Hartlepool council heading for coalition rule again after local elections

Hartlepool Borough Council looks set to once again be led by a coalition between Conservative and independent councillors following the 2022 local elections.

By Nic Marko
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 5:34 pm

Voters went to the polls on Thursday, May 6, to decide 13 of the 36 seats on the local authority.

However it enables them to form a coalition with independent councillors, as has been the case since 2019.

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The Conservatives have increased their seats on Hartlepool Borough Council from 12 to 15.

Current council leader Cllr Shane Moore, who was re-elected in the Headland and Harbour ward, confirmed the local authority is set to again be led by a coalition between independents and Conservatives.

The Independent Union representative added he “would like” to continue as leader again for the coming year.

Conservative group chiefs also stated after the results were announced that the council “would still be a coalition” and they would “happily work with independent colleagues”.

At the count, the Conservative candidate for Seaton, Gordon Cranney, was re-elected just hours after it was revealed he pleaded guilty to a charge of assault by battery against a woman last month.

Current council leader Shane Moore.

After the news broke, Hartlepool Conservatives confirmed Cllr Cranney had been suspended by the group.

If he does resign, a by-election will be held to fill the vacant seat.

Opposition to the leading coalition will again be provided by the Labour group, who were victorious in seven of the 13 seats contested, ensuring they left the elections with 11 councillors, the same as they started the night with.

Seaton councillor Gordon Cranney is debating whether to resign or not following his conviction for assault. Picture by Frank Reid

They gained a seat in Foggy Furze through Cllr Melanie Morley, previously held by independent coalition member Darren Price.

However Labour’s Jennifer Elliott lost her seat in Fens and Greatham to Conservative candidate Bob Buchan in another close-fought rematch of last year’s poll which triggered a High Court case.

Who takes up key positions on the council, including leader, deputy leader and ceremonial mayor, is to be formally confirmed at the local authority annual general meeting later this month.