Hartlepool ex Labour councillor launches new non-political movement
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Dave Hunter quit the Labour group on Hartlepool Borough Council, which he was deputy leader of, in July to become an Independent councillor.
Now he is forming a new movement called Hartlepool People which aims to ditch politics and make decisions in the best interests of the town and its residents.
Councillor Hunter, who represents the Burn Valley ward, said it plans to field a number of candidates in the planned May 2021 local elections.
He said: “One of the many reasons I left party politics is because the Covid-19 crisis has shown us that our councillors and political groups need a new, more collaborative and constructive approach, one which ditches politics and the self-serving focus which some people/parties seem to focus on.
“Even while our council officers and leaders tried to navigate us through these unprecedented times, some have still spent their time point scoring and sniping when we could have been working together for the good of the town.”
In a recent letter to the Prime Minister, Hartlepool council leader Shane Moore said political groups and leaders have put their differences aside to find common ground during the pandemic.
Cllr Hunter added: “The idea of the movement is to bring people under one banner and agree to sign up to comply to the Nolan (ethical standards) Principles where the only focus is doing what’s right for the town and the people in it.”
He said any member of the group which breached the principles would be immediately expelled and step down if they are councillors.
He added the movement wants to see ‘absolute transparency’ in all decision making and is in favour of the return of resident representatives.
"I think people of the town should have a big say in any decisions the town takes,” said Cllr Hunter. “Extra scrutiny can only be a good thing.”
He said a number of people have expressed an interest in the new movement including standing for election and is calling on others who share the same views to join.
“The general public seem to be really up for this as a new way forward,” he said.