Meet the candidates for Sidmouth’s West ward
- Credit: Archant
A shopkeeper, a retired company director and a former bakery owner have put themselves forward to fill the vacancy in Sidmouth’s West ward.
Jeannie Alderdice, Dee Hounsom and Sheila Kerridge are all vying for the position on the town council after the resignation of Matt Booth.
Polling day has been set for Wednesday, March 29, between 7am and 10pm.
Jeannie Alderdice is a writer who co-runs Sidmouth Gifts with her husband.
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She has been a member of the Green Party for more than 10 years and said she feels she ought to put her money where her mouth is.
She said: “I’m standing because I’d like to help ensure that Sidmouth is the finest place it can be.
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“As an independent business owner I’m committed to growing the local economy and ensuring that tourists have the best experience possible, but I also want to see improved facilities and opportunities for locals – regardless of their age or income, and regardless of the time of year.
“These are turbulent times politically, and we need to fight for Sidmouth’s best interests – be that in health, protection of the local environment, or in the retention of our local transport and public services.
“People can make a difference when they band together, so I would encourage the people of West ward to let me know what they would like, and join with me to pursue some dynamic change.”
Dee said: “My name is Dee Hounsom, I’m married with two daughters, and I’m standing as an Independent with no political ties or affiliations.
“I’ve had a long and varied career, from actor in the West End to producing corporate events for British Airways, Hitachi Data Systems and PwC UK.
“I’m a qualified coach and have held several charity trustee ships.
“If elected, I will serve the community to ensure that the Sid Valley is developed sensitively with specific regard to homes for young families, vital for future sustainability.
“Alongside this we must preserve our Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, developing cycle and pedestrian links and improving parking in the town.
“I support a new entrance onto the Alexandria Estate.
“I’m currently chair of the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan. This means speaking to many people about both their hopes and concerns for the future so I’m in the unique position of having up to date insights into residents’ views.”
Sheila has lived in Sidmouth for 44 years and been married to Martin for 48 years. They have two adult children, Tobie and Tamasin, who were both born and educated in Sidmouth.
Sheila and her husband are both now retired, but they owned and traded as Vinnicombes’s Bakers and Confectioners in Sidmouth for 42 years.
Sheila has previous experience as a councillor, having served on East Devon District Council. She was its tourism champion and says she remains very interested in sustainable tourism within the town.
Sheila hopes to help to improve access to local organisations and voluntary groups for all local residents, to identify their needs and to signpost people to the right place to enable them to get help.
She said: “A healthy voluntary and community sector can bring untold benefits to our local residents.”