Tough words ahead of vote
There will be no love lost among would-be politicians battling it out for votes in Peasedown St John on Valentine's Day.
Labour and Co-operative Party candidate Jordan Ness has launched an outspoken attack on a pressure group which he says dominates the parish council as the village prepares to go to the polls on February 14.
The 19-year-old, who hopes to become the youngest parish councillor ever elected locally, attacked Peasedown 1st and accused B&NES Liberal Democrat Councillor Nathan Hartley – whose mother and stepfather lead the pressure group – of trying to micro-manage all political activity in the village.
Law student Mr Ness faces competition from Peasedown 1st candidate and mother-of-five Becci McCafferty and former village parish clerk John Whittock, who is not standing for any political party. Mr Ness said: "The dominant Peasedown 1st still rules the roost – despite their support leaking away in the past few months. If local people elect me I will be challenging the stranglehold this group has on Peasedown St John. They are holding us back."
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Mr Hartley said he was angered and upset by Mr Ness's comments, adding: "I cannot believe someone would stoop so low during a parish council by-election." He laughed off claims he was the controlling force behind Peasedown 1st, and said the group included members of the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties.