By-election details confirmed following resignation of independent Hartlepool councillor with 'debilitating' health issues

Hartlepool Borough Council has revealed details of an upcoming by-election called after an independent councillor stood down due to illness.

By Nic Marko
Friday, 5th August 2022, 3:51 pm

Stephen Picton, an independent councillor representing Foggy Furze since 2021, has confirmed he has made the “heartbreaking” decision to step away from the role due to suffering from fibromyalgia.

The condition causes severe pain all over the body, chronic fatigue, spasms and ‘brain fog’ short term memory problems, with Mr Picton noting symptoms mean “he can’t take on board the paperwork he has to read”.

As a result of his decision, a vacancy has been declared for the Foggy Furze ward and a council by-election will take place on Thursday, September 8.

Cllr Stephen Picton

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A notice of election has now been published by Hartlepool Borough Council, stating deadlines for submitting nominations to stand, registering to vote, voting by post and applying for proxy votes.

For anyone wishing to stand for the seat, nomination papers must be delivered to the council returning officer at the Civic Centre, in Victoria Road, before 4pm on Thursday, August 11.

Forms of nomination can be obtained from the elections team at the Civic Centre, who will at the request of an elector prepare the relevant documents for signature.

A full list of candidates is expected to be published when nominations officially close.

Applications to register to vote in the by-election must reach the electoral registration officer by midnight on Monday, August 22, and can be made online at: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

Meanwhile, applications, amendments or cancellations of postal votes and amendments or cancellations of proxy votes must be made by 5pm on Tuesday, August 23.

The deadline for new applications to vote by proxy at the election is 5pm on Wednesday, August 31.

In total, the Foggy Furze ward has three seats on the council, one of which will be contested at the by-election in September.

She picked up 691 votes to his 490, while Conservative and Liberal Democrat candidates received 391 and 82 ballots respectively.