The countdown is on for the local elections on May 5. Here are the candidates for the Houghton ward.
George Brown (Conservative)
Things have started to happen in the city since the defeat of Labour in 2010.
More people are working for Nissan; the new bridge (now with a more conventional design) and its feeder road network are going ahead and a “city deal” has been agreed, which should bring thousands more jobs to the whole city and its surrounds.
There has been a total investment in Sunderland of £369million.
I firmly believe that more joined-up thinking is required on house building with more being done with brown field sites. There is no need to build on the green fields in the area.
Sunderland would benefit from more opposition members on the council – to ensure more scrutiny of what the Labour majority proposes.
Good government requires strong opposition!
We can help prevent more shocking reports like that into the mismanagement of Children’s Services in Sunderland.
Paul Holt (UKIP)
Paul, who has lived in the Houghton area for 14 years and worked as a radio engineer in Hetton for 12 of them, was elected to Hetton Town Council last year.
He believes the way to help the young people of our area and the rest of Sunderland get jobs is to ensure that Sunderland jobs go to Sunderland workers and council procurements go to local businesses instead of having to follow EU rules and advertise council procurements across the whole of the EU.
Paul believes that the Labour party has taken their electorate for granted for too long and that it has an unhealthy stranglehold in Sunderland Council.
Paul says: “If elected, I will strive to reduce our unemployment and fight for more transparency and accountability from Sunderland Council.”
Alex Scullion (Labour)
Time to do an extra bit for Houghton.
I’ve been in business in Houghton since 1986. Over the years I have contributed to the community in a number of ways. Through business groups, heritage trusts and the YMCA movement in both Fencehouses and Sunderland.
All this time I have been a member of the Labour Party because I believe in its core values.
Houghton politics has disappointed me at times over the years no more so that the barriers of mistrust over finding a sustainable future for the Broadway Council offices and the Tithe barn.
When I see a community group winning a vast heritage grant to bring into use a derelict Hylton Castle, I say we can do it in Houghton.
I want to see a new agenda for the Houghton Township, addressing its key issues.
The ancient town of ours must play an important part in a proud City of Sunderland.
Mick Watson (Independent)
I am standing in the local elections as a councillor.
I am interested in the future success of the area, and feel the best interests of the locality are not currently being met by the city council.
I am currently self-employed and have been working as a contractor for the last 33 years in Houghton and Washington.
Recently, I have been unhappy with many aspects of how the council is run. In my opinion there are many areas within the council that are less than transparent.
Democracy, begins with transparency, and I believe the people of Houghton are best served by a council who are more in touch with, and accountable to them.
I don’t believe the political colours need to change, merely improve and be more representative and receptive to the will of the people.
Vote, Mick, for evolution not revolution.