Parties prepare to contest seat

FOUR candidates have so far declared their intention to contest the Bradford on Avon Town Council’s South Ward vacancy.

The IDEAL Bradford candidate will be Paige Balas, an American by birth who is now a British citizen. She has been involved with the party since the 2016 local election and is a trustee of the Bradford on Avon Preservation Trust.

She is also a member of the BoA Women’s 100 Group, of Bradford on Avon CLuB (Clean up Bradford), the Bradford on Avon Footbridge Canopy restoration project and backs the ongoing campaign to fund a new skatepark for the town.

Ms Balas said: “I want to work to help make our town fully inclusive. I’d like to help everyone who lives here feel valued and that we all work together to make Bradford on Avon the best town it can be.”

The Liberal Democrat candidate is Cllr Sarah Gibson, who already sits on Wiltshire Council representing the town.

An architect with practices in Bradford on Avon and Barcelona, Cllr Gibson wants to consolidate the work that she’s already doing with the town council in areas such as town development, highways and transport.

She said: “Many of the issues that affect the town require a co-ordinated Town Council and Wiltshire Council solution. As an elected town councillor, I would be able to play a fuller part in helping the town achieve its objectives through joined up thinking.”

The Conservative Party candidate is Pam Hyde, a local businesswoman and former town councillor from 2013-17 who has lived in the town since 1996.

Mrs Hyde is actively engaged in the community and is the chairman of the Bradford on Avon Film Society. She is also known through Walkers are Welcome, the Bradford on Avon Walking Wheel Map, the Women’s Institute and and CLuB.

She said: “I really enjoyed my time as a councillor helping residents with local issues that mattered to them and helping to get things done in our town.”I am independent minded and have a ‘can do’ mindset; I am not afraid to speak up as has been shown in the past. This is a local election for local people concerned about local issues.”

The independent candidate is Feona Baker, from Westwood, who works at a care home in the town as a staff trainer. She is also a member of the BoA Women’s 100 Group.

Mrs Baker said: “I have always firmly believed that the more independent voices you have on a town council the better the residents of that town are represented.”

“I also believe that when an independent councillor steps down from that role it’s never a good thing for them to ‘just be replaced’ by a member of the majority political party.

“The residents should always be able to have a voice on who represents them in the decisions that are made on their behalf, so I stepped in as an independent to give them just that, a voice.”

The local Labour Party branch is still to say if it intends to field a candidate.

for the contest.

If enough people say by March 28 that they want a local by-election, it is likely to take place before June 6.

The vacancy has been created by the resignation of Steve Plummer, a local businessman.

This is Wiltshire

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