With the Hart ward by-election just around the corner, we are turning the spotlight on the candidates in the run-up to polling day.
People in Hartlepool in the Hart ward will have the chance to choose between four candidates in the by-election taking place on Thursday, October 11.
The election comes after Labour’s Coun Paul Beck, who served as mayor last year, announced in August he would be standing down from his role as councillor for the Hart ward.
Now the candidates have been given the opportunity to tell Mail readers why they are standing and why residents should vote for them.
James Brewer (Independent)
I’m standing as an Independent because today party politics in Hartlepool has seen too much division with internal rows and it is the residents who are being forgotten by the national parties.
An Independent is someone who can represent local residents without being beholden to a party whip and can apply the necessary pressure to get things done in our area.
I have the backing and support of the Hartlepool Independent Group, the official opposition to Labour in Civic Centre and I feel that being part of a team is a more effective way to challenge the Labour Party leaders on our Council.
In the last two years, four Labour Councillors have resigned, costing thousands in by-elections and Hart ward needs more than just one active Councillor.
I want to work with fellow Independent Councillor Tom Cassidy who has already been active within the 5 months of being elected in May this year.
We must resolve the need for a Merlin Way crossing without delay, tackle anti-social behaviour more effectively and challenge Labour on potential Council Tax increases.
Don’t let Labour sneak back in, Vote James Brewer – Your Local Independent Candidate for the Hart ward.
Michael Holt (Green Party)
As a member of the green party my main concern is the environment and I have helped to clean up Seaton beach and wish to clean up all Hartlepool to make it more attractive to visitors.
I am against austerity and want to make sure Hart as well as all other villages have a better bus service, especially for the retired.
My desire is to join Hartlepool Council so I can promote green businesses in the area .
I also would like to promote a way to stop fly-tipping especially in the Hart area.
I also believe too many private properties are being built and not enough social housing and I have ideas how to change that.
Aileen Kendon (Labour)
This by-election for a seat that will be contested again in May, is a waste of taxpayers’ money.
To compensate, if elected, I will refuse any allowance in my first term and I will never vote for a rise.
Who we elect matters because councillors shape the key decisions that impact our everyday life.
I live in our community and I am passionate about standing up for it.
I am fighting for real change and I need your support to make that change a reality.
We must end the ‘build now, plan later’ approach that has seen developers avoid their obligations around road safety and green spaces.
The council must refocus on getting the basics right to tackle litter, dog fouling, overgrown bushes, trees and paths in every part of the ward.
We must have councillors who listen to residents. Whether it is overdevelopment in Bishop Cuthbert, the community forest in Clavering or the village field in Hart, too many parts of our ward feel they get no support. I want that to change. I will be a councillor that puts residents first.
Change is coming, on October 11th please support me and vote for that change.
Cameron Stokell (Conservatives)
I am Hartlepool born and have lived in Clavering and Hart wards all of my life.
Over this time I have seen the decline in services available to the younger demographic of our ward, this has a direct correlation to the increase in Anti Social Behaviour (ASB) incidents in the area.
The current makeup of the council is such that there are only two councillors that are under the age of 30, this a large portion of their ward and indeed the towns demographic that are under represented in their views and needs, it is to this end that I feel I need to stand for the position of Hart ward councillor.
Voting for me will ensure that the views of all the residents of the ward will be heard and that initiatives to reduce ASB in our ward are laid out and implemented as a matter of priority.
I already have a good working relationship with the councillors of Rural West ward and look to bring some of the successful ideas and initiatives to our local ward.