Residents go to the polls on Thursday, May 3, to vote in the Sunderland City Council elections.
Here's what candidates in the Hetton ward have to say about why you should vote for them.
DAVID WILLIAM GEDDIS (Independent)
This area needs new blood representing it on the city council, one which is not toeing any party or political line.
My priorities if I am elected will be to protect our communities from further service cuts and seek investment in public services.
Repair our roads, crack down on fly tipping, youth disorder and increase police presence.
Stop the wholesale development of our green field sites.
Endeavour to support our local high street traders.
Simply fight for a fairer deal for our community.
Vote for change, vote Independent.
RACHEL LOUISE LOWE (Green Party)
I have lived in various areas of Sunderland for over eight years.
It is a city I love and call my home.
I have campaigned for many years to help improve the city and, if elected as your councillor, I will continue to support local businesses, campaign for better youth services and oppose closures of vital services.
I will also ensure the council take urgent action to improve the efficiency of our waste collection and disposal services.
For a councillor who will work with transparency and integrity, in the best interests of Hetton, vote Green.
DIANA MALENE STEPHANIE TALBOT MATTHEW (Liberal Democrats)
I am fed up to the back teeth with Sunderland Council.
Labour councillors have let Hetton, Easington Lane, Low Moorsley and East Rainton down.
For too long, they have ran the council without any effective opposition.
They waste council tax payers’ money on pet projects in Sunderland, whilst Hetton and Houghton always lose out.
Labour have refused to cut their allowances and expenses, although they have cut basic services needed to repair our roads and keep our streets clean.
If elected, I will be a strong opposition voice at the Civic Centre, challenging the Council when they get things wrong.
DOUGLAS IAN MIDDLEMISS (Conservatives)
I am pleased to have been selected to stand again in Hetton.
People see the need for change and strong opposition to pressure the council.
One issue that has motivated me was the disgraceful mismanagement of children’s services.
Its failings brought shame to the City and having a commissioner imposed by the government illustrates how bad the situation is.
I would campaign to reduce the number of councillors in Sunderland, with the money saved used to protect basic services.
More housing is needed, but building on greenbelt must stop while there is ample land classed as brownfield.
CLAIRE MARILYN ROWNTREE (Labour and Co-operative Party)
A century since women won the right to vote, I’m proud to stand as Labour and Co-operative Party candidate for Hetton.
For six years I have advocated on issues including health, social care and housing.
Anti-social behaviour, litter and fly tipping are all issues facing the people of Hetton, who deserve to live a community they feel safe in, can be proud of and enjoy.
I will work to encourage investment, reduce anti-social behaviour, litter and fly tipping, ensure Hetton has a strong voice and ensure the City Council fulfils its obligations to the ward.
James Harrison, Local Democracy Reporting Service