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South Ham Lib Dems Announce Host of Candidates And Policy Priorities

January 28, 2019 9:46 PM
By Charlotte Power

The South Hams Liberal Democrats have taken their first step in assembling a full house of candidates for the upcoming May district council elections and prioritising the policy areas around which they intend to campaign.

The local Lib Dems have so far announced a total of 14 candidates for seats across the districts.

"If you look at the expertise and background of these individuals you can see we have put together a group of candidates that would totally transform the way the South Hams is run," said Councillor Keith Baldry.

"The current Conservative controlled Council has only distinguished itself by its failures, such as its failure to address the key housing issues affecting the District and its propensity to waste council tax monies on failed projects," said Councillor John Birch.

CandidatesThe following candidates (some of whom are pictured with Wera Hobhouse, MP) include four incumbents and 10 first-timers with careers spanning law, accountancy, journalism, IT, climate change science, policing, occupational health and teaching. Several have previously served on councils elsewhere: Councillor Keith Baldry; Councillor John Birch; Brian Blake; Councillor Julian Brazil; Richard Heseltine; Susie Jackson; John Mckay; Guy Pannell; Antony Power; Simon Rake; George Rosevear; Keith Smith; Dan Thomas and Councillor Robert Vint.

At the same time the South Hams Lib Dems announced their candidates, they also identified the following key areas they intend to base their campaign on:

Build Genuinely Affordable Homes for Local Working Families:

In the last five years, the Tory-led council has done nothing to increase the stock of affordable housing. We would set up a Company specifically for the development of affordable housing. We would insist that private housing developments contain a percentage of affordable housing. We would lobby the government to close the loophole through which second home owners are able to avoid paying Council Tax on their holiday homes.

Invest in our Market Towns:

The Lib Dems would make a concerted effort to maintain the viability of those centres through investment and economic incentives to existing small businesses and start-ups. Car parking charges will be cut by 50% to attract more business.

Keep Public Toilets Open and Free to Use:

We would reverse the current Conservative policy and ensure that the public had free access to municipal toilets.

Restore Local Democracy:

There has to be an end to secret development plans, secret commercial property investments and an opening up of the decision-making process to involve all interested parties - elected or otherwise.

Improve finances and administration:

We would improve the council's substandard client satisfaction ratings and restrict the use of expensive consultants.