Liz Pole, Labour’s spokesperson for Tiverton and Honiton constituency www.midweekherald.co.uk
At 19 years old, he embodies the fresh start and the kinder, more community-oriented and visionary politics the public wants post-Covid. He has been a mover at a national level of a “new deal” approach to the greening of Britain’s economy, and has locally pioneered the Honiton Foodsave project, redirecting supermarket over-stock from going to waste towards those who need it.
A true Devonian, Jake has dispelled the idea that there are “no-go areas” for the Labour Party in Britain. On the doorstep, conversations were striking for the enthusiasm with which many residents were planning to vote Labour for the first time. Here was a candidate living and breathing community values and delivering on them, so here was the candidate Honiton was going to vote for. Although this is the first time in its history Honiton has turned to Labour, there was no sense of it being a political wrench to do so. The message is loud and clear that showing up and delivering on community values in our own neighbourhoods is the way to build a new hope, a new political consensus, a rejection of secret dealings, asset-stripping and sell-offs, and a new appetite for proper investment in our infrastructure and our communities.
Jake’s refreshing, proactive approach means where problems can be easily fixed, he is tackling them hands-on – literally taking a strimmer to the brambles and nettles blocking the walkway under the railway bridge at Streamers Meadows so residents can shop and go to school more easily.
Where solutions require more elbow grease to deliver, Jake is working strategically with community groups and across political divides to make sure Honiton gets its share. The focus is on the King Street loos, and the sport, leisure and youth facilities. But Jake’s approach will stand in good stead for future challenges. His integrity, and his accountable and transparent style of leadership, means an absolute commitment to represent all residents in Honiton St Michael’s irrespective of their age, politics or any other status.