"I am delighted to have served the people of Tavistock South and West Devon for the last four years, for much of which I chaired the Communities Committee. Four years is not a long time but in difficult financial times I have achieved some significant positive results:
Reduced Car Parking Charges. Four years ago I pledged to keep car parking charges under control. As Chairman of the Communities Committee for 3 years I delivered reduction and restructuring, providing a sensible mix of low charges for short stay and a low single charge for long stay. Gone are the 2-yearly increases!
Support for Small Businesses. Another pledge was to support small businesses. By engaging with the Town Team I supported the Town centre. I have opposed edge of town retail development which challenges the viability of the Town centre. By speaking for small businesses at Planning Committee meetings I helped to secure appropriate permission for Charles Grey’s Kitchen Show room in Pixon Lane and Pizza Wheels takeaway service in the Westbridge Industrial Estate.
Sustaining the Tourist Information Service. We had to find an alternative way to provide this vital service on which our local tourist and food & drink sectors depend. As Chairman of Communities I found a workable, affordable solution that also helped strengthen the Post Office, an important service in town. Now the TIC costs nothing yet provides longer open hours and more trained staff than before. Real value for money!
Opposition to undesirable planning schemes. From Anderton Lane through Whitchurch Road to Wilminstone, there have been many planning proposals that simply do not stack up to the needs of local people. Whether it be undesirable extensions, new builds or changes of use I have never been afraid to speak my mind, and at times I have done so forcefully to ensure that the point of view of local people who have lobbied me is pressed home. In most cases I can report successful opposition!"