This year, at least one seat in all 18 of South Tyneside Council’s wards will be up for grabs, with two seats also being contested in the Harton area.
The extra vacancy in the Harton area has been left following the death of councillor Rob Dix in February, 2022.
Each candidate has been given the opportunity to tell readers why they’re standing and why people should vote for them.
Here’s what candidates in the Harton ward have to say.
*Candidates are listed in the order they appeared on South Tyneside Council’s list of candidates at the close of nominations.*
Michael Clare (Labour Party)
It’s an honour and privilege to have been selected by the Harton branch of the Labour Party to contest the May election after the sad death of councillor Rob Dix.
I’m a former councillor with over 25 years experience, having held a number of senior positions within South Tyneside Council, such as lead member of neighbourhood services, and lead member for regeneration, and also represented South Tyneside in partnership with neighbouring authorities at regional level.
Having lived in Harton for 15 years, I’m familiar with the challenges facing Harton, and will work tirelessly with Labour’s team of Neil Maxwell and Pat Hay.
I will be a strong experienced voice in the council chamber, determined and committed to putting Harton and its residents at the forefront of any debate.
I hope I can count on your vote during the election, and maintain a strong Labour Team for Harton.
Chloe Grant (Conservative Party candidate)
Not too many years ago, I was a young woman first entering the working world.
I went to school in Harton, a fantastic school.
I realised South Tyneside wasn’t as prosperous for opportunities as our neighbours.
Not only do we lack prosperity, but the council have failed to get a grip on the most fundamental problems.
Residents cannot park outside their homes, roads aren’t fit for purpose, and council tax continues to rise.
Residents are tired of being taken for granted.
I want to ensure Harton is a wonderful place to live for future generations and its residents’ satisfaction is a number one priority.
I want to end this false economy and put your voices at the forefront of the council chamber.
I will put forward realistic solutions to tackling the inability to park or antisocial behaviour.
To strengthen the Harton community, we must be heard.
Neil Maxwell (Labour Party)
I have been a Harton ward councillor since 2010.
Since then, I have been involved in overseeing many improvements in the ward.
The Marsden Road Health & Well-being Centre and Harton Primary School are two examples, as well as new brick walls and roofs at elderly persons bungalows and parking laybys.
Recently a tree planting scheme has begun and I will ensure that the wildflower scheme continues.
Every penny I have fought for has been invested wisely for the benefit of residents.
I was born and brought up in Harton and attended Harton Infants and Harton Junior Boys schools.
I’m currently a school governor at Harton Primary.
I hold weekly ward surgeries and I have responded to residents’ wishes by commencing a divisional fencing programme and a series of ‘no cold calling zones’ for the elderly.
If re-elected, I look forward to continuing the improvements in the Harton ward on behalf of residents.
Lawrence Nolan (Independent)
I’m Lawrence Nolan, standing as an independent candidate for the Harton ward.
Some may remember me from my election win in 2004, serving for six years.
I have renewed vigour and enthusiasm to play my part, striving to make our council open and accountable.
A place where entrepreneurs are encouraged to invest, ultimately making the borough a better place to live and work.
My priority would be transforming our neglected shopping centres, making them a vibrant centre of our community once again.
I will encourage more environmental awareness, along with increasing relations with neighbourhood policing, taking a hard stance on anti-social behaviour, uniting our MP with the council, working together for the benefit of South Shields.
Sophie-Jane Williams (Green Party)
I am proud to stand for the Green Party and stand for what I believe in.
I have lived in South Tyneside since birth with a family who has lived here for many generations.
I have seen the effects of climate change and seen the problems caused by a lack of funding for things like hospitals and education facilities.
As a 22-year-old, I want to be a voice for everyone, for the generations older than me who have lived here for years and the generations yet to come, to create a viable future for South Tyneside.
A vote for Green is a vote for the things that really matter.