THE leader of Hartlepool’s newest political party has described their night as “phenomenal” after securing four seats.
Putting Hartlepool First, which was formed to set party politics aside and to give independents more of a say within the council chamber, was only established in November.
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.
The party, which put up candidates in every ward, is led by Coun Geoff Lilley.
Coun Lilley, 62, of Fens Crescent, said: “I think we have done amazingly well to pick up four seats.
“We are the second largest party now and for a party that has only existed for six months, that is a phenomenal achievement.
“We are not going away. We are going to keep pushing this party because we want this party to succeed.”
He added: “I would like to say a really big thank you to all those that put their confidence in us.
“We won’t let them down.
“More than anything else I think our priority is to be there, to talk and listen to residents.”
Coun Geoff Lilley was the former Greatham ward councillor while Coun Alison Lilley and Coun Gibbon represented the Fens ward.
He added that the three of them have always made it a priority to speak to people.
Coun Lilley said: “That is what local government is all about.”
Meanwhile, Coun Dawkins, 73, a retired electrician from Jesmond Mews, said:“I didn’t believe that I could do it but people must have liked what I stand for.
“A priority is the University Hospital of Hartlepool because its future is a concern for everyone in the town and it is causing people a lot of heartache.”
Coun Dawkins added: “People want change in this town, and Hartlepool First is for Hartlepool people.”
Click the link for video, Twitter feeds, pictures and reaction from the count