POLITICAL leaders across Teignbridge have called on people to come out and vote today, Thursday, in the Local Elections.

Alan Connett, retiring Council and Lib-Dem Leader, Phil Bullivant, Conservative Leader, Richard Daws, South Devon Alliance Leader, and Jeff Pocock, Labour spokesperson, have all urged people to remember their voter ID documents and make sure they vote for who they want to run their local town, parish and district councils for the next few years.

'Whichever way you vote, it is so important'

Alan Connett, retiring Council and Lib-Dem Leader, said: ‘Do, please, find the few minutes today to go and vote in the local council elections.

‘Whichever way you vote, it is so important that you have your say.

‘If you have a Postal Vote which you haven’t sent back, you can drop it into the local Polling Station before 10pm and it will count.

‘Your vote really does matter. For example, in the past four years Teignbridge has been building council houses again under the Liberal Democrats.

‘The plan to have a rolling programme of council houses coming forward has also been shortlisted for a national award.

‘The council is also dramatically cutting its carbon output with a big investment in updating the leisure facilities, including the Lido at Teignmouth, due to open in a few weeks time.

‘Along with that, there is a major investment to upgrade a number of tennis courts across Teignbridge giving better facilities for people to play tennis and encouraging more people to take part.

‘Do go and vote today. Don’t leave it others to decide for you.’

'I urge everyone to use their democratic mandate and cast their vote'

Phil Bullivant, Conservative Leader, said: ‘The change in the law to require voters turning up at polling stations with an acceptable  proof of identity is something that comes into effect for the first time at these elections.

‘I hope that these changes do not deter people from casting their votes in what will be one of the most important elections I have taken part in for many years.

‘The issues facing the new council are serious and need the perspective of elected representatives who are elected not only to look after their own ward issues but are capable of taking decisions on behalf of the 140,000 residents of Teignbridge.

‘I urge everyone to use their democratic mandate and cast their vote based on their vision for the future because we need new councils that can take our district, towns and parishes forward to meet the challenges we face and deliver a better future for the upcoming generations. 

‘Do not let the requirement to have a driving licence or passport or suitable identification available stop you voting otherwise the result may not deliver the changes you want and need.’

'It is the influence you have on the future of your district. Use your vote'

Richard Daws, South Devon Alliance Leader, said: ‘Local democracy is sometimes exhausting, frustrating and often feels futile but it’s all we have. As a group of people, most of whom never sought to enter local politics, the varied reasons the South Devon Alliance candidates put themselves forward to be your councillors on the District Council epitomise why your vote matters. 

‘An alliance of passionate campaigners who have already won hard earned battles on behalf of the communities they work and live in, challenging poor decision making and injustice. 

‘You may prefer the national parties, whose local muscle is always going to be restrained by national policy, or take the line ‘I’m not going to bother’. Don’t do that. 

‘It is the influence you have on the future of your district. Use your vote.’ 

'Please vote, and let’s change this country for the better'

Jeff Pocock, Newton Abbot Constituency Labour Party Media Officer, said: ‘What’s the point? They’re all the same. They just do what they want. It won’t make any difference...’

‘These are not uncommon reactions to being asked whether a person will be voting as they have the opportunity to in the 4th May local elections. 

‘However, while not uncommon, these are reactions that in fact should make us all even more determined to vote. A political landscape where there’s little change is formed when all but a few people stop voting, not when they do.

‘Political parties see that most constituents have lost interest and feel less pressure to secure more votes with innovative and ambitious policies. 

‘Conservatism sets in and gradually government policies and initiatives become less about reflecting the interests of the people and more about the interests of party and donors. So please vote, and let’s change this country for the better.’

'I urge voters to get out there on Polling Day'

Charlie West, Chair of South Devon Green Party, said: ‘At district level voters get as many votes as there are Councillors in the Ward where they live. It’s really important for voters to use all of them. 

‘Turnout for local elections is often significantly lower than General Elections but actually it’s the decisions at local level that often have the greatest impact – levels of Council Tax, the price of car park charges, and planning decisions. 

‘Voting tells the Councillors what the priorities should be. 

‘So I urge voters to get out there on Polling Day, remember to take their ID, exercise that hard-won democratic right, and get their voice heard!’

The count for the elections will be held at Newton Abbot Racacrouse tomorrow, Friday. 

Follow the results live on our website tomorrow, Friday, as thecount takes place at