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

Doxford ward candidates, clockwise, from top left, Vince Costello, Rachel Featherstone, Christine Marshall, Geoff Pryke and Keith O'Brien.
Doxford ward candidates, clockwise, from top left, Vince Costello, Rachel Featherstone, Christine Marshall, Geoff Pryke and Keith O'Brien.

The local elections are now just a week away. Who will get your vote in Sunderland council’s Doxford ward?

Vincent Costello (UKIP)

As a resident and businessman in Sunderland for 30 years, I’m concerned about the onward march of Britain’s surrender of sovereign powers to the EU.

My Dad, an ‘old’ Labour councillor in Darlington, fought on the front line and my mother drove ambulances in the Second World War, would be also if they were alive today.

If elected, I would fight to stop our Labour councillors, elected decade after decade without opposition, run this once great city into further decline and to reduce business rates, parking charges and bus fares to encourage shoppers and private enterprise back into the city centre.

Rachel Featherstone (Green)

With the cuts in funding imposed by central government it is important that councillors work hard to maintain the services you need and challenge every penny spent by the council.

This cannot be done by councillors who have to toe the party line, Greens put the people first.

I helped organise the successful campaign to save Monkwearmouth Station museum that shows what can be done when we stand together and put forward alternative solutions.

I will fight with you to prevent the massive building programme being imposed on us and maintain the beautiful environment we all value so much.

I will work with you to build community spirit and services in the area.

Most of all I will listen to you and I will act on your behalf.

Greens value local democracy and put the people first.

Sunderland council have been unchallenged and unresponsive for far too long.

As a councillor, I will listen to you and represent your views.

Christine Marshall (Labour)

Good and getting better sums up the Doxford ward.

Doxford has a lot going for it.

Many residents love where they live with woods and countryside nearby, a pleasant park, excellent shopping facilities and good quality housing.

The addition of the Haddington Vale housing complex by Gentoo has put the place on the map and with the 10-year regeneration programme of housing nearing completion it’s a good place to live and bring up a family.

Other Doxford successes are the Box Youth Project and the Community Association which local councillors are committed to support.

Groups, societies and activities reflect the strength of community life, many of which have been assisted by the Community Chest Fund.

I want to be part of the team improving Doxford and look forward to developing the excellent partnership Labour councillors are forging with residents.

Keith O’Brien (Conservative)

I’m pleased to have been chosen to stand as a Conservative candidate in Doxford Ward.

I’m a believer in traditional values and that a local council should be fully accountable to the local residents and not just driven on ruling party lines.

The disgraceful collapse of viable Children’s Services in Sunderland demonstrates the ruling group’s look after their own stance.

Despite the national disgrace of one of the most vulnerable group of people being let down completely, no councillor has accepted responsibility and stood down. This cannot be acceptable.

People say that Conservatives don’t care about Sunderland. This is wrong.

Since coming to power in 2010 there has been £360million pounds invested in projects in the City.

The many projects range from the new Wear Crossing to a new hospital in Ryhope and a new college in the city centre.

Compare this with the 13 years of a Labour Government.

Geoff Pryke (LibDem)

I am a retired teacher, and have been a community activist for decades.

I am worried about the controversial proposals by the council to withdraw funding and axe school crossing patrols on dangerous roads, unless they are paid for by businesses or staffed by volunteers.

Sunderland deserves better than this and needs the Liberal Democrats to provide a strong opposition that stands up for local people.

Housing plans in Burdon are clearly an issue in the ward.

It seems daft that the council aren’t prioritising building on the plenty of brownfield sites in Sunderland, where previous houses have been knocked down and the land still lies empty.

Once again, this shows an out of touch council, imposing its will on local people instead of listening to residents and taking a reasoned approach to the housing problems in our city.