Barnstaple’s Local Champion

by David Chalmers on 3 May, 2017

It has been my privilege these past two years to represent my home village of Bickington on Fremington Parish Council. Through these difficult and challenging times for our community I have chaired the Finance and Personnel Committee. In that role I have always endeavoured to act in the best interest of the local community, and realised that making progress in the hard work of local government is a team effort.

It is by building consensus and forging agreement that we advance. For us to achieve the best for Barnstaple and our region, Councillors at all levels – Town, Parish and District – and across parties need to find ways to work together. I have sought to do that on Fremington Parish Council, and on this Thursday 4th May I am asking the people of Barnstaple to vote for me and to give me the opportunity to do the same on Devon County Council.

As a Trustee of North Devon Sunrise, I have encouraged strong community ties here in Barnstaple by helping to organise our Annual Diversity Festival and by campaigning for the rights of the disabled, refugees and other disadvantaged members of our community.

My business career in London and Asia has prepared me for the detail orientated work that a successful Councillor must master. For instance, it is not enough to defeat an unwarranted housing development in one meeting, only for it to come back in a different form the following year. That is why I encouraged Fremington to embark on its Neighbourhood Plan and now sit on its Steering Group – once completed, a neighbourhood plan is a long-term legally recognised tool for the community to stand up to unwanted development. It is this sort of patient hard work, not grandstanding, that will move Barnstaple forward.

And I am not afraid of hard work; of rolling up my sleeves to get a job done. If you want to lead and organise our vital local services, you need to understand them. That is why I trained as a local road warden, as a flood warden and have done my rounds in the local litter picking teams.

I believe that Barnstaple needs to take a leading role in North Devon. I am proud of the energy and creativity of Barnstaple’s businesses and its people. The Lib Dems will support the schools, hospitals and jobs that will make Barnstaple thrive.

I pledge that as your County Councillor I will work tirelessly for this community. On Thursday, by voting Liberal Democrat, we have an opportunity to reverse the decline, invest in our future and help build a flourishing Barnstaple.

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