Two Hartlepool Labour councillors announce they are standing down
Two Labour councillors in Hartlepool have confirmed they will not be standing for re-election in May.
Councillor Lesley Hamilton and Cllr Stephen Thomas have both said they will not be looking to be re-elected in the upcoming local council elections.
Three councillors will be elected to each of 12 new wards in Hartlepool created following a review by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England, bringing the total number of councillors on the council to 36.
Councillors at the latest Hartlepool Borough Council’s extraordinary meeting paid tribute to the two outgoing elected members.
Cllr Brenda Harrison, leader of the Labour group on the council, praised her “fantastic” De Bruce ward colleague Cllr Stephen Thomas, who is standing down as he is leaving the town.
She said: “He has been a fantastic councillor over a number of years, he’s been a good mentor and support for a number of others, particularly myself within the De Bruce ward, and we’ve worked together as a good team over the last five years.
“He did a terrific job as chair of adult services for a number of years, bringing a wealth of experience from his background, as well as the knowledge that he’d accrued.
“His values and integrity have been very obvious in the way he has worked as a councillor and he will be a great miss, in the Labour group, in the council, in the ward and in fact the wider town.”
Cllr Carl Richardson, praised the work of his colleague in the Victoria ward Cllr Lesley Hamilton, who also decided not to stand in the elections.
He said: “She has been absolutely brilliant.
“She has worked her socks off within the Victoria ward, she helped hundreds of people in that ward and was a good advocate for the residents of the Victoria ward.”
Speaking at the last meeting of the audit and governance committee, Cllr Hamilton, who was vice chair of the committee, said it had been a “a privilege and an honour” to be a councillor, but she had reached a point where she “wanted her life back”.
Cllr Thomas, speaking at the last adult and community based services committee meeting, confirmed he would not be standing and thanked council officers for all the support they had given him over the years.