This year’s local elections are just around the corner, and we will be 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, starting today with the Burn Valley Ward.
Every candidate will be given the opportunity to tell readers why they are standing and why people should vote for them.
Here’s what the three Burn Valley candidates, listed in alphabetical order, have to say.
JOHN LAUDERDALE (INDEPENDENT)
Being Independent means we can consider all issues and vote on what we believe is right and not be told how to vote by a party leader. That is commonsense politics.
Recent examples being the 31% Councillor Salary increase and the 4.9% rate increase. Ged and I voted against both however the Labour block vote automatically ensures the Leader has his way.
The Conservatives say that we ‘publicly’ did one thing and ‘privately’ did another saying can we be trusted? We reject that – the facts are we did vote against the salary increase – but we lost the vote – the salary is paid in full directly to Councillors bank accounts.
We decided that we would donate our increase to groups within the ward. We explained this fully in our Summer 2017 news-letter as we believe in keeping our constituents fully informed.
To date we donated about £1,600 to causes and others will follow – that’s fair!
Living in the Ward we are both able to work closely together at all times. I see my role as not only to represent the best interests of our constituents at meeting in the Civic Centre but also to be involved in it.
BEN MARSHALL (CONSERVATIVES)
Burn Valley Ward residents have a simple choice on the 3rd of May, Conservatives or Labour.
In past elections some of you put your faith in UKIP and elected 6 UKIP Councillors, 5 of them repaid your faith by abandoning UKIP and becoming independents.
Many of the 6 only stood for UKIP after falling out with several political groups they had previously been members of, 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.
KAREN OLIVER (LABOUR PARTY)
Whilst campaigning in the Burn Valley Ward, residents have raised the following concerns:
• Unacceptable levels of litter and dog fouling;
• Unacceptable levels of anti social behaviour in several parts of the ward;
• Unacceptable levels of boarded up empty properties, both residential and businesses;
• Unacceptable levels of vandalism and litter in Burn Valley Gardens.
Over the last decade Hartlepool has seen its fair share of the effects of Central Government’s austerity measures.
If elected on the 3rd May I will immediately start working on a longer term vision that will look at the regeneration of the Burn Valley Ward.
In the short and medium the ward needs:
• Introduction of more CCTV in locations with the highest crime and anti social behaviour;
• Additional cleansing rounds in the most problematic areas;
• Proactive enforcement measures to tackle poor Private Landlord Management and abandoned empty properties;
• Improved ground and general maintenance of play areas in the Burn Valley Gardens, including other green public spaces within the ward.
I am confident that I can restore resident and business confidence in the Burn Valley Ward.
Voting for Karen Oliver means a vote for future regeneration and a vote to stop the decline.
* Tomorrow - meet the candidates for the De Bruce ward.