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 St Chad’s 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*
Simon Ayre (Conservative Party candidate)
I am asking for your vote to serve our community, having been a local NHS nurse for thirty years.
My family is proud to call this community home.
I have dedicated my career to public service, caring for Sunderland residents. This has inspired me to stand for election.
I loved my time as an NHS nurse, but now I want to focus my public service towards our community.
I put myself forward because I know that our community has massive potential.
I promise to dedicate my time as a councillor fighting to make our ward the best it can be.
Alyson Kordbarlag (Green Party)
As a Green councillor, I would seek to change the council’s approach to housing.
We have lost too much of our greenbelt to housing developments that are neither sustainable nor affordable for residents.
I would push to have empty properties – both retail and residential – brought back into use as housing, ensure that brownfield sites are prioritised for new developments and campaign to have a proportion of these homes reserved for key workers on lower wages.
All new homes should be insulated to a high standard to minimise emissions and energy bills – this will tackle both climate breakdown and the cost-of-living crisis.
I would also seek to improve the council’s shameful record on recycling, take steps to clean up our streets and call for Sunderland to be selected as a site for trials of Universal Basic Income.
If you want real change, vote Green on May 5.
Martin Old (Labour Party)
My political goal is to make Sunderland people proud of our past, happy to live here now and be optimistic about our future. Sunderland’s recent impressive regeneration shows what Labour can achieve.
In St. Chad’s I will establish a council-recognised ‘Friends of West Park’, and introduce wild-flowering and urban planting schemes to “green” the whole ward.
I will also work to ensure that criminals make good the damage they cause.
With Labour, we can build a city to be proud of. The poet Shelley gave us the slogan “for the many, not the few”, an idea as important today as it was in 1819.
If elected, I will donate 20% of my councillor’s allowances to local charities and good causes because I want to repay the community that shaped me: I’m Mackem to the core. With Labour on our side, we can make Sunderland great.
Anthony Usher (Liberal Democrat)
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The council is failing to fix the basics like repairing roads and pavements, tackling fly-tipping, cleaning our streets, clamping down on dog fouling, improving CCTV coverage, working to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour and investing in our green spaces and youth services.
Like many people I want more opposition voices on the council to shake things up.
The Lib Dems on Sunderland City Council have been the loudest political force over the past few years – campaigning to cut allowances and expenses, and to protect basic services.
If you want a change to the current council, vote Liberal Democrat this time.