Mum Kelly will be Putting Hartlepool First

Councillor Kelly Atkinson, who has been elected as the new leader of Putting Hartlepool First.
Councillor Kelly Atkinson, who has been elected as the new leader of Putting Hartlepool First.

A councillor has been elected as the leader of a political group.

Seaton councillor Kelly Atkinson has been elected as Putting Hartlepool First following last months’ local elections.

Coun Atkinson was unanimously chosen by the groups’ members during an annual general meeting.

The reshuffle follows the departure of former leader Keith Dawkins who lost his seat in Jesmond ward in May.

Coun Atkinson said: “I’m really proud to be chosen to lead the group.

“I think the General Election saw the emergence of some really strong female leaders, such as Nicola Sturgeon and Leanne Wood. I’d like to emulate their drive and passion at local level.”

Mum-of-two Kelly juggles her council work with a full-time post in a secondary academy school, as well as raising her two daughters’ Louisa and Jennifer.

“It’s very hectic, but I think the fact that I work and raise a family keeps me completely in tune with the residents of my ward and the people of the town.  

“It’s very important we get more working people onto the council and ensure the council truly reflects the wishes of the people of Hartlepool.”

Putting Hartlepool First endured a difficult local election in May, losing two seats but they still have three serving councillors and the group are gaining more and more votes every year.

Group chairman Coun David Riddle said “We’re delighted Kelly stepped into the role of leader.

“With May being a General Election year, the local campaign was always going to be difficult for a small group like ours given the publicity given to the national parties.”