Viability of High Street ‘a priority’

13:46 23 February 2012

Honiton Town Councillor Gary Elliot

Honiton Town Councillor Gary Elliot

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Honiton’s newest town councillor sets out his aims.

Honiton’s newest town councillor has said one of his main priorities will be to make sure High Street stays viable in the future.

Gary Elliot was named the successful candidate after being co-opted onto the town council last week and will take over the vacant seat in St Michael’s ward left by Cecily Young, who resigned last September.

Three candidates competed in the co-option process and made presentations to the council in a Dragons’ Den-style interview.

During his presentation to the council, Councillor Elliot said: “Since leaving the army and my children have now left home, I have been left with more time on my hands.

“One of the things I do believe is that you need time and commitment. I think this is something I can offer.”

He added: “My priorities would be to make sure Honiton stays a viable place and a nice place. There is nothing worse than empty buildings.”

He said that he was opposed to the idea of putting parking metres in High Street and would be looking closely at the development of Ottery Moore Lane.

Candidates were also asked what changes they would like to see in Honiton and what they thought the town would be like 2020.

Mr Elliot said he did not feel that Honiton needed to change very much. “You have got everything here you need in High Street. It is a nice high street to walk up and down. We have fantastic antiques shops which will keep us going – I don’t think it needs to change.”

He added: “I don’t see it as being very different from what it is now. If they said we’ve got an unlimited budget to do what we want with High Street I would make it prettier. Lots of money has been spent on Princesshay to make it beautiful.

“It would be nice to see something like that happen to Honiton.”

The two other candidates standing were Dean Barrow and Richard Pinney.

The Mayor, Councillor Vernon Whitlock said: “It was a difficult decision.”

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