Straight talk and political parties are two things that seem to rarely go together, but a new party launched in Hartlepool, wants to change that. Their aim is to do exactly what their party name says, they are “Putting Hartlepool First”.
Putting Hartlepool First don’t care if you are Labour, Tory, Lib-Dem, UKIP, Green or just about any other party in your national views, so long as at local level you agree to set party politics aside and Put Hartlepool First.
“Hartlepool Hospital is a classic case of national party policy being enforced over local interest” said Hartlepool First’s Leader, Councillor Geoff Lilley. “While the Labour government were in power the town’s Labour Councillors were almost totally silent about the issue, because it was Labour Party Policy. Now the Con-Dems are in power Hartlepool’s labour Councillors are claiming to have always opposed the hospital closure. In my opinion it’s just cynical opportunism and party politics at it’s worst”
Hartlepool First intend to field candidates in the 2012 local elections, which will be fought under the new boundaries. “There is another example of party politics being placed above local interests” said Councillor Steve Gibbon, party treasurer of Hartlepool First. “The new boundaries appear to have been drawn to advantage the Labour party not reflect local wishes. The Headland and Harbour Ward is the glaring example but most of the other ward boundaries are set for party political advantage, not to reflect the natural communities within the town.”
The new party believe that the people of Hartlepool are ready for a change and want councillors who represent them and who Put Hartlepool First. “For too many Councillors in Hartlepool Civic Centre it looks like they put party first, political career second and Hartlepool at best a distant third” said Hartlepool First’s campaigns officer, Stephen Allison. “Hartlepool First want to change those priorities. We want to put Hartlepool First.”
The party has formally registered with the UK Electoral Commission as “Hartlepool Independents – Putting Hartlepool First” and has its own logo. Registration as a party is vital if the group want to stand any chance of really influencing decisions in the Hartlepool Civic Centre. Under the Local Government Act registered parties have several advantages denied to individual independents. “It’s the old story about a bundle of sticks together being stronger than a load of single sticks” said Party Leader Geoff Lilley. “In Hartlepool Council at the moment the independents are easily brushed aside because they don’t work together. Forming Hartlepool First means we can combine our strength and really have a chance of defeating decades of Labour dominance in the Council Chamber”.
Contact details; Geoff Lilley, 01429 291542 geoff.lilley@gmail