By-election date set after former Labour councillor resigns

A by-election is set to be held over a vacant seat on Hartlepool Borough Council following the resignation of a councillor earlier this month.

Friday, 21st June 2019, 1:59 pm
Jean Robinson, who has stood down as a councillor
Jean Robinson, who has stood down as a councillor

Jean Robinson, who represented the Hart ward, stepped down from her role as councillor on June 5.

A by-election to fill the Hart seat is now scheduled to take place on Thursday, July 25, it has been revealed by council bosses.

Speaking at the Hartlepool Council meeting on Thursday evening, council chief executive Gill Alexander confirmed Ms Robinson had decided to retire due to health reasons.

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She said: “I received a letter of resignation on the 5th June and councillor Robinson has explained she has decided to retire for health reasons.

“She’s asked me to pass to her elected member colleagues and also to staff her grateful thanks for the support that she has received over her years as a councillor.

“I can confirm we today received a request from two local government electors for a by-election to be convened.”

Nomination forms to become a candidate can be obtained from the Civic Centre from the returning officer.

Nomination papers must then be delivered back to the returning officer at the Civic Centre on Victoria Road by 4pm on Friday, June 28.

Speaking at the meeting, Coun Stephen Aker-Belcher paid tribute to the work of Ms Robinson as a councillor following her retirement.

“She is far from a politician, what we need is people like Jean who care about the community, and anybody who spent any time talking to Jean would realise she is one of the most genuine, caring people you could meet,” he said.

“She wasn’t interested in party politics, what she was interested in was serving her community.

“She was a very good listener and she cared about people, and sometimes in society that is a quality that doesn’t always exist in everyone. She was a really, really kind, caring councillor.”

Ms Robinson had previously represented Labour on the council for several years but was listed as an Independent councillor for the 2019/20 municipal year.

Mayor Coun Brenda Loynes said: “She was always fair, she was a very kind person, she wasn’t interested in politics, she was interested in the residents and what she could do.”