KINGSBRIDGE Town Council has only seven ­people standing in the upcoming elections and therefore places on the council will not be ­contested.

The candidates are ­current town councillors Wayne Grills, Irene Jeeninga, Jax Williams, Robin Griffin and Steve Sidney, along with newcomers Martina Edmunds and Barrie Fishman.

Current town councillors not standing for re-election include Keith Wingate, Rufus Gilbert, Graham Price, Anne Balkwill, Amanda Bloomer, Matt Farrand, Tom Couthard and Phillip Yates.

Cllr Wingate is not standing for re-election

to the town council after ­having 'thought long and hard'. He said there was 'often a conflict' between Kingsbridge Town Council and South Hams Council and he has decided it would be better for him to devote his energies towards being a district councillor.

Cllr Wingate went on to say that he would still attend Kingsbridge Town Council meetings and would still be happy to provide input when required, but he had sometimes found himself in a 'difficult position' and it was not always possible to give both councils 100 per cent.

He said that 'at the end of the day I've got to be able to hold my head up high', but that it had been a hard decision and he will not let the town council struggle and will assist in its smooth running.

Cllr Price is also not standing for re-election to Kingsbridge Town Council and will instead be concentrating on his commitments to Kingsbridge in Bloom, of which he is chair.

Cllr Price said: 'I don't have enough time to do both jobs, and since this is such a big year for Kingsbridge in Bloom I've got to make the decision.'

He said it was always his intention to stand 'until the elections' and that everyone has a 'finite amount of time' in which to do what they want to do. He added that he had 'enjoyed my time on Kingsbridge Town Council'.

Cllr Gilbert is standing in the district and county council elections, but not for Kingsbridge Town Council.

'I'm leaving Kingsbridge Town Council after eight great years,' he said, 'two of which as the mayor.

'To serve on three ­councils effectively isn't easy. I will continue to do so, as one of Kingsbridge's ­county councillors, and if elected on May 7 as one of its district councillors.

'I believe we've achieved a lot for Kingsbridge over the past eight years. It's been a privilege to work with so many excellent councillors, along with the town clerk Martin Johnson and the community.'

Cllr Farrand explained that it was work commitments that influenced his decision not to stand for


'I was going to, but I'm just so busy with work that I've missed a couple of important meetings lately,' he explained. 'I've got two young sons who moan they don't see me enough and they're more important.'

He went on to say that he felt this situation was a shame, as he thinks the town council needs some younger representatives.

But he added: 'I guess retired people with children who've left home have more time on their hands.'

Cllr Couthard had a ­different reason for not being on the Statement of Nominated Persons: he simply got the date wrong and was away when the form needed to be handed in.

He said: 'As we're short-handed, I'll be co-opted back in if members agree.'

Cllr Fishman is one of the newcomers hoping to make an impact on the town council.

A former civil servant and a magistrate for 18 years, he hopes to be a 'well-rounded councillor' who 'listens to people, brings things up and gets things done within the financial restraints we're all facing at the moment'.