An education worker who was inspired to get more involved in politics by Jeremy Corbyn has won a seat as a councillor.
Labour’s Katie Trueman has been elected to the Victoria Ward of Hartlepool Borough Council after winning 479 votes in the by-election, held after her fellow party member Trisha Lawton resigned for family reasons.
We can all help on some kind of level, but I feel like I can make a difference on a bigger level through this.Councillor Katie Trueman
The 27-year-old, who is from Headland, became more involved in politics during the last General Election and met with the party leader in the town in the run up to this week’s by-election.
She works as a teaching assistant with children with special needs, as well as adults with learning disabilities, outside of the area.
In her spare time she supports refugees in the town and is an animal rights campaigner.
She is making plans to meet with residents to discuss issues and has action on poverty, housing and anti-social behaviour in her sights.
Coun Trueman said: “I think I’ve always been interested in politics, but probably Jeremy Corbyn is who has got me more involved.
“I know that sounds like a cliché, but there’s been a national movement and his leadership has really been an inspiration and led to a lot of people getting more interested. I was over the moon to meet him.
“He was really down to earth and offered to share his chips with me.
“He sent me a text message after the by-election to say well done.
“I have done volunteering and helped people through my work, and I’m really a people focused person, but I wanted to do a bit more.
“We can all help on some kind of level, but I feel like I can make a difference on a bigger level through this.”
The by-election saw Coun Trueman defeat UKIP’s Jacqui Cummins, who took 325 votes and Conservative candidate Andrew Martin-Wells with 98 votes.
The turnout was 15.87%.
The council comprises of 33 councillors, with seats held by Labour (19), UKIP (six), Independent (two), Local Conservatives (three) and Putting Hartlepool First (three).