Now 'for a new era of positivity' after new Hartlepool council coalition agreed

Hartlepool's leading coalition has declared the hard work starts now "for a new era of positivity" after council positions were confirmed for the coming year.

Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 3:50 pm

Hartlepool Borough Council’s annual meeting, held at the Borough Hall on Tuesday night, saw leadership and committee positions confirmed for 2021-22.

Cllr Shane Moore and Cllr Mike Young, both part of the leading coalition between independent councillors and Conservatives, will remain in their respective positions as leader and deputy leader.

Conservative Cllr Brenda Loynes will also remain as ceremonial mayor for the coming year and act as chair of council while Cllr Young will be the new deputy ceremonial mayor.

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Conservative councillor Mike Young, who represents the Rural West ward, is deputy leader of Hartlepool Borough Council and the new deputy ceremonial mayor.

A statement on behalf of the coalition of Conservative and independent councillors said it has been a difficult period due to Covid-19 but that the crisis had brought people together.

They added they have set out to put party politics aside and do what is best for the town.

They said: “Our strategy is to continue to bring Hartlepool together to make big ideas more achievable.

“Our council doesn’t have all of the answers or solutions to the great problems we face as a town, but they are out there in our businesses, our schools, our communities, our charities and even our homes.

“We have members of Conservative, Labour and Independent groups in leading committee positions to put party politics aside and do the best for the town.

“We’re excited for what will be a new era of positivity for Hartlepool. The hard work starts now.”

The Independent Union’s Cllr Tim Fleming is the new chair of the adult and community based services committee, with Cllr Sue Little acting as vice.

Independent Cllr Jim Lindridge is taking over the chair role for the children’s services committee while Labour’s Cllr Brenda Harrison was selected as vice.

The chair and vice for the neighbourhood services committee will be conservative Cllr Cameron Stokell and independent Cllr Darren Price respectively.

The newly named economic growth and regeneration committee will be chaired by independent Cllr Paddy Brown, with Cllr Young supporting him as vice.

The chairs of those four policy committees also have a seat on the finance and policy committee, which is chaired by the leader, Cllr Moore.

Cllr Brenda Harrison, leader of the Labour Group, said she was disappointed with the outcome of the annual council meeting, but pledged to continue to work with the coalition for the good of the town.

She said: “We offered nominations for all chair and vice chair positions and we came out with one, which was vice chair.

“They [the coalition] haven’t taken into account the people that could have done those jobs, and we could have worked a little bit more cooperatively, rather than just voting en bloc and voting for their own people from the coalition.

“It is disappointing but we will continue to work together for the good of the town.”

It was also decided at the meeting the planning committee would again be chaired by Cllr Young, with Cllr Brown acting as vice, while the licensing committee will be chaired by Cllr Tom Cassidy, with Cllr Fleming as vice.

Finally, the audit and governance committee will be chaired by Independent Cllr Rob Cook, with Labour’s Cllr Carl Richardson his vice chair.