The Lib Dems are fielding eight candidates for West Devon Borough Council on May 4 and say they hope to form a strong team to stand up for residents.

They sense that the time is right for a change, both locally and nationally. George Dexter, who is campaigning for Okehampton North ward, sums it up like this: ‘Nothing seems to work anymore in our once great country. The cost of energy and food is out of control, mortgages and rents are soaring, the NHS is in crisis and waiting lists grow by the month. That’s why I am campaigning to reopen Okehampton hospital.’

Christian Martin, who is standing for Exbourne, adds: ‘The crisis continues in Okehampton College, and in the amount of sewage being pumped into our rivers and onto our beaches. Our roads and transport infrastructure are crumbling. It was never truer that this country needs change.’

The Liberal Democrats say they are committed to a fair society, based on a technologically advanced green economy and with local decisions based on local wishes. They say they are the only party speaking up for the farming community and that the current Government has abandoned the interests of UK agriculture in favour of ‘shabby foreign trade deals’.

Among their candidates, Holly Greenberry-Pullen, who lives in Princetown with her two children, holds a world record in open water swimming. She understands the joys and challenges of living in a rural area. Standing for Dartmoor ward, she wants to use her long experience in the housing sector to prioritise affordable and sustainable housing for local people At 31, Ashley West is the youngest candidate standing for the Liberal Democrats. His priorities are rural bus services, phone, and internet access: ‘Our area is crying out for better infrastructure and community support,’ he says, ‘I feel we have been badly let down’.