An election is being held for two vacant seats on the Bridgetown Ward at Totnes Town Council on Thursday November 7.

Voters can chose between three candidates: Amy Oliver of Totnes Progressive Group, and Niall Stopp and Alan Langmaid, both standing as Independents.

New blood is needed on the council follow the resignation of husband and wife duo Paul and Claire Allford in July.

Amy trained in environmental science with cultural and community studies, which puts environmental issues and sustainable living at the top of her agenda.

Amy, who was brought up on the Dartington Estate and has lived in Bridgetown for more than three decades, added: “I feel local issues are far better approached and managed by local people with historical knowledge of our area and community needs, rather than subscribing to Westminster party politics and manifestos, hence I am supporting the Totnes Progressive Group in my outlook. 

“If elected, some of the areas I would very much like to apply my efforts include putting pressure on local government with regard to social housing quotas, helping to improve our shared green spaces, to facilitate an increase in recreational amenities, as well as helping in the organisation of community arts events and festivities.”

Niall is a chef at the Cott Inn, Dartington and a former King Edward VI Community College student.

He would focus his energies on providing more facilities for youngsters in the town if he is elected.

Niall said: “When I was a kid there was more to do here; there was a youth club and various other activities.

“I’m told by parents of young people that there is none of that at the moment, so I would like to provide more things for the youth to do; give them more of an outlet to be create or sporty.

“I’d like them to feel they have something of their own in the town and that they belong.”

No stranger to politics, Alan Langmaid – a self-styled Brexit expert – stood as a UKIP candidate in the 2017 Devon County Council elections.

The former KEVICC’s pupil has held various roles in the town through the years including administrator of Totnes Museum and heritage officer employed by the town council. He is also a founding director of the Totnes Renewable Energy Society (TRESOC).

Alan said: “I’m interested in green issues and traffic. It strikes me that the current incumbents are only interested in stopping traffic, they are not really looking at changing the means of traffic.

“It looks like the traffic system of the town has reached the point where meddling with it only makes matters worse by containing traffic within its confines and causes enormous conflict.

“With five major road routes, a river and a railway we are at the crossroads that benefits our town economy, and we cannot exclude the world and live in isolation.

“Prosperity and climate responsibility are not mutually exclusive.

“I am also really, really interested in finding out what the town council is spending a quarter-of-a-million pounds on.

“The precept – the town council’s cut of council tax - has gone up from £230,000 per year in 2016 up to £535,000 this year. That’s one eye-watering hike. Is this empire building or what is it?

“The other thing is, they have been getting a free ride for about 10 years. Nearly all the town council elections have been carried out with people gaining the seats unopposed and/or they have just been co-opted.”

Electors can vote at either of the polling stations at The Civic Hall or St John’s Church Hall in Bridgetown between 7am and 10pm.