With council elections just around the corner, we’re shining the spotlight on Sunderland’s candidates in the run-up to polling day.
Voters are due to head to polling stations on Thursday, May 5, to either re-elect or replace holders of around a third of seats on Sunderland City Council.
All candidates have been given the opportunity to tell readers why they’re standing and why you should vote for them.
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Here’s what candidates in the Redhill ward have to say.
*Candidates are listed in the order they appeared on Sunderland City Council’s list of candidates at the close of nominations*
Steven Donkin (Liberal Democrat)
I am a local lad, born and raised on Town End Farm and Hylton Castle and work to support local charities and community groups across Sunderland.
I will be a councillor who is active, visible, keeps in touch and gets things done.
Sunderland Council has treated Redhill as second best for far too long while wasting money renting new council offices instead of improving our community.
We need more investment in sorting the basics like fixing roads and pavements, cleaning streets and cherishing our green spaces.
We need action to tackle crime, speeding and anti-social behaviour of all types.
At the last election here in March I came second to Labour.
Billy Howells (Green Party)
Keeping up with the cost of living is becoming impossible. As your councillor, I would work to reduce energy bills by making Redhill a priority for home insulation and retro-fitting schemes.
I would also urge the council to invest in community energy schemes – producing cheaper, renewable energy for residents – instead of vanity projects in the city centre.
Both initiatives would reduce costs and create long-term jobs. I would campaign for Sunderland to trial a Universal Basic Income scheme.
Elsewhere, this has been a cost-effective way to reduce poverty and encourage education and small business start-ups.
Our council’s record on waste management is appalling, I would work to improve this by reintroducing common sense schemes like the bottle return system and more regular street cleaning.
With a bit of imagination and hard work, we can have a cleaner, more prosperous Redhill. Vote Green on May 5th for real change.
Sue Leishman (Conservative Party candidate)
Local Conservatives would begin to undo Labour’s tax hike on day one, to put money back into the pockets of local people – not in the Council’s bank account.
As residents, we do not get good value for money from our Council.
Streets are left uncleaned and roads remain broken – so what are we paying for?
On Thursday 5th May, vote for Sue Leishman, who lived in Redhill Ward for many years, and end council tax hikes.
Paul Stewart (Labour and Co-operative Party)
I am proud to be standing in this election with the support of both our local Labour Party AND Sunderland Co-operative Party, as part of a great team of community focused councillors committed to implementing Labour’s “People’s Manifesto” that will have a huge benefit for our local community, including:
*Free replacement bins if they are stolen
*Scrapping of bulky waste removal charges
*Major CCTV deployment to tackle anti-social behaviour
*Huge expansion of wildflower beds and community orchards
*Increased council housing for local residents
I have worked tirelessly to provide support for our local community groups in addition to supporting our Community Centres/Hubs at Redhouse, Town End Farm and Downhill.
I stand by my record of being available all year round, holding regular monthly ward surgeries, weekly Ward Walks and promise I will continue to fight for our community if re-elected.