This year’s local elections are just around the corner, reports Local Democracy Reporter James Harrison, and we’re turning the spotlight on Sunderland’s candidates in the run-up to polling day on May 2.
Each one will be given the opportunity to tell readers why they’re standing and why people should vote for them.
Ellen BALL (Labour and Co-operative Party)
I am honoured to stand again for Ryhope ward, where I have been a councillor since 2007.
I reaffirm my commitment to the people of Ryhope to continue to fight for a clean and safe environment for people to live in and bring up their children.
Ryhope has seen new development around the former hospital site, and the community has grown in strength over the last few years.
We need to do more, which is why I will continue to fight for our fair share as we go forward.
I will continue to put the people of Ryhope first.
Steven John BEWICK (UKIP)
I was born in Sunderland and I have lived in Ryhope for 20 years.
I have decided to stand as a candidate for UKIP in the Ryhope ward, as I feel the people of Ryhope and Sunderland are not listened too by the current labour majority council.
I have been a UKIP member for several years and feel now the people of Sunderland need a party they can vote for, with a candidate who will take their concerns on board and try to get things done.
I feel the people of Sunderland need to get value for money from their local councillors.
Andrei Siegfried LUCACI (The Conservative Party Candidate)
Having previously stood as the candidate for Ryhope, I can see that the issues that residents faced last time around have not been resolved.
Litter on the streets, potholes and poor frontline services continue to blight Doxford Ward.
Labour has done nothing to resolve these issues.
The Conservatives would put the people of Ryhope first, cutting councillors’ allowances and ending perks for councillors.
This election is a choice between more of the same or sending a message to Labour that you want change.
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Emma ROBSON (Green Party candidate)
I’m passionate about Ryhope and I would be proud to represent the community I love as a councillor.
I have supported the Ryhope Pentecostal Church and local independent businesses.
Recently, I have organised litter picks and supported local schools with their Christmas celebrations.
If I am elected I will support local, independent businesses as this keeps money in the local economy.
I will also support the Ryhope in Bloom effort and encourage schools to teach their pupils how to grow their own food.
In other cities we have seen how even one Green councillor can make a big difference by holding councils to account and introducing imaginative new initiatives.
Keith TOWNSEND (Liberal Democrat)
Ryhope village and Colliery, Hollycarrside, Leechmere and Grangetown need a voice for change.
As a Liberal Democrat, I believe in putting people first.
I want Sunderland Council to listen to the people, with decisions about our area taken locally, not by remote councillors at the Civic Centre.
I’ll never forget that it’s your money the council spends, and I’ll be a strong voice against waste, extravagance and vanity projects.
I want to create a city that the next generation will be proud to call home.