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 Sandhill 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*
Margaret Crosby (Liberal Democrat)
Along with fellow Lib Dem councillors Stephen O’Brien and Paul Edgeworth I’ve been running campaigns to improve our area, and getting things done for residents across Grindon, Hastings Hill, Springwell and Thorney Close.
Council bosses are wasting money and hiking council tax – but fail to invest in improving the basics in our area like getting roads and pavements fixed, improving our green spaces and keeping our streets clean.
Sunderland Council needs MORE strong opposition Lib Dem voices.
The local Lib Dems keep in touch with regular newsletters, surveys and petitions. I am an active and visible part of our community, and want to keep working hard for our area.
Laura Hind (Green Party)
If elected, my focus will be on improving quality of life. Many people are struggling with the cost-of- living so I will seek to cut energy costs through a home insulation programme.
I will work to preserve green spaces and ensure they are well maintained. I will also argue for more allotments. These spaces are important for well-being, a sense of community and access to fresh food.
I will campaign to extend 20mph zones to all residential areas so children can play safely.
Too much of our waste is ending up in landfill and incinerators. This is unsustainable and increases costs to the city. I will push our council to manage waste more effectively through improved recycling and food composting.
I will be urging the council to move its investments away from fossil fuels and into renewable energy to meet our climate targets.
For a brighter, better future, vote Green!
Christine Reed (Conservative Party candidate)
Christine Reed is a former teacher and college lecturer, working most recently at Sunderland College. She has served as a school governor in Sunderland, at a local infants school.
Christine lives locally and commits her time to community groups. She teaches a not-for-profit yoga class and has helped to set up a reader scheme for the Sunderland Blind Society. She is a patron and member of the Bishopwearmouth Choral Society.
She is standing for election to end council tax hikes, improve street cleaning and road safety.
This year, take the chance to end Labour’s control of Sunderland Council.
Debra Waller (Labour and Co-operative Party)
Our communities are facing unprecedented public health and economic challenges from the effects of both Covid-19 and the rising cost of living.
We need leaders and strong voices to guide us through these difficult times, and for my part I will strive to ensure our community has a strong voice at the council and make sure we get a fair share of what funds are available.
As someone that has lived here all their life, I am proud to put myself forward to represent the people of the Sandhill ward and I will try to make Sandhill a cleaner, greener and safer place to live and work.
A vote for me on May 5 will ensure that I can continue to support our community.