Meet the Hartlepool borough council candidates in the Rural West ward

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This year’s local elections are just around the corner and we are turning the spotlight on all Hartlepool’s candidates in the run-up to polling day on May 6.

All the candidates are being given the opportunity to tell readers why they are standing in the elections to gain a seat on Hartlepool Borough Council.

Here's what the seven candidates standing in the Rural West ward had to say on why you should vote for them.

Adrian Gaines (Independent)

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Rural West candidates, from left to right. Back row, Adrian Gaines, Brenda Loynes, Darab Rezai and Cameron Stokell. Front row, Malcolm Walker, Alex Williamson and Mike Young.Rural West candidates, from left to right. Back row, Adrian Gaines, Brenda Loynes, Darab Rezai and Cameron Stokell. Front row, Malcolm Walker, Alex Williamson and Mike Young.
Rural West candidates, from left to right. Back row, Adrian Gaines, Brenda Loynes, Darab Rezai and Cameron Stokell. Front row, Malcolm Walker, Alex Williamson and Mike Young.

I’ve owned/ran hospitality businesses and I’ll use my skills to help local businesses and help reduce council costs.

I’ll join my brother to call for a council tax rebate funded by the central government.

Central funding cuts have led to one of the highest council taxes in the country which is unfair.

I’ll object to and call out all wasteful vanity projects by councillors which don’t result in job creation and a reasonable return on investment.

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I’ll work with my brother Adam Gaines (if elected) and others to put in place controls that will help save council taxpayers' money.

Brenda Loynes (Conservative Party)

It would be my honour to continue as your local Conservative councillor for Rural West, those who know me will know my passion for getting on with the job and that’s what I will do.

I have two fantastic colleagues, Cameron and Mike, who support me and get on with the job at hand. I hope I can count on your support this May.

I’m sure we can all agree we are glad to see the back of 2020 and look forward to the future moving forward, all the best, Brenda Loynes - Your Conservative Councillor for Rural West.

Darab Rezai (Independent)

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I am a businessman who has lived in Rural West for over 30 years, passionate about the town and investing in Hartlepool’s future.

Having 10 years experience as Chairman of Dalton Piercy Parish and Hospitality, I aim to:

Push for the Elwick A19 Bypass.

Freeze Council Tax.

Invite businesses and industry to Hartlepool to bring in local jobs to the town.

Encourage the council to build an iconic multipurpose building on Jackson’s Landing to stimulate the local economy and create jobs locally.

Save the town's retailers to prevent job loss.

Tackle and prevent litter and fly-tipping.

Improve road infrastructure and road safety.

Cameron Stokell (Conservative Party)

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As your Conservative councillor for Rural West, I have worked with my other colleagues to ensure that we fight to make our ward safer for everyone.

If re-elected, I will continue to listen to all residents and work with other partners like the police to tackle anti-social behaviour.

The police have made drastic improvements, and I want to keep working with them to make our ward safe.

I have had a 100% attendance record at the Civic Centre because your voice should be heard at meetings.

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A vote for the Conservatives means a vote for common-sense policies, which improve our streets.

Malcolm Walker (Labour Party)

I am standing for the Labour Party because I believe in social justice.

For me that means creating fair opportunities for all, and not looking after your cronies; it means looking out for those most in need, and not cutting essential public services; and it means fairness in respecting and rewarding people’s jobs, and not outrageous bonuses for bankers and executives.

I have 40+ years’ professional experience in community development, regeneration and education and extensive voluntary experience as a charity trustee, school governor and as a community activist. Read Labour’s plan for Hartlepool at

Alex Williamson (Independent)

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I'm running as an independent to remove any party politics from my decisions on behalf of Rural West ward.

The Rural West is going through a period of change, with new homes and estates being built across the area.

My aim is to make sure the infrastructure is in place to ensure this naturally beautiful ward is well placed to handle the fast population growth while protecting the interests of current residents.

Improved roads, safety and the bypass will be high on my agenda.

Mike Young (Conservative Party)

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I have been Deputy Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council for two years and have been instrumental in developing a funded capital programme for the town including The Highlight Leisure and Swim Centre as well as bringing back the Tall Ships Race in 2023, and pushed for a total council tax freeze.

The council tax freeze allows a level of breathing space as we recover from the impacts of Covid-19 psychologically, economically and from a health perspective.

Conservatives are responsible for being the most cost-efficient party, and a vote for me will see a continuation of growth in the Borough.

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