On May 5, voters will be taking to the polls in South Tyneside for the local government elections.
Here’s what candidates standing for the Beacon and Bents ward have to say as they chase votes.
John Anglin (Labour Party)
John Anglin is a family man with three grown-up daughters and six grandchildren.
He is heavily involved in the local community as a standing councillor, chairman of Governors at Marine Park Primary School and board member at Cancer Connections.
Nationally, he is appalled at this Tory Government’s policies.
He says it is a tragedy that there is a growing elite getting obscenely richer whilst those who need support because of factors over which they have no control, are made to suffer.
John believes that this Labour-run council is very much on the right track: education is good or excellent in the borough, house-building is increasing as is the amount of recycling.
Regeneration is continuing at the seafront, Hebburn, and Ocean Road and the Market Place/The Word are nearly finished.
Now we will see the new transport hub, retail complex, cinema and restaurant beginning to appear. This is the South Shields that is, and will continue to be, delivered.
John Stephen Clarke (UKIP)
In the May 2015 general election UKIP came second behind the Labour Party, pushing the Conservatives into a distant third place.
UKIP thus became the official opposition in South Tyneside.
We are the clear second party in terms of the number of votes but what needs to happen is for UKIP to start winning seats so that Labour can be properly held to account within the council chamber.
For years now the number of people not voting Labour has exceeded those who do.
In April 2016, the entire South Shields Labour Party were suspended because of a culture of “bullying and intimidation”.
There is no better time for voters to rally behind the only candidate who has a chance of winning, your UKIP candidate.
Rhiannon Sian Curtis (Green Party)
Born, raised and living in Beacon and Bents, I’m passionate about making South Tyneside a better place for all of us.
South Shields should be a place where we all can prosper in secure, well-paid jobs; a place where small business can flourish and rejuvenate our town centre.
We want an end to austerity and to the harmful impact it has on the most vulnerable within our communities.
Labour has run South Shields since 1974, but more of the same isn’t cutting it any more and people are looking for a change.
The Green Party offers a positive alternative to a political landscape based on fear and self-interest.
And with more and more people supporting the Greens than ever before, together we can create a fairer, more sustainable world which really will be for the common good.
Ali Hayder (Conservative Party)
I am passionate about raising money for charity and in recent months I have been fundraising for St Clare’s Hospice in Jarrow.
I believe our town centre is dying, we need to attract new businesses to make King Street booming once again, eight out of 10 people I speak to say there’s nothing there for them.
We also need to sort out the parking facilities, which are discouraging visitors from using our local stores.
I am always ready to help those who need it. Please vote for me on May 5.