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Ivybridge residents can elect their South Hams District Councillor in May, so we decided to find out more about who was standing and why.
Some people may think that voting in the local elections isn't as important as voting in the General Elections, but you could argue that the people we elect to represent us at the county and district levels will actually have more of an impact on our day-to-day lives than any of our MPs or representatives in Westminster do.
South Hams District Council has overall responsibility for services including Council Tax, affordable housing, recycling and refuse collections, business support, flytipping, business rates, food hygiene, commercial waste, housing benefits, verges, car parks, homelessness, stray dogs, licensing, street cleaning, elections and leisure centres.
The local elections take place in two weeks time, on Thursday, May 6. Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm. You don't need your poll card to vote. You must vote at your assigned polling station (find yours here). In England, Wales and Scotland, you don't need any form of ID.
Katie Reville is standing for the Green Party
She says her aim is to “give local residents the opportunity to vote for a new and distinct voice to represent them on the District Council”.
Katie lives on the Western side of Ivybridge with her husband Pete, a local dentist, and two children, Ben, 12, and Alice, 9. She has been an active member of many local community groups and in 2016 she helped to establish South Dartmoor Community Energy, which now delivers a free and impartial home energy advice service for South Hams residents.
Katie was an Ivybridge Town Councillor for nearly five years, during which time she was “involved in looking after open spaces, supported community consultation events and helped to get solar panels on the Town Hall roof to make the council more sustainable”. Her current job involves managing a national funding programme for energy related projects.
Katie said: “I love living in Ivybridge and want residents to know that as their District Councillor I will work hard to ensure that Ivybridge gets its fair share of support as we move out of covid restrictions. I also want to feel reassured that our facilities and services can cope with all the new development in and around Ivybridge and that all the new homes are being built to high environmental standards, for the benefits of those that live in them and the environment”.
Paula Jones is standing for the Conservative Party
The Conservative press office did not respond to our request for comment. To find out more about the Conservatives in the South Hams, visit: www.totnesconservatives.co.uk
Tony Rea is standing for the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition
He said: “I am a town councillor in Ivybridge. Married with four children and two grandchildren raised in the town, I have previously been a governor at Ivybridge Community College. I am standing to give residents the chance to vote for an independent, loud and clear voice for the town.
“Government cuts have severely affected public services in Ivybridge. Gone are the children’s centre and youth centre; we suffer underfunded schools; poor adult social services; inadequate local health services.
“All South Hams District Council (SHDC) councillors get £2,000 per year to re-invest into the area they represent and mine will go immediately to plug some of these gaps.
“Did you know that SHDC councillors are paid a personal allowance from your taxes? These payments range from about £4,500 for ordinary members to over £20,000 for the leader of the council.
“Somebody misses work to be a councillor, fair enough they get paid. But many, like me, are drawing pensions and don’t need paying. If elected my allowances will go back into Ivybridge; this is tax-payers’ money after all.”
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* The information contained on this page is correct to the best of our knowledge, if you notice anything that you know to be incorrect or misleading, please contact us.