The candidates have been announced for the by-election in Throston Ward, Hartlepool, which will take place on Thursday 13 October. The seat was recently vacated by Labour councillor Amy Prince who faced demands on her time after taking on a new job.
Labour will be hoping for another successful outcome having taken the Foggy Furze ward seat on 8 September with a hike in votes of 24%. Of the four candidates, all but one have stood in local elections before.
Cameron Sharp for Labour, a young History teacher, is the only candidate to live in the ward. He is backed by former Councillor Prince. In a Facebook post he writes:
“As a teacher I believe passionately in public service and ensuring that Hartlepool gets the very best from its elected representatives. I’m proud to be a Poolie and will work every single day to improve our ward and our town.”
Jaime Horton, an Independent, is known for her work with homeless veterans. She is notorious however for her child abuse case. In February 2020 she pleaded guilty to “two counts of wilful assault, ill treatment, neglect, abandonment or exposure of the said child, in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health.”
Despite her conviction for child abuse, Ms Horton has received an official endorsement from Shane Moore, Leader of Hartlepool Council. When he was a tanker driver, Mr Moore obtained two convictions for drink-driving.
During his political career Mr Moore was a Tory before becoming a Ukip councillor, then switched to Independent, Independent Union and the Brexit Party before returning to Independent Union. He is part of the Conservative-led coalition that runs the town, and he is also Deputy Mayor to Ben Houchen, the Tory Metropolitan Mayor of Tees Valley.
Mr Moore’s endorsement of Ms Horton reads:
“I have known Jaime for many years and have also worked alongside her on raising funds for local projects, her ability to work hard and achieve results has always impressed me, I think Jaime will be an excellent councillor for Throston ward.”
Liberal Democrat candidate
Barry McKinstray, the Liberal Democrat, is a local stonemason. At the 8 September Foggy Furze ward by election he picked up 49 votes.
Jack Waterman for the Conservatives, in his late twenties, was a budding actor and theatre director, but took on a new role in May as local Tory MP Jill Mortimer’s caseworker. His success will ultimately depend on his casework track record. With Mrs Mortimer’s local reputation as the Invisible Woman, has Waterman managed to build a different image as a decent caseworker? He has not stood for election before and he might want to work on his charm. In a tweet on 9 October 2021 he declared:
“I never used to understand how someone could just walk into a Maccies [McDonald’s] and open fire. But, after sitting for only half an hour on the late train from Sunderland to Hartlepool on a match day, I’m considering pumping gas into Lidl.”
Here’s hoping he never runs into Millwall.
Social media seems to be devoid of any campaigning by Waterman. This could mean he’s absolutely confident of winning, or completely certain he’s going to lose.
Throston Ward is a mix of deprivation and prosperity. At the Dyke House area, poverty is endemic. Throston itself is a mix of wealth with a growth in rental properties. Then there’s Bishop Cuthbert with houses from £150,000 to almost £1,000,000.
Whoever wins will have to fill the shoes of the pink-haired energy dynamo that is Amy Prince. They will share the ward with Independent councillors Peter Jackson and Paddy Brown.