County Council candidate, Holt and Staverton
Trevor has considerable experience as a councillor having served his area for over twenty years, initially as a district councillor and then on Wiltshire Council. Trevor previously ran his own business as a driving instructor but has recently retired from that. He is an exams invigilator at St Laurence School and also does some voluntary work.
Trevor, you’ve been a councillor for many years. Can you tell me about what you’ve been involved in?
I started in 1995 on the old District Council and have been on Wiltshire Council since it started in 2009.
At the council level I’ve got involved in planning quite a lot, but have also been on other committees including finance, and leisure too. Mostly now I concentrate on working in the Holt and Staverton ward itself, supporting the parish councils and helping people with whatever’s going on around there.
Why are you standing for the county council?
Well it’s an interesting time isn’t it? We’re getting fewer and fewer services provided by Wiltshire Council, which means either those things don’t happen at all or there’s more activity at the local level, so the question then is what we can do at the local level to keep services going and help people, rather than just abandon them.
The parishes don’t have the same levels of staff or finance that you have in the town. Some of them will be more keen to take things on than others.
Quite an important role for the Wiltshire Councillor is to get the best deal possible for the parishes and help them as best we can.
And how do you see Holt and Staverton in relation to Bradford?
First of all, although it’s called Holt and Staverton, it also includes South Wraxall and Monkton Farleigh.
Again, although the Wiltshire Council designation has put them in the Bradford community area, it’s obviously a lot more complicated than that in real life. Staverton was previously part of the Trowbridge community area, Holt is mostly inclined towards Bradford but there are parts that look to Melksham or Trowbridge as well. Then you get to Monkton Farleigh, which might look to Bath as a neighbour.
So it’s quite complicated but we’ve got the administrative system that we have, as part of the Bradford area, but on the ground it’s not as simple as that.
Do you have any particular priorities for the next few years?
Looking at the different villages, in Holt they’ve just produced their Neighbourhood Plan, which is quite a useful document because it expresses what the community wants and how they see it developing.
The other main issue there is the traffic and what to do about the main road through the village and I think that the neighbourhood plan sets out quite a good agenda for that. It would be useful to see if we are able to get at least part of it done over the next four years so that we can get improvements to the main road through the village.
Staverton, I think the interesting thing there are the environmental aspects of it, so we’ve got things like the reed beds which we’re looking at and the general open areas and the canal goes through it as well. I’m trying to get a team together that can work on the environmental projects in the villages because the county and everyone else walks away from it, so it’s more up to the community to get stuck in and improve the environment generally.
Why do you stand for the Liberal Democrats?
Well I’ve been a member of the Liberal party and the Liberal Democrats for quite a long time. I am a liberal and I find that liberalism provides answers to problems that other philosophies don’t and I’m quite happy with the way that the Liberal Democrat group works at County Hall, currently in opposition but potentially in administration after these elections.
We’ve got a good team of people and I feel very comfortable working with them.