The by-election follows the disqualification of councillor Jeff Milburn due to a suspended prison sentence passed down at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court in July 2020.
The four-month suspended sentence – for pleading guilty to carrying a knife into the court earlier the same year – broke the rules set out in the council’s constitution, effectively barring Mr Milburn from continuing as a councillor.
South Tyneside Council officials confirmed that the disqualification did not take effect sooner as an appeal was being pursued against the sentence.
At a recent meeting of full council, a vacancy was declared to fill the Cleadon and East Boldon seat and candidates from the Labour Party, Conservative Party and Green Party have since put their names forward.
In the run-up to election day on Thursday, September 9, candidates have been given the opportunity to tell you why you should vote for them.
*Candidates are listed in the order they appeared on South Tyneside Council’s list of candidates at the close of nominations.*
For more information on the by-election on Thursday, September 9 visit South Tyneside Council’s website via the link below.
1. David Herbert (Green Party)
I’ve lived in the ward for 57 years. I understand the area and issues faced by local people. This by-election is called because the former [Independent] Conservative councillor has been barred from office, letting residents down and wasting taxpayers’ money. I am the only candidate with a proven track record of working with local community organisations, such as Keep Boldon Green, Cleadon Action Group, Tile Sheds campaign and Oakleigh Gardens Playing Fields. Greens are the fastest growing party across the borough and the second largest party on South Tyneside Council. Our ‘Green Group’ of councillors have a strong record of effectively holding Labour to account and we can win here. Other parties are told how to vote, even if it goes against the best interests of the people they represent. I am a fresh, independent voice for you. The only one trusted to protect our precious green spaces and village life.
Born in South Shields, I attended the grammar school and I’m a graduate of Northumbria University. Married to Trish, we have five daughters and 10 grandkids living in Cleadon and East Boldon. Work life has been in public service; having been a Police Inspector, an officer in the Royal Australian Air Force and a volunteer member of HM Coastguard. I’m now a part time Associate Tutor at Sunderland University. I became concerned about the welfare of our communities and joined the Labour Party to address this. The climate crisis and preserving our green spaces should be the main concern of everyone. I will work to address the concerns of ward residents. I will enhance and continue the efforts of the council in responding to climate change. I will fight to protect our Green Belt and to preserve the best possible public services, at a time of reduced government funding.
Photo: Philip Toulson (Labour Party)
3. Stan Wildhirt (Conservative Party)
I’m Stan Wildhirt and nothing pleases me more than when my ex-employees from McGurk Sports and my boxing brand – Title, have since been successful in their own businesses. One of whom was on Dragons’ Den and was backed by Peter Jones. Council plans have placed the greenbelt under threat. I’m totally against greenbelt development and the impact of brownfield development on the local community should be carefully considered. There is a lot of talent in our area with skills and ideas but lack the resources to get started. Overheads are a burden and landlords are not generous in their rent demands. That’s why I want the council to provide sites and planning permission and work together with investors to provide start up industrial units with free rent periods and below average rents to give young people a chance and eventually add to the local economy.
Photo: Stan Wildhirt (Conservative Party)