Nominees vie for Sidmouth Town Council vacancy

Prospective town councillors Matt Booth and Deirdre Hounsom

Prospective town councillors Matt Booth and Deirdre Hounsom - Credit: Archant

Two residents are vying to fill a vacancy on Sidmouth Town Council - Matt Booth and Deirdre Hounsom.

The by-election will take place on Thursday, October 8. The successful candidiate will join councillors Louise Cole and John Rayson in representing the ward.

Deirdre ‘Dee’ Hounsom is a qualified coach, a speaker, a charity trustee and a retired company director.

She is married with two daughters, who are both successful published authors.

Deirdre moved to Sidmouth in 2007 and is standing as a truly independent candidate with no affiliations to any group or political party.

If elected, she states that she will serve the community to ensure that Sidmouth is not spoilt by over-development.

She feels strongly that development must be sensitively achieved in order to retain the character and charm of this unique town.

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Deirdre believes that the town centre must be revitalised by small independent businesses to become a vibrant centre that is welcoming to both visitors and residents alike.

Dee says she would work hard to support the residents of Sidmouth town west ward and strive to ensure that their views and comments were noted and acted upon to the best of her ability.

Matt Booth said he would like to see the town council ‘engaging more directly with district and county authorities in order to lobby for longer-term benefits for the town’.

He said: “I support the development of a neighbourhood plan and the creation of strategies across areas, including tourism, jobs, housing and town planning that support sustainable economic growth.

“I would promote constant engagement with community and voluntary groups, events and festivals, and small businesses in order to connect them with a range of external partners and sources of sustainable funding.

“I would like to see multi-generational activities that capture the wealth of resources within the town and respond to challenges within the community, a range of support for young people linked to national opportunities, more markets and festivals, and a link to the town’s heritage that promotes responsible regeneration and the retention of the town’s last remaining assets.”