LYME Regis Town Council has co-opted new member Caroline Aldridge.
Caroline was one of five candidates to stand for co-option following the recent resignation of former deputy mayor, Kelsey Ellis.
Having previously stood for by-election in May 2021 and lost out to Cllr Tara Webb, this time Caroline faced competition from former six-times Mayor of Lyme Regis, Owen Lovell, and former deputy mayor Steve Miller, as well as first-time candidates Allan Lewis and Mark Schine.
Not enough members of the public called for a by-election, so candidates instead put themselves forward for co-option with existing councillors making the decision at a special meeting last night (Tuesday).
All five candidates submitted written applications on why they wanted to stand for council, and were given further opportunity to put their case forward at last night’s meeting.
In her application, successful candidate Caroline wrote: “I have been involved in a range of local projects in health and social care, environmental and the arts through volunteering at Lyme Regis Medical Centre Patient Participation Group, the food bank, Marine Theatre and Turn Lyme Green environmental and sustainability initiatives.
“I have also been keen to support local business initiatives. I have talked to people who are long term residents; those who have moved here more recently and also visitors to gather their views on our town.
“Important issues such as traffic and parking, work, housing and environment have been flagged up to me. I would like to contribute as a councillor to addressing all these issues.
“My working life has been in health and education in the charity and not for profit sector. I have always worked in areas where I could make a difference to people’s lives.
“I listened and communicated with a wide variety of people and encouraged them to work together to deliver successful outcomes within financial constraints.
“During my career I have worked at a senior level with professionals and government, I have also worked with staff, patients and their families in hospitals, GP practices and care homes.
“I have experienced periods of unemployment; being at home for some years with small children and being a single parent. I believe this has given me empathy and insight to work with everyone for the benefit of our town.”
Councillors selected the successful candidate in a two-stage voting process.
Three candidates – Allan Lewis, Owen Lovell and Mark Schine – were eliminated following initial discussions held in private.
Councillors were then asked in public to vote for either Caroline Aldridge or Steve Miller, but agreed to do this via signed ballot rather than a show of hands, so it is not know who voted for whom.
Caroline won the position with eight votes to three.