Meet the Copt Hill candidates standing in the Sunderland City Council elections

This year’s local elections are just around the corner, and we’re turning the spotlight on Sunderland’s candidates in the run-up to polling day on May 2.

By James Harrison
Thursday, 18 April, 2019, 15:11
Top (l-r):Pat FRANCIS (The Conservative Party Candidate) and Reg COULSON (UKIP) Bottom (l-r): Melanie THORNTON (Labour Party) and Esme Rose Stafford FEATHERSTONE (Green Party candidate)

Each one will be given the opportunity to tell readers why they’re standing and why people should vote for them. Here are the candidates for the Doxford ward:Melanie THORNTON (Labour Party)I am a local candidate and contesting the city elections for the first time.I am busy in the community volunteering with the foodbank and being an active member of the Friends of Hetton Lyons Country Park. I have been active in the community in recent years and have worked with the Labour team on a series of local issues and campaigns.I have been acting upon residents’ concerns about the condition of the road on the Henry Street development at Hetton Downs.I have been involved in ward surgeries across the ward including Racecourse, Newbottle and Philadelphia learning and listening and helping resolve concerns and issues.

Reg COULSON (UKIP)

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Having lived and spent all my working life in the Houghton area I have seen many changes. Houghton was a pleasant small town until the sixties when it was cut in half by the new A690 road.Church Street, one of the most picturesque streets in the County, is a dead-end car park now.The next folly was the bus station in the wrong place – demolished.Then a block of flats in the Mautland Street area – demolished and replaced by a shopping area and yes, you guessed it – it was demolished and the site now is a Lidl store.Question: What have these disasters in common?Answer: All under a Labour Authority. Why support failure?Esme Rose Stafford FEATHERSTONE (Green Party candidate)Green councillors are making a positive impact across the country and I believe I could make a big difference in Copt Hill.We are not subject to party whips so I could always vote in your best interests.I am particularly concerned about the city’s children’s services – still rated inadequate after years of mismanagement.I would push the council to provide proper scrutiny and investment.I will also campaign for better public transport links, support shop local schemes, better youth services and improvements to the efficiency of household waste collection and disposal.Copt Hill needs change, so vote Green!Pat FRANCIS (The Conservative Party Candidate)Copt Hill needs a strong voice of opposition to this disastrous Labour council.It has spent £50,000 of your money on a Spice Girls concert while raising your Council Tax.The Sunderland Conservatives would cut councillors’ allowances by hundreds of thousands of pounds and scrap the £10,000 free meals for councillors.Only Labour councillors accept these free meals. A vote for the Conservatives is a vote to cut Labour’s gravy train.

By James Harrison, Local Democracy Reporting Service