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Voters in Newton Abbot urged to turn out for February 8 election

VOTERS in Newton Abbot have been urged not to miss an opportunity to take part in a forthcoming ballot for a vacant seat on the Town Council.

The Bushell Ward position has become available just six months after the May local elections as sitting member Simon Walker has stepped down for personal reasons.

Eligible candidates can submit their nominations between January 5 – 12 ahead of the vote on February 8.

Polling stations will be set up at the Salvation Army Community Hall, Newton Abbot Children’s Centre and Abbotsbury Church, although polling cards will not be issued.

Town Clerk Phil Rowe has urged the public to take the opportunity to elect a member they believe will best serve their interests.

‘A recent parish election elsewhere in the district resulted in just 14 per cent of the electorate turning up, that’s a disappointingly low figure,’ he said.

‘While I’m not saying the successful candidate isn’t up to the role, it is a fact that only a small proportion of those eligible to vote bothered to do so.

‘Effectively, a staggering 86 per cent of residents let a very few people speak on their behalf, can that be right?

‘There are plenty of topics in our town that have given residents and businesses cause to express very strong opinions of late and although the Town Council has limited powers, only by serving as a member do you get a seat at the table where the meaningful discussions take place.

‘Keyboard warriors might get plenty of likes on social media but that counts for nothing in the formal business of local government.

‘What I’m saying, is that if people in the town want their concerns to be voiced faithfully in the chamber, then they need to look at who’s standing for election and cast their vote for the individual they think will most faithfully represent them.

‘The UK system of democracy might not suit everyone but it’s the only one we have, make it work for you by taking part and being part of the election on February 8.’

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