The Labour Party has launched its bid to win the Clifton with Maidenway by-election with the announcement of their candidate Andy Symons.
Andy lives in Paignton and is the current Chair of Torbay Labour Party. He works for a national charity that provides advice and support on issues such as debt, housing, benefits and employment rights.
Andy has also volunteered and helped local charities and community interest groups that deal with poverty and homelessness in the Bay.
Speaking about his selection as Labour’s candidate, Andy said, “It’s an honour to be asked to represent the Labour Party in this important by-election. Obviously, it’s in circumstances that none of us would want – Ian Doggett served the Ward and the whole of the Bay with distinction over the years and his loss is keenly felt. He’s left a substantial legacy and will be a hard act to follow. But if elected as the new councillor for Clifton with Maidenway I can promise that I will fight hard for the Ward, for everyone in it and I will pledge to be available to every resident who needs a councillor’s assistance.”
In terms of policy issues Andy said, I believe that Torbay needs a strong voice that doesn’t follow the current consensus; a voice that will champion investment in the Bay – creating sustainable, high quality, well-paid jobs for Torbay residents rather than using council taxpayers money to invest in ventures in Cornwall, Exeter and Taunton, to name just three.
I will give a voice to those who feel that they aren’t being heard. What the last twelve months have shown us is the value of community – people coming together to help people in need and people struggling. For example, many children in Torbay would have gone hungry in school holidays if it hadn’t been for the efforts of the people of the Bay and some of our wonderful voluntary organisations. But volunteers should add value to what is being done by central and local government – they should not be used to replace activities that Torbay Council and the government has a moral duty to fulfil.
The voters of Clifton with Maidenway have an opportunity to send a clear message to the Libdem/Independent coalition that currently governs Torbay, as well as the Tory opposition. For too long both groups have failed to make a positive difference to the residents in the Bay, cutting services while raising council tax, failing to invest in the long term future of Torbay.
If I’m elected in May I will provide a strong voice for the people of Clifton with Maidenway and provide constant scrutiny and challenge to the policies of the current administration, as well as providing a positive and radical alternative, with policies aimed at improving the lives of both my constituents and people across the Bay.“