Three new town councillors for Sidmouth co-opted

Sidmouth town clerk signs in three new councillors to serve Sidmouth and Salcombe Regis

THREE new Sidmouth town councillors were welcomed to Woolcombe House on Tuesday for a briefing by town clerk Trina Jarrett.

Businessman Ian Barlow, owner of Sidmouth Garden Centre, will represent Salcombe Regis ward.

Maggie Baldwin, a director and secretary of Stowford Rise Community Centre, represents South ward, while David Addis is the new councillor for Primley ward.

All were co-opted by councillors last week after the May elections left the council with a shortfall of four councillors.

Dawn Manley was co-opted shortly afterwards and there were four applicants for the three remaining vacancies.

David, 68, who has lived in Sidmouth since the age of two; apart from a spell in the Royal Navy, is retired as Devon County Council’s county hall superintendent in charge of security and Community Green Travel.

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He and wife Patricia live in Moor View Close and David decided to stand for co-option after spotting a poster in Market Place advertising vacancies.

“I thought it was a shame there were people in the town who didn’t have a representative on the town council, so I put myself forward for co-option,” he said.

“I will encourage our district authority to allow the town council to do more for the people of the town…with the authority and responsibility that goes with it.”

David wants a traffic management plan to ensure the town centre thrives and develops.

Now Stowford Rise community centre is almost complete, Maggie Baldwin believes she will have more time to channel her energies into representing Sidmouth’s south ward on the council.

A retired nurse and care worker, Maggie, 64, whose daughter Jess and two grandchildren, Leoni and Leo, live in the town, will have a special eye on health issues and those relating to the elderly.

Maggie, who has lived in Sidmouth for nearly 16 years, said: “I just feel it is an opportunity to give something back to the town.

“Having visited people in their homes I know the problems many elderly people have in Sidmouth. I want to be open and available.”

Businessman Ian Barlow, 46, said several people had suggested he stand for council.

“So I did, and they very kindly let me on,” he said.

“I, like probably most people, don’t know all that the town council does and so I am here to learn and see if I can help in any way.

“I would like things to be run for the benefit of the town. You can criticise but unless you know what they do and how they do it, it may be as good as it can be.

“It is very easy to criticise something but a lot more difficult to run it.”

Mrs Jarrett said all new councillors were encouraged to join the planning committee.

She said: “It is a really good way to get to know the ward and the people in it.”