New chairperson for group

Alec Gough

Alec Gough

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A POLITICAL party has announced it is to expand its management committee.

Putting Hartlepool First, which has four seats on Hartlepool Borough Council, has created the new role of party chairman.

Party leaders say the new role is needed to oversee the party’s “continued growth and expansion”.

The new role is being filled by Alec Gough, who unsuccessfully stood as a candidate for the Burn Valley ward this year.

He said he is looking forward to the challenges involved in continuing to grow and develop the party.

Putting Hartlepool First, which only formed in November last year, was formed to set party politics aside and to give independents more of a say within the council chamber.

At the May local elections the party took four of the 33 available seats.

They won all three seats in the new Fens and Rossmere ward thanks to Steve Gibbon, Alison Lilley and Geoff Lilley, while newcomer Keith Dawkins won a seat in the Jesmond ward.

Party leader and councillor Geoff Lilly said: “I am retaining the role of party leader.

“But I am handing over day to day control to a new face so I can concentrate on the political role and the council chamber while they build the party towards the 2014 elections.”

Party leaders say they hope to secure even more votes in 2014 by putting the town first ahead of national party politics.

Speaking after his election as Putting Hartlepool First’s chairperson, Mr Gough said: “Putting Hartlepool First has come a long way in the few short months since the party was formed.

“We are now the second largest political party in Hartlepool and have a firm foundation to build upon.”

The first meeting under the control of the new party chairperson will start at 6.30pm on Tuesday, July 24, at the Mill House Public House, in Rium Terrace.

Interested members of the public are welcome to attend.