Resignation leaves Hart ward vacancy

A former Labour councillor who went on to sit as an independent has stepped down.
Former Hart councillor Jean RobinsonFormer Hart councillor Jean Robinson
Former Hart councillor Jean Robinson

Hartlepool Borough Council has confirmed Jean Robinson, who represented the Hart ward, stepped down from her role as councillor on June 5.

Ms Robinson had previously represented Labour on the council for several years but was listed as an Independent councillor for the 2019/20 municipal year.

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Council bosses have confirmed if they receive two signatures from electors within the borough requesting, in writing, the returning officer will start the procedure to hold an election to fill the vacancy, with a date set for a by-election within 35 working days.

The notice was issued on June 5 and the council officers are waiting to see if any signatures are submitted.

Whoever takes over from Ms Robinson will only be guaranteed their seat on the council until May next year, as then all seats will be up for election.

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It means instead of 11 wards and 33 councillors, the town is set to have 12 wards and 36 elected members on the borough council.

There are two other seats in the Hart ward alongside the one left behind by Ms Robinson, which are currently held by Coun James Brewer and Coun Tom Cassidy, both of whom represent the Independent Union party.

A by-election was also held in the Hart ward in October last year, following the resignation of Labour’s Paul Beck, which was won by Independent Coun Brewer ahead of Labour, Conservative and Green Party candidates.

The council is currently led by a coalition made up of eight Independent Union councillors, three Conservatives and one representative from the Veterans’ and People’s Party.

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The council also has nine Labour councillors, four Socialist Labour Party representatives, three from Putting Seaton First and two Independent councillors.

There is one representative each from the For Britain Movement and UKIP.