Councillor Simon Nicholls
‘’I was elected onto Taunton Deane Borough Council, representing Comeytrowe, in May 2015. I also serve on Comeytrowe Parish council and have been a member since 2011. I am a serving Fire Officer with Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service and have been in post for almost thirty years. Local politics holds a particular interest for me as I believe local people really do have an opportunity to help influence and shape the communities in which they live.
Obstacles and barriers will still be present, but proactively working with local groups really can and does achieve a great deal. Prior to being a Councillor I helped form a Friends group for a local park. This group has thrived through increased community involvement, and we now have a lovely, popular and well maintained local amenity. Since becoming Councillor I have secured funding for various play items for other local parks within Comeytrowe.
I have also represented residents’ concerns surrounding a new housing development within the Ward. In my role as Shadow Portfolio Holder for sports, parks & leisure, I encourage investment of time and money in well-maintained and accessible leisure and recreational facilities which I believe to be invaluable as we struggle to combat the prickly issues of the 21st century. In my professional role as a serving full time Fire officer I have acquired many skills, which I often find of use when dealing with local political issues. I always try to approach problems with Common Sense and Courtesy coupled with absolute transparency which is vital to ensure people’s trust. If I don't know something I will simply say so. . . but I will chase the person who does.’’
Councillor Habib Farbahi
“I started my secondary education in Somerset College of Arts and Technology here in Taunton, which enabled me to achieve my Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Aston University in Birmingham. After university, I set up a number of businesses from commercial outlets, land development, construction, and tourism but the most varied part of my work is representing my area on the district council in Taunton.
I was elected as a councillor in 2007 and since then I have tried to reflect my ward concerns to the council. I have held the shadow portfolio for economic development for the last two years and have driven the need for commerciality within Taunton Deane Council. I set up ‘Taunton Forward’ in order to get private sector expertise into public sector mentality and was pivotal in ensuring that some of our services such as the Direct Labour Organisation (DLO) were not outsourced.
I also convinced the council that tax payer’s assets need to be retained for the benefit of our next generation. Recently, together fellow Lib Dem councillors, I fought hard on behalf of the residents of Comeytrowe to ensure that, when it comes to large housing developments, a holistic Master Plan should sit at the heart of such development looking at traffic impact, school provisions, flooding and adequate funding provisions so that the neighbouring wards are less impacted. Throughout this work it became clear that we all aim for the same outcome in life, a secure future, shared values and a safe home for our children. If I can help achieve that, as well as giving a helping hand to others less fortunate than myself, I will feel I have done my job.
What matters to me are:-
· Bringing about Fairness and reducing Inequality
· Meeting the local community needs in Comeytrowe and South West
· Helping the less fortunate whilst promoting enterprise and new ideas
· Highlighting mistakes and recommending solutions to local government