Green candidates response to election questions from businesses

Following the COMBEbusiness event on Wednesday 1 April, when businesses from Combe Martin, Ilfracombe and Woolacombe listed the issues they want candidates in the forthcoming town/parish, district and national elections to address, below is the response from Green candidates.

COMBEbusiness thanks them for taking the time to consider the questions and to reply.

Green responses

These are the responses to the wishlist and questions put to all candidates:

  • Parliamentary Candidate – Ricky Knight
  • Combe Martin – Kyle Chivers
  • Ilfracombe Central – Noel Grummitt
  • Ilfracombe Central – Frank Pearson
  • Ilfracombe Central (Parish Only) – Yvonne Hin
  • Ilfracombe West – Netti Pearson
  • Ilfracombe West – Oliver Tooley
  • Georgeham & Mortehoe – Johnie Walker
  • Georgeham & Mortehoe – Mike Harrison


We Believe that VAT is regressive, highly bureaucratic and a severe burden on the Tourism industry which is a vital area of our local economy. We support a consumption/ environmental based tax system. Although we have no power to change the system on a District / Town Level we support our South West Green MEP Dr. Molly Scott Cato who is currently negotiation VAT relief for EU small businesses. This would aid the tourism industry the growing microbusiness community in Ilfracombe and it’s surrounding parishes.

Here is a copy of Molly’s letter:

Under business rates. You talk of a change in the system however our local candidates can only do so much to change the system.

Business Rates

We do not support the idea of National Non-Domestic Business Rates and would push for a reformed system of Land Value Taxation which would replace Council Tax & Business rates. These rates would be locally set and would reflect the planning consents granted. It would penelise buildings that fall into a state of disrepair to discourage site speculation that has been a particular problem hindering redevelopment of certain sites in Ilfracombe.

We have been focusing on things that as councilors we would be able to act on like in your other questions on Parking and the Environment. Many of us own small businesses or are previous company executives and understand the hinders of VAT and Business rates on SMEs.  Unfortunately as much as we would like to change the Tax system for the better and fairer it is beyond the role of a district councilor.  One thing we can offer though is that we can work together with other councilors and the business community to help the town prosper and create a Brighter Future for Combe.

Bus Services

We understand the necessity of Good public transport links with early and late buses to help workers get to and from work; public transport extended to outlying communities; a direct link from Ilfracombe to Tiverton Parkway; we will explore these options with bus companies.

We will look at the viability of providing a local “Devon Wheels 2 Work” service for individuals who need assistance accessing employment in rural areas.


Ilfracombe can never be, nor should it be, an industrial hub: with new technology, smart thinking and strong place marketing we will promote it as a place where young entrepreneurial families can thrive.

We would be looking to attract more LEADER 5 funding to Combe and it’s surrounding parishes for public projects and to grow small microbusinesses. We would utilise resources (if available) and support local delivery partners with local business groups to promote future funding opportunities to help support the local business community.

CombeBusiness is a great asset to the town. However despite having an currently elected District councillor at the heart of the organisation, the needs of the local business community aren’t being addressed at a district level. We believe in localist principles and our representatives if elected will listen to the business community and do everything within our power to assure that we can identify, act, and grow a better connected, prosperous town.

Ilfracombe has a great established microbusiness community. Addressing their needs are essential. Ilfracombe however suffers from the lack of an Enterprise hub built for the digital age. We will work to transform the recently acquired Lantern into a State of the art hub to facilitate the towns growing SME scene.


We support the idea of a single use ticket transferable over council owned car parks and would look into the viability of this if elected.

We stand by council employees as long as they follow their employee guidelines.

We would look at the possibility of linking Wilder road car park with a pedestrian walkway to the High Street to reduce congestion.


“Council Services did not meet demand”

We feel that this isn’t an isolated issue.

Following the increased precept we would look to provide better value for money for the taxpayer by cutting bureaucracy within the town council and direct resources to where local people and businesses really need them. In this case we would be looking to employ additional local cleaners to maintain the town and keep up with demand and provide a safe clean environment for all to enjoy.

Other party responses

Click to read the responses from candidates from Conservative, Green, Labour, Liberal Democrat and UKIP parties.

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