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 Washington West 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*
Sam Cosgrove (Conservative Party candidate)
My name is Sam and I’ve lived in Washington all of my life.
I currently live in Blackfell with my family and I work for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.
I have seen the steady decline in Washington over the years – it has just gotten worse.
I truly believe I can make a difference.
I want to be a voice for people who can’t be heard in the area.
We need to stop people thinking we offer false promises and make a stand for our community and the people in it.
That’s what I intend to do.
A vote for me is a vote for honesty.
Paul Leonard (Green Party)
I am a family man with three children and have lived in Sunderland or Washington all my life.
I work in the renewable energy industry as an offshore engineer.
Renewable energy is very close to my heart.
I believe it can help us tackle climate breakdown and pollution on an international level while providing good quality employment.
I also believe it is part of the answer to the cost-of-living crisis.
As a councillor, I would campaign for the council to stop investing in fossil fuels and instead invest in community owned renewable energy sources.
These could provide cheaper energy to residents and businesses and attract new investment to the area.
More money in people’s pockets would provide a boost to the local economy.
It would give me great pride to represent our community and be involved in such positive changes.
Vote Green for a brighter, more sustainable future.
Dorothy Trueman (Labour Party)
It has been an honour to serve the community of Washington West and with your help I will continue to represent you.
We are all facing soaring food, fuel and energy bills these are the most important items that will impact us all.
The rise in people needing help from food banks is frightening.
We are told that we are one of the richest countries in the world, yet the number of people needing help continues to rise.
Community groups in our ward are doing a fantastic job, the volunteers are amazing. Helping to run our community centres in Springwell and Donwell.
Along with my colleagues in Washington we support Clean and Green and Keep Washington Tidy who do an amazing job.
We also use our community chest allocation to help smaller groups put on events in our ward.