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Jill Newton elected unopposed to Lyme Regis Town Council
THERE will be no by-election for Lyme Regis Town Council as Jill Newton is elected unopposed.
Ms Newton, of Sidmouth Road, was the only person nominated to fill the vacancy left on the council following the death of former mayor Barbara Austin in December.
The news was confirmed today by West Dorset District Council following Wednesday’s deadline for nominations.
The new councillor said she was ‘stunned’ to be the only nomination but was looking forward to the challenge.
Speaking to the Lyme Regis News, she said: “I’m stunned. I was expecting a fight, I thouth there might be other people coming through.
“In a sense it would be nice to feel that I have been elected but you go with what you get and I am thrilled that I will be able to represent the people of Lyme in helping to make things happen, which is what I really want to do.
“It’s very easy to sit on the sidelines and criticise what the council is doing. “I thought it was about time I started trying to put some energy behind helping the council achieve their objectives in whatever way I can.”
Ms Newton, who was brought up on a dairy farm in Uplyme, attended the Woodroffe School and later Allhallows School in Rousdon, going on to university in Norwich.
The mother-of-two’s career has been in journalism, public relations and marketing and she returned to live in Lyme Regis in 2011.
Ms Newton has created her own weblog jillnewton.wordpress.com where she explains who she is and why she wanted to be a councillor.
She said: “I hope that the members of the council will look at my blog I have put together and look at my experience and use me where my experience can best be used.
“I think that would be towards the tourism and economic development area.
“I was press officer for the Earth Festival last summer, which we were all very pleased with how it went, and my career has been in communications and marketing, so I hope they will be able to use those skills.”
Ms Newton is also keen to promote employment for local people, attracting small businesses to the town, and providing affordable business premises.
She believes the town’s major events are ‘essential for the bustle and financial health’ of the town and is keen to carry out visitor surveys.