Hartlepool Council committee posts to be decided

Hartlepool Civic Centre.
Hartlepool Civic Centre.

COUNCILLORS will meet tonight to decide which members are to sit on the various council committees.

Hartlepool Borough Council is to hold a full council meeting at the Civic Centre, in Victoria Road. Ahead of the meeting there have been calls for fairer representation when it comes to deciding which councillors chair various council committees.

Recent Local Election results saw Labour maintain overall control of the council chamber with 19 out of the 33 seats. Putting Hartlepool First is the second largest party with five members, Conservatives have three and UKIP two. The other remaining seats are held by independent councillors.

In the build-up to tonight’s crunch meeting, councillor David Riddle, of Putting Hartlepool First (PHF) and councillor Jonathan Brash, who refers to himself as independent Labour but is classed as independent by the council, had called on the committee chair system to be more “proportionate”.

They raised concerns the Conservative group, who make up nine per cent of the council, would gain committee chairs while PHF, UKIP and the independent councillors would not get any despite making up around a third of the chamber.

A council spokesman has previously said that under the national legislation, the council needs to ensure, “so far as is reasonably practicable”, that the allocation of seats on its committees and certain outside bodies is representative of the political groups which make up the council.

They also stated that the requirement does not extend to the allocation of chairmanships and vice-chairmanships. The meeting’s open to members of the public and gets underway at 7pm.