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SIDMOUTH: Councillor in bid for parliament

Thursday, 05 June 2014

An Independent Ottery councillor has announced that she will run for parliament in next year’s general election. Claire Wright, 39, who has served on the town, district and county authorities during the last five years, will be in Sidmouth today (Tuesday, June 3rd) to formally launch her campaign to represent the East Devon constituency, currently held by Conservative MP Hugo Swire. And ahead of the launch, Councillor Wright has vowed to prioritise the views of residents on key issues. She said: “Many people have asked me to run for parliament. I have decided it is the right thing to do and now is the right time to do it. “Many voters tell me that they are disenchanted with party politics. They say that they have voted in a particular way all their lives but can no longer bring themselves to do so. “They are angry at the relaxation of planning rules and how big business appears to influence government policy. They are also very concerned at the widespread cuts in public services which central government is forcing councils to make. “They believe passionately that their views are not being heard - or even expressed - in parliament.” After joining Ottery St Mary Town Council in 2009, Councillor Wright was elected to East Devon District Council in 2011 and last year was elected to Devon County Council winning 74 per cent of votes cast – the largest majority in the South West. She has campaigned for greater protection of the East Devon countryside and has opposed local planning strategies – including the district council’s proposed move to new offices at Skypark. And she claims to represent the “opposite of a big political party”. She added: “Because I am free to speak my mind publicly and campaign on issues of importance to local people, I would never have to choose between my conscience and a party line. “I believe that I have demonstrated this at a local and county council level and that my experience means that I can represent East Devon residents in Parliament more effectively than anyone else.” As part of her campaign, Councillor Wright is launching a survey to understand the key issues for local voters. Responses to the survey can be made until December ahead of the publication of Councillor Wright’s manifesto early next year.


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