November 11, 2015
In their own words: Highbridge election candidates make their pitches invited the two candidates standing in this week's Highbridge by-election to explain why voters should choose them and their answers are featured below.

The Town Council by-election will be held in the Highbridge ward this Thursday (12th November) between 7am and 10pm. The election has been called after the previous councillor for Highbridge stood down for personal reasons.

.Terry Dommett, Conservative:   .Victoria Weavell, Lib Dem:

"I was born locally, my parents worked for many years in Higbridge. I am a father and grandfather. I completed 23 years service in the Cellophane factory before gaining my Health and Safety qualifications and setting up my own business. Since I have retired I have represented the area on Sedgemoor Tenants Voice, served a term on the board of Homes in Sedgemoor as a member of its Audit Committee."

"Highbridge is a growing community that will of course see further expansion in the future, what I do not want to see is this happening without the schools, doctors surgeries and suitable transport links in place. I want to see the right mix of affordable and social housing in any further growth plans."

"We have a train station which is lacking good access for the disabled and mothers with strollers. Parking is limited and the station itself has little character and nothing to inform the traveller of what the town and the surrounding area has to offer. I want to change these things for the better and have brought our local MP to see the problems and gain his support."

"When talking to business owners in the town, the need to attract more people into the centre to shop is frequently raised. There is very little roadside parking, so the shopper has to pay for parking even if they only want a pint of milk or a loaf of bread. I would like to see the first half hour in the car park free, as happens in a number of towns around the country."

"With the increasing numbers of houses being built we need to attract more employment. I would like to see our residents able to find suitable employment in the area without the need to travel further afield."

"I think it would benefit our town if we had our own skills training centre, so that people could obtain training to get them into, or help them return to, work. Our children and young people need the facilities for sport and recreation maintained and increased as our town population grows."

"I am totally against the sale of the Apex Park BMX track, wanting to see it reinstated to park land or alternately try to find another community use for the site. I believe in standing up for our community. I will campaign for a safer community, support independent shops and fight for local jobs and opportunities."

"My aim is to see a progressive council, one that listens to constituent's views, and supports local groups working to improve our town's parks and other facilities. I will use my many years of experience, both in housing, finance and local government procedures, to work for everyone."

"We as a party have kept our promises to deliver a new school, a pedestrian crossing outside the doctors surgery and the building of a new enterprise centre. I want to be part of this team and I am committed to deliver further benefits to our community."


"I am standing as your candidate in Highbridge's election this Thursday. I am not a politician but as a local person I care hugely about our area."

"I've worked in adult social care and education, and have run my own business, so I feel that I have a very good understanding of the needs, sometimes complex, of many in our community."

"I hope you will be able to trust me with your vote and put aside party politics for the benefit of our community."

"I would expect a councillor to be an effective representative of residents, putting their views and needs first and looking forwards to those of future generations."

"Having seen the changes in Highbridge over the course of my life I am appalled by what has been inflicted upon the area by people without connection to or understanding of Highbridge's needs."

"My family have had strong connections to Highbridge for many years and it is distressing to see the designed decline of the High Street, the decimation of our public services, the closure of the businesses on Morlands and the loss of Woodberry's, for whom I worked early in my working life."

"There is no reason with all of Highbridge's existing assets such as its excellent transport links and potential for commercial development that it could not be again the thriving hub that it once was - the issue is will, principle, ambition and common sense."

"Without a strong voice, I believe the future of the area is extremely bleak. I feel Highbridge would benefit greatly from having its own Town Council which would give greater accountability."

"At the very least a clear and honest discussion should be held on the issue with the public."

"Having listened to the views of local people, I agree that urgent action is needed on many issues. Highbridge is suffering from serious underinvestment in infrastructure and hugely harmful overdevelopment."

"The coming years are key for Highbridge and the planning process will be instrumental in defining Highbridge's future."

"I cannot promise to resolve all of these issues but I can and will make sure the views of this community are heard."


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