Meet the Foggy Furze candidates vying for your vote in Hartlepool's local elections
This year's local elections are just around the corner, and we are turning the spotlight on all Hartlepool's candidates in the run-up to polling day on May 3.
We will concentrate on a ward each day, and today we feature the five people standing in the Foggy Furze ward.
All the candidates are being given the opportunity to tell Mail readers why they are standing and why they should vote for them.
Here’s what they have to say.
ANN MARSHALL (LABOUR PARTY)
As an experienced community activist I have a proven track record of always putting residents first and getting things done quickly.
Foggy Furze is facing a number of issues such as speeding traffic, fly-tipping, dog-fouling and of course the flooding at Stranton Cemetery.
Whilst all the other candidates are running negative campaigns I have always been to true to my core Labour values of treating everyone fairly and getting the job done.
After Hartlepool has suffered Government cuts of over £20 million pounds we need to work hard and look after our community and not be fighting one another.
I have always put Hartlepool first, and in the coming months and years, when Hartlepool faces many major challenges, I will strive to make sure that any decisions taken do not affect the frontline services at the council that are relied upon by the frail, elderly and vulnerable, which account for over two-thirds of the council’s budget.
It would be my privilege to serve Foggy Furze Ward residents as your community councillor.
I would therefore ask you show your support by voting for me as your Labour candidate so that I can work hard for the community we live in.
ANDREW CHRISTOPHER MARTIN-WELLS (CONSERVATIVES)
Foggy Furze Ward residents have a simple choice on the May 3 - Conservatives or Labour.
In past elections some of you put your faith in UKIP and elected six UKIP councillors. Five of them repaid your faith by abandoning UKIP and becoming independents.
Many of the six only stood for UKIP after falling out with several political groups they had previously been members of, and now they’ve even abandoned UKIP.
Worse than that, some of the ex-UKIP and the majority of the other independent councillors publicly voted against the councillors' increase in allowances, then privately arranged for the same increases to be paid into their banks.
Can you trust independents?
If you want the councillors representing your ward to have any influence in maintaining and improving your area, then only the two traditional parties can help.
A vote for an Independent is a vote wasted. Independents have no influence within the council and therefore they cannot change any political policies or decisions you are unhappy with.
Only Conservatives can hold the council to account. Vote Conservative May 3.
DARREN PRICE (INDEPENDENT)
I live in Foggy Furze with my wife and children who go to local schools.
As a working family man I understand the struggles we all face in our daily lives, investment is needed and more effort is required to tackle rising crime and reduced job opportunities.
I want to work with residents, officers and police to tackle these issues effectively.
We need to strive to make Hartlepool a successful, fair and happy place for its residents to work and live in.
Also for the last three years I have been running the Foggy Furze residents page on social media.
I want Hartlepool residents to have the healthcare that they need, for their children to be able to be placed in schools they want, and to make it possible for everyone who wants to, to be able to find a job and a home for themselves and their family.
If I am privileged enough to become your local councillor I pledge to act on your behalf, and in your best interests, all year round - and not just at election time.
MICHAEL JAMES BRACKSTONE RITCHIE (GREEN PARTY)
Hi, I’m Michael Ritchie, and I’m running in the hope of being your councillor for the Foggy Furze ward.
I’m no stranger to this part of town - I spent my childhood on Heathfield Drive and my teenage years on Greta Avenue.
I now live in Robinson Close with my long-term partner, Kate.
Sadly, our street stands on the former site of the ward’s library, a place I have many fond memories of from when I was a child.
I believe Foggy Furze is a beautiful area of Hartlepool, with trees and green spaces that deserve conservation, from the trees lining our back gardens to the Rec.
I’ve been affiliated with the Green Party since 2014, and as your local candidate I promise to listen to the voices of those who live in the ward and fight for what we all care for - safer streets, so children needn’t worry when walking to school; preventing further cuts to our excellent local schools and social care; and providing support to the soup kitchen at St Aidan’s Church, so they can continue to care for the most vulnerable among us.
I care about Foggy Furze, because it’s our ward. It deserves our voice.
ANDREW WILDBERG (INDEPENDENT)
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