Firstly, may I thank you for taking the time to read this letter. At the time of writing, it has been just over three days since becoming Hartlepool Borough Council’s youngest Labour councillor following my by-election victory, and it has only just started to sink in.
It was a surreal moment to hear that I had been duly elected to be councillor of my home ward of Throston. To know that my friends, neighbours, and constituents of the area where I have spent the entirety of my life had backed me to be their representative was immense. As a young lad who has held a strong interest in politics for so many years and a desire to work hard for the people of Throston and my town, I will be forever grateful to have been granted this chance and my promise is to always try my best to repay you all. I may not always get it right (I am only human, of course) but I will always maintain that my heart is in the right place, and that is in our ward and our town. This was a huge feature of my campaign because I know how much we all love this place. Despite our gripes and issues, we all want the best and we will all have each other’s backs. It is my determination to work hard with all councillors to bring what I think should be the shared outcome of having something for the Poolies to be fully proud of.
Working together to create a place where we all feel looked after
Unfortunately, I grew up witnessing the slow descent of Hartlepool in the hands of officials of all parties. Whether it be the loss of services, the rising costs on taxpayers, or purely the state of our streets. This is mainly the reason why I had the urge to get involved in politics to try and deliver a positive change, to prove that we aren’t all the same and as bad as each other, to try and create a place where the people of this town feel looked after and not ripped off. A mountain of a task, I’m sure you will agree, and one which is impossible for one man to achieve. But, by working together, I know we can eventually start to deliver. With the growing cost of living crisis and worries of fuel, food, and mortgage costs, we need to work as a team more than ever and help care for one another to get us all through what could be a difficult winter.
As a history teacher and a big Vera Lynn fan, I remember well how touching it was to see the 75th anniversary of VE Day street parties in the midst of the darkest lockdown days. As a passionate supporter/sufferer (delete as appropriate!) of Hartlepool United, I remember the feeling of sheer ecstasy that we all shared on that sacred day in Bristol, in one of the first matches we got to see in person in the pandemic, when we escaped the dreaded national league and once again became a football league club. For all of the negatives of that period, I think we should all be reminded of the happiness and joy we can bring to one another in our darkest days. I have yet to see the community spirit I have seen on display in Hartlepool throughout my life replicated elsewhere. Yes, we know there are problems and how do we complain, but not a chance will we let anyone else have a go or put us down. I know we can pull together and work hard with one another, no matter of our differences, and work towards this common cause of putting our town well and truly back on the map, especially with the upcoming Tall Ships races!
My hope is that I can do you proud. All my life, I have grafted to reach my goals and dreams, and to do right by my family and friends. Through school, university, and teaching, I have given my all, and now, as the latest member of HBC, I intend to do it all again and do right by the great people of this town with some of that famous ‘Never Say Die’ attitude.
I look forward to working with and for you.
Cllr Cameron Sharp