A new Hartlepool councillor says he is looking forward to playing a role in big changes planned for the town.
Conservative Mike Young, 37, won a by-election for Rural West ward after the seat was left vacant when fellow Conservative Ray Martin-Wells stepped down from Hartlepool Borough Council after several years.
Councillor Young secured his place on the council with 678 votes with Independent candidate James Brewer coming second with 546.
He has stood several times before for Seaton and De Bruce wards including in May’s election.
Coun Young, who works as a study support teacher at an academy in Middlesbrough, said: “I’m delighted, it’s a massive honour.
“It was quite tight in the end, but when you consider the political climate of the last week and Brexit I think we probably did alright.
“I think we’re at a point in time in Hartlepool where change is coming.
“There is a need for new councillors on the council and new ideas.
“Across the town we are seeing more and more development and Rural West is quite in the spotlight for that.
“We need someone who can take a measured look at what the outcomes could be and for the more contentious matters to explain to residents why decisions are being made.”
He said he will also take a keen interest in multi-million new school building projects at English Martyrs and High Tunstall schools.
At ward level he said transport, especially in more isolated rural areas, was a key issue for residents he will look to raise.
Turnout in the by-election was just over 25%.
Independent Group leader Coun John Tennant said the result showed the ward is no longer a safe seat for the Conservatives after the winning majority was reduced to just 132 from 823 in May.
Labour’s Yousuf Khan came third with 184 and Michael Holt for the Green Party got 87.