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 2.
We are concentrating on a ward each day, and today we will be looking at the five people standing in the Jesmond ward. All the candidates are being given the opportunity to tell readers why they are standing and why you should vote for them, and here’s what they had to say.
SANDRA BELCHER (SOCIALIST LABOUR PARTY)
I have dedicated my working life to caring for the elderly and disabled. Being a carer is something that is part of you and shapes your value base.
Respect and dignity should always be at the forefront of what we do. This is why I am seeking re election as a Socialist Labour Councillor.
I care about people and want what is best for them and our area. I have lived in both Throston & Dyke House most of my life.
Having worked on Throston Estate and brought my family up on Dyke House, this gives me a strong connection and understanding of the area.
I have lost faith in the national Labour Party over its handling of Brexit. A large number of residents who I represent in the Jesmond ward voted to leave.
The Socialist Labour Party has campaigned for the UK to leave the EU for many years.
I have been a committed socialist all my life a vote for me and the Socialist Labour Party offers a real opportunity for true Labour people to use their vote knowing it goes to a party that has true Labour values that we can all be proud of.
ANDREW GOY (UKIP)
I live in the Lancaster Road area of the town and have lived in the Dyke House area most of my life, I also went to Brougham and Dyke House School.
I am fully aware of the problems affecting the residents of the ward. If elected I will make the following issues my main priority.
Council tax is too high and needs to be frozen for 3 years.
The lack of facilities particularly for young people in the Dyke House area of the ward.
Increased investment in Grayfields which should be developed as a centre of sporting excellence for the whole town.
Fly tipping is a nuisance and I will try to get extra funding to solve the problem.
Getting Hartlepool general hospital up and running to full capacity.
Poverty is a big problem and I would work with various agencies to help people solve their hardship.
I am also passionate about Brexit, this town voted 69% to leave, the UKIP party are the only party who fully wants to leave.
Your vote is important to me and I appreciate your support. Time for change in Hartlepool and Great Britain. Together we are stronger.
RICHARD JACKSON (INDEPENDENT)
I am standing as an Independent candidate for the Jesmond Ward which is where I have lived for twenty years.
I was born in Hartlepool and after qualifying as a Chartered Accountant have been keen to continue to live in the town.
I believe that the town and ward have not been best served in recent years and that it is time for change from the political parties that have dominated the Council Chamber.
I recognise and relate to both the pride for the town versus the frustrations with Councillors that I believe many town and ward residents feel.
I do not have any ties to political parties or unions so I can, if elected, vote and act as I think is best on behalf of both the town and my ward without any party bias or instruction.
LINDA PARKER (INDEPENDENT UNION)
I used to run the Hartlepool Bereavement Service, until it closed down due to a lack of funding.
Austerity has hit hard on our residents and the services we need, I want to fight for a better quality of life for Jesmond residents and I have lived in the ward for 40 years, I want to give residents a strong voice on our Council.
We need to make our streets safer and I want to work with Cleveland Police to this end.
I am standing for the Independent Union because I can be a free voice within a strong opposition to Labour, the second largest group on our Council.
You have a real chance of a No Overall Control Council that forces all parties around the table to resolve the pressing needs of residents.
That is a real prospect and a positive one too, meaning Labour’s dominance is eroded and puts you in charge.
Voting Independent Union gives you a strong voice that opposes Labour and a voice that doesn’t put party politics first. Vote Linda Parker on 2nd May.
AMY PRINCE (LABOUR PARTY)
Hi, I’m Amy, the Labour candidate for Jesmond. As a long-time resident of the ward I know we have some of the most community spirited residents in the town.
I’m interested in the environment and improving our area so I’ve been helping some residents with guerrilla gardening in Dyke House, I’ve planted trees on Wiltshire Way with Throston Grange School, and I’ve supported Cllr Paddy Brown out on the estate talking to residents for a year now.
I’ve already started to build relationships with officers in the civic centre and have been reporting residents’ issues and suggesting solutions, allowing me to hit the ground running if I’m elected.
The Labour Party has new candidates, including myself, and offers a wealth of knowledge and skills that any other candidate simply can’t offer residents.
I’m passionate, immersed in the community, and present and visible on the ward.
Above all else, I’m a doer: I wanted to see more flowers; I planted them. I wanted fruit trees around town; I sourced them, invited schools and planted them.
I am also one of several candidates that wanted to see change in the Labour Party and Council, so I am standing to be that change.