St Mary’s newest Councillor, Andrew Combes, has expressed surprise that he stood unopposed in order to take his seat in the Old Wesleyan Chapel.

Andrew did not engineer a formal request for a by-election but when it was called he wanted to take the opportunity to get involved.


He said: “I believe if you want to get involved you don’t hide behind anonymity through anonymous postings on the internet. It’s to get involved through the process that’s there. It may not be a perfect process but it’s there.”


Andrew started his working life in the charity sector before moving on to Somerset County Council, where he had a secondment to central government, before moving on to Dorset County Council. His roles were mainly connected to educational and health and well-being issues.


Andrew believes the biggest challenge for the council centres on infrastructure, saying: “We’ve got a creaking infrastructure which potentially threatens the future of the islands. We have some tremendous opportunities in front of us at the moment to sort our water waste and power out and that’s certainly an area that’s of particular interest to me.”


“I’m a great believer that opportunities come in time-limited windows and you do need to make the most of an opportunity when it’s presented.  That said, we have to be careful in terms of how we implement any project. New technology needs to be right and must not detract from the unique and fantastic nature of these islands and I believe it’s possible to do that.

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