Sunderland local elections: Who will get your vote in Barnes?

Candidates in the Barnes ward, clockwise, from top left, Rebecca Atkinson, Bailey Baker, Peter O' Connor, Alan Rinaldi and Caroline Robinson.
Candidates in the Barnes ward, clockwise, from top left, Rebecca Atkinson, Bailey Baker, Peter O' Connor, Alan Rinaldi and Caroline Robinson.

The countdown to the local election has begun. Here we profile the candidates standing for the Barnes ward of Sunderland city council.

Rebecca Atkinson (Labour)

It has been an honour to represent Barnes Ward for the last four years.

This is where I belong - I was born and brought up here.

It’s a great place to live, work and spend leisure time and I want to keep it that way, with the help of local residents, who care about Barnes as much as I do.

Since being elected I have given birth to my son Louis, who is now two, and it has been a joy to watch him playing in Barnes Park as I used to with my brother Tom.

As a young working mum I bring a different perspective to the council, I know the issues facing local families and understand the changes that parents and carers want to see.

Now I want the chance to go on working with my two council colleagues in Barnes and in the wider city.

Bailey Baker (LibDem)

As a local resident and a student at Bede college, I have seen the deterioration of the local area and services while watching the squandering of money by the council. I have always wanted to help represent the people of Sunderland to help counter the unjustifiable plans and money wasting projects that have come from ruling councillors; plans which would have reduced your green bin collections to once every 3 weeks, and which could see lollipop ladies axed outside local schools likes Barnes infants and juniors.

It can’t be right that the council wastes millions on pet projects and expensive consultants when we can’t afford to keep essential, regular local services.

If elected, I promise to help improve Barnes by fighting against the indefensible proposals of this Labour council, and I will be a diligent, trustworthy, and reliable representative of your views and issues.

Peter O’Connor (Conservative)

I am proud to be selected to stand in Barnes ward again this year.

If elected I promise to provide a high profile, accessible and visible presence and be in touch with all residents of the ward.

We need a strong opposition in Sunderland to hold the council to account.

The recent shocking collapse of the management of Children’s Services is a prime example of how this Labour council has failed and why it and individual councillors should be held to account.

On a positive note the huge investment in Sunderland of £369million clearly demonstrates the Conservative’s commitment to the city.

It is all too easy for the Labour council to blame everyone else for cuts to services but why did the council spend £153,000 on foreign travel in the 24 months to February 2016.

Stop them getting away with it elect me to help hold the council to account.

Alan Rinaldi (Independent)

I have lived in Barnes for over 30 years and I look forward to maintaining and further improving the Barnes ward for all members of our community.

As a volunteer I have been involved in improving our community being; a governor of Barnes Junior School, chairman of Eden Vale Residents’ Association, walk leader in the local ‘walking for health’ programme, based in Barnes Park, and member of the Friends of Barnes Park.

As your elected candidate I will; ensure all who live in the Barnes ward are represented and have a voice in the decisions made regarding the Barnes ward, help to maintain and improve the safety and wellbeing of all who live in the Barnes ward, seek to develop closer links between all residents of the Barnes ward.

Caroline Robinson (Green)

I am Caroline Robinson, a married mother of two and secondary school teacher.

I was brought up in Barnes, attending Chester Road School, and have a good understanding of the issues the ward faces.

The current council has a poor track record in addressing these issues, yet they cost more per head of population than any other North East council.

I would relish the opportunity to represent Barnes and want to make it a place to be proud of; a great place to live and work.

Barnes should be a safe, clean and green environment for all. Turn Sunderland green, because red isn’t working in our city. You can help by voting green on May 5.