Hartlepool independent councillors launch new ‘union’ to stand out in elections

A group of Hartlepool councillors have created a new ‘union’ to help them stand out at the polls.

Friday, 1st March 2019, 11:26 am
Updated Friday, 1st March 2019, 11:27 am
Independent Union Councillors (left to right) Tom Cassidy, John Tennant and Shane Moore.

Six independent councillors on Hartlepool Borough Council will now call themselves the Independent Union.

They are made up of Councillors John Tennant, Shane Moore, Tim Fleming, James Brewer, Bob Buchan and Thomas Cassidy.

The name has been registered with the Electoral Commission and they describe themselves as a group of independent free thinkers that will put the town before personal gain and want to ‘kick party politics into touch’.

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The group said in a statement: “Party politics is not helping people, it’s about self-preservation and has become a vehicle ‘to get elected’ – only to fail to actually represent people.

“The Independent Union has a core set of principles and representation is the crucial one, we will always criticise where it is warranted and give praise where it is due. That’s fair, and recognises hard work.

“With the recent collapse of PHF (Putting Hartlepool First), the Independent Union is now the only opposition on our council that can bring about real, positive and lasting change in our town.

“Only independents within a group can hope to achieve significant influence to bring about that real and lasting change.”

The Independent Union councillors, a number of which were formerly part of Ukip, up to now sat on the council under the umbrella of Hartlepool Independent Group.

Coun Tennant said it was decided to change their name to protect the group’s brand and to avoid confusion with other independent candidates at election time.

Four former Putting Hartlepool First councillors now sit on the council as independents who are not affiliated with any group, in addition to long-serving independent Coun John Lauderdale and former Labour Group member Ged Hall.

The Independent Union has issued an invite to others to join them.

They said: “British politics is broken, and it is also very much happening in Hartlepool.

“Those who feel the same, should get on board.”

In national politics, 11 MPs have so far quit their parties to form a new breakaway Independent Group.

They are made up of eight former Labour politicians and three Conservatives.

They say they are “a proper alternative to the broken politics being offered by the main political parties”.