Well it's been another corker of a Bank Holiday. It hasn't actually rained but it came very close and the wind was cold enough to keep most people indoors. After getting well wrapped up against the cold I did venture out and about for a brisk walk. I try to keep an eye on things as well as I can but St.Hilda Ward is so spread out it's not that easy. The size of the ward is one reason for a wry smile when I hear certain people still trying to raise the old chestnut about me "not even living in the ward"
One small group, reportedly close to a former St.Hilda Ward Councillor, who never accepted that I beat him for the seat in the 2006 election in St.Hilda Ward, never miss an opportunity to have a dig at the burning question "Where does Steve Allison live?" They have heckled me about it at public meetings, raised it at Council Meetings in attempts to get me disqualified as a St.Hilda Ward Councillor. The Mayor even got into the act on a couple of occasions! Of course they were unsuccessful. I was told they tried to get the Hartlepool Mail to start a crusade against me, also unsuccessful. They hijacked a local website to attack me at every opportunity, reported me to Standards Board (more than once) and ultimately asked the Electoral Commission (and the Police) to investigate me. All these attempts were unsuccessful. The whiff of sour grapes becoming very, very strong. Ultimately I was forced to challenge them to "put up or shut up" through the threat of legal action to stop their attacks which were becoming increasingly slanderous, more and more libellous, desperate and sad.
Of course it is impossible to live in every part of St.Hilda Ward; it’s just too big and too spread out. If I "live" in
I make an effort to visit the Headland, Central, West View, Bakers Mead and
Unfortunately the Headland is where I visit most often. I say unfortunately because I’d like to visit the other areas of the ward more, but practicalities mean it’s the Headland that I visit almost every day. I came to live on the Headland in 1973 and have had my business address at
No doubt “he doesn’t even live in the ward” will be a point of attack should I stand for re-election in 2010. To that I would say I maintain an office address in
It was a proud day for me when I was elected at a Councillor for St.Hilda Ward in 2002 and an even prouder day when I was re-elected, with an improved majority, in 2006. I enjoy being a Councillor and relish the opportunity to ask uncomfortable questions of the Mayor, Cabinet and the Lib/Lab/Con Councillors who behind closed doors are a cosy club dedicated to keeping themselves where they are and keeping out everyone else.
So I’ll keep on plugging away. Keep on doing my best and should I lose my seat in 2010 then that’s called democracy.