AS part of the Mail’s 2014 local elections coverage, we will be focusing on all 11 wards in Hartlepool where seats are up for grabs.
The Mail will be profiling the 49 candidates who want your vote and examining the issues that are affecting local residents ahead of the election on Thursday, May 22.
Our coverage continues with the Rural West Ward.
Martin Dunbar (Labour)
“My name is Martin Dunbar and I am a local business man and a family man living in Hartlepool.
“Rural West is a large diverse ward.
“If elected I will be an accessible councillors who will recognise each area has diverse needs.
“My priority is to improve bus services in the ward and ensure funding is targeted into improving the Ward Jackson Park and also sustaining areas like Greatham village.
“Over the last 12 months Labour have been the new administration of the council and we have seen more jobs come into the area and a big regeneration programme.
“The Hartlepool Vision is working and we are in exciting times.
“Some political parties lack vision and aspiration for the town.
“However as a local business man I can see the importance of having a vision.”
Kate Erskine (Putting Hartlepool First)
“Why am I proud to be representing Putting Hartlepool First in the Rural West Ward?
“Quite simply, I’m becoming increasingly shocked by the way this once-proud town and its environs are descending into the doldrums and have long ceased to consider the current ‘regime’ to be able to halt this decline.
“What Hartlepool needs is an injection of fresh blood into its council chamber.
“So what can I offer?
“My organisational skills are well-honed with many years experience in business management and administration.
“I’m persistent and known to be great one for ‘getting things done’.
“As an adult education tutor, I appreciate the importance of good communications; a councillor needs to be a good listener, not just a good talker.
“Hartlepool needs people with a ‘can-do’ attitude holding the reins, people with imagination willing to accept good ideas can come from any direction - sensible, down-to-earth people who are Putting Hartlepool First!”
Brenda Loynes (Conservative)
“I was born in Hartlepool and have lived here all my life, having lived in Rural West ward for 29 years.
“During the last three years as councillor I have worked extremely hard to secure funding for our ward (long overdue) tackling issues and have an excellent track record of getting things done.
“For example roads repaired/resurfaced, flooding issues dealt with, speeding traffic particularly through villages for the safety of our residents and children, new laybys and a considerable amount from the school barrier scheme soon to be installed to name just a few there are many more too many to mention.
“As a councillor I attend many residents and Parish Council meetings where I always listen to residents concerns and act on them swiftly, I am on many major committees in council, also on Park Residents committee and a former chair and a Governor of West Park Primary School.”
Eric Wilson (UKIP)
“My name is Eric Wilson and I am asking for your vote on May 22.
“The controlling Labour Group on Hartlepool Borough Council has made a number of strange decisions in the last few years but the strangest and most damaging of all was the decision to scrap the Local Plan.
“This plan, which cost £1.5m of your money, was scrapped for the most dubious reasons.
“Instead of controlled building development, we now have a planning free for all.
“This has particular implications for the Rural West ward with developers lining up to build hundreds of houses on green field sites at Quarry Farm, Tunstall Hall Farm, Wynyard and Claxton.
“One question which needs to be asked is ‘Where were your Conservative councillors when this was happening?’
“If elected, I will do my utmost to have this decision reversed and demand an inquiry as to why the Local Plan was scrapped.”