Hart Ward By-Election
Published 13 Oct 2018
Following the recent by-election in the Hart ward, James Brewer of the Hartlepool Independents Group will take his place as the new councillor for Hart. He Joins fellow independent Tom Cassidy with Jean Robinson, representing Labour.
James came first with 637 votes beating Aileen Kendon from the Corbynite faction of the Hartlepool Labour Party with 582 Votes. The Conservatives came in third with 200 votes with the Greens polling 27. The turnout was 20.5%.
The by-election came about as a result of turmoil in the Hartlepool Labour Party, in which 3 sitting councillors, Mayor Allan Barclay, Katie Trueman and Sandra Belcher were deselected. Facing deselection Paul Beck (of Manor Residents Fame) decided to make an attempt to wrong foot the rebels by resigning his seat and forcing a by-election.
Aileen Kendon was selected by labour to try to win the seat and started out by issuing a statement expressing her disapproval with having to hold an election, stating "This is a gross waste of public money" Calling it "Unforgivable" and accusing the HIG of squandering tax payers money. The implication being that the Residents of Hart Ward should have waited another seven months before being allowed full representation in the council. A view apparently shared by Councillor David Hunter who called the campaign "Totally unnecessary"
The Labour group ran an intense campaign in the ward and a well practiced and sustained campaign using social media, but were unable to convince the majority of voters to give them their support.
After the results where announced Councillor Shane Moore from the Hartlepool Independents Group (HIG) said "I am incredibly pleased that the residents of Hart ward chose to put their trust in James Brewer in this by-election. I have every confidence that James will work extremely hard for them and with the assistance of other independent councillors he will be able to hit the ground running, always putting residents first with nobody or party telling him what to do.
Credit must be given to the labour candidate, Aileen Kendon, who i know also worked very hard throughout the campaign. Many residents have acknowledged the work she has done in the past though ultimately they did not wish to be used as pawns in an internal power struggle within the Labour Party"
It is understood that the Labour party was so impressed with Aileen's campaign that they intend to offer her any ward, should she choose to stand again in 2019. It remains to be seen if she will make a third attempt to gain a seat in Hart or ask for another perhaps safer ward.
For the 2019 election there will be a vacant position for a Labour candidate in the Manor; No campaigning required.