Two in, one out at town council following election


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A former town mayor has lost his seat on Budleigh Salterton Town Council following its first election in 20 years.

The election, held last Thursday, saw four new candidates put their names forward, alongside Steve Hall, who resigned from the council last year, to challenge the existing 11 councillors for 12 seats.

The result saw Megan Kenneally-Stone elected to join the council, along with Cllr Hall and ten of the previous councillors, with former councillor Dick Mitchell the one to miss out. New candidates Trevor Child, John Harvey, and Benedict Murrell were also unsuccessful.

Mr Mitchell served four terms as the town’s mayor, and had been a member of the council since 1985.

The town council is scheduled to be elected every four years, but since 1995 the number of candidates has never exceeded the number of seats.

Mr Mitchell said: “Of course I was very disappointed, but at the end of the day it’s the choice of the residents of Budleigh, and it’s something which you’ve got to live with.

“I was there 30 years - maybe some residents thought it was time for a change. I can only wish the councillors that got on all the best.”

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Cllr Kenneally-Stone said: “I’m really looking forward to getting involved. The town councillors have obviously done a great job, but perhaps Budleigh’s diversity might be represented a bit more after the election.”

Cllr Hall, also re-elected to East Devon District Council alongside Alan Dent and Tom Wright, said: “It is a privilege to be re-elected. It’s extremely beneficial to be able to assess and act on, with the town council, groundswell issues that may need to be resolved at district level.

“I will continue to speak up on issues that concern Budleigh and look forward to working with the other town councillors.”

The full election result was as follows: Trevor Child, 620 votes, Alan Dent, 1117, Lynda Evans, 988, Anthony Gooding, 785, Steve Hall, 1285, Harry Harrison, 833, John Harvey, 643, Mike Hilliar, 828, Alan Jones, 741, Megan Kenneally-Stone, 792, Chris Kitson, 755, Dick Mitchell, 697, Benedict Murrell, 514, Courtney Richards, 783, Caz Sismore-Hunt, 1025, Tom Wright, 1137.

There was a 76.9 per cent turnout.