THREE candidates are in the race to represent Chard Holyrood ward at the district council level.

Jason Baker, Nick White and Melissa Whittaker-Mather are facing off for one position on South Somerset District Council.

You can read their profiles below.

When residents cast their votes on May 2, they will also vote for the town/parish councils.

Standing for the three Chard Holyrood town council seats are Jason Baker (LD), Les Gilbert (Ind), Nick White (Con), and Michelle Young (LD).

The opinions expressed in the district council candidate profiles below are those of candidates or their party.

Jason Baker, Liberal Democrat

I am standing for election as I would like to continue to represent my local community and I will continue to campaign to bring more funding into Chard.

I will also continue to ensure that we stick to the ambitious time line for the delivery of the new swimming pool and leisure centre following the closure of the CRESTA pool by the Conservative run County Council.

I will continue working to ensure many of the local traditions and events including Chard Carnival, Chard Summer Festival, and Chard Christmas lights continue to take place, these events not only bring our community together but also raise much needed money for local groups and clubs.

I feel it is important to promote more green initiatives and for our town to reduce its carbon footprint for future generations.

I am not afraid of speaking up and making Chards voice heard.

Nick White, Conservative

Nick is standing for District and Town in Holyrood Ward. He moved to Chard in the early 1970’s.

In the spring of last year, he retired back here, after thirty-seven and a half years with a London and international law firm, with much of his time spent overseas - but always having been a regular visitor “back home”, with a home and family base here, and long-term involvement with parts of the community.

A long-time member of Chard Cricket Club, Nick is also involved in youth coaching at the Club.

At District level he wants to see better priority given to Chard, the Chard regeneration scheme carried out to best effect, and sound Council finances.

At Town level he wants to see a far more politically-balanced Council, and better administration, leading to improved provision of essential local services.

Melissa Whittaker-Mather, Independent

I am keen to be the District Council for Holyrood ward as I am passionate about our town and our community.

Chard has great potential but recognising potential is different to unlocking it.

Unlocking our potential requires a collaborative Chard-focused approach with people who want what is best for us all.

I am prepared to work alongside others for the interests of the town and our community.

We have had countless promises made over time, and numerous reasons given why they were not fulfilled.

There is a lack of trust and transparency in politics which has filtered through to all tiers of governance.

We desperately need to rebuild trust, be clearer about decision-making and more responsive to our communities needs and, most importantly, held to account.

We need people, like me, who will work together for the best interest of our town, who understand our area and the needs of our communities and people who are prepared to speak up.