WITH a record 14 Green candidates up for election onto South Hams Council, the party believes it has a serious chance of disrupting the Conservative stronghold in the upcoming May elections.

The Greens are putting forward 14 candidates in wards across the borough – including three in the ward of Totnes – on May 4.

Campaign manager and longstanding Green Party ward member, Cllr Jacqi Hodgson, herself standing in the Dartington and Staverton ward, said it is time for change at the district council.

“The last 12 years that I have served on South Hams Council have been Tory dominated and, together with the government’s austerity measures, this has seriously undermined and reduced confidence in our local services.

“It is definitely time for change at the district council, and time for more strong green influence for fairer, better services and more accountable governance in our local authorities.

“Local residents know where they stand with Green Party councillors as we are committed, hardworking and support local residents’ and businesses needs.”

Greens will be standing in Allington and Street, Dartington and Staverton which is being defended by sitting Green councillor Jacqi Hodgson, Ermington and Ugborough, Ivybridge East (two candidates), Ivybridge West (two candidates), Marldon and Littlehempston, Salcombe and Thurlestone, South Brent, Stokenham and Totnes (three candidates).

Currently, 31-strong South Hams Council has 16 Conservative councillors, making up the biggest group on the council, so they are in overall control at present by a narrow margin.

While some wards such as Totnes are well contested, a number of others are seeing the candidates up against just the Tory and Lib Dem candidates.

Cllr Hodgson said the local Greens are hoping to build on the party’s previous successes both locally and nationally in the local council elections.

Cllr Hodgson added: “The Green Party is well known for being positive about public services and believes these should receive far higher investment from the government to ensure local authorities can deliver a high quality, wide range of services.”