It’s local election time later this week, with people around Sunderland heading to the polls on Thursday.
Here’s why the candidates in the St Chad’s ward think they deserve your vote.
Richard Bradley (Green)
I am honoured to be given the chance to represent the residents of St Chads, and represent you is what I intend to do.
Too many councillors in Sunderland answer to their party first and the people second.
The Greens are different, we put the people first and I am prepared to take your concerns to the council and challenge the status quo.
Major decisions such as massive housing developments should be made after consultation, not imposed on you.
I recognise that central government cuts have put a strain on council resources but that shouldn’t mean you lose the services you need. Instead, as your councillor I will fight for your resources and challenge every penny spent.
St Chad’s is a wonderful ward and with proper representation we can retain the ‘village in a city’ atmosphere of its constituent parts, provide help for those people who need it and encourage the community to work together.
Being Green means more than caring about the environment, we care about the people living in it, together we can make a difference.
Margaret Crosby (LibDem)
I’ve lived here all my life and worked for 23 years as a teacher in Sunderland, including two terms as a school governor, before becoming a carer for a family member, so I’m passionate about access to good services for my family and community. The disgraceful state of our Children’s Services fills me with concern and I believe there should be more accountability. I’ve campaigned to keep our libraries and museums open, when our council has slashed funding for these important services, instead spending money on frivolities like the Roker Pods and giving huge allowances to already well-paid councillors; indeed, one recently had to pay back £10,000 claimed for food and travel! As a researcher, qualified to masters degree level, I’ve been studying with concern the borderline-illegal levels of traffic air pollution in our city over the past three years, and the insufficient provision of defibrillators in schools and colleges.
Darryl Dixon (Labour)
Looking back on the last four years sees a great contrast in the responsibilities of my role. Being a St Chad’s ward councillor is always a challenge but the community work is a delight. We have thriving communities in Herrington, Farringdon and Lakeside.
Council work can be torrid when asked to do everything with less and at the same time face embarrassed Conservatives whose only answer is to suggest everything will be solved with efficiency measures. When will the penny drop? Only this weekend it was announced the foreign aid budget will hit £9.3bn in 2017/18 overtaking declining local government spending of £8.2bn. That’s the priority the government has for local services. There’s something wrong.
Much of the infrastructure of the city is in decent shape and it should be a time to deal with the small issues that improve the quality of life of neighbourhoods. Pavements, parking, play areas, dog fouling, grass cutting to name just a few. However we are entering a period of missed opportunity with the money not there.
I will endeavour to do my best if elected. I will continue to try and balance the needs of a full time job with my council duties to serve St Chad’s to the best of my ability.
Joshua Green (UKIP)
Despite only being 19, Joshua has been a UKIP activist for several years and was elected to Hetton Town Council last year. He works in IT in the private sector, where saving the customer money is key to the business.
Joshua says: “I would like to see this sentiment applied at Sunderland City Council, where they spend millions on huge salaries, allowances and expenses to executives and councillors, while front line services are cut.”
Joshua has seen first-hand the way Labour councillors have to toe the party line.
He added: “Failure to toe the party line at the Civic Centre means that councillors lose lucrative committee positions, freebies etc, so when it comes to voting on local issues, they do what’s best for them, not for the council taxpayer.
“UKIP councillors don’t have to toe a part line and we can put local people first.”
Dominic McDonough (Conservative)
Over the last year I have worked hard to help local people with various issues across the area. I believe that local councillors should work hard all year round, not just at election time.
It would be a real honour to become your new local councillor and replace our invisible Labour representative.
If you elect me I will be a strong opposition to the Labour Council and ensure that St Chad’s received the funding and support that it deserves.
I have also pledged to donate half of my councillors allowance to local good causes, as well as continuing my campaign to cut the number of councillors in the city.
We need a councillor who will focus on the basics, get value for money for council tax and stand up to our wasteful Labour Council.