ILMINSTER'S county council candidates take the chance to convince you to vote for them...

Carol Goodall, Liberal Democrats

HAVING spent more than 30 years travelling the world with my husband, who was in the army, we arrived in Ilminster in 1998 and took the opportunity to settle down in Somerset.

Army life is all about community and so I guess it was not surprising that after having adjusted to life in Ilminster, I wanted to get involved in the local community.

I started out by getting involved in Ilminster Forum, the regeneration group, which created the 2004 community plan.

I helped with one of the first projects identified in that plan, which was the enhancement of the cycle track/stop line way that involved working with two other communities – Donyatt and Knowle St Giles.

Other projects followed such as the refurbishment of the Ilminster library garden and walk leaflets for the town.

I continued to work with the Forum but wanted to do more to support the community, so as well as being the local Poppy Appeal co-ordinator for the Ilminster District, I have also served as a town councillor 2004 to 2009 and 2011 to 2016 and been Mayor four times. I have been a District Councillor since 2009.

I am standing as a prospective County Councillor in the hope that I can secure the best future for the Ilminster Division and its residents.

Don Kinder, UKIP

AS a UKIP candidate my goal is simple to ensure the people I represent get a fair deal for the money they give to local government.

How will I do this:

I will fight to ensure that the people of Ilminster, its outlying villages and hamlets get value for money from their taxes, aiming to reduce excessive management not front line staff.

I will be vigilant in ensuring that money for adult social care paid on our council tax is ring fenced for our vulnerable older generation.

I will fight to ensure council tax is kept as low as possible, where this is impracticable I will ask the council to seek a mandate from the people for excessive increases.

I want to see our local tenant farmers given a fair deal not having their livelihood taken away by big developers to use to make millions of pounds in profits.

I will strive to give power back to the people. Major decisions by council should be subject to binding local referenda.

I hope that you will support me in achieving all of the above and be assured that I will fight for all the people in Ilminster division placing their welfare at the heart of what I do.

Peter Lansdown, Green

YOU should have voted for me last time when I was in my 60s.

The problems I highlighted then are now much worse so I stand again.
We must consider our children and their children.

There are three burning issues they will face: Climate Change, Financial Inequality and the Global Migrant Crisis.

The Conservative County Council has embraced nuclear not renewables, it plans roads not public transport, and the Conservative Government has abandoned the dubs amendment on child refugees and embraced Hard Brexit.

This country needs immigration. We are a rapidly ageing population reliant on young people from other countries. They should be welcomed.

So should refugees. We are one world and poor though some of us, they are poorer and need our help.

I was in Calais last week. Young people run the charities there, they understand.

This crisis is caused by conflict, by population growth and by climate change. We must prepare, even at county level.

We must level the financial playing field, we must fight prejudice against minorities, we must safeguard our environment.

The young struggle just tackling the present. Us oldies must look after their future.

Ian Mackillop, Labour

I HAVE been resident in Ilminster since 2003 and presently sit on the town council.

In the financial year just started the government presented Somerset County Council, along with every other local council in England a 25 per cent cut in the Rate Support Grant.

A further 25 per cent is earmarked for next year, then total withdrawal in 2019.

The resulting shortfall is supposed to be made up from business rates, which councils will be allowed to keep for the first time.

While some have sufficient businesses to make good this shortfall, Somerset does not.

Consequently, the services the council delivers are likely to come under threat-particularly those not statutorily required.

Which is why Somerset will need councillors ready to defend these services, now and in the years to come.

Ilminster also faces the prospect of uncontrolled development.

The government’s drive to build (supposedly) affordable homes has given rise to a series of proposed developments in and around the town which must receive the scrutiny needed to ensure adequate flood defences are in place and our sewerage systems are able to cope.

So if you share these concerns, please vote Labour on May 4. May the fourth be with you.

Linda Piggott-Vijeh, Conservative

Why vote for Linda?

SS – As our County Councillor Linda is thorough, consistent, caring and tenacious.

JM - Conscientious and hardworking, Linda grasps situations quickly, supporting us by attending PC meetings and local events.

AS – Linda is always happy to help, fighting for the underdog like a dog with a bone. Nothing is ever too much trouble.

TW - We are amazed at the amount of work Linda does. Give a problem to her and forget about it. It will be resolved as far as is practicable.

LM – Linda’s tenacity and resolve in doing her utmost to help overcome injustice is renowned.

CW – Linda does an amazing job keeping us up to date. I feel more connected to SCC than ever before. Hats off to her for being such a hard-working and dedicated county councillor.

CN - Linda is a fantastic councillor, being there for me when I needed help, very thorough, and available at the drop of a hat to listen to my concerns, acting accordingly. 

RM - is very active regarding local planning and highway issues and is most approachable.

BP – Linda is an excellent example of what County Councillors should be – a listener, enabler, communicator and supporter.