The leader of an opposition party on Hartlepool Borough Council hailed a “great result” in the local elections.
Two new Putting Hartlepool First councillors have been elected to the council.
In a surprise result in Fens and Rossmere ward, Tony Richardson of Putting Hartlepool First unseated Labour’s Alan Clark, who was the chair of the council’s Children’s Services Committee.
Sue Little of Putting Hartlepool First replaces former UKIP councillor Tom Hind in Seaton who did not stand for reelection.
Putting Hartlepool First leader Councillor James Black said: “I think it was a great result for both Putting Hartlepool First and the Independent quarter.
“The residents of Seaton once again unanimously backed Sue Little.
“They continue to support the philosophy that national politics does not belong at a local level, and I’m absolutely sure Sue will deliver.”
Coun Black described the election of Councillor Tony Richardson as “a huge upset” adding: “Tony will be a massive success through his hard work, won’t take no for an answer approach.
“Our focus going forward will be to deliver value for money to residents, to ensure their voice is heard when decisions are made in the council and to continue to promote the benefit of being Independent councillors whilst continuing to support those already elected.”
Recently, Mr Clark had led calls for the Government to act as children’s services in Hartlepool faces an unprecedented increase in demand and faces a £2.1m deficit.
He also spoke out about Government funding arrangements for town schools which are said to lose out by £1.5m under new arrangements.
Following Thursday night’s result, Mr Clark said on Twitter: “Disappointed to have lost, but privileged to have been given the opportunity to serve residents in Fens & Rossmere for the past four years.
“Congratulations to Tony Richardson in F&R and to our other candidates in Hartlepool who won. Commiserations who didn’t.”
Labour retains its majority on the council with a total of 19 out of 33 councillors.
Councillors Stephen Thomas (De Bruce), Carl Richardson (Victoria), and Marjorie James (Manor House) were all re-elected for the party.
In Foggy Furze, Ann Marshall replaces fellow Labour councillor Kaylee Sirs, while in Jesmond ward Paddy Brown took the seat for Labour from Independent George Springer who did not stand.
Independent Thomas Cassidy took the seat in Hart previously occupied by Putting Hartlepool First’s David Riddle who did not stand for re-election.
Conservative Councillor Brenda Loynes comfortably held on to her seat in Rural West ward.
Independent councillors Tim Fleming and John Lauderdale were returned in Headland & Harbour and Burn Valley wards respectively.