international company providing mailroom systems and banking solutions across an area that encompassed Europe Africa and the Middle East.
I am a committee member of the CVRA and involved with several local groups and societies, providing support also for St Michael’s Church for fabric matters.

I have been involved with volunteer driving for Hospiscare over the years and support other local activities within the village.
Colyford is plagued with speeding traffic; I would want to strongly lobby this issue to get action here on a regular basis, protection of the green wedges is also key to preserving the area we live in.

A more balanced use of the precept that all Colyford residents pay into the parish council funds will be lobbied strongly, enabling Colyford issues where investment is needed to be resolved quickly.
With the vacancies now open on the parish council, I see an opportunity to add some of the skill sets I have acquired over the years to be used for the benefit of our community. I hope that I can count on your vote.

Ian Priestley

I have been asked “why I’m standing?”. Having spent many years witnessing some unbelievable goings on during the parish council meetings, I decided to write demanding an election, which is more than four other candidates bothered to do.

Two candidates have actually caused and forced the parish to incur the costs of this election by not attending any council meetings for over six months and finding themselves removed as councillors, as it is against the law.

I have absolutely no confidence in the current parish council as it stands. It needs shaking up and refreshing. That is why I stand with Keith Mills and Rob Kenyon as one.

We all stand for the same ideals. Any change will require three votes, one for each of us, one for each vacancy, if you want to see any changes going forward.

I have particular gripes with road traffic safety, having only seen it getting worse in the nine years I have lived here. Colyford speeding needs to be stopped and road crossings put in place. I have already primed Neil Parish MP and I intend to work closely with him cutting out the middle bureaucracy.

The Stop Line Way needs to be finished, starting and finishing at dangerous road junctions is totally unacceptable. Surely being able to walk or cycle out of the village safely isn’t asking too much?

I am on the board of the Community Land Trust and intend to push for greener building options for any proposed affordable houses, therefore reducing the occupiers utility bills.

I also want to retain the green wedges surrounding Colyford. As chairman of the Colyford Residents Association I been involved in making sure that this is written into our Neighbourhood Plan.

I have no ulterior motives, I just want what’s fair for the entire parish; that will involve some rebalancing. I have no affiliation with developers or landowners, nor do I owe any favours. You will find me approachable with a ‘get it done now’ attitude, something I picked up from 25 years of being a money broker both in London and Switzerland.

Alison Stenning

Colyton has been my home for 30 years and where I raised my family. I would like to see more women serve on the parish council.

As chair of the CeramTec Site Liaison Group, mediating between the developers and Colyton Parish Council, I am trying to ensure the new development meets a high standard, including the promised 14 affordable homes which would allow some of our local young families to remain here and retain Colyton’s distinctive character and vibrancy. I am also a member of the Colyton & Colyford Community Land Trust for this reason.

On this exciting cusp of housing and commercial expansion, I’m concerned about traffic, parking, speeding through Colyford, primary and grammar school accessibility, local flooding, improvement of amenities, preservation of the green wedge, plus measures to redress the potential loss of biodiversity.

I campaigned successfully against the closure of Colyton Fire Station and, last year, initiated efforts to tackle invasive Himalayan Balsam now smothering the Coly Valley. I also volunteer at The Lantern Charity Shop and at Seaton & District Hospital for the vaccination rollout.

I helped launch and contribute articles to the Colyton Parish Council Community Newsletter which aspires to inform residents of the parish council’s work and other topical community news, plus help administrate Facebook’s Heart of Colyton Community Group, which serves as a local noticeboard for approximately 2,700 members.

Rodney Turner

I have lived in Colyton nearly all of my life and am married with three sons and a grandson.

My current employment is at Axe Valley Academy, where I have worked for the last four years as a teaching assistant. Prior to this I worked in our family businesses in the hospitality sector for almost 20 years.

For 21 years I served as a Colyton parish councillor until November 2020, sitting on the Planning, Amenities and Finance Committees, as well as spells as chair and vice chair of Finance.

Other parish organisations I currently serve on are the Colyton Chamber of Feoffees for ten years, the Peace Memorial Playing Fields Committee for 13 years and Colyton FC for 43 years.

Previously, I have been a member of Colyton Youth FC and spent ten years as a governor of Colyton Primary School.

My main concerns for the future of the parish are affordable housing for local people, the regeneration of the former CeramTec site, the creation of employment so that future generations can remain in the parish, maintaining the green wedge, and supporting our existing local businesses. If elected, I will continue to serve all members of the community to the best of my ability.

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