Meet the candidates for Whiteleas for the South Tyneside Council election on May 5

Candidates have confirmed their spots in this year’s (2022) round of local elections in South Tyneside.

By Chris Binding
Monday, 2nd May 2022, 12:00 pm

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 Thursday, May 5.

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.

Each candidate has been given the opportunity to tell readers why they’re standing and why people should vote for them.

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Here’s what candidates in the Whiteleas 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.*

Ken Dawes (Labour Party)

Born and raised in South Shields and married to Lynn, we have two grown-up children and two grandchildren. 

Local elections are due to be held on Thursday, May 5

I’m interested in community matters and I’m involved with voluntary roles within the social housing sector and the local primary school.

Although semi-retired, I’m part of a team delivering online learning to adults in further education. 

Before this, I was a principal grade lecturer at South Tyneside College. 

I lived on the Whiteleas estate as a young person and upon leaving school joined a Technical Corps of the British Army achieving the rank of Senior Non-Commissioned Officer.

Ken Dawes, Labour Party

I’m not a career politician and my values are centred around helping residents achieve the best results through listening and cooperation.

My life experience has ensured that I’m independent and decisive in decision-making.

South Tyneside Council leads the way in award-winning innovation around delivering the green plan and it would be a privilege to help deliver this to residents.

Bethany Telford (Green Party)

Bethany Telford, Green Party

I joined the Greens because I believe in grassroots politics.

I believe our communities should be heard and action taken.

I promise to work hard all year around to listen to the residents and improve our borough.

Greens work hard all year around and it shows.

More and more people across South Tyneside vote Green and in 2021 we got a 200% increase in councillors!

A vote for me will mean more Greens in the council chamber, making a real difference in our community.

Heidi Wildhirt, Conservative

Heidi Wildhirt (Conservative Party candidate)

My name is Heidi Wildhirt, and I am delighted to be your candidate, hoping to serve the residents and local businesses in Whiteleas. 

As well as pushing for more transparency and honesty in decision making, I will cooperate with residents, wardens, neighbourhood watch schemes, and local police; we can clamp down on litter, fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour.

My initiative hopes to introduce more planters, trees and relaxing child-friendly spaces, making Whiteleas a more colourful, wildlife-friendly and enjoyable place to live.

Brighter surroundings attract new investment, businesses and opportunities for our residents.

So if you want to be proud of our area, vote Conservative on May 5.

Kenneth Wood (Independent)

I’m Kenneth Wood and I’m your independent candidate for the Whiteleas ward.

If elected as your independent councillor I will work for you, listen to you and will do my best to help residents with their problems and their worries about anti-social behaviour.

I would love to get residents involved to help improve the area and to try and set up a youth club to give teenagers something to do.

Another priority is a crossing around the Red Duster so parents can cross the road safely with children.

A vote for me is a vote for you to change how Whiteleas ward is run.

Kenneth Wood, Independent