Local elections: Foggy Furze

Demolition underway at Foggy Furze Library

Demolition underway at Foggy Furze Library

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DOG fouling and litter problems are among the issues affecting residents in the Foggy Furze ward.

The ward now includes Stranton Cemetery as well as Hartlepool Sixth Form College, the allotment site off Brierton Lane, and the Rift House Recreation ground.

Parents have highlighted dog fouling in the Oxford Road area as a major problem, while others want to see more facilities for the younger generation.

The closure of Foggy Furze library, in Stockton Road, last year as a result of budget cuts has also left a void in the local community.

The site has been cleared in recent months to make way for a future housing development.

Foggy Furze Library served the local community for more than 60 years, but closed last March to save the local authority £47,536 a year.

Stranton Cemetery, which was in the former Rossmere ward, is now in the Foggy Furze ward and efforts have been made recently to give the site a boost.

The Friends of Stranton Cemetery Group was set up to raise awareness of the site, help ensure it remains a peaceful environment and reduce crime.

Meanwhile, the cemetery has been given another boost after innovative plans to open a cafe were backed earlier this year.

Hartlepool Borough Council will transform the Stranton Cemetery Lodge building, within the Tanfield Road-based cemetery, into a new cafe.

The cafe – which could be open by August – will help safeguard four jobs at the adjacent nursery site and also create four part-time positions.

CANDIDATES

CHRISTOPHER AKERS-BELCHER (LABOUR)

“As a current councillor I have been actively involved in improving services both in the ward I represent but also for the town as a whole.

“I believe passionately in serving the ward I represent as my main priority.

“Not only is Foggy Furze ward my own home but I have a proven track record of bringing in much needed investment to improve communities.

“I am not afraid of hard work and will continue to work tirelessly for the people of Hartlepool.

“I have 22 years of local government experience, currently working in the voluntary sector and have spent the last three years on such committees as children’s services scrutiny, audit as well as regeneration and planning.

“I have a real commitment to tackling all issues including anti-social behaviour and I will do all I can to make Foggy Furze ward a better and safer place to live.”

FRED CORBETT (PUTTING HARTLEPOOL FIRST)

“I am Fred Corbett and I have never been a member of a political party, but have come to the firm conclusion that “party politics” has no place in the governance of Hartlepool.

“As I see it a councillor has several roles within his mandate as an elected officer, he should in my opinion represent and take note of the views of his ward residents, he can only do that by meeting with and talking to those people.

“I would hope to be able to listen to and act on the concerns of the residents of Foggy Furze.

“But, as important is the overall wellbeing of Hartlepool as a town, I would like to see a more open, transparent and accountable system of how the business of the town is conducted.

“It is important for all of us, to know where our council tax money is spent.”

KEVIN CRANNEY (LABOUR)

“I have worked as a community development worker for over 28 years, working with residents to develop initiatives and projects that tackle problems they have identified, improving the area and their quality of life.

“I believe that a councillor’s role is to be accountable and accessible to residents, and above all listen to their problems, ensuring their views and concerns are acted upon promptly.

“If re-elected I will continue working with residents and local residents groups to improve the area, tackling problems they have identified such as dog fouling, nuisance neighbours, speeding traffic, drug dealing, fly-tipping and private landlords.

“I‘m proud to represent residents and residents’ groups who care about their community and are passionate about improving services that benefit all residents.

“My promise is to continue putting Foggy Furze residents first and foremost before any party politics and represent local people to the best of my ability.”

PHIL FENN (UK INDEPENDENCE PARTY)

“Here I go, dipping my toes in the political water for the first time in my life.

“As a relative newcomer to Hartlepool I have witnessed an ongoing situation where your elected councillors either ignore completely, or deliberately go against the best interests of the people of the town.

“This cannot be right.

“Simply put, I feel I can do better to represent your interests in Foggy Furze ward.

“You don’t need me to list the issues where you have been badly let down:

“Hospital closure pending.

“Loss of bus services after 6pm.

“Closure of libraries.

“I could go on.

“It is patently obvious to me the entire political clique at HBC is collectively responsible for your let-downs.

“What is needed is a new broom to sweep through the council chamber.

“I see UKIP as that ‘new broom’.

“I hope you will entrust me with your vote on May 3.”

PAT RAYNER (LIBERAL DEMOCRAT)

“I am standing for Foggy Furze ward in the forthcoming council elections for the Liberal Democrat Party.

“I am married with three adult children and three grandchildren.

“I am semi-retired after working over 18 years in the charity sector for Endeavour Home Improvement Agency in its Sydenham Road office.

“Whilst working in the ward I helped many elderly and disabled residents to obtain help with repairs to their homes and to provide them with disabled facilities adaptations.

“I worked closely with social services and the council departments to obtain the best help for those in need.

“I would like to continue helping people to sustain a good quality of life in the community and would champion any cause concerning the wellbeing of the ward residents.”

JOHN RINGWOOD (PUTTING HARTLEPOOL FIRST)

“Who am I?

“Not a career politician and I do have a mind of my own.

“John R Ringwood born and bred in Hartlepool and proud of it.

“I am just an ordinary guy, now retired from work, and I have a family of two sons and six grandkids.

“I am honest, reliable and do not promise things I can’t deliver.

“If elected I will do my best for the town and residents and try to put a stop to the waste of your council tax.

“Over the past 40 years, politicians, both national and local have proved not to be honourable people anymore.

“This time before you vote, think what you want and about your grandkids’ future and forget party politics.

“There are alternatives if you want to take them.”

KAYLEE SIRS (LABOUR)

“Since being elected as your Labour councillor in the May 2011 elections, I can honestly say that I have thoroughly enjoyed serving and supporting Foggy Furze ward residents.

“I believe in fairness and true working class values, and use this approach when supporting residents within our community.

“In my first year as councillor I chose not to receive expenses and will do so again if I am elected on May 3.

“Good solid support and understanding of the most deprived, vulnerable people within our communities is what is needed, now and throughout these dismal times.

“Good community no nonsense councillors need to be our future in Hartlepool, due to the vast cuts thrust upon us recently by this coalition government.

“If elected, myself and our Labour team can deliver on this, and promise to shield our residents as best as we can in these coming years.”

Dennis Loynes (Local Conservatives) No statement supplied