Independent steps down after 20 years at County Hall

Cllr Roger Giles. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 6733-47-10AW

Cllr Roger Giles. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 6733-47-10AW - Credit: Archant

A veteran independent councillor has announced he is standing down as a county representative after 20 years in the job.

Roger Giles was elected to the Ottery Rural ward in May 1993, and also sits as a district and town councillor.

He will remioan in those positions, but said he is not seeking a return to County Hall at the Devon County Council (DCC) elections on Thursday, May 2.

Instead he is giving his support to fellow independent councillor Claire Wright, who has been on East Devon District Council (EDDC) since ousting its former leader, Sara Randall Johnson, in May 2011.

On his 20 years service to the communities of Alfington, Ottery and Tipton and West Hill, and since boundary changes in 2005, Buckerell, Feniton, Gittisham and Sidbury as well, he said ‘it has been an honour and a privilege’.

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“It has been hard work – but very satisfying,” he added.

“It has not always been easy being an Independent voice at County Hall.

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“There have been times when it has proved very difficult to achieve the right outcome for the community that I represent in the face of the political party machines.

“But I like to think that there have been more successes than failures.”

Cllr Giles said he has been wondering about the right time to step down from his county council role, and said he did not want to become ‘an ineffective councillor’.

He said the key factor is his faith in Cllr Wright to take over the role as Ottery Rural representative.

“Claire has been a fantastically energetic and effective East Devon District Councillor,” Cllr Giles said.

“She has been an amazing campaigner for the countryside.”

The departing councillor said: “I could not have done what I did without the support of the community that I represented – and particularly without the support of the many people who helped me deliver newsletters, and let people know what is going on.

“I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks for everybody`s help; it was a real team effort.”

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