Tory candidate: ‘I’ll defend countryside’

Latest politics news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest politics news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A Conservative councillor, who will run for Stour Valley North in next year’s district council elections, has promised to stand up for the countryside.

Iona Parker, who is the current councillor for Yeldham on Braintree District Council, has announced she will be running for the Stour Valley North ward in the 2015 local elections.

Under the new electoral boundaries proposed by Braintree District Council, the village of Little Yeldham, where Mrs Parker has lived for the last 17 years, will become part of the Stour Valley North ward.

The revised Yeldham ward will retain Great Yeldham and absorb the villages of Stambourne and Toppesfield from the former Upper Colne ward. Stour Valley North will lose Bulmer to Stour Valley South.

This is all part of plans by the district council to reduce the number of councillors from 60 to 49.

Mrs Parker said she feels her close connection with the area strengthens her standing as a candidate.

“I think my personal experience will help me understand the issues in the area,” said the 50-year-old.

“My main focus is the need to protect the countryside and, at the same time, make sure those who live there have access to the services they need.”

Mrs Parker, who was elected in 2011, said she had enjoyed her first stint in local politics and remains passionate about representing the countryside in a fairly urban district council.

“It has been my mission to raise the profile of rural areas and make sure they are not neglected,” she added.