This year’s local elections are just around the corner, and we will be turning the spotlight on all Sunderland’s candidates in the run-up to polling day on May 3.
We will concentrate on a ward each day, starting today with the Barnes ward.
Every candidate will be given the opportunity to tell readers why they are standing and why people should vote for them.
Here’s what the four Barnes candidates have to say.
TIMOTHY HANSON ELLIS (LIBERAL DEMOCRAT)
I have lived in High Barnes nearly all my life.
Currently, I teach history at Teesside University, and am also studying for a PhD.
Previously, I worked as a Beach lifeguard at Roker and Seaburn, and am, therefore, very conscious of our Labour council’s mismanagement of the local environment.
The people of Barnes, Springwell, Plains Farm, Humbledon, Eden Vale and Chester Road have also been let down by their councillors.
Our roads are hampered by potholes, and our beautiful park has been badly affected by vandalism and rubbish.
Only the Lib Dems will protect our local area.
ZAF IQBAL (LABOUR PARTY)
I was born on Havelock Terrace and grew up in Barnes.
I got my first library ticket at Kayll Road Library and was delighted when it was reopened as a community library.
If elected I will work to protect the services in our area and tackle community issues to keep our streets safe and clean.
I have a track record of fighting for Barnes and have taken part in several local campaigns.
I am passionate about community cohesion.
I co-chair Sunderland Inter Faith Forum and will strive to make our community values unite us.
ANTONY MULLEN (CONSERVATIVE PARTY)
I live in Barnes Ward.
I have a track record of serving our community, from teaching in a local secondary school to voluntarily running a youth club for almost 15 years.
I have worked in educational research and currently teach in a university.
During my campaign I have helped residents with issues relating to potholes, parking and litter.
If I am elected, I will campaign for councillors’ allowances to be cut and establish a Barnes Residents’ Association so that your voice is heard.
CAROLINE LEIGH ROBINSON (GREEN PARTY)
I’m a mother-of-two and school teacher.
I was brought up in Barnes, and have a good understanding of the issues the ward faces.
The current council has a poor track record in addressing these issues.
As a Green I would work for the ‘common good’.
I am passionate about protecting those affected most by the cuts, especially the elderly and vulnerable.
I would relish the opportunity to represent Barnes and want to make it a place to be proud of; a great place to live and work.
Barnes should be a safe, clean and green environment for all.
By James Harrison, Local Democracy Reporting Service