Gareth fills Sidbury vacancy on council

PUBLISHED: 06:28 11 March 2016

Sidmouth Town Councillor Gareth Jones. Ref shs 10-16SH 7186. Picture: Simon Horn

Sidmouth Town Councillor Gareth Jones. Ref shs 10-16SH 7186. Picture: Simon Horn

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A Welshman who speaks his mind has been elected as Sidbury’s new representative on Sidmouth Town Council.

Sidmouth Town Councillor Gareth Jones. Ref shs 10-16SH 7194. Picture: Simon HornSidmouth Town Councillor Gareth Jones. Ref shs 10-16SH 7194. Picture: Simon Horn

Former paratrooper Gareth Jones (pictured) now hopes to acquaint himself with the issues in the village as he fills the shoes of David Addis, who resigned earlier this year.

“A lot of friends of mine put my name forward,” said the 72-year-old.

“I think it’s probably because I speak my mind.”

Brought up speaking Welsh in Camarthen, where he grew up on a farm, the linguist now speaks Malay, Indonesian and German.

Some languages were learned in the Special Forces in the army – he served in Borneo and the Cyprus conflict – and others while subsequently living abroad.

After leaving the army, Gareth became an engineer working on electricity pylons for the National Grid, but he has now retired.

He has two children and six grandchildren and has lived in the Sid Valley for 30 years.

Previously a Harcombe resident, he now lives in Drakes Avenue with his partner Sue Harland, a former PA for Donkey Sanctuary founder Dr Elisabeth Svendsen who also worked in the House of Lords.

Allotment holder Gareth is a keen rugby fan, who played for the now much more successful Camarthen Harlequins, and more locally for the Blue Ball Inn team. He was still active until quite recently and is also a familiar face from his pantomime appearances in Sidbury.

“I’m going to speak to a lot of people,” he said. “I’m hoping people will start approaching me.”

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