A UK Independence Party politician is hoping for a winning double in South Tyneside at May’s local and general elections.
Former borough councillor Steve Harrison has already announced his intention to stand as a Parliamentary candidate for Jarrow.
He is also seeking election as a councillor in the borough’s Monkton ward, including the Lukes Lane Estate, where he used to live.
Mr Harrison formerly represented the Hedworth and Fellgate ward in Jarrow, originally as an independent and later for Ukip.
Mr Harrison said:
“I don’t feel the current MP is responsive enough to the town’s public on local issues.
“His concentration seems to be all about Westminster, and he doesn’t challenge the Labour council enough over decisions it makes.
“If I’m elected, I would spend three days in the town and in the ward dealing with issues on the ground.
“I would also open an office in the town centre which would be manned six days a week, from 9am to 5pm, where people can go and have their problems dealt with.
“There are a lot of issues in Monkton that need to be addressed.
“The bus service in Lukes Lane is non-existent. People have been left high and dry.
“The roads and footpaths are a big issue.
“There’s a view that all the spending goes to South Shields.
“A lack of parking spaces, fly-tipping and rubbish generally are also issues that need to be addressed urgently.
“I have lived on Lukes Lane twice. I grew up there and lived there when I got married. I still have family and friends there, and I know the area well.”
Mr Harrison said he had no concerns over any potential conflict of interest in standing as both prospective MP and councillor.
“I have checked out the rules, and there is not problem with standing for both. It’s not unique. It’s a chance to bring Westminster into local politics.”
> Also a chance to claim two incomes, two sets of expenses, etc.
Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn was unavailable for comment about Mr Harrison’s criticisms.
The other candidates standing in the Jarrow Parliamentary constituency election on Thursday, May 7, are Stan Collins (Lib Dem), Norman Hall (Trade Union Socialist Coalition), Nick Mason (Conservative) and David Herbert (Green).
Source – Shields Gazette, 25 Mar 2015