Sadly, due to ill health, our long-serving Councillor Roy Lucas has had to retire from the District Council where he has served the Braunton East Ward for many years. I am sure you would like to join me in wishing him the very best and to thank him for his dedicated service to our community.
As a lifelong Conservative, he is very keen to see his good work continued. Consequently, I am delighted to have been selected as the candidate to replace Roy for the upcoming by-election on November 2nd. I would be very grateful for your support.
I have lived here all my life, attending Georgeham Primary School and Braunton Academy (then Comprehensive). After studying at Petroc, I am now working in Barnstaple as a Financial Adviser. I am also a qualified Accounting Technician. I believe my skills in this area could be really helpful as we strive to achieve best value for money for local council tax-payers.
Whilst Braunton is a fantastic place to live, work and retire, there are many local concerns. I will always stand-up for what I believe is best for our village, and wanted to let you know my views on some key issues.
Planning and Housing – This is a contentious issue. The area does need more affordable housing, but it must be in the right places. The proposed development on the back of South Park has proved particularly controversial. Neither Parish nor District Council supported it, and local residents are clear they do not want it either. Sadly, without an overall Local Plan, we are at the mercy of the Planning Inspectorate. I will always work with local residents to ensure their voices are heard on this and other future developments.
Highways and Air Pollution – Traffic is a problem, and is the main cause of air pollution in and around the village. We cannot just wait for electric vehicles or assume people will use buses. We need to tackle the challenges of traffic in our area and explore long-term solutions, whilst being sympathetic to our environment. I am willing to face those issues, too long neglected.
Flooding – Much work has been done by our local wardens, working with the Environment Agency and Devon County Council, to install pumps to protect the village centre, but more is needed. I am very keen on the Upstream Thinking scheme supported by the EA, Devon Wildlife Trust and SWW. By looking at the issues at the Caen’s source, water can be slowed before it arrives in the village. I will continue to work on this as a priority.
Health and Education – I will always fight to safeguard our local services. The government has recently increased funding for Devon’s schools, but I want a fair deal for Braunton Academy—my old school! We recently had confirmation that all the acute services will remain at North Devon Hospital; I will lobby to ensure we have the resources to make that happen.
Whilst not covering every issue here, I hope this gives you a flavour of who I am and how I hope, given your support on 2nd of November, to be able to serve our community following in Roy Lucas’s footsteps.
Pic: Felix Milton (left) Cllr Robin Bonds (right)