Hartlepool political party calls it a day after eight years

Hartlepool Civic Centre
Hartlepool Civic Centre

Town political party Putting Hartepool First has been dissolved after saying it has achieved what it set out to do.

The party’s four councillors will now sit on Hartlepool Borough Council as independent councillors.

Seaton Councillor James Black

Seaton Councillor James Black

The decision to break up the party was taken at its annual general meeting on Saturday.

Party members and elected representatives decided that the party had ran its course, and with a growing number of independent councillors now representing various wards in the town, had done its job.

The group’s last leader Councillor James Black, who represents Seaton Ward, said: “It’s a sad day for PHF, its supporters, members and its elected representatives, but I believe it’s the right one.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has supported the group over the past eight years and everyone who has been nominated.

“The group are proud of its achievements, always asking the right questions, whilst representing the town in a dignified manner.”

Coun Black said Putting Hartlepool First was built around an ethos that local issues should be decided locally without influence by regional or national party politics.

All elected members of the party were identified as independent, with the Putting Hartlepool First brand providing a group identity.

At one point it was the second largest political group on Hartlepool Borough Council.

Prior to being dissolved it was made up of Seaton’s three councillors, Coun Black, Coun Leisa SMith and Coun Sue Little.

Coun Tony Richardson of Fens and Rossmere ward was also part of the group.

Coun Black said they have all agreed to continue to work together for the good of the town.

He added: “We will ensure we continue to ask the questions, others may be afraid to ask.”

Following the dissolution of Putting Hartlepool First, the political make up of the council is 18 Labour, 12 Independent – of which six identify as Hartlepool Independent Group – and three Conservative.