Hartlepool councillor reveals reasons for standing down

Sylvia Tempest pictured with daughter Carla.
Sylvia Tempest pictured with daughter Carla.

A former councillor has announced she has stepped down from Hartlepool Borough Council due to work and family commitments.

Labour group member Sylvia Tempest told of her huge pride at representing Headland and Harbour, and De Bruce wards for five years.

She said she decided to resign from the council after much consideration as she was struggling to juggle the role with her job as a registered nurse.

She said: “I am resigning my position for work and family reasons. I moved to Hartlepool from West Yorkshire in 1995 and have served the residents of the borough since then, firstly as an officer and following my election in 2011 as a councillor.

“It has been a huge privilege for me to have represented residents of the borough, but for the last twelve months I have combined my duties as a councillor with my current employment as a registered nurse.

“The decision to resign from the council was taken after a great deal of consideration but was one I needed to make to preserve some semblance of work life balance.”

During her time as a councillor, Mrs Tempest, who is married to Councillor Stephen Thomas, has served as chair of the North and Coastal Neighbourhood Forum, chair of the Neighbourhood Services Scrutiny Forum and sat on the Neighbourhood Services and Licensing Committees.

More recently, she has been a member of the Adult Services Committee.

Mrs Tempest previously stood down from the council when she announced she would not be standing in 2014’s May elections.

She said she had become frustrated with budget cuts.

But the following year she was selected as the Labour group’s candidate for Headland and Harbour ward over Robbie Payne.

Mrs Tempest, who has been a union activist for many years, has been a vocal supporter of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as a member of the Momentum movement.

She spoke out in favour of Mr Corbyn when he came under attack from many of his own MPs last year.

In September, she was invited to join Mr Corbyn on stage along with other party members at the party’s annual conference in Liverpool to sing The Red Flag and Jerusalem.

A by-election will be held on Thursday, May 4, if Mrs Tempest’s former seat on the council is contested.

Forms of nomination are available from the council’s Elections Office on (01429) 523088 and must be submitted to the Returning Officer at Hartlepool Civic Centre by 4pm on Tuesday, April 4.