Cllr James Black, who represents the Seaton ward, has said he will be standing down from his position as councillor on August 2 due to being appointed the new Stanley Town Council town clerk and head of paid services.
He said as posts of this nature are deemed ‘politically restricted’, and require the holder to be neutral from political sides, he must step down from his role as councillor in Hartlepool
The Putting Seaton First representative, posting in a statement on Facebook, thanked residents and those who he has worked with in the four years he has spent as councillor.
He said: “Being a councillor is much more than setting the direction of the council or the meetings, it’s much more than the projects and developments, it’s about listening to and acting on your [the Seaton residents] thoughts, your passions and your worries.
“It’s about being open and transparent and it’s about communication, sometimes having to tell people news they really don’t want to hear.
“I wish to place on record my thanks to every resident and business who has reached out to me, for every question that has been asked, for every invite that has been received.
“My proudest part of the past four and a bit years has been serving each and everyone of you [the Seaton residents].
“Your involvement, your passion, your care and your pride, is what has propelled me during my time as your ward councillor.
Cllr Black also recounted some of his proudest moments over his time as councillor, including seeing the end to the Longscar Hall building, which ‘blighted the sea front for many many years’.
He highlighted other key moments as his involvement in the setting up and running of the Seaton Carew Youthy, and overseeing many of the play developments in Seaton Carew including the newly refurbished tennis court.
Finally he expressed his pride in being involved in Beach Access North East, which provided free beach wheelchairs for those in need.
He also added he was looking forward to the new challenges ahead in his new role after a recommendation was made at this week’s extraordinary Full Council meeting of Stanley Town Council for his appointment.
He said: “I believe my skill set, my experience and my political awareness, of which has been honed by my work as a councillor for the Seaton ward, made me the ideal candidate for such a position, a position that will see me lead officers of Stanley Town Council into a difficult, but very exciting future.”
Cllr Black stepping down from his post will mean there will now be 30 councillors on Hartlepool Borough Council, with two seats already vacant and waiting to be filled at next year’s local elections.