‘I will tell people how it is - and if it’s not nice, it’s not nice,’ says Hartlepool’s new Veterans’ and People’s Party councillor
The new Veterans’ and People’s Party councillor on Hartlepool Borough Council has highlighted security as his top priority and pledged to be honest with residents.
Lee Cartwright was elected as the new councillor for the Foggy Furze ward on Thursday night, defeating six other candidates include outgoing councillor, and deputy leader of the council, Labour’s Kevin Cranney.
Mr Cartwright, a health and safety business partner, said he wants to bring change to the council after being elected on behalf of the party which was formed around a year ago.
He said: “I want to make a change.
“One thing I will absolutely do is tell people the truth and tell them how it is, if it’s not nice it’s not nice.
“The work has just started, it’s about what do the people want, I’ll be holding ward surgeries to find out that.
“I’m just a representative of the people, if they tell me what they want, I will try and help deliver it.
“It’s about everybody, it’s not just about the councillors.”
The 39-year-old has also targeted key issues he wants to tackle while sitting on the council, after reaching his ‘breaking point’ in regards to security in the area.
He said: “My priority for the ward is going to be its security, that’s part of the reason why I ran.
“That’s the reason why I wanted to make a change, I know we don’t control police, but we can look at things such as extra patrols and even more CCTV, even if that is reactive rather than proactive
“I believe in making things safe is the right thing to do.”
He added he had worked hard in campaigning in the run-up to the elections, having been ‘born and bred’ in the ward, and found social media a useful tool for connecting with residents.
He said: “I did think it was going to be close, especially with that many candidates.
“We’re quite a young party, we were only formed last year.
“It’s about bringing change, but there are still two other Labour councillors on the ward.
“I’ve got my induction to do, I’m brand new to politics, I’m learning, and this is just the first step forward.”
Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service