Meet the candidates standing in the Horsley Hill double election on May 6

With council elections just around the corner, we’re shining the spotlight on South Tyneside’s candidates in the run-up to polling day on May 6.

Top (l-r) Jack Ford, Ethan Thoburn, Mark Walsh, Tia Sinclair
Bottom (l-r) Oliver Wallhead, Ruth Berkley, Andrew Guy
Top (l-r) Jack Ford, Ethan Thoburn, Mark Walsh, Tia Sinclair Bottom (l-r) Oliver Wallhead, Ruth Berkley, Andrew Guy

Each one has been given the opportunity to tell readers why they’re running for a seat on the borough council and why people should vote for them.

Due to an extra vacancy, two councillors are set to be elected in the Horsley Hill ward this year.

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Here’s what candidates have to say:

Ruth Berkley (Labour Party)

Ruth was born and continues to live in the Horsley Hill ward. She was educated in South Shields and went to Northumbria and Newcastle Universities.

As a former trade union officer with UNISON, her areas of expertise are equality and diversity, regional public sector policy, media and women’scampaigning, development and training.

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She was also a senior steward with UNITE, the union.

For seven years Ruth was chair of Women’s Health in South Tyneside prior to becoming chair of Healthnet South Tyneside.

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In both positions, Ruth has advocated on behalf of the VCSE sector.

She is committed to the NHS and its staff along with campaigning for the health and wellbeing of all residents in the borough.

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Ruth continues to volunteer with charities across the borough and is proudto be standing as one of the two Labour candidates, alongside Mark Walsh, for the Horsley Hill ward.

Phil Brown (Independent)

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Approached for a statement and picture.

Angie Fisher (Independent)

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Approached for a statement and picture.

Jack Ford (Green Party)

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I am standing for the council because I want to be a positive voice for you in the town hall.

One Green councillor is already making a huge difference, but we could do even more.

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As a 21-year-old, I would be a voice for young people particularly with the massive impact of the pandemic on young people’s jobs, education and training.

We have the policies for the future, to create real, skilled jobs and to tackle the climate emergency.

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We need councillors here who will defend the things that really matter, like our hospital.

Vote Green on May 6.

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Andrew Guy (Green Party)

Living in South Shields, I care deeply for my community.

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The political landscape in South Tyneside has changed and with one in five voters voting Green in the last local election, the tide is changing for the better.

Through my current roles, I advocate for a more sustainable and prosperous area by taking a residents’ first approach.

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After all, who knows their area better than the residents?

The council needs to stop working against us and instead, listen.

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As a councillor, I would devote myself to truly representing our ward, make time for you, and ensure that we are never forgotten about all year round.

It’s time for change. Better is possible.

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David Morris (Independent)

Approached for statement and picture.

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Tia Sinclair (Conservative Party)

Do residents of Horsley Hill still want the same old narrative that Labour provides? No visible change and unfilled potholes?

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Voting Conservative on May 6 will not only allow us to hold Labour accountable but also open up the opportunity to give a voice back to the community.

I am committed to fighting for better council services, cooperating closely with public services and the police and elected PCC to ensure a zero tolerance approach to anti-social behaviour.

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I will question how your money is spent, giving you council tax that’s value for money.

Labour have held the monopoly in South Tyneside for far too long; enough is enough.

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Vote smart, vote Conservative on Thursday May 6 to get your voices heard.

Ethan Thoburn (Conservative Party)

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I’m first of all delighted to be standing in Horsley Hill, the ward I have lived in my whole life.

Secondly, I would like to thank everyone for their hard work during this last year which has been tough, especially our frontline workers.

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I’m standing for better value for money for your council tax, better council services and most of all, better scrutiny and sensible opposition to the council.

If elected, I will work to provide sensible alternatives to the council to improve policy and work hard for our neighbourhood through more police patrols to combat anti-social behaviour, for our seafront with better and cheaper parking and for our town centre by making use of government funds for regeneration.

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Labour have had a monopoly for too long so on May 6 this year, vote for change, not complacency – the only way to get rid of Labour is to vote Conservative.

Oliver Wallhead (Independent)

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My name is Oliver Wallhead and I am standing as your independent candidate for Horsley Hill.

It is my goal to address the issues that matter most to residents of the area.

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Residents have, for far too long, been taken for granted by our Labour-run council. It is time for change in Horsley Hill and South Tyneside.

Change for Horsley Hill begins with your vote on May 6 with a vote for Oliver Wallhead – independent.

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See your concerns addressed and see your council tax become better value for money!

A vote for independent will see your green spaces and historical sites protected!

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Vote independent and see your streets safer and better investment in our young people’s futures!

Vote independent and see your vote no longer taken for granted!

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This election is at long last our chance for real change! Please vote Oliver Wallhead – independent for Horsley Hill.

Mark Walsh (Labour Party)

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Having first being elected as your Labour councillor in 2012 for Horsley Hill and Westoe Crown, it’s a privilege to be asking for your support again.

Working with colleagues, a lot has been delivered and there’s still much to be done.

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Across the ward, I’ve worked with the local community, council officers and partners to address numerous issues.

From our flags to flexible programme to improve pathways, completing the Decent Homes programme, addressing road safety and parking issues – we have continued to deliver for local residents.

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We are looking ahead and have projects in the pipeline to continue improvements across the area, as well as working with the police and our community safety team to address crime and anti-social behaviour.

I hope that I can rely on your continued support and remember – you have two votes so vote for Walsh and Berkley on May 6.