May 2002: Hartlepool United fan Stuart Drummond comes to power after he used his role as the club’s mascot H’Angus the monkey to win with a majority of 861 votes. He gives up his role as mascot to concentrate on running the town.
December 2003: Operation Clean Sweep – the brainchild of Mayor Drummond – is launched to spruce up neighbourhoods across Hartlepool.
The aim is to focus on different areas of town through an intense week of action including a number of agencies.
May 2005: Mayor Drummond is re-elected after beating off competition from six other candidates, with a majority of more than 10,000 votes.
2005: An initiative is launched by Mayor Drummond to get derelict buildings either demolished or brought back into use to improve the look of the town. There were 11 eyesores across Hartlepool on the Mayor’s original hit list but that soon grew to more than 50, including the former Steetley site.
June 2009: Stuart Drummond expresses “great relief” at being re-elected as Mayor of Hartlepool for an historic third time.
Mayor Drummond beat off competition from 12 other candidates to hold onto his position for a third term, the first time an elected mayor has done so in Britain. He won with 6,867 votes against closet rival Ian Cameron’s 6,023 votes, once the second votes had been counted.
August 2010: Hartlepool hosts the final leg of the Tall Ships event which saw almost 60 vessels sail into the town from Kristiansand in Norway in August.
The five day event, which was secured with the help and support of Mayor Drummond, saw organisers win gold in the national tourism awards. It received the Best Tourism Event of the Year award at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2012. Despite generating an estimated £26.5m for the local economy, the event did receive criticism after a shortfall of £720,000 which was put down to the park and ride scheme not generating enough income.
December 2010: Mayor Drummond is nominated for the prestigious World Mayor of the Year award. He town’s directly elected mayor is included on a list of 25 fellow civic leaders from around the world and he is the only nomination from the UK after the likes of Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, and Middlesbrough’s leader Ray Mallon failed to make the cut.
February 2011: Mayor Drummond and his cabinet are heavily criticised after agreeing to a £10,000 pay rise to former Hartlepool Borough Council chief executive Paul Walker, despite swathes of cuts. The rise took his basic salary from £157,205 to £168,000 a year. Union leaders, councillors and residents hit out at the hike which was described as “morally indefensible”.
December 2011: Mayor Drummond causes controversy when he is elected chair of Cleveland Police Authority, while still holding the position of Mayor of Hartlepool. He moved to reassure people he could do both jobs saying he wouldn’t have taken it on if he didn’t.
February 2012: Six Labour cabinet members are sensationally axed by Mayor Stuart Drummond for failing to support their own budget proposals.
Jonathan Brash, Pamela Hargreaves, Ged Hall, Chris Simmons, Robbie Payne and Peter Jackson are culled after failing to back their own proposals for Hartlepool Borough Council’s 2012-13 budget. The decision was taken after they failed to attend a full council meeting that saw amended budget plans – put forward by the Labour Group – approved after a tense 90-minute debate. The Mayor said their positions had become “untenable”.
June 2012: Mayor Drummond said it is “business as usual” after being re-elected as chair of Cleveland Police Authority, for which he picks up £22,734 for his chairman’s commitments on a pro rata basis until November 21, 2012, when the CPA is replaced by a Police and Crime Commissioner.
November 2012: Mayoral referendum in Hartlepool, at which the town votes to scrap the mayoral system in favour of the committee system, which is made up of committees of councillors.
May 5, 2013: Mayor Stuart Drummond’s last day as directly elected mayor.