She may be the Conservative candidate for West Devon Borough Council North Tavistock Ward – but that is conservative with a ‘small c’.

Judy Hughes, a Tavistock resident, says national politics is casting a dark shadow over grassroots politicians, but hopes Tavi North residents choose to cast their votes on May 2.

“People are rightly turned off politics by central shenanigans, though we are fortunate to have a respectable and hardworking MP in Sir Geoffrey Cox. But my focus is on people’s priorities here, less about politics and more about improving Tavistock for residents,” she says.

“I work full time and am a mother of five grown ups, I support my mum who lives with me and have a daughter working locally. Therefore, I’m a resident with a vested interest in the town’s prosperity. If it works for me, it will likely work for many as our issues and concerns will be the same.

“My view is that taxes of all type are essentially contributions made by the people to attain a reasonable standard of living and occasional support when things go wrong. It is district councils’ role to ensure that money is spent wisely and with an eye on the future wellbeing of all in the area. It is right to challenge nonsense when it raises its head and be a voice of reason in an increasingly bureaucratic world.”

One of her priorities is affordable housing which she would help tackle by pressing for the council and other partners to ensure empty properties can be brought back into use by people who need homes She also wants to campaign to reduce the burden of business rates on small businesses, saying it is ‘extremely unfair’ that businesses play less than charities.

She also wants to spruce up the town centre.

“The boarded off area on the high street has potential to be a community garden, or garden/disability parking combined, where people can meet in the middle of town and eat their local purchases. The town is beautiful in parts but needs support and investment to retain and grow its appeal, which in turn brings new money to the economy.”

The by-election for the Tavistock north ward takes place on Thursday, May 2. There are four candidates: Michael Fife Cook (Independent); Judy Hughes (Conservative); Udo Uwem (Labour); Sara Wood (Green); Holly Greenberry-Pullen (Lib Dem).