Former Hartlepool councillor who was jailed is to stand again in next elections

A former councillor whose previous actions led to him being jailed over offensive social media posts has confirmed he is standing for election again.
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Details have been confirmed of who residents in Hartlepool will be able to vote for when they go to the polls next month in the local council elections.

Twelve seats on Hartlepool Borough Council will be up for election on Thursday, May 4, with one councillor being voted in for each of the area’s 12 wards.

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Among those seeking election is Tony Richardson who is contesting the Fens and Rossmere ward after losing his seat in 2021 following a tenure which saw him hit with sanctions over sharing offensive Facebook posts.

Tony Richardson.Tony Richardson.
Tony Richardson.

Mr Richardson, who has previously spoken out against the running of the council and senior officers’ high wages, said of his previous conviction: “I stuck my hand up to it.

"I did not put it on there. I shared it. It’s all bygones as far as I’m concerned.”

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He says he has no shame in being seen as a thorn in the council’s side.

Voters go to the polls in Hartlepool on May 4.Voters go to the polls in Hartlepool on May 4.
Voters go to the polls in Hartlepool on May 4.

Mr Richardson, who can stand because his sentence was less than three months, said: “The reason is I tackle the council on its actions and look at it and of its officers and other councillors.

"I represent the normal everyday voter on the street. I want value for money and fair representation and service.

"We are paying some of the highest council tax in the country and receive what I believe is sub standard services.”

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Also up for re-election are current councillors Brenda Harrison and Mike Young, who are the existing leaders of the local authority’s Labour and Conservative groups respectively.

The 44 candidates and their wards are:

Burn Valley

James Brewer (Reform UK);

Ged Hall (Labour Party);

John Hays (Independent);

Margaret Lyall (Conservative Party).

De Bruce

Brenda Harrison (Labour and Co-operative Party);

Paul Manley (Reform UK);

Rodney Pangbourne (Conservative Party).

Fens and Greatham

Angela Falconer (Independent);

Philip Holbrook (Labour and Co-operative Party);

Roger Jones (Reform UK);

Marc Owens (Conservative Party);

Tony Richardson (Independent).

Foggy Furze

Martin Dunbar (Labour and Co-operative Party);

Barry McKinstray (Liberal Democrats);

Leah Syead (Reform UK);

Kevin Tiplady (Conservative Party).


Rob Cook (Independent);

Rob Darby (Conservative Party);

David Innes (Labour Party);

Pauline Phillips (Independent).

Headland and Harbour

Matthew Dodds (Labour and Co-operative Party);

Tim Fleming (Independent Union);

Arthur Southcott (Conservative Party).

Manor House

Ben Clayton (Labour and Co-operative Party);

Donna Hotham (Liberal Democrats);

Angela Jackson (Conservative Party);

Steve Wright (Reform UK).


Tracy Connolly (Reform UK);

Tom Feeney (Labour and Co-operative Party);

Jaime Horton (Independent).

Rural West

John O’Brien (Reform UK);

Pam Shurmer (Independent);

Malcolm Walker (Labour and Co-operative Party);

Mike Young (Conservative Party).


Josh Bagnall (Conservative Party);

Ralph Gabbatiss (Labour Party);

Glynis Jones (Reform UK);

Leisa Smith (Independent).


Peter Jackson (Independent);

Trevor Rogan (Reform UK);

Steve Wallace (Labour and Co-operative Party).


Misra Bano-Mahroo (Conservative Party);

Thomas Bird (Reform UK);

Karen Oliver (Labour and Co-operative Party).

The local authority is made up of 36 elected representatives and is currently led by a coalition between Independent and Conservative councillors.