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:
Odet Mark ASZKENASY (Liberal Democrat)
Dr. Mark Aszkenasy has a passion for the NHS.
He has been working as a consultant in the North East since 1996, and has a deep knowledge of the issues that affect the health and well-being of communities.
From working in the USA he also knows how bad things can get when there isn’t a universal health care system paid for by taxes.
Liberal Democrats are demanding that Sunderland Council stops ignoring Washington & its residents – our town deserves better and we demand better.
Olwyn BIRD (The Conservative Party Candidate)
I have lived in Washington for many years and stood as a candidate in multiple elections.
I am a hard-working community activist, representing Washington on the Management Board of the Conservative Association.
Our manifesto proposes locking parks and cemeteries on a night and ending free meals for councillors.
We also want to bring the metro to Washington and give the town the credible representation it deserves.
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Paul Andrew LEONARD (Green Party candidate)
My name is Paul Andrew Leonard, family man with three children having lived in Sunderland/Washington all my life.
I’m a freelance Offshore Engineer and have been working in the renewable industry – both on and offshore – for over 12 years, currently working on an offshore windfarm in Taiwan.
Green policies/renewable energy are things very close to my heart, hence the connection to the Green Party, I want to see, and ideally be involved with, big changes not only at international levels – like climate change and pollution but also changes in the local community.
Kevin John SHEPPARD (UKIP)
A UKIP member and activist for more years than I care to remember, the people of Sunderland, like me, have woken up to what the EU is really about and how the Labour Party has betrayed us by taking our loyal vote for over 40 years for granted.
I’m angry with Labour for betraying Brexit and angry with them for the continuous development of green belt in Washington West and other parts of Sunderland.
If we want change, which I do, we must change the way we vote.
Harry TRUEMAN (Labour Party)
This governments continued austerity and cuts to services such as police, fire and NHS has resulted in communities feeling unsafe, insecure and with increased waiting times for hospital and doctor’s appointments.
Local people deserve better and with your support I will stand up against the continued government cuts to vital budgets.
Since 2010 this authority has lost over 60% of its workforce and the resulting strain on vital services for children and adults is frightening, leaving the most vulnerable in our communities suffering.
We need to stop these government cuts and this is why I am asking for your support.
James Harrison, Local Democracy Reporting Service