Candidates prepare for Copt Hill election as ballot approaches to fill final slot on Sunderland City Council

Voters are due to go to the polls later this month to elect a councillor in Copt Hill to represent them on Sunderland City Council.

By Chris Binding
Tuesday, 7th June 2022, 12:39 pm

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The Copt Hill election is taking place next week with five candidates in the running for one of three seats available in the ward.

Candidates include representatives from the Labour Party, Conservative Party, Liberal Democrats, Green Party and one independent.

A ward contest was originally due to take place on May 5, 2022, as part of the local government elections where a third of seats on Sunderland City Council were up for grabs.

Top (l-r) Andrew Robertson, Patricia Francis and Tracey Dodds. Bottom (l-r) Kathleen Pearson and Mary Ann Boddy.

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After the votes were counted, the council’s overall make-up stood at 41 Labour councillors, 18 Conservatives, 14 Liberal Democrats, and one independent.

However following the death of UKIP candidate Reg Coulson during campaigning, the Copt Hill election was put on hold, meaning only 74 post on the 75-seat council are filled

The vote for the Copt Hill ward was rearranged for Thursday, June 16.

As part of this process, there was an opportunity for additional nominations to be put forward as well as the original candidates who stood in the ward in May.

As voters get set to go to the polls again, the new set of Copt Hill candidates have been given the opportunity to tell you why you should vote for them.

More information about the election can also be found on the council’s website here: https://www.sunderland.gov.uk/elections

:: Candidates are listed in the order they appeared on Sunderland City Council’s list of candidates at the close of nominations.

Mary Ann Boddy (Liberal Democrats)

The local Liberal Democrats are focused on standing up to bad decisions and wasteful spending at Sunderland Council.

The £2.4million being used every year to rent new council offices in Sunderland would be better spent on improving basic services like street cleaning, repairing roads and pavements and upgrading our parks and green spaces.

The same party has been in charge for far too long.

We need change and the Liberal Democrats are offering it across the Sunderland Council area.

At the local elections in May (2022) we were the only party who gained [new] seats on the council.

Too often communities across the Hetton, Houghton, Philadelphia and Newbottle areas are an afterthought for this council and are treated second best.

By voting Lib Dem you can send a strong message that this community shouldn’t be taken for granted by council bosses.

Tracy Dodds (Labour Party)

Having lived and worked the vast majority of my life in the Copt Hill ward, I’m seeking re-election for the place I love and call home.

I’m proud to put myself forward on a manifesto of making Copt Hill a cleaner, greener and safer place to live and work, with improved green spaces and more environmental enforcement.

I want to carry on working with residents and stand up for the people and organisations in our area that are vital to our community.

I will strive to ensure our ward continues to have a strong voice at the council and make sure we get a fair share of what is available.

Patricia Francis (Conservative Party)

This election is a chance to secure real change in Copt Hill and to ensure that the area becomes a better place to live.

If you vote for me, you’re voting for a candidate who will oppose council tax increases, stand up to developers who want to build on your green spaces, and fight for improvements to road surfaces across the ward.

As a volunteer within the church, I have committed myself to helping others and improving my community.

I would be honoured if you voted for me to be your new local councillor on Thursday, June 16.

Together we can do better for Copt Hill.

Kathleen Pearson (Independent)

I have lived in Hetton all my life.

I have worked since I was 17 and I now am enjoying my retirement.

Although perhaps as people say how I found time to work as I am so busy.

I have been a member of Hetton Town Council since 2017, and now feel it is a privilege to stand for city council for Copt Hill ward.

I think the voice of the people should be heard and that is why I am standing as an independent councillor to represent the people and not a political party.

I will stand for local issues, such as anti-social behaviour, I will continue to oppose new development on green field and green space sitesand I will represent the people of my ward to the very best of my abilities.

Let’s make this ward a place to be proud to call home

Andrew Robertson (Green Party)

I have lived in and around the Houghton area all my life.

I attended our local schools and colleges and have spent my career working in and around Sunderland.

As your Green Party councillor, I will take action to tackle both the cost-of-living crisis and the climate crisis.

I will work to establish community energy schemes, bringing cheaper, renewable energy to residents and local businesses, as well as creating jobs.

I will campaign for more affordable housing, prioritising the repurposing of empty properties – both retail and residential – and brownfield sites so that our green spaces are protected.

I will also push for Sunderland to be a site for trials of Universal Basic Income – proven to reduce poverty, enable education and entrepreneurship and support carers.

Above all, I will work closely with you to ensure your voices are heard.

Vote for a well overdue change and vote Green!