Devizes Town Council Welcomes New Councillor

Since the recent byelection for Devizes East, Guardian Vanessa Tanner was welcomed to The Town Council this month; Guardians of the Galaxy ensemble, or, maybe just Guardians of the Devizes, but you get the general gist! 

“Not everyone would stand in an election,” Vanessa said, which is a good start because I wouldn’t want to; I could sit in one, maybe slouch a bit and snooze until it was time to hit the pub, but that’s about it!

Apologies, ignore my silly edits to bulk this out; Vanessa continued, “by putting yourself forward as a representative for your community, you may open yourself up for criticism along with praise. We are hard-wired to remember the bad over the good so for your own self-preservation, you need to develop a tough skin and constantly remind yourself why it is important.”

“So why was it important for me to stand as a candidate in the recent by-election? I wanted to really engage in Devizes and be part of the community. I’m not a local born and bred, but Devizes has become my home and I love living here. Shortly after moving in, I met a group of people who are passionate about ensuring this little part of England remains beautiful and thriving. Those people are The Devizes Guardians. Each one of them with a story to tell about why they wanted to become Town Councillors.”

“My story is simple. I want to represent the people in my local area, to bring issues to the table and hopefully find solutions. Also, I’m already involved in a number of community groups, (Sustainable Devizes, CUDS, Devizes in Bloom, Dorothy House) so I wanted to represent them on the Town Council, to ensure their voices are heard. All that remains now is to do what I promised to do. Be a decent, honest and effective Councillor. Roll on the next couple of years.”

Roll on indeed, in our pre-election interview, well, I called it an interview, was more of a nice chinwag, I genuinely came away positively knowing Vanessa would make the perfect town councillor. Leader of the Guardians Jonathan Hunter commented, “we are grateful for the magnificent support shown by constituents in East Ward, along with the superb encouragement from those across the wider community who supported Vanessa Tanner’s positive election campaign.”

“It was a hard fought campaign between the Conservatives, Labour and Devizes Guardians but despite lacking the resources of a national party, Vanessa won the election with an impressive 44% of the vote. The postal vote was incredibly strong, as was the strength of support for Vanessa on the doorstep.” 

It was a testament to what can be achieved; though for the Guardians to have lost this seat, it still would not have tipped the balance to a Conservative majority. Local councils do not need persuasion from national political parties. They should be about what is best for the town. The Guardians are a conglomerate of independents. Jonathan touched on this point too, noting, “residents expressed their dissatisfaction with national and county politics and were keen to back an energetic and community-focused candidate from a party that champions local issues and campaigns for a better deal for Devizes and the local community.”

“Devizes Guardians recognise the selfless public service from former Devizes Guardian and Town Councillor, the late Jane Burton, whose sad passing triggered this by-election.

Standing in an election isn’t an easy decision and I would like to thank the other candidates for their efforts and support.”

We wish Vanessa all the best with her new role! 


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