Meet the election candidates in the Rural West ward for Hartlepool Borough Council
The Hartlepool Borough Council local elections are just days away.
Each day we will give the candidates the opportunity to tell Mail readers why they are standing and why residents should vote for them.
We will concentrate on a ward each day and today is the Rural West ward.
There are four candidates for the Rural West ward who are hopeful of being elected onto Hartlepool Borough Council on May 3.
Here’s what they have to say.
JAMES BREWER (Independent)
I’m James Brewer and I’m proud to call Hartlepool my lifelong home.I live in the Rural West, and I’ve seen my hometown and people who live here fall by the wayside. Ordinary people that want to work hard and get on with life being crippled by tax and feeling unrepresented in their community.I’m running for council because I’m one of those ordinary people who’s had enough.I work full time in retail, living wage to wage with council tax and the cost of living rising at a ludicrous rate.So let’s fight back. I want to represent you as we say no to councillors wages rising, tax hikes and unnecessary mass development.I want to make your voices heard and demand our A&E returned and a lower council tax.Lets have your council serve you, like it was meant to.If elected my most important goal will be you, my neighbours. Making certain you’re heard and represented fully.I’ll always be available to talk and listen no matter how big or small the issue.Lets figure out what is and isn’t working, so together we can make our home the best place it can be.Thank you.
MICHAEL HOLT (Green Party)
Rural West needs a councillor from an alternative party that will represent the views of residents regarding any planning developments in the ward. Having three councillors from the same party means that a plurality of views doesn’t get heard, politicians do better with a bit of competition. We need to make sure that any prospective developments in our area address the demand for the kind of housing people in our area require, rather than a glut of executive housing. We need to make sure that any prospective developers are held to account to make sure that the plans that they are putting through conform to planning guidance and corners aren’t cut. We need to ensure that wildlife is properly taken into consideration. We need to make sure that any developments that do take place take full account of the needs of the community and benefit everyone who already lives here with increased commitments to public transportation and amenities. A vote for the Green Party at local level is a vote against the increasing polarisation of politics back into two parties. We need a voting system that gives voice to a wider range of concerns and prevents stagnation: politicians need competition.
HELEN HOWSON (Labour)
I am the manager of Citizens Advice Redcar and Cleveland and have previously worked in the housing and private sector. I have the knowledge, skills and understanding to be an effective advocate for individual residents and communities.Since its formation Rural West has never had a Labour councillor - it’s now time for change. Hartlepool Borough Council work hard to protect frontline services, however, the residents and communities of Rural West are facing daily pressures of their own as a result of Tory austerity measures with continued cuts to services and facilities. It is time for Labour to re-establish a real relationship with this community and to address your concerns, it’s time to work on protecting the heritage of the area and recognise the assets and opportunities for growth within Rural West.If elected I will hold regular surgeries throughout the ward and produce high quality casework for individual residents, effectively representing the views of Rural West residents to the council. I will produce regular newsletters and engage with community groups. Rural West residents can expect a friendly, approachable and highly effective ward councilor that will quickly respond to queries and questions with openness and transparency.
BRENDA LOYNES (Conservatives)
I have been a Local Conservative Councillor for seven years now and in those years I have regularly attended resident and parish council meetings within the ward where issues are raised and dealt with, Rural West Ward has had increased investment since I was elected in 2011.For instance pot-holes, roads resurfaced, street lighting repairs, bin collections, bus laybys and extra parking at High Tunstall College of Science and also car park at West Park Primary, pedestrian crossings, dropped kerbs, speed signs, traffic calming measures, further investment in our wonderful Ward Jackson Park. I have also dealt with flooding issues in Greatham, Elwick, Dalton Piercy and Park area (some ongoing) also Town wide issues.I have supported good causes with my ward budget one example the electronic score board at Park Drive Cricket Club and many more. At present I chair Licensing, sit on six committees, a member of the Foster & Adoption Panel also a governor for West Park and Greatham Schools.A vote for me will mean the same dedication and commitment as I have shown since being elected in 2011.