Another empty seat in Hartlepool as councillor resigns less than year after being voted in

Two vacant councillor posts in Hartlepool are set to not be filled until next year’s local elections, council chiefs have said.

By Nic Marko
Thursday, 18th June 2020, 10:45 pm
Ann Johnson
Ann Johnson

It comes after Ann Johnson resigned from her position as Hart ward councillor on Hartlepool Borough Council at the end of May.

Ms Johnson was elected as a Labour councillor in July 2019 after a by-election, and was victorious by just eight votes ahead of Independent Union candidate Ian Griffiths.

Her resignation means there are now two vacant seats on the council, after David Mincher, previously a Manor House ward councillor, resigned in December 2019.

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Gill Alexander, council chief executive, has said following the latest resignation the seats will be left vacant until the local elections in 2021 and a by-election will not be held, unless there is any change in coronavirus legislation.

She said: “The vacancy arising through this will be held until the day of the ordinary election in 2021, given that the coronavirus legislation that’s laid says no elections will be taking place until that date.”

The leader of both the council and opposition thanked Ms Johnson for her work on the council and wished her well for the future.

Council leader Coun Shane Moore said: “I’d just like to give my thanks to former councillor Ann Johnson for her service to the council in the time that she served with Hartlepool Borough Council.”

Coun Paddy Brown said: “On behalf of me and the rest of the Labour group we’d like to thank Ann and wish her well for the future.”

Hartlepool Borough Council had been set to have an all out election in May this year, with all seats up for grabs, before it was announced nationally all elections would be postponed for a year due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

The next election will also be the first one since the independent Local Government Boundary Commission confirmed new ward boundaries for Hartlepool, which will see 36 councillors elected across 12 wards, an increase in the current 33 seats across 11 wards.

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