Hello everyone, I'm back from life on the Ocean wave and straight back into the swing of politics.
Starting with some extremely good news, well I think so, I'm sure some people might not be quite so pleased!
Martyn Aiken was successfully elected as a member of the Hartlepool Unitary Authority Council last night. Martyn polled 396 Votes and won the seat with a majority of 8 votes over Labour (388 votes) and the sitting Liberal Democrat Councillor who trailed behind in third place with 321 votes. The result was a testament to hard, prolonged work in the ward. Martyn Aiken and the Hartlepool UKIP team under Chairman Eric Wilson who have repeatedly leafleted and canvassed the ward over the past two years. It is long, hard slog that wins local elections, a lesson UKIP appears to only recently have taken on board. If at first you don’t succeed then try, try, and try again!
UKIP’s existing Hartlepool Councillor, Stephen Allison (elected 2006) is now looking forward to Martyn Aiken joining him in Hartlepool Council Chamber. Having another seat in the Chamber will make quite a difference to the effectiveness of Hartlepool UKIP as this mean motions can now be proposed and seconded by the UKIP Group. This obviously was not possible when Stephen Allison was the sole UKIP representative on the Council.
The night also held some disappointments for UKIP Hartlepool. Our second target seat was held by the Liberal Democrats on 419 votes with UKIP second on 417. The sitting Councillor retaining his seat by only 2 votes (after three recounts). Well done George Springer for all his hard work. To para-phrase the Governor of Califonia "He'll be back!"
The third target seat was Rossmere which was held by the sitting Labour Councillor with 488 votes. UKIP were again in second place with 373. Dave Pascoe, the UKIP Candidate has worked this ward very hard and improved his vote every time. He was within striking distance of winning the seat and could very well have taken it but for a last minute spoiler candidate put up by the Tories, who finished last in the ward but took nearly 200 votes, well in excess of the 115 Labour majority.
The Hartlepool Labour Group owes a huge “Thank You” to the Hartlepool Tories for putting up spoiler candidates in several wards. The Labour Chairman and the Labour MP’s Election Agent could both quite easily have lost their seats apart from the intervention of the Tories in wards they couldn’t win but where they did have enough influence to split the vote sufficiently to ensure sitting Labour Councillors were re-elected.