Political group meeting

MEMBERS of a new political party are urging people to find out more at an event next weekend.

Hartlepool Independents – Putting Hartlepool First has formed in a bid to give independents more of a say within the council chamber.

The party name has been registered with the Electoral Commission and members say the aim is to “put the best interests of Hartlepool and Hartlepool residents first”.

Independent councillor Geoff Lilley is the leader of the party, which also includes fellow independents Alison Lilley and Steve Gibbon.

They say the aim is to set party politics aside and they would welcome members from other parties to join them.

The party intends to field candidates in the May 2012 local elections, which will be fought under the new boundaries when the number of councillors is slashed from 47 to 33.

The list of candidates will not be released until closer to the election.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the group, or anyone interested in standing for the party at the 2012 Local Elections, is asked to go an event next weekend.

Members of the party will be in the Grand Hotel, in Swainson Street, between 10am and 1pm on Saturday, January 7.

Coun Lilley (pictured right),who represents the Greatham ward on Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “We want people to tell us what their main concerns are.

“Over the next months we will endeavour to meet with and listen to as many people as we can.

“We want this party to reflect your aspirations for how our council should and can function.”

Stephen Allison, secretary of the party, said: “It’s not rocket science.

“We want policies and decisions which reflect the views of the residents not those of a self interested, political elite.”