Voters to choose next councillor

VOTERS in one area of Clevedon will have the chance to choose which person represents their views on Clevedon Town Council this week.

A by-election for a vacant seat covering the Walton ward will take place tomorrow (Thurs) with a polling station at St Mary’s Church in Castle Road to be open from 7am-10pm.

The two candidates running for the seat are Andrew Withers and Graham Watkins.

Graham Watkins, aged 68, has lived in Clevedon for 11 years. He will stand as an independent candidate.

He said: “For eight years up to 2011, I served on Clevedon Town Council. I was chairman of transport and highways committee for several years guiding projects including the renewal or refurbishment of all council-owned bus shelters, the traffic calming scheme outside St John’s Primary School in Fosseway and the installation of a new pedestrian crossing in Kenn Road.

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“I believe in, and have successfully encouraged, a non-political approach to council affairs.

“If elected I will promote a strong and coherent voice for Clevedon at North Somerset Council to ensure a fairer deal; positively support the community groups active in the town whether cultural, sporting or more wide-ranging; actively challenge the decision not to proceed with a new hospital and oppose any introduction of a resident parking scheme and the suggested extension of parking charges.

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“I consider I have the experience, knowledge and ability to help provide the leadership urgently required for our town in these challenging times.”

Andrew Withers, aged 55, has lived in Clevedon for seven years. He will stand as an independent candidate supported by the Clevedon First local action group.

He said: “I was elected for the Walton ward in May 2010 but stood down due to work commitments.

“My record shows I voted for no increase in the local rates in a time of recession and I argued strongly that the cost of CCTV was no replacement for on-the-ground policing.

“I will try to make the council embrace change and new initiatives to regenerate the town.

“As a founder member of Clevedon Pride raising money for the Christmas lights, I want to ensure the council works with all voluntary groups.

“I am opposed to the ban on live tweeting for members of the council, as by Statutory Instrument such secrecy of council proceedings is prohibited.

“I have visited Epernay, our twin town where the civic culture contrasts significantly to that of Clevedon.

“I want to see a greater profile for the mayor of Clevedon being the voice of Clevedon.”

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