Meet the candidates in Hartlepool Borough Council's Rural West ward

With council elections just around the corner, we’re shining the spotlight on Hartlepool’s candidates in the run-up to polling day.

By Nic Marko
Monday, 2nd May 2022, 1:54 pm

Voters are due to head to polling stations on Thursday, May 5, in all 12 wards to have their say on who should represent them on Hartlepool Borough Council.

All candidates have been given the opportunity to tell readers why they’re standing and why you should vote for them.

In the Rural West ward two councillors will be elected following the death of Ceremonial Mayor Councillor Brenda Loynes earlier this year after a long and brave fight against cancer.

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The candidates contesting the Rural West ward in the upcoming Hartlepool Borough Council elections.

Here’s what candidates for the seats have to say.

*Candidates are listed in the order they appeared on Hartlepool Borough Council’s list of candidates at the close of nominations.*

Andrew Martin-Wells (Conservative Party)

Conservatives have a simple message this election; Labour has been in charge of Hartlepool for over half a century; during that time, they have consistently increased our Council Tax up and up further, making Hartlepool one of the highest Council Taxes in the whole of England.

Andrew Martin-Wells.

One of the only times Labour froze council tax was when the Conservative led Government gave Hartlepool a Freeze Grant.

Conservatives only became the largest group last year; Labour refused to support the budget including a Council Tax Freeze for 2021/22, but we managed to do it anyway, the only Council in Tees Valley to do so.

One year is not enough time to change over 50 years of Labour in charge; we need your support to help us continue Levelling up Hartlepool.

Remember Rural West residents have two votes this election – vote Andrew Martin-Wells and Scott Reeve on Thursday 5th May 2022.

Vivienne Neville.

Vivienne Neville (Liberal Democrats)

I was brought up in Hartlepool and was a pupil of Brierton Comprehensive School.

My background predominately has been in Education with a BA Hons Music Degree, PGCE Education and I’m studying for a Masters Degree at the moment.

I’m also a small business owner with an entrepreneurial outlook and much experience.

Scott Reeve.

By voting on May 5th for me, I will give your community a voice by working hard for Rural West.

We have all been through two very tough years, many of us are facing new beginnings, a new season, and at a political local level we need new voices in local authorities.

I’m passionate about justice and well-being for all ages, I will hear your concerns, support you, and will be looking at effective ways to bring solutions where needed.

Vote Liberal Democrats on Thursday 5th May 2022. Vote Vivienne Neville.

Scott Reeve (Conservative Party)

Conservatives have a simple message this election; Labour has been in charge of Hartlepool for over half a century; during that time, they have consistently increased our Council Tax up and up further, making Hartlepool one of the highest Council Taxes in the whole of England.

Darab Rezai.

One of the only times Labour froze council tax was when the Conservative led Government gave Hartlepool a Freeze Grant.

Conservatives only became the largest group last year; Labour refused to support the budget including a Council Tax Freeze for 2021/22, but we managed to do it anyway, the only Council in Tees Valley to do so.

One year is not enough time to change over 50 years of Labour in charge; we need your support to help us continue Levelling up Hartlepool.

Remember Rural West residents have two votes this election – vote Andrew Martin-Wells and Scott Reeve on Thursday 5th May 2022.

Darab Rezai (Independent)

I have lived in Rural West ward for over 33 years, I’ve been a parish councillor for Dalton Piercy over 11 years and the chairperson for the last six.

I’ve also been the chairperson of the Hartlepool Licensing Association, representing our hospitality industry for over 10 years.

I believe standing as an Independent is a golden opportunity to work with everyone across the board for the good of the community.

I hope to push for the A19 bypass, prevent anti-social behaviour, introduce speed control, resist council tax rises, support beneficial planning applications, bring more funds into the community and create jobs in Hartlepool for future generations.

I have taken part in community work for over 15 years, and I have always given 100% to any task or challenge I have been given by the community and I am passionate about making Hartlepool a better place to live.

John Tait (The North East Party)

The North East Party always stands up for North East England!

My priorities for the Rural West Ward include ensuring the Elwick Bypass is delivered quickly and through a scheme which maximises the potential benefits for all the communities in the ward, ensuring we get value for money for our Council Tax, and tackling fly-tipping and other anti-social behaviour.

I will also ensure approved plans help develop and maintain viable and vibrant communities in Hartlepool.

Although I’ve only recently moved to Dalton Piercy I was an active member of the community in Thorpe Thewles, including almost 19 years as a parish councillor, and recently chaired the parish hall through an extensive modernisation and refurbishment programme.

I’ve recently retired as an IT and business consultant after spending a career undertaking a wide variety of roles in computing and engineering.

Malcolm Walker (Labour Party)

After a career as a community development manager I have the experience, knowledge and focus to serve the people of Rural West as their councillor.

I believe that as a public sector organisation the council has a duty to put the public first in everything that it does.

Residents are the boss, councillors work for them and I am committed to working for the residents of Rural West.

I want a stronger economy where our council spends your money on supporting local suppliers and jobs.

I will fight for safer neighbourhoods by introducing a 24-hour response team to crack down on antisocial behaviour, licence bad landlords and clean up our communities by putting offenders to work.

I will work every single day to improve Rural West for residents. Please support me in the local elections.

John Tait.
Malcolm Walker.