The Tory candidate for the Bamburgh county-council ward has vowed to fight for a fairer deal for the area if he is elected in May.
Guy Renner-Thompson, from Belford, who works as a farm trader for Simpson’s Malt, is standing as the Conservative candidate in the Bamburgh ward in the county council elections this May.
The 25-year-old, who is bidding to follow the incumbent John Woodman, said: “It was a bit of a shock when John decided to stand down and when they asked me, it was quite an honour.
“If I can continue doing what John’s been doing, I will be doing well.”
Coming from Belford, with family across the ward area, Guy wants to ensure the rural areas like the Bamburgh ward don’t get ignored.
“The Labour Party seems to focus on the urban areas in the south-east and we get not a lot out of them,” he said. “You just have to look at the roads to see that.”
He added that potholes is the issue which he gets most comments about, highlighting his party’s pledge to spend £100million sorting the roads out if the Tories take control at County Hall.
For Guy, the key issues in the ward are second and holiday homes in the coastal villages – ‘we need development, but we need the right development and the infrastructure to carry it’; the benefits of tourism as well as the associated pressures, such as parking; bringing Belford Station back into use; and the future of education in Belford, following the recent announcement that it is proposed to close the village’s middle school.
In terms of wider issues, Guy points to the Conservative group’s strong opposition to moving the council’s HQ from Morpeth to Ashington and the party’s campaign pledges to reintroduce free transport for post-16 students and replace Arch, the council’s development company, with one that is focused more on the county with more financial oversight.
While he admitted that County Hall has become quite partisan, he said: “When it comes to local politics, party politics is some of it, but a lot of it is about the person.”
Guy said he has always been interested in politics – he planned to study that and international relations at university before joining the army, which was scuppered by his Crohn’s disease – but his main motivation is ‘his passion for the ward’.
“I could stand up very well for the area,” he said. “It’s been commented on that I’m young and don’t have any experience, but I don’t think that has any bearing.
“I’m only 25, but I have lived in the area for 25 years and I know all about the issues.”
There are a few other younger council candidates this year and Guy says that it’s good to see ‘new blood, new ideas and a new perspective’.
Outside his job, Guy is a Belford parish councillor and a trustee at Bell View. He enjoys rugby, shooting, going to the gym or the pub and is also involved in Young Farmers.
Any ward residents wishing to discuss an issue with Guy can contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07712 601221. Alternatively, visit his Facebook campaign page – GRT 4Bamburgh
Coun Woodman said: “I’m pleased that Guy is standing for the Conservatives in Bamburgh; he has youth and energy and, having grown up here, knows what makes the area special. It’s important that there is a refocus in County Hall and that Conservatives form the next administration; I hope people will support Guy.”
A fortnight ago, we reported that David Paul, a national newspaper journalist, has been selected as the Labour Party’s candidate for the Bamburgh ward.