Last year the voters of St.Hilda Ward gave me my marching orders as their Councillor and decided they preferred to be represented by a Labour Party Member.
After the election, many people admitted they had been fooled by the name of the Labour Candidate and asked if I intended to challenge the result. I did not as there were no legal grounds to do so. Since then the new Labour Councillor has become known as the invisible man! It seems evident that the established political groups in Hartlepool were more interested in removing me from the Council Chamber than in providing real representation for the residents of St.Hilda Ward.
Of course, the planned changes to ward boundaries in 2012 are being designed by Labour to tighten their grip on the Town. St.Hilda Ward is identified for abolition and a new ward “Heritage Ward” planned to merge the Old Borough of Hartlepool with part of the current Stranton Ward. The only possible reason being that Stranton is one of the safest Labour Seats in the town!
Since May 2010, there have been no Councillor’s Newsletters distributed in St.Hilda Ward. This is because the ones I use to send were written, produced, distributed AND PAID FOR by me out of my own pocket!
Since May 2010, the Tall Ships Race has been and gone, leaving behind a massive Bill for the people of Hartlepool. Now the other councillors are having to admit the doubts I was expressing were right!
Since May 2010, the Chief Executive of Hartlepool Council has increased his salary by £10,000 and received a £19,000 lump sum back dated payment. All of the councillors now claim to have opposed this rise. Where where they when I was objecting to senior officer’s out of control salaries?
However, the most blatant piece of political opportunism was last month when the councillors decided to object to the increase in the UK’s payments to the European Union. I joined UKIP in 2004 for exactly this reason. Why didn’t these councillors support my objections years ago?
So the question I am now asking myself is “Should I stand for re-election to the Council on May 5th?
I would like to think my voice has been missed!
I know many people from outside the ward were delighted to see me gone. The Hartlepool Labour Party, Conservatives and Lib-Dems all pleased at the result. I have been told there were even celebrations in some offices in the Civic Centre! Especially as I was no longer able to pursue my investigations into the sale of council property at rock bottom prices and the secrecy and “Pink Paper” culture could continue unchallenged to hide the truth about what goes on behind closed doors in Hartlepool Civic Centre!
So, should I stand on May 5th?