LABOUR COUNCILLOR JONATHAN BRASH:
“Being a councillor is about putting the needs of residents first in everything you do and that is what I have done in my time as a cabinet member.
“Regardless of today’s political decisions I will continue to work tirelessly for the people of Burn Valley, addressing their priorities and continuing the improvements in our community we have all welcomed in recent years.”
LABOUR COUNCILLOR GED HALL:
“During the five years I have been on the cabinet I have tried to make good decisions for the people of Hartlepool, particularly around social care issues.
“I have always tried to be loyal to the Mayor, in some difficult circumstances.
“The decision allows me to dedicate more time to my main priority as councillor, which is dealing with the issues of residents, especially those in the Burn Valley ward.
“I still feel that I had a lot to offer as a cabinet member but the Mayor has made his decision.
“What he decides to do is up to him.”
LABOUR COUNCILLOR PAMELA HARGREAVES:
“Politics is a dirty game and today was an acute reminder of just how dirty it is.
“As a Labour councillor and Labour cabinet member, I have always tried to do the right thing for both employees and the people of Hartlepool and have always upheld Labour principles in the decisions that I have taken.
“Politics is bigger than the six of us, however, and what is important right now is that the whole council focuses on delivering the best services it can for the people of this town and I will continue to fight against the devastating cuts being imposed on our communities by the current Government.’
LABOUR COUNCILLOR PETER JACKSON:
“As a Labour councillor I have been honoured to serve Hartlepool for nine years, the majority of them have been as an executive member and I have always tried to make decisions that are in the interests of the people of Hartlepool, the council and its employees.
“Although I am sad to be leaving the cabinet, I respect the decision of the Mayor, who is entitled to change the cabinet as and when he thinks it is right to do so.
“The last few years have been a difficult time for Hartlepool Borough Council with almost the largest Government grant cuts for any council in the land per head of population.
“I am looking forward to using the time that I will now have free from executive duties by putting even more time into the ward and issues that affect the people who elected me, and at the same time getting involved through various committees to help the council deal with the relentless cuts and pressures on services that this current Government continually keeps heaping on local councils.”
LABOUR COUNCILLOR ROBBIE PAYNE:
Labour Councillor Robbie Payne said: “It is disappointing but it is in the Mayor’s gift to make these decisions, this is why he gets paid the big bucks.
“I was never 100 per cent in favour of the revenues and benefits contract being privatised.
“The reason I wasn’t at the meeting was because I was travelling back from Spain but I would have voted in favour of the Labour Group amendments due to the up-front costs.
“I have had a good 10-year-run in the cabinet and I thank the Mayor for giving me the opportunity.
“I hope Hartlepool residents know that I have always taken decisions with their best interests in mind.”
LABOUR COUNCILLOR CHRIS SIMMONS:
“Whilst I am obviously very sad to have had to relinquish the children’s services portfolio, as I was able to bring 45 years of professional experience and expertise to the role, I fully respect the Mayor’s decision.
“Cabinet positions are entirely within the gift of the Mayor and he is entitled to offer or withdraw positions as he sees fit.
“I will continue to serve the people who elected me as a Labour councillor to the very best of my ability.”